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NFL Agreement to Play Games in London Through 2020 a Testament to the Power of Sports Betting Regulation to Ensure Integrity

Press Release
October 22, 2015

Washington, DC – With the NFL announcing today an extension of its agreement to play regular season games at Wembley Stadium in London through 2020, the nation’s casinos are once again applauding the League for giving the green light to playing games in a location where sports betting is a popular pastime – and legal. NFL.com reported this month that the league is making strides in locating a franchise in the city by 2022.

“The agreement to play NFL games in London for another five years offers further evidence that legal, regulated sports betting strengthens the integrity of games,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA). “Sports fans across the United States will also bet millions on these football games, but outside of Nevada, mechanisms won’t be in place to track suspicious activity and betting line movements.”  

Earlier this month, the AGA applauded the NFL for hosting games in London, 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 played the Miami Dolphins on October 4, the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars square off on Sunday, 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.

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.

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press release contact
Caroline Ponseti

(202) 552-2675