CEI Calls Foul on NCAA Attempt to Block Sports Betting

CEI Calls Foul on NCAA Attempt to Block Sports Betting

August 12, 2009

Washington,
D.C., August 12, 2009—The Competitive
Enterprise Institute today
criticized a federal law that is being used by the National Collegiate Athletic
Association and major sports leagues to
restrict sports gambling in the United
States.

The groups are attempting use the 1992 Professional and
Amateur Sports Protection Act to
block Delaware’s
decision to legalize per-game sports
gambling. Previously, only Nevada and Montana allowed such gambling while Delaware offered other forms of gambling on
sports. 

Many sports leagues argue that widespread sports gambling
damages the perception of the games as free from corruption. Along with the
four major professional sports leagues, the NCAA filed an injunction to prevent the per-game sports gambling that is set to begin in Delaware
in September. When the injunction was denied the NCAA announced that no
championship games would be played in states allowing sports gambling. 

“As a private organization the NCAA has every right to ban championship games from being played in
states that permit per-game gambling, if it sees this as necessary to protect the reputation of its games among spectators. But what the NCAA should not be doing is
attempting to expand the scope of an
improper federal ban,” said CEI policy analyst Michelle Minton.  

 “There are plenty of
ways to discourage people who would
use wagering in manner that diminishes the integrity of sports, but it is not
the role of the government to ban
gambling of any kind,” said Minton, who contends that the actions of the NCAA
call attention to the need to repeal the federal laws restricting sports
gambling. 

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan
public interest group that studies the intersection of regulation, risk, and
markets.