January 27, 2016
By J.D. Morris
Americans are poised to wager $4.2 billion on the upcoming Super Bowl 50, with the vast majority of those bets expected to be placed illegally, according to a projection released today by the casino industry’s main lobbying and trade group.
The American Gaming Association said its sports betting projection for the Feb. 7 championship football game between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers represents an 8 percent increase from last year.
About 97 percent of the anticipated bets — $4.1 billion — will be wagered illegally, according to the gaming association.
To arrive at the projection, the association said it used the “most conservative estimate of illegal sports betting activity” from a 1999 national study and applied Census Bureau-reported GDP growth “to make this current to today.”
The association said it also assumed betting activity on the Super Bowl in Nevada was the “best available indicator” of how those legal wagers might compare to illegal ones, so it “applied this ratio to the larger illegal gambling figure.”
Last year, the association said before the Super Bowl that it expected Americans to gamble $3.8 billion illegally. In Nevada, bettors wagered nearly $116 million legally last year, down from the record-setting $119.4 million wagered in 2014.
“Just like football, sports betting has never been more popular than it is today,”Geoff Freeman, the association’s president, said in a statement 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.”
Both sports betting and illegal gambling have become top priorities for the gaming association.
In November, the group announced it was assembling a broad coalition to determine whether a rational alternative exists to current sports betting law. The association did not specify exactly what that might be but said it could include regulation, strong protection for consumers and robust tools for law enforcement.
The association has also launched an anti-illegal gambling campaign that includes partnering with law enforcement. Freeman focused on illegal gambling during his remarks at the 2015 Global Gaming Expo, or G2E, a major casino industry conference held annually on the Strip. Also at G2E, the association announced the results of a research highlighting convictions related to illegal gambling.
Original article: http://vegasinc.com/business/gaming/2016/jan/27/gaming-association-super-bowl-will-elicit-42-billi/