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Americans Will Wager $4.6 Billion on the Super Bowl Illegally

- January 31, 2018 By Oliver Young -

The NBA supports sports betting legalisation.

Will US sports betting legislation change any time soon?

Sports betting is a hotly debated topic in the US. A lot of people hope to see the day when sports betting will be legal in the US and states will be able to decide for themselves whether sports betting will be legal on their territory or not, but on the other hand, there is very strong opposition to sports betting.

The controversial PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) of 1992, prohibits betting on sports in all bar a few states, such as Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana. Many agree that the law isn’t constitutional and that sports betting legality should be determined by individual states, not at a federal level.

Furthermore, there’s the Wire Act which, some claim, is an umbrella ban on online sports betting, even though the law was passed in 1961, when the internet wasn’t even conceivable, let alone available.

A Case for Betting Legalisation

In the latest years, attitudes towards sports betting seems to be changing, and even individuals and bodies that were firmly against it are now reconsidering their attitude. For example, the former NBA Commissioner, David Stern stated that he no longer supports a federal ban and in 2016, it was announced that the idea of sports betting legalisation has support in Congress.

The American Gaming Association is one of the strongest supporters of sports betting legalisation. Americans love to bet and that is an undisputed fact. It is estimated that Americans will wager a massive amount of about $4.76 billion on this year’s Super Bowl, where the Patriots from New England will meet the Eagles from Philadelphia.

But, due to current legislative barriers, the lion’s share of that amount, about $4.6 billion will be wagered illegally, mostly at unregulated offshore betting sites. Only about 3% of the total amount will be placed at licenced bookmakers in Nevada. Nevada is the only state where regular, European-style sports betting is permitted.

The CEO of the AGA stressed this fact, adding that due to the federal ban Americans will be sending billions of dollars to operators that won’t pay any tax in the States whatsoever.  He feels that the authorities should do more to tackle illegal betting.

The NBA Supports Legalisation

AGA has lobbied and advocated for the legalisation of sports betting in the past few years, and they feel that these findings help them make a stronger case in favour of legalisation. Everybody now is eager to see what the Supreme Court’s decision will be on the appeal put forward by New Jersey which effectively challenged the legality of the PASPA. New Jersey authorities expect that the Supreme Court will render the Act unconstitutional, which will effectively abolish it.

Last week, the NBA gave its support to AGA and the betting industry as a whole, in their attempt to eliminate PASPA. It is clear that the professional leagues will use this opportunity to put forward their interests. Thus, the NBA asked for 20% of all betting revenue to go into the professional leagues.

The AGA welcomed the contribution of the NBA and its support for a new solution, a one that will finally end illegal betting in the US.

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