AGA's Geoff Freeman: The perfect storm for PASPA repeal

AGA's Geoff Freeman: The perfect storm for PASPA repeal

Monday, June 26, 2017 Posted by Luke Massey
The AGA has launched a campaign to end the 25-year-old federal ban

The American Gaming Association (AGA) president and CEO Geoff Freeman believes “a perfect storm is aligning” after announcing the launch of a coalition campaign to end the 25-year-old federal ban which prohibits sports betting in the US.

The American Sports Betting Coalition (ASBC) will run an all-inclusive advocacy campaign for legislative action in Washington by uniting the AGA’s Illegal Gambling Advisory Board, Fraternal Order of Police, National District Attorneys Association, Major County Sheriffs Association, US Conference of Mayors and National Conference of State Legislatures, all of whom support the legalisation of sports betting.

According to new research by Oxford Economics, repealing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which came into force in 1992, would curb a $150 billion illegal market while supporting up to 152,000 jobs, creating an estimated $26 billion in economic output and generating up to $5.3 billion in tax revenue.

Speaking at the coalition launch, Freeman said: "America's 25-year-old federal ban on sports betting has failed. That's why a new diverse coalition including law enforcement, elected officials and gaming leaders is coming together to reform the law.

“The ASBC will engage stakeholders, lawmakers, allies and fans in pursuit of repealing PASPA. The AGA believes a perfect storm is aligning, and now is the time to repeal this failing law.

“Let's face it, despite PASPA's presence, millions of Americans bet at will in a vast unregulated illegal market that offers no oversight by law enforcement, no accountability to regulators, no protections for consumers and no concern about the integrity of games.

“For example, in the two biggest sports events of the year, the Super Bowl and the NCAA men's basketball tournament, American's wagered nearly $15 billion - 97% of that wagering was illegal.”

Totally Gaming says: A recent survey commissioned by the AGA found that nearly 60% of Americans and 72% of sports fans are in favour of ending the federal ban. The momentum for change in the US is evidenced by the introduction of sports betting bills in seven states this year - Pennsylvania, Michigan, South Carolina, New York, Maryland, West Virginia and Connecticut.

Topics around legal sports betting in the US, including path to the repeal of PASPA, changing sports leagues’ attitudes towards sports betting, sports integrity, data monetisation and new revenue streams for the sport rights holders, and routes to market, will be discussed during the Sports Betting USA conference, to take place in New York City on November 14-15. More information and registration available on: http://www.sportsbettingusaconference.com/

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