Free-market group says Congress should repeal federal sports gambling ban reports on Michelle Minton’s study on the Professional and Amarteur Sports Protection Act. 

But as with the movement to give states the right to choose whether to allow various forms of online gambling within their borders, the Competitive Enterprise Institute says states should also be empowered to decide whether to legalize sports gambling.

“Millions of Americans who bet on March Madness brackets are unwitting lawbreakers, no thanks to a government prohibition on sports betting,” said Michelle Minton, co-author of the CEI report. “Even former President Barack Obama openly discussed his bracket picks and admitted to gambling on the games.”

CEI said the PASPA has essentially created a massive black market for sports gambling in which at least 95 percent of the money wagered is bet illegally, from the office bracket pool to the local bookie to offshore websites. That deprives Americans the protection of a legal market, CEI said.

Because so much of sports wagering takes place under the table, it’s unclear how much money is actually involved, although CEI estimates it at between $150 billion and $400 billion annually. Because of the federal ban, states are deprived of billions of dollars in potential tax revenue, the institute said.

“Congress should repeal this prohibition and let states decide whether it makes sense to legalize sports gambling for their citizens,” Minton said.

Read the full article at