AGA reiterates opposition to federal sports betting framework

14 September 2018

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has doubled down on its opposition to a proposed federal framework for regulated sports betting in the country, claiming that such a system would replace an “already proven regulatory regime” backed by the majority of US citizens.

Last month, US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (pictured) put forward his proposal for nationwide regulations to cover the sector.

States have so far adopted their own legislative approaches to sports betting in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning PASPA, the federal law that had banned such activities, in May.

The AGA, who had already communicated its displeasure with the proposals to Schumer, wrote again to the Senator yesterday (Thursday) to reiterate that it “firmly believes that additional federal engagement is not warranted at this time”.

Writing in the latest letter, Sara Slane, senior vice-president of public affairs at the AGA, said: “AGA has long been a leading advocate for eliminating the vast illegal sports betting market in the US, which was largely enabled by PASPA. We believe this can best be achieved through law enforcement oversight and robust state regulation.

“Bringing sports betting activity into a transparent legal market, under state and tribal regulatory oversight, empowers law enforcement to tackle illegal gambling, provides essential consumer protection and better ensures bet and game integrity.

“It will also create new American jobs and generate additional local, state and federal tax revenue.”

The AGA also highlighted how several parties that had previously been against the expansion of legal sports betting in the US were now taking advantage of the new system.

Last month, the NBA basketball league entered into a landmark partnership with MGM Resorts International, while NFL American football franchise the Dallas Cowboys last week set a league first by linking up with WinStar World Casino.

In addition, a Nielsen Sports report commissioned by the AGA found that the NFL could boost its annual revenue by $2.3bn (£1.76bn/€1.97bn) per year as a result of legal, regulated sports betting in the US.

“Since the court’s decision, companies in Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey and West Virginia are now operating legal, regulated sportsbooks,” Slane said. “More than 20 other states, including New York, are likely to consider legalised sports betting when their legislatures convene in 2019.

“AGA strongly believes no additional federal engagement is needed at this time based on the significant, effective regulatory oversight already in place. Across the country, more than 4,000 dedicated public servants effectively regulate the commercial and tribal casino industry, including sports wagering.

“Replacing an already proven regulatory regime with a non-existent and untested federal oversight apparatus would be out of step with seven in 10 Americans who think this decision should be left to each state and tribe.”