American Gaming Association Launches Sports Betting Coalition

on September 22, 2016
American Gaming Association sports betting Adam Silver

The American Gaming Association is pressing Congress to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is one sports governor who would like to see that accomplished. (Image: nba.com)

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has been calling for the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) for over a year. Now the leading gambling lobbying firm in Washington, DC, is ramping up its efforts by unveiling its Illegal Gambling Advisory Board.

Former FBI Deputy Director Tim Murphy is chairing the alliance under the AGA’s direction.

“The time has come to repeal the current sports betting ban and replace it with rigorous regulations that benefit states, protect consumers and maintain the integrity of the games,” Murphy said in a statement. “The current approach to sports betting in the United States is not working; instead, it’s fueling criminal enterprises.”

In the fall of 2015, the AGA released a months-long study that concluded the illegal sports gambling market in the United States totals upwards of $150 billion annually.

The primary goal of the Illegal Gambling Advisory Board will be to persuade Congress to repeal PASPA. The board consists of Murphy, along with former Boston Police Commissioner Jim Dinkins, former Clark County, Nevada, Sheriff Bill Young, former Wisconsin Attorney General Bill Young, and former Homeland Security Executive Associate Director JB Van Hollen.

“No voice is more important than law enforcement to make clear the perils of a thriving illegal sports betting market, and why prohibition is failing,” AGA President Geoff Freeman declared.

Five-Point Plan

Murphy’s team has quickly developed a strategy to take to Capitol Hill, and it involves the following key conclusions.

  • Current US approach to sports betting is failing
  • Illegal sports betting fuels criminal enterprises
  • Open, transparent, regulated sports betting boosts law enforcement oversight
  • States must play a central role
  • It’s time to repeal the federal sports betting ban

Passed in 1992, PASPA outlawed all forms of sports gambling in the US with four states being granted special exceptions.

Today, only Nevada takes advantage of its PASPA immunity and allows casinos to offer traditional sports betting. However, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana, the three other grandfathered states, do permit some forms of legal sports gambling.

In Delaware, for instance, parlay sports betting is common.

Since 1992, gambling expansion has greatly spread throughout the US. No longer is gambling confined to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, and that has led to a somewhat changing of opinion regarding PASPA.

NBA Lends Support

The Big Four sports leagues in America, the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL, have historically opposed sports betting. That’s no longer necessarily the case.

The NHL is expanding its league into Las Vegas for the 2017-18 season, bringing Sin City its first major sports franchise in history. And though NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is trying to keep the Oakland Raiders in California instead of relocating to Vegas, all four commissioners recognize it might be time to amend PASPA.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is the most outspoken proponent of betting on sports.

“Congress should adopt a federal framework that allows states to authorize betting on professional sports,” Silver wrote in a 2015 New York Times editorial. “Sports betting should be brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated.”

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