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A Sporting Chance

AGA to tackle massive illegal sports gambling market

Did you know that nearly 0 billion will be wagered illegally on sports this year alone? Far from a victimless crime, illegal sports betting funds criminal activities, takes advantage of consumers and fails to protect the integrity of America’s favorite pastimes. 

While the issue of sports betting is complex and multi-faceted, one thing is clear—a federal ban on traditional sports betting outside of Nevada is failing.

With this understanding and a common interest to protect consumers and the integrity of the game, the American Gaming Association brought together representatives of member companies to study, dissect and question the current landscape of sports betting.

After several months of this review, including research on the scope of illegal gambling, the AGA Board of Directors issued a set of recommendations that mark a major shift in the gaming industry’s approach to sports betting in the U.S.

In 2016, AGA will build a broad coalition that will determine whether a rational alternative to current sports betting law exists. Such an alternative could include strict regulation, rigorous consumer protections and robust tools to help law enforcement eliminate illegal sports betting and strengthen the integrity of games.   

As we move forward, the AGA will work with law enforcement, sports leagues and other interested parties to consider effective approaches that protect consumers and the integrity of sports. 

Additionally, the multi-year effort will include robust research, aggressive communications and partnerships with a variety of voices with interest in sports betting, including gaming leaders, law enforcement officials, regulators, legislators and professional sports leagues.

While the AGA led discussions around sports betting, it was impossible to ignore the emerging business of daily fantasy sports.

In addition to its position on sports betting, the AGA Board of Directors made clear that the industry seeks legal clarity and adequate consumer protections for daily fantasy sports. The gaming industry wishes to see this product succeed and to partner where appropriate. State-by-state legal clarity and consumer protections are necessary prerequisites for daily fantasy’s success and future collaborations between our industries. 

The coalescing of diverse viewpoints within our industry marks a significant milestone that will help move this issue forward in a way that benefits consumers, the integrity of sports, Nevada and casino gaming across the country.

As illegal sports betting reaches new heights of popularity in America, our industry can feel confident that AGA has a seat at the table when legislators, sports leagues and law enforcement discuss alternative approaches and regulation of sports betting and daily fantasy sports.

Follow Geoff Freeman on Twitter: @GeoffFreemanAGA