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AGA Gets Serious About Sports Betting

AGA Gets Serious About Sports Betting

The American Gaming Association’s Board of Directors last month ratified a new set of policy principles outlining the industry’s approach to legalized sports betting. The principles are intended to create clear guideposts as discussions with key policymakers, allies and interested parties become more granular.

AGA’s stated goal is the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which the industry strongly believes would increase fan engagement and entertainment, empower law enforcement and enhance the protections surrounding the integrity of all professional sporting events nationwide.

“The stars are aligning to finally repeal this failing law—the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). At a time when Washington remains deeply divided, sports betting has the support of Americans of all political stripes,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “Legal, regulated sports betting will enhance fan engagement and entertainment, empower law enforcement and strengthen the integrity of every game. Everyone wins.”

AGA’s board of directors adopted the following public policy principles:

  • Defer to states regarding the desirability of regulating sports betting as all forms of casino wagering;
  • Ensure the integrity of sports betting and sports through state licensing and regulation;
  • Make all sports betting businesses transparent to law enforcement; and,
  • Ensure a tax regime does not undermine regulated sports betting operations’ ability to compete against illegal offshore operators.

This action comes on the heels of a recent AGA-commissioned national survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR), which shows that today’s sports consumer wants more engagement with the sports they follow. One area where fans have shown a desire to engage more with sports is through legalized sports betting. Specifically, GQR found:

  • Nearly six in 10 Americans are in favor of ending the federal sports betting ban to allow states to decide whether to offer sports betting;
  • 72 percent of avid sports fans are in favor of ending the federal ban;
  • More than six in 10 18- to 36-year-olds are in favor of legal sports betting;
  • Nearly two in three Americans believe legalized sports betting would allow local communities to benefit from additional tax revenues and job creation; and,
  • Were it legal to bet on sports, roughly 28 million Americans—the size of Texas’ population—would be more likely to wager on sports.

These results show that Americans are much more likely to watch, engage with, and talk about sports when they bet on games. Further, the research concluded that a majority of Americans, regardless of education, income level, political party affiliation or geographical region, want to end the federal ban on sports betting.

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