Washington, D.C. – American Gaming Association (AGA) President and CEO Geoff Freeman released the following statement after a report indicated that the NHL will expand to Las Vegas and give the city its first major league sports team:
“Today marks a milestone for Nevada and for the casino gaming industry at large. The placement of the first major professional sports franchise in Las Vegas reflects a rapidly evolving view of gaming as an important, mainstream segment of the broader economy that supports 1.7 million jobs and serves as a community partner in 40 states.”
“The NHL’s decision is the latest signal that professional sports leagues are increasingly comfortable with legal, regulated sports betting. Nothing threatens the integrity of sports more than the illegal sports betting marketplace where Americans spent at least $150 billion over the last year through bookies and illegal, and often offshore, websites.
“It’s time for a new approach to sports betting that eliminates the federal prohibition and recognizes what the NHL, NBA and others have acknowledged through the rise of daily fantasy sports: today’s fans are seeking greater engagement with the sports, teams and players they enjoy.
“An NHL team in Las Vegas is a win for Nevada, a win for casino gaming and a win for fans.”
Over recent months, here is what sports commissioners have said about sports betting:
“It’s all underground; we have no idea what’s going on and there’s no transparency to the league and you have no sense what’s happening…for me if all that betting is going on anyway, I think it should be legal; I think it should be regulated; it should be transparent to the league…”
-National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver
“It's important for baseball to give fresh consideration to the issue.” “Gambling in terms of our society has changed its presence on legalization.”
-Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred
“All of us have evolved a little bit on gambling.”
-National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell
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.