Washington, D.C. - “Billions of dollars have been wagered, almost all of it illegally, on the NCAA tournament that winds up with the championship game tonight, while the NCAA imitates Nero and fiddles around promoting legislation that would do more harm than good,” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA).
“Instead of taking some of the hundreds of millions of dollars it makes off student athletes and making serious efforts to address illegal gambling on college campuses,” Fahrenkopf said, “the NCAA is undertaking what amounts to a publicity stunt in attacking legal betting in Nevada.”
The NCAA is the moving force behind recently reintroduced legislation that would take away the rights of millions of men and women who place legal bets, only in Nevada, on collegiate sports. The legislation was promoted unsuccessfully in Congress last year and reintroduced recently.
The legislation addresses only legal gambling in Nevada. It does not address the problem of college students betting illegally over the Internet or through campus bookies - which the NCAA acknowledges can be found on almost every college campus.
In contrast, the gaming industry is supporting comprehensive legislation that would increase enforcement and penalties, evaluate the extent and causes of illegal gambling, and require schools to put in place education programs for their students. This legislation already has won strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate and is the realistic solution to addressing the problem of illegal gambling.
Fahrenkopf suggested several questions NCAA officials should be asked:
Has the NCAA taken any action to eliminate access to Internet gambling sites on college campuses?
Has the NCAA required any of its member institutions to put in place student education programs on gambling?
How many students have been punished for violations of the NCAA bylaw 10.3 prohibiting sports gambling? How many institutions have been sanctioned?
What has the NCAA done to remove student bookies from campuses?
Have campus security departments compiled an arrest record for those committing gambling-related crimes on your campuses?
What is the NCAA budget for gambling issues? What percentage of the total NCAA annual budget does that represent?
The American Gaming Association represents the commercial casino-entertainment industry by addressing federal legislative and regulatory issues. The association also serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops educational and advocacy programs, and provides leadership on industry-related issues of public concern.