Sports Betting Advocacy Effort Ramps Up With D.C. Event
Legal Sports Report

Push For Legal U.S. Sports Betting Heads To Capitol Hill

American Gaming Association sports betting briefing
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The American Gaming Association and Sport Integrity Monitor will host a briefing to explain the issues and opportunities offered by legal and regulated sports betting on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

The briefing will take place in the Capitol Visitor Center with the hope and expectation that interested politicians and lawmakers will attend.

An extremely competent and authoritative group of speakers will address issues such as:

  • The rapid growth in the popularity of sports betting;
  • How legal sports betting and monitoring in Europe is protecting the integrity of games and contests;
  • The views of law enforcement on how illegal gambling harms consumers;
  • Potential opportunities for the sports industry.

The sports betting briefing speakers

Here is the rundown of experts set to address attendees on Wednesday:

  • Mark Locke, CEO Genius Sports
  • Geoff Freeman, President & CEO, American Gaming Association
  • Alfredo Lorenzo, Integrity and Security Director, La Liga
  • Rick Parry, Chair of UK Sports Integrity Commission & Fmr. CEO Liverpool FC
  • Gerry Sutcliffe, former United Kingdom Sports Minister
  • J.B. Van Hollen, former Attorney General, Wisconsin
  • Scott Soshnick, senior writer, Bloomberg
  • Mark Mellman, President & CEO, The Mellman Group
  • Dr. Jay Albanese, Professor & Criminologist, Virginia Commonwealth University

States’ rights vs. federal law on sports betting

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) made sports betting illegal in most of the US, although it left a few loopholes.

Jurisdictions that already allowed sports betting when the law passed could continue to do so; the act left some forms of sports betting legal in Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana, but not in other states.

More recently, New Jersey attempted to enact legislation to allow sports betting in the state, but that effort was challenged by professional sports leagues and the NCAA under PASPA.

The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the NJ sports betting law late in 2015. An en banc appeals hearing in the Third Circuit was heard earlier this year, and a final ruling is expected this summer.

While states generally have the power to determine what types of gambling they allow and authorize within their own borders, sports betting stands as an exception that states do not have control over.

Legal sports betting > ‘prohibition’

The lineup of speakers at Wednesday’s briefing is fully capable of explaining how match fixing, criminal activity and money laundering can all be tackled by legalizing sports betting. When the activity is taken out of the dark, other consumer protection issues such as problem gambling and game fairness can also be addressed.

The speakers have first-hand knowledge of the power of regulation to take control over the sports betting industry. Until there is regulation, sports betting will continue to be pervasive in American society — conducted via offshore sportsbooks — but without any of the protections that regulation can provide.

“As betting on sports becomes more popular each year—a record $132.5 million was wagered legally in Nevada while more than $4 billion was bet illegally — sports fans overwhelmingly want the prohibition to end,” explained AGA President Geoff Freeman.

Joss Wood
- Joss Wood, a former editor of Poker Industry Pro, has long focused on regulated online gambling issues and in particular the international market. For LegalSportsReport.com, Joss turns his attention primarily to regulated sports betting markets. With a degree in English from the University of Birmingham as well as a master’s degree in organisational development from the University of Manchester, Joss’s career has taken him from the British Army into the world of business and finance. For seven years he played poker professionally.
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