New Report Says: End the Failing Ban on Sports Betting

Competitive Enterprise Institute’s report says “legalizing sports wagering will increase consumer safety and protect state sovereignty”

Press Release | 03.02.2017

Washington, DC – A legal, regulated sports betting market will increase consumer safety and protect state sovereignty, a new report from a non-profit Washington, D.C. think tank said Thursday.

The report, Time to End the Madness around March Madness, issued by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, details how eliminating the ban on sports betting would generate tax revenue and help bolster the integrity of professional and amateur sports.

Read the report here.

“Like any other form of gambling, sports betting can be regulated and taxed, but first the law must treat consumers like adults,” the report says. “By legalizing the activity, states can institute safeguards to protect consumers and the vulnerable and sports authorities can have access to the information that will help them spot and deal with corruption.”

“Today’s report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute is further proof that momentum is building for a legal, regulated sports betting market,” said Erik Balsbaugh, vice president of public affairs at AGA. “As we approach the 25th anniversary of the failing federal ban on sports betting, it’s time for Congress to lift the failing federal ban and allow states to collect much-needed tax revenue.”

The report comes just ahead of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which last year resulted in $9.2 billion in bets. Of the $9.2 billion that was wagered, only about $262 million was placed legally through Nevada sports books.

The growing illegal sports betting market, which is fueled by a failing federal ban on sports betting, has rapidly pushed sports fans into an underground market with no consumer protections. A regulated marketplace, which stands in stark contrast to what’s currently available, would generate tax revenue and jobs for local communities and provide needed consumer protections for fans.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, dictates that Nevada is the only state permitted to offer traditional sports betting. Despite this ban, sports betting has only grown more prevalent. In fact, in 2016 alone, Americans wagered an estimated $154 billion on all sports, nearly all of it through bookies and offshore, illicit web sites.

Fans who want to help lift the federal ban can join the grassroots campaign at SportsBettingInAmerica.com.

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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