American Gaming Association outlines sports betting legalization strategy

  • American Gaming Association is campaigning for legalization of US sports betting
  • Supreme Court will hear landmark case brought by New Jersey next month

The American Gaming Association (AGA), which represents the $240 billion US casino industry, has set out its strategy to bring about the legalization of sports betting in the US.

Geoff Freeman, of the American Gaming Association has laid down a plan for sports betting in the US.
Geoff Freeman, of the American Gaming Association has laid down a plan for sports betting in the US.

Sports betting on single events is illegal outside Nevada, under the terms of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) which dates back to 1992, but speaking at the Sports Betting USA Conference in New York on Tuesday, the AGA President Geoff Freeman said that the organization was committed to campaigning on two fronts:

“AGA has long pursued a two-track strategy as a pathway to legalized sports betting. Working through the courts and through Congress, I am confident we can overturn this failed federal ban and give American sports fans the ability to legally wager on the teams they follow.”Geoff Freeman

Last November, the AGA filed a brief that called on the U.S. Supreme Court to accept a challenge by New Jersey against PASPA and in September this year, the organization worked with West Virginia to encourage nineteen states to sign a brief that argued the current federal ban on sports betting was unconstitutional. The Court is set to hear oral arguments in the case on December 4.

Legislative strategy

As well as its involvement in the court process, the AGA has also been working on a legislative strategy, which has included a campaign of education for members of Congress concerning the dangers associated with illegal sports betting and the benefits that would flow from regulating and legalizing the market.

The organization has also been working to build a coalition of support among politicians and other stakeholders.

The twenty-fifth anniversary of PASPA at the end of October was marked by an opinion poll carried out by the Washington Post that showed 55 percent of respondents were in favour of legalizing sports betting, with over half of both Republicans and Democrats declaring support for the move.

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