AGA Cautions Against Federal Engagement in Sports Betting

AGA Cautions Against Federal Engagement in Sports Betting

Senators Chuck Schumer and Orrin Hatch have filed a long-anticipated legislation that would regulate sports betting across the United States under the name of Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act of 2018.

Up to this point, states have been deciding individually whether they wanted to introduce sports betting or not and if they did want it, they chose how to regulate everything. From now on…

…they will be allowed to do the same, but the new bill proposes a federal oversight!

The idea behind this bill is to not allow any illegal operators to provide their services in the US states that wish to offer sports betting as a form of gambling.

Swift Response

While the proposition has its strong point, the American Gaming Association (AGA) was quick on the response, cautioning against unnecessary federal engagement. They released a statement in which everything is explained in great details.

“This bill is the epitome of a solution in search of a problem, representing an unprecedented and inappropriate expansion of federal involvement in the gaming industry, which is currently one of the most strictly regulated in the country,” explained Sara Slane, the AGA’s senior vice president of public affairs.

The statement further explains that almost 4,000 dedicated public servants are in the process of regulating not only sports wagering, but the other forms of gambling as well.

For instance, over $500 million is projected for commercial casinos and ensuring their integrity whereas in 2015 alone, $822 million was spent on tribal gaming regulations. The point is that state and tribal regulatory bodies have years, even decades, of experience in overseeing any gaming operations that are taking place within their jurisdiction.

Other Important Points of the Bill

The statement released by AGA further reads: “Additional areas this bill seeks to address – including the mandatory use of official league data and the creation of a national sports wagering clearinghouse – can, and should, be decided by marketplace negotiations between private businesses and cooperative agreements among jurisdictions.”

It has been about six months since sports betting became legal across the United States when the US Supreme Court came to a game-changing decision. Since that moment, there has been a significant development regarding sports betting regulation in the states…

…without the intervention and the oversight of the federal government, as it is explained in the statement.

“While federal regulation of sports betting will continue to be a non-starter for the gaming industry, we appreciate the sponsors’ recognition that more must be done to curb illegal sports betting operations, which continue to pose the biggest impediment to the success of a legal market that will benefit and protect consumers, sports leagues and casino operators alike.”

It will be interesting to see what happens with this bill in the near future. Should sports wagering regulation be put under the scrutiny of the federal government, it will change the dynamics of sports betting legalization in the country.


“AGA opposes federal government overreach on sports betting”,, December 19, 2018.

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