Gaming Industry Responds to Commissioner Goodell’s Comments on Las Vegas, Sports Betting and Integrity

AGA President & CEO Geoff Freeman: Lack of transparency in betting threatens integrity of sports

Press Release | 04.29.2016

Washington, DC American Gaming Association (AGA) President and CEO Geoff Freeman released the following statement in response to comments by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this morning about sports betting’s impact on the integrity of sports:

“Nothing threatens the integrity of sports more than a thriving and opaque sports betting black market where the bettors and those taking the bets hide in the shadows. Illegal sports wagering in the United States is conservatively estimated at $150 billion annually. The gaming industry invites those who are serious about protecting the integrity of sports to partner with us in pursuit of eliminating the sports betting black market.

“Recent research reveals that 80 percent of Super Bowl viewers believe it’s time to change sports betting law and 65 percent say legal, regulated sports betting would not jeopardize the integrity of games.

“We encourage the NFL to follow the leadership of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in embracing the integrity benefits of regulated sports betting and the interests of fans across the country.”

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BACKGROUND

Last week, as the United States nears 25 years with a federal law that has driven trillions of dollars in sports betting to the black market, experts from around the globe gathered at a standing-room-only event on Capitol Hill to discuss the threat unregulated gambling poses to the integrity of professional and amateur sports. The event, “The World of Sports Betting and Safeguarding Sports Integrity,” highlighted how technology is used in regulated sports betting markets to detect nefarious behavior and featured luminaries such as the former CEO of the Liverpool Football Club and a former United Kingdom sports minister. 

Led by Genius Sports Group, a technology company that monitors and identifies suspicious betting patterns, and AGA, experts from law enforcement, academia, professional sports leagues and government highlighted a broken federal law that encourages illicit activity and threatens the integrity of sports. Current law prohibits traditional sports betting outside of Nevada.

In a sign of sports betting’s increasing popularity, AGA estimated earlier this year that Americans wagered $4.2 billion on Super Bowl 50 and $9.2 billion on March Madness. Additionally, AGA found that 80 percent of Super Bowl viewers want to change current sports betting law and that March Madness brackets boost tournament viewership by 21 percent.

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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