There have been a number of groups and organizations in America that have fought hard to get the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) act which bans sports betting to be lifted. The PASPA act was passed in 1992 and was applicable throughout the country barring four states. Legislators who passed the act believed at that point of time that it was best for the sports industry as it would prevent sports from being influenced by outsiders who had ties to the gambling industry.
Push For Sports Betting Legalization
During the last 25 years, sports like the National Basketball League (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS) and National Football League (NFL) have continued to grow in popularity and so has the pressure to legalize sports betting as thousands of Americans all over the country want to have a chance to bet on their favorite sports, teams and players and see if they can make money of it.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has been one of the biggest campaigners for legalizing sports betting in the country. The AGA recently released a statement saying that it believed that the time for revoking the PASPA act wasn’t very far away and it could very likely happen during President Donald Trump’s first term in office. The AGA campaigns on behalf of the casino industry and a revoking of the PASPA act will open up a major revenue stream for the casino industry in America.
NBA and MLB Open To Sports Betting
What is interesting to note in the battle against the legalization of sports betting is that two of the major sporting leagues in the country are against scrapping PASPA and two major leagues are open to the idea of lifting the ban. The NFL and the NHL continue to remain opposed to the idea of legalizing sports betting even though both leagues are in the process of setting up permanent sporting franchises in Las Vegas, Nevada. The MLS and MLB have stated that they would like to see what a regulated sports betting market would have to offer and how it would operate in 2017.
The one big positive for sports betting enthusiasts is that the NBA is in favor of having the PASPA ban lifted as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been a strong campaigner for the sports betting industry. Before Donald Trump could become the President of the United States, he had ties to the casino industry and had thrown his support behind the legalization of sports betting. This is one of the reasons why sports betting campaigners are optimistic that their efforts will finally pay off during Trump’s first term.
Americans Want Sports Betting
A poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University researchers in November 2016 regarding the legalization of sports betting revealed that out of the 1,000 individuals surveyed, 48 percent were in favor of sports betting while 39 percent were opposed to the idea.
Geoff Freeman, the CEO of AGA stated that the need and demand for sports betting in America was at a fever pitch and though the campaign for sports betting to be legalized has gone on for decades, it has now reached a stage where it can no longer be ignored and more importantly a robust process has now been put in place. That process involves working closing with the major sports leagues in the country and stakeholders to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to addressing key issues that have so far stood in the way of repelling the PASPA law.
However that is going to take some work as the NFL continues to take a tough stance on the matter and Commissioner Roger Goodell does not want the federal ban to be lifted anytime soon. Goodell continues to subscribe to the view that the legalization of sports betting poses a major risk to the NFL and other sports in the country. The biggest concern for the NFL is that outside factors with ties to the gambling industry will start influencing the way the game is played on the field.
That’s another way of saying that match fixing could become a threat for the NFL and the quality of sports could be affected. The AGA will have to come up with a viable solution and robust regulation to ensure that match fixing concerns are addressed in order to get the NFL to change their views on the PASPA law.