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US – States and sovereign tribal nations should decide on sports betting

By - 28 September 2018

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has emphasised that federal oversight of sports betting is unnecessary in ongoing efforts to create effective legal sports betting markets in the United States.

The comments came in testimony at the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations hearing, “Post-PASPA: An Examination of Sports Betting in America.”

Sara Slane, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, said: “Because of the active, robust state and regulatory tribal gaming oversight, gaming is one of the most strictly regulated industries in America. Right now, over 4,000 gaming regulators with budgets that exceed $1.3 billion dollars oversee the gaming industry.”

In partnership with teams, leagues and regulators, gaming operators have successfully protected the integrity of both bets and competitions for decades in Nevada. AGA’s continued position of support for state and tribal regulators was echoed in testimony by Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairwoman Becky Harris.

“I don’t think that right now is the time for any kind of federal engagement with regard to gambling,” said Chairwoman Harris. “States do a great job in every area including sports betting and we’ve just begun to see the roll out in other states. Nevada has a comprehensive regulatory structure that has been refined over decades, and we have a lot of integrity in our process.”

Gaming is largely regulated by state and tribal governments across the country.

“Just as Congress has refrained from regulating lotteries, slot machines, table games and other gambling products, it should leave sports betting oversight to the states and tribes that are closest to the market,” continued Slane. “With such robust and rigorous regulatory oversight at both the state and federal levels, there is no need to overcomplicate or interfere with a system that is already working.”

Transforming the illegal, underground sports betting market into an open, legal market under state and tribal regulatory oversight will accomplish these critical public policy goals:

Protect consumers – by ensuring that sports betting is fair, safe, transparent and accountable;
Increase transparency – by giving state and tribal regulators the power to oversee betting;
Enhance sports integrity – by providing regulators, sports leagues and law enforcement with the technology, insight and tools they need to monitor, identify and shut down any suspicious or illegal betting activity; and
Generate jobs and tax revenues – by giving communities new ways to boost local economies.

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