AGA Creating New Group To Find Sports Betting Answers In The US
Calling it a “major shift” in the casino industry’s approach to gambling on sports, the American Gaming Association today revealed plans to assemble a group focused on carving out a potential new path for the legal sports betting industry.
The Washington, D.C.-based casino lobbying group said it will create a “broad coalition” charged with figuring out whether there is a “rational alternative” to existing sports betting law.
The association was vague about what that alternative could be but said it may include regulation, strong protections for consumers and “robust tools for law enforcement” to put an end to illegal sports betting.
The association suggested that the sports betting effort will take place next year and will include research, “aggressive communications” and partnerships with casino executives, law enforcement, regulators, lawmakers and sports leagues.
And when it comes to daily fantasy sports, which officials have deemed a form of gambling in Nevada and New York, the association’s board wants “legal clarity and adequate consumer protections,” according to a statement.
“If daily fantasy sports is a legal activity, the casino gaming industry should have the opportunity to participate and partner with daily fantasy sports providers,” the statement said.
Legal sports betting currently takes place mostly in Nevada, but some form of it is allowed in a handful of other states. New Jersey has tried to find a legal way of introducing sports betting within its borders but has so far been unsuccessful.
Still, some prominent voices have called for the expansion of legal sports betting. Adam Silver, commissioner of the National Basketball Association, notably wrote an op-ed in the New York Times a year ago in which he argued in favor of regulated sports betting.
The announcement from the gaming association is consistent with the group’s recent actions and comments about black market sports betting and illegal gambling in general.
The association has already established a campaign against unlawful gambling, and it used the lead-up to this year’s Super Bowl to highlight its argument that Americans place far more illegal sports bets than legal ones.
Furthermore, the association had already said it was closely analyzing the state of sports betting in the United States. It framed today’s announcement as the product of a monthslong study that reflects “broad industry consensus” from casino operators, equipment suppliers and operators of sports books.
“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,” MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren, chairman of the association’s board, said in a statement.