A “rational alternative” to the USA’s current sports betting restriction will be resorted to, as announced by the board of directors of the American Gaming Association (AGA), top US casino lobbying group based in Washington DC, this Wednesday. The group said to have undertaken “a major shift in the industry’s approach to sports betting,” which is illegal in all US states except four – Delaware, Montana, Oregon and Nevada.
The AGA aims to build “a broad coalition that will determine whether a rational alternative to current sports betting law exists.” “The culmination of a thorough process within our industry positions us to work with a wide variety of stakeholders who agree that rampant, unregulated and illegal sports betting is a threat to consumers and the sports we enjoy… We look forward to working with law enforcement, sports leagues and other interested parties to consider effective approaches to protecting consumers and the integrity of sports,” said the president and CEO of the AGA, Geoff Freeman. He added that they will recommend “strict regulation, rigorous consumer protections and robust tools for law enforcement to eliminate illegal sports betting and strengthen the integrity of games.”
The AGA deemed the status quo of the casino industry to be unsustainable. Jim Murren, the chairman of the AGA and CEO of MGM Resorts, said, “Unregulated and illegal sports betting is a threat to consumers and the sports we enjoy.” The AGA agreed to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation by promoting their online crime snitch line to curb illegal sports betting this Tuesday. They have said in January that they do not consider the present betting regulations to live up to its goal to combat illegal betting.
Americans are estimated to spend around $138.9 billion on illegal sports betting just this year, according to the AGA, an amount that far surpasses what is spent on legal betting.