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Legal & Regulatory

US casino industry steps up efforts to repeal sports betting ban

The

washington
American Gaming Association (AGA) is ramping up its efforts to repeal a 25 year-old federal law that bans sports betting in most states.

On Monday afternoon, AGA launched the American Sports Betting Coalition in conjunction with representatives from law enforcement, regulators and local government. The new coalition will advocate for the repeal of the ban that the industry says has fuelled the $150bn illegal sports betting market.

Geoff Freeman, CEO and president of AGA, emphasised the shifting momentum in a statement: “The American Gaming Association believes a perfect storm is aligning and now is the time to repeal a failing law.”

He cited a recent survey commissioned by the organisation that found that there was strong support nationwide for legal sports betting. Even professional sports leagues, long the largest opposition, have begun to rethink their stance on the subject. Oxford Economics research showed that legalising sports betting in the U.S could support more than 150,000 jobs.

Freeman added: “This group demonstrates that the desire to legalise and regulate sports betting and its formation is a critical component of providing Washington with the impetus to take action. Ending PASPA means states can then decide if they want to have sports betting or not.”

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) bans sports betting in every state except Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon. Legal sports gambling is allowed in those states because they had approved some form of wagering before the federal law went into effect.

Meanwhile, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has expressed optimism that the US Supreme Court will rule in favor of the state’s push to legalise sports betting.

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