The American Gaming Association and American Sports Betting Coalition addressed the benefits of a legalized sports betting market on Capitol Hill during a roundtable discussion hosted by Third Way.
The event, “The stakes of Sports Betting: A Look at the Federal Ban and the Current Debate over Legalization,” explored the economic impact a legalized market would have on the U.S. economy and the upcoming Supreme Court case that will challenge the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). PASPA currently bans full-fledged sports betting outside Nevada.
“As we approach the 25th anniversary of this failing federal ban on sports, it’s important to look at the negative unintended consequences of an illegal market,” said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs at AGA and panelist at the event. “A legal, regulated marketplace offers the potential for millions of dollars in tax revenue and an avenue for up to 150,000 jobs.”
In addition to Slane, the panel featured Gabe Horwitz, vice president of the Economic Program at Third Way; Tim Murphy, former deputy director of the FBI; Dr. Russell Sanna, executive director, National Center for Responsible Gaming; Debbie Thundercloud, chief of staff, National Indian Gaming Association; and Ethan Wilson, policy director, Commerce & Financial Services, National Conference of State Legislatures.
The panel comes on the heels of new polling from the Washington Post that shows “a 55-percent majority approve of legalizing betting on pro sporting events, a flip from almost a quarter century ago.” According to the Post, “support for legalization is highest among those who’ve placed a sports bet in the past five years (84 percent), and is nearly as high among fans who have played in a fantasy sports league (79 percent), avid sports fans (70 percent), men (63 percent), people with household incomes of $100,000 or more (61 percent) and pro football fans (60 percent).There’s little partisan difference on the issue, with 52 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of Democrats in support of legalizing sports gambling.”
Leading an all-inclusive advocacy campaign focused on ending the failed sports betting ban, the ASBC has continued to garner support from influential individuals since its launch in June. Members of AGA’s Illegal Gambling Advisory Board, which includes Murphy; James Dinkins, former executive associate director at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigation; J.B. Van Hollen, former Wisconsin State attorney general, U.S. attorney, and district attorney; and Bill Young, former Clark County Sheriff and head of Las Vegas Metro Police Department all support a legalized sports betting marketplace.
The Coalition also boasts support from the Fraternal Order of Police, Major County Sheriffs of America, National District Attorneys Association, U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Conference of State Legislatures. In addition, thought leaders like Competitive Enterprise Institute, American Conservative Union, Citizens Against Government Waste and Consumer Action for a Strong Economy have all joined ASBC. International entities like the European Casino Association and the International Centre for Sports Security have also joined the coalition.
The ASBC will continue to actively monitor and engage with key stakeholders interested in repealing the federal sports betting ban. In the coming months, following the Supreme Court’s decision to hear New Jersey’s challenge to the federal sports betting ban, the court is expected to hear arguments in the case. AGA weighed in on the pending case through a SCOTUSBlog Symposium on sports betting and recently filed an Amicus brief in the court.
To learn more about the ASBC visit sportsbettinginamerica.com.
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.