Casinos Applaud NFL for Hosting Games in London — Where Sports Betting is Legal, Safe & Promotes the Integrity of Games
Washington, DC – As the NFL prepares to host a slate of games in London beginning tomorrow, the American Gaming Association (AGA) is lauding the league for playing games in a city and country where legal sports betting on NFL games takes place in neighborhoods surrounding the playing field and is only growing in popularity. The New York Jets play the Miami Dolphins tomorrow, while the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars square off on October 25 and the Detroit Lions take on the Kansas City Chiefs on November 1. The NFL has played at least one game per season in London since 2007.
Legal sports betting and NFL games co-exist so well – and promote the integrity of the games – that the NFL is considering placing a franchise in London. NFL.com reported yesterday that the league is making strides in locating a franchise in the city by 2022.
“We applaud the NFL’s willingness to once again host games in a city where betting on sports is a national pastime and a mainstream form of entertainment,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “While sports fans across the United States are also betting on these games – largely illegally because of an outdated and failing law – millions of dollars will be bet in London on the NFL games in a legal, regulated and safe manner.”
According to an ESPN report last season before the NFL hosted three games in London, “more than 30 gambling parlors in the Wembley Park area, where the stadium is located,” expected to “receive up to a 100 percent increase in the amount wagered on the NFL games played at Wembley Stadium compared to those played in the U.S.”
Sports fans will wager $95 billion on NFL and college football games this season, according to an AGA estimate released last month. The vast majority – $93 billion – of wagers will be placed illegally. Just under $2 billion will be wagered at sports books in Nevada. On last season’s Super Bowl alone, Americans made $3.8 billion worth of illicit bets – an amount 38 times greater than the total bet legally.
Illegal sports betting is one of four key illegal gambling areas of focus as part of the AGA’s “Stop Illegal Gambling – Play it Safe” initiative, which seeks to distinguish the highly regulated, $240 billion legal gaming industry—which supports 1.7 million jobs and generates $38 billion in taxes across 40 states—from the criminal networks that rely on illegal gambling to fund violent crimes and drug and human trafficking. The initiative is also focusing on black market machines, Internet sweepstakes cafes and illegal online betting.
About AGA: The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $240 billion U.S casino industry, which supports 1.7 million jobs in 40 states. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to be the single most effective champion of the industry, relentlessly protecting against harmful and often misinformed public policies, and paving a path for growth, innovation and reinvestment.