AGA Opposes Federal Sports Betting Bill

Last week, bi-partisan legislation was filed by two senior US senators, Orris Hatch and and Charles ‘Chuck’ Schumer.  However, ever since the details of the Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act of 2018 were made public, the bill has attracted a lot of negative publicity.  Among other things, the legislation would only allow individual states to license sports betting operators if they follow a strict set of guidelines that will be dictated by the US Attorney General.  The bill will also create the National Sports Wagering Clearinghouse which will serve as a central hub for all wagers offered in the US.

This week, the American Gaming Association, the giant trade group representing some of the biggest names in the US gambling industry, issued a biting statement that opposes the Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act.

According to the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the AGA, Sara Slane: “This bill is the epitome of a solution in search of a problem, representing an unprecedented and inappropriate expansion of federal involvement in the gaming industry, which is currently one of the most strictly regulated in the country.”

“Across the country, nearly 4,000 dedicated public servants already regulate all forms of gaming, including sports wagering, with more than $500 million committed to ensuring the integrity of commercial casinos’ operations and $822 million spent on regulation of tribal gaming in 2015 alone. These state and tribal regulators have decades of experience effectively overseeing gaming operations within their jurisdictions.”

The AGA said that issues such as the mandatory use of official league data and the creation of a national sports clearinghouse as suggested by the federal bill, need to be decided by “marketplace negotiations between private businesses and cooperative agreements among jurisdictions.”

The AGA pointed out that in the six months since the US Supreme Court passed its monumental judgement and ruled for the introduction of legal, regulated sports betting in the country, significant developments have occurred in the market without any federal involvement.

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