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    Gaming Industry Files Amicus Brief with United States Supreme Court Detailing Impacts of Failing Federal Sports Betting Ban

    Press Release
    September 5, 2017

    Washington, DC – The failing federal ban on sports betting is fueling an annual $150 billion illegal underground sports betting market, argues an amicus brief filed in the United States Supreme Court by the American Gaming Association (AGA) today. AGA’s brief argues that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) “prevents States and tribal sovereign governments states from repealing or amending laws that their citizens no longer support.”

    Read the full amicus brief here.

    The court agreed this summer to hear New Jersey’s challenge to the federal sports betting ban. Arguments are expected to be heard in the coming months with a decision expected in 2018. Last month, AGA weighed in on the pending case through a SCOTUSBlog Symposium on sports betting.

    “Regulation of sports betting needs to be accomplished in a sensible manner that promotes, rather than thwarts, the strictures and principles of federalism,” the brief states. “PASPA has thus had the perverse effect of pushing an enormous market underground by way of federal decree while stamping out state and local efforts to adapt their own laws pursuant to their own citizens’ wishes.”

    Americans have shown a desire to wager on sports. A recent AGA-commissioned national survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR) found strong support for legal sports betting. Nearly six in ten Americans – and 72 percent of avid sports fans – are in favor of ending the federal ban.

    But despite the federal ban, American sports fans continue to wager on games. According to AGA’s brief, “earlier this year, Americans bet an estimated $15 billion on the Super Bowl and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament alone, and 97% of those bets were made illegally.”

    According to new research by Oxford Economics released earlier this year, legalizing sports betting in the United States would curb the illegal market while supporting up to 152,000 jobs, creating an estimated $26 billion in economic output and generating up to $5.3 billion in tax revenue.

    This summer, the AGA launched the American Sports Betting Coalition (ASBC) to lead the efforts to repeal PASPA. The ASBC will lead an all-inclusive advocacy campaign focused on ending the failed sports betting ban. It brings together law enforcement officials, states rights’ advocates, policymakers and industry leaders – all of whom believe that it’s time to legalize and regulate sports betting in America. This diverse group of stakeholders is critical to pushing for legislative action in Washington which is the first piece of the puzzle. Ending PASPA means states can then decide if they want to have sports betting or not. 

    The coalition brings together the American Gaming Association’s Illegal Gambling Advisory Board, and has welcomed organizations such as the Fraternal Order of Police, National District Attorneys Association, Major County Sheriffs Association, U.S. Conference of Mayors and National Conference of State Legislatures who support the coalition principles.

    To learn more about the ASBC visit sportsbettinginamerica.com.

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