GETTING RID OF P.A.S.P.A. COULD GENERATE BIG MONEY FOR U.S. STATES
Sports betting restrictions could be costing US states millions in lost tax revenue.
Efforts by the American Gaming Association to promote the idea of more widely permitted legalised sports betting in the United States have become increasingly obvious this year, with the trade association holding discussion groups and political panels, and frequently pointing out the potential should the restrictions imposed by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act be removed.
The attempts by the New Jersey legislature to by-pass PASPA, and the consequent series of court actions brought by the sports leagues fighting this, have certainly focused attention on the inequitable situation in the USA created by the federal law.
Coincidentally, statistics from a recent study of the issue by Gambling Compliance Research Services were recently published by the Las Vegas Sun newspaper and indicate that a more widely legalised sports betting industry could produce over $11 billion in GGR.
The study noted the increased interest in the possibilities by land casino operators, and estimated that a more permissive approach in the United States has the potential to earn at least four times the GGR of the current top sports betting nation, the United Kingdom, where GGR comes in at around $2 billion annually.
The GCRS study found that under current PASPA restrictions only Nevada is able to offer full-on legalised sports betting, although Delaware, Montana, and Oregon can also offer slightly more limited services. It is hardly surprising; therefore that Nevada currently leads the field with GGR from this segment of $300 million a year.
Other states flagged by the study as potential money-earners include California (an estimated GGR of $1.3 billion annually) and New York ($900 million)
Last month AGA chief executive Geoff Freeman commented on the issue following the failure of yet another New Jersey court action, observing:
"Washington has a responsibility to fix a failed law that it created nearly 25 years ago. A federal government prohibition has driven an illegal, and occasionally dangerous, sports betting market of at least $150 billion annually.
"Law enforcement, mayors, leaders in sports, fans and many others agree that its time for a regulated sports betting marketplace that protects consumers, communities and the integrity of sports we enjoy."
Freeman has suggested that the best and most practical way forward in the fight for legalised sports betting is not legal confrontations, but for Congress to repeal PASPA and give individual states the opportunity to treat sports betting at their discretion, taking the issue away from national politics.