AGA claims sports betting ban is ‘failing’

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has claimed that the federal ban on sports betting in the US is “failing.”

The AGA forecasts that $95bn (€85bn) will be gambled during the upcoming NFL American football season, which begins later today with the New England Patriots hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers.

According to the association, $93bn of the total wagered will be placed illegally this season, while last season’s Super Bowl saw $3.8bn worth of illegal bets placed.

Geoff Freeman, president and chief executive of the AGA, said: “Illegal sports betting is reaching new heights of popularity in America.

“It’s clear that a federal ban on traditional sports betting outside of Nevada is failing.”

In April, the AGA introduced its ‘Stop Illegal Gambling – Play It Safe’ initiative, which aims to crack down on the networks that facilitate illegal gambling in the country.

As well as supporting the $240bn legal gaming industry, which generates $38bn in taxes across 40 states, the scheme targets black market machines, internet sweepstakes, cafes and illegal online betting.

In an attempt to further crack down on illicit betting, the AGA formed an Illegal Gambling Advisory Board in June. The board is chaired by Tim Murphy, former deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). 

Sports betting is currently legal in four US states – Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon.

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