Washington, DC– One day before the NFL season kicks off, the American Gaming Association (AGA) is estimating that sports fans will wager $95 billion on NFL and college football games this season. 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 reaching new heights of popularity in America,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “It’s clear that a federal ban on traditional sports betting outside of Nevada is failing.”
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.
In June, the AGA formed an Illegal Gambling Advisory Board composed of former top law enforcement officials from the federal, state and local levels.
The Board is comprised of: Tim Murphy (chair), former deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI); Ed Davis, former Boston Police Commissioner; James Dinkins, former executive associate director at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations; J.B. Van Hollen, former Wisconsin State attorney general, U.S. attorney, and district attorney; and Bill Young, former Clark County Sheriff and head of Las Vegas Metro Police Department; current senior vice president of compliance and security at Station Casinos.
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.