By Josh Peter
A gambling advisory board chaired by a former FBI deputy director recommended on Wednesday ending the federal ban against sports betting.
States should have the right to decide whether to offer sports betting, recommended a board comprised of former top law enforcement officers. Sports gambling outside of Las Vegas currently is prohibited by federal law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992.
“It’s time to reconsider that national ban,’’ Tim Murphy, former deputy director of the FBI, said Wednesday.
The advisory group, which was put together by the American Gaming Association and includes a former attorney general for Wisconsin, a former sheriff of the Clark County, Nev., will lobby on Capitol Hill with law enforcement in an effort to have the current legislation repealed.
In 2015, the American Gaming Association launched an initiative to expose massive illegal gambling market — $150 billion a year for sports gambling, it says — and that led to the formation of the advisory group.
Last summer, the group participated in a summit in Washington D.C. that involved about 25 law enforcement leaders, according to the the advisory board, which on Wednesday announced conclusions and recommendations that also included: an open and regulated sports betting market boosts law enforcement oversight, states must play a central role and illegal sports betting fuels criminal enterprises.
“This is not just a victimless crime,’’ said Ed Davis, a former Boston police commissioner and member of the advisory group who said organized crime has used sports betting proceeds to fuel other criminal activity. “Illegal sports betting was the great that caused that machine to function.’’
Murphy, the former FBI deputy director, said findings will be shared with legislators and other stakeholders “so we can at least spur the critical national dialogue on this topic and get people involved and give them insight into how and why this needs to changed.’’