US Congress Should End Federal Sports Betting Ban, New Report Argues

Legal Sports Report highlights Michelle Minton and Steven Titch’s report on sports wagering. 

A report released today by a Washington D.C.-based libertarian think tank argues that the US government should end the federal ban on sports betting.

The report is from the Competitive Enterprise Institute. It comes with March Madness — the annual men’s college basketball tournament — just around the corner. Americans will wager billions of dollars via office pools and illegally at offshore sportsbooks. Some betting will also occur in the only US state where single-game wagering is legal: Nevada.

The CEI makes the case that Congress should act to change the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act — PASPA — empower states to determine their own gambling rules and laws.

Sports betting is legal only in a few states. There is Nevada sports betting, and limited forms of sports wagering take place in three other states. (That doesn’t count daily fantasy sports, which takes place in roughly 80 percent of states.)

Despite that prohibition on sports betting, the CEI estimates that Americans bet about $9 billion on March Madness in 2016. The American Gaming Association has put estimates of total annual sports betting handle in the US north of $100 billion, most of it illegal.

The report explains that PASPA doesn’t deter people from betting on sporting events, nor does it safeguard the integrity of games. Quite the opposition, the report states “the ban deprives states of billions in potential tax revenue and forces consumers into the black market where they have no protection from crime.”

Read the full article at Legal Sports Report