Can US gambling form betting coalition with pro sports leagues?

Can US gambling form betting coalition with pro sports leagues?

Monday, November 23, 2015 Totally Gaming
The AGA wants the gambling industry to work together with sports leagues and others

Gaming leaders in the US want to team up with professional sports leagues in a bid to expand betting in the country.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has issued a set of recommendations that mark a major shift in the industry’s approach to sports betting, which is currently illegal in all but four US states.

The trade group wants to promote “strict regulation, rigorous consumer protections and robust tools for law enforcement to eliminate illegal sports betting and strengthen the integrity of games” through a “broad coalition” that will determine whether a rational alternative to current sports betting law exists.

The 2016 effort will focus on “robust research, aggressive communications and partnerships with a variety of voices with interest in sports betting”. AGA said these parties will include gaming leaders, law enforcement officials, regulators, legislators and professional sports leagues – who have been staunch opponents of legalising sports betting. 

“The casino gaming industry is aligned that the status quo is unsustainable,” said Geoff Freeman, president and chief executive of the AGA. “We look forward to working with law enforcement, sports leagues and other interested parties to consider effective approaches to protecting consumers and the integrity of sports.”  

AGA said the recommendations reflect broad industry consensus and were developed by leadership from the industry’s casino operators, suppliers and sportsbook operators in Nevada and across 40 states through a Sports Betting Task Force, which reported that current law is “not achieving its intended result”.  

In September, the body estimated that 98 per cent of the $95bn expected to be gambled on this season’s NFL and NCAA American football competitions would be wagered illegally.

US professional sports leagues MLB baseball, NBA basketball, NHL ice hockey and NFL American football are currently involved in a legal battle to prevent the state of New Jersey from circumventing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) to offer sports betting at casinos and race tracks.

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