Vegas mayor doesn't think gambling allegations will hurt city's NBA dream
LAS VEGAS -- Mayor Oscar Goodman is confident allegations that an NBA referee bet on basketball games won't damage Las Vegas' bid for a team.
If anything, Goodman said it could strengthen his city's case.
"I think that there's going to be a public recognition that Las Vegas does monitor this kind of alleged activity," Goodman said Friday.
"I don't want anyone's bad fortune to cause us good fortune, but I think it will cause people to look at Las Vegas in a light perhaps differently than they do, because we do in fact regulate this kind of activity."
The FBI is investigating allegations that veteran NBA referee Tim Donaghy bet on basketball games over the past two seasons, including ones in which he officiated. The probe also involves allegations that he had connections to organized crime associates, the kind of suspicious link the mayor says is closely watched in Nevada.
Though NBA commissioner David Stern previously had said he would not put a team in Las Vegas as long as there was betting on basketball, he amended his position earlier this year. He said a decision would be left to the owners and allowed Goodman to submit a proposal to them before the Board of Governors meetings in April.
After those meetings, Stern said a committee would be formed to further review Goodman's plan, and Goodman said there since have been "light conversations" with the league.
Goodman's proposal offered no compromise on gambling, such as a plan to prohibit action on a Las Vegas team. He doesn't think it's necessary, because the Nevada Gaming Commission and Gaming Control Board would keep a close eye on it.
"We're the only regulatory agency in the world that really looks at unusual activity as far as the movement of the line and that type of conduct," Goodman said. "That's why whenever red herrings are thrown up that somehow Las Vegas is a bad place because we have sports betting, I look at it just as a reverse. I think it's a good thing that Las Vegas has the type of regulation that makes sure that bad things don't happen."
Las Vegas hosted the NBA's All-Star Game in February, the first outside of a league city, and more than 20 clubs sent teams here for summer league earlier this month. USA Basketball is holding its minicamp here this weekend, and the FIBA Americas tournament, a regional qualifier for the 2008 Olympics, comes to the campus of UNLV next month.
"The players conduct themselves like gentlemen, the community embraces them, and there's not even the slightest hint of impropriety," Goodman said.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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TIM DONAGHY SCANDAL
Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy pled guilty to federal felony conspiracy charges alleging that he passed along inside information on NBA games.
Donaghy also alleges that referees helped alter the outcomes of games during the '02 and '05 postseasons.
He was sentenced to 15 months in prison in July.
News• Phoenix prosecutor wants federal files
• Donaghy's father says NBA must share the blame
• NBA's disclosure of own probe of officials on hold
• Adviser: Donaghy 'couldn't stop' gambling
• Two ex-classmates of Donaghy get prison time
• Report: Donaghy made calls to fellow ref
• NY prosecutors: Ref 'central' to NBA bet scandal
• NBA's restitution case vs. Donaghy questioned
• Donaghy lawyer: NBA trying to vilify ex-ref
• NBA ups Donaghy restitution figure to $1.4M
• Referee from alleged fixed game to work Game 5
• Ex-referee denies improper officiating claim
• Kings lament Donaghy's claims from 2002
• Report: Federal agents ask ex-ref about Bavetta
• NBA ref responds to Donaghy's 2002 claim
• 2002 playoff game at heart of allegations
• Stern allows some forms of gambling among refs
• NBA refutes report of refs disciplined
• Ex-ref Donaghy forfeits cash as part of plea deal
• Stern defends refs, vows to wait before punishing
• Ex-prosecutor counseled refs during FBI probe
• Attorney to lead review of NBA refs
• Report: Donaghy to talk about other refs
• Donaghy could face state charges
• Donaghy pleads guilty to felony charges | Docs
• Donaghy to plead guilty on betting charges
• Lawyer: Donaghy classmate expects indictment
• Congressman requests discussion with Stern
• Stern: Donaghy only referee believed to have bet
• Transcript of Stern's news conference
• Police called to Donaghy's home
• Report: Feds believe ref will cooperate
• Reports: NBA referee bet on games
• Mayor: Scandal won't hurt Vegas' NBA dream
Stats• Donaghy's 2006-'07 game log
• Donaghy's 2005-'06 game log
Analysis• Munson: What happens on judgment day?
• Munson: Prison or no prison for Donaghy?
• Neumann: Nader feels vindicated
• Hill: NBA not helping their own case
• Stein: NBA has no quick fix for fixing charges
• Smith: Season shaken by Donaghy nightmare
• Munson: Donaghy's claims troubling for NBA
• Adande: Shine brighter spotlight on refs
• Sheridan: What next, Commissioner Stern?
• Munson: Q&A about Tim Donaghy and the law
• Sheridan: 10 Q&A on the scandal
• Sheridan: Even Stern uncertain about latest crisis
• Stein: Donaghy questions and answers
• Drehs: Expert finds funny numbers
• Broussard: Refs say it's isolated incident
• Katz: College officials fear lasting backlash
• Jackson: Sad, not shocked
• Drehs: Q&A with gambling expert
• Sheridan: Three big questions
• Simmons: One man out, one league in trouble
• Stein: Players react
• Sheridan: Team USA players react
• Stein: Official nightmare for Stern
• Sheridan: The Donaghy file
• Adande: NBA's image takes another hit
• Jones: More bad news for the NBA
• TrueHoop: Two unproven beliefs remain so
• TrueHoop: Here's an early NBA fixer
TrueHoop• Betting expert: There's more to this story
• Observations on the Donaghy documents
• No specific mention of game-fixing
• Donaghy treated for gambling addiction
• Reaction to Donaghy's guilty pleas
• Donaghy details from the Justice Department
• Donaghy surrenders; what it all means
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