AGA-led coalition calls for repeal of sports betting ban

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With legislation to lift the federal ban on sports betting on the cards, the American Gaming Association has brought together “a perfect storm” of forces to keep the momentum going.

 

The American Gaming Association has established a coalition of opposing forces to aid in its efforts to overthrow the outmoded ban on US sports betting.

Citing a “perfect storm” of opposition, the association has brought together state lawmakers, FBI chiefs, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, state attorneys general, police commissioners and sheriffs, to help lobby for the repeal of PASPA – the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act – which currently prevents most states from legalising the pastime.

“Big Government’s 1992 sports betting prohibition has failed to protect sports, fans and communities,” Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA, said in a statement. “Regulated sports betting is what fans want and sports integrity demands.”

The newly formed American Sports Betting Coalition will engage in a lobbying campaign on Congress, advertising and a social media effort meant to mobilise sporting fans seeking to bet on games.

“The American Gaming Association believes a perfect storm is aligning and now is the time to repeal a failing law,” Geoff Freeman, the association’s president and CEO, said during the announcement.

He cited a recent survey commissioned by the organisation that found there is strong bipartisan support nationwide for legal sports betting, with nearly six in ten Americans now supporting a repeal.

The AGA also said legalised sports betting would check a $150bn illegal industry while potentially creating 152,000 jobs, $26bn in economic output and $5.3bn in tax revenue.

“The rampant illegal sports betting that currently exists continues to fuel other criminal activities and provides no consumer protections,” Brad Schimel, attorney general of Wisconsin added. “States should be able to determine for themselves how to address the issue.”

The announcement comes after a congressional committee unveiled draft legislation in May, the Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act (GAME), that would repeal the federal prohibition on sports betting – both online and offline.


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