January 27, 2016
By Darren Heitner
The American Gaming Association (AGA) predicts that $4.2 billion will be wagered by Americans surrounding Super Bowl 50 between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers. That would be an 8% increase over the amount of bets placed on last year’s Super Bowl (as calculated by the AGA).
Super Bowl betting is popular among the masses, but it only makes up a small portion of the overall amount of betting that occurs throughout the year. The AGA estimates that $149 billion was wagered by Americans in 2015 alone, up from roughly $145 billion in 2014.
“As Americans celebrate a milestone Super Bowl, they’ll also bet a record amount on the Big Game,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “Just like football, sports betting has never been more popular than it is today. The casino gaming industry is leading the conversation around a new approach to sports betting that enhances consumer protections, strengthens the integrity of games and recognizes fans’ desire for greater engagement with sports.”
The AGA obviously has a mission in mind with releasing figures related to the overwhelming amount of bets that are placed illegally. It is a national trade group that represents the $240 billion U.S. casino industry, which includes commercial and tribal casino operators, suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry.
Statements like “eliminate illegal sports betting” and “strengthening the integrity of games” are used by the AGA in a stated effort to spur change to existing U.S. laws concerning sports betting. The AGA acknowledges that the current prohibition on sports betting has failed. It seeks to determine whether there are rational alternatives to the federal ban established by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992(PASPA).
Meanwhile, individuals will continue to place bets illegally throughout the U.S., on the Super Bowl and many other sporting events. If you want to place a legal bet on the outcome of the game, you may be left with little choice but to travel to Nevada, where there are plentiful opportunities to make wagers in a legal fashion.
For instance, William Hill, the United Kingdom’s biggest gambling company, offered 690 ways to bet on last year’s Super Bowl match-up between the Patriots and Seahawks, throughout 104 legal locations in Nevada and via its mobile app to Nevada residents. Perhaps some day such robust technology will be available to users in other states as well.
For now, the vast majority of Americans betting on the Super Bowl will do so illegally, to the tune of billions of dollars.
Original article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/darrenheitner/2016/01/27/4-2-billion-to-be-wagered-on-super-bowl-50/#2aff10914471