Media outlets should stop referencing unregulated offshore Sportsbooks: AGA

Media outlets should stop referencing unregulated offshore Sportsbooks: AGA

Bill Miller, the president and chief executive of American Gaming Association (AGA), has urged media outlets covering the growing sports betting industry to refrain from referencing offshore sportsbooks, arguing that it is not in the interest of legal, regulated sports betting.

Before corona virus pandemic forced all sports to shutdown in the United States, the sportsbook inside Rivers Casino in Philadelphia was quite busy. Referencing to legal sports betting industry and its legitimate operations, Mr. Miller said media outlets should reference such legal operations and not offshore books when sports are made available to the public post COVID-19 lockdowns.

The American sports betting industry recently celebrated the second anniversary of elimination of the Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which was approved by the Congress and signed into law by former President George H.W. Bush in 1992, and later repealed by the Supreme Court on May 14, 2018. PASPA was meant to define the legal status of sports betting across the nation. The controversial law had outlawed sports betting all over the nation, excluding a few states. The repealing of the act by the apex court effectively permitted all states to regulate sports betting as they like without any interference by the federal authorities.

Since the SC ruling in 2018, seventeen states have joined Nevada in giving legal full-scale status to sports betting. The list of those states include Delaware, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Montana, Oregon, New Jersey, West Virginia, New York, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

As the gaming industry as well as related media outlets are celebrating the repealing of the controversial act, the AGA boss warned that referencing illegal online sportsbooks would not be in the best interest of the regulated market. He stressed that PASPA failed to achieve its intended goals by failing to protect competition and giving rise to illegal marketplace.

Commenting on the topic, Mr. Miller said, “PASPA never came close to doing what policymakers intended. Instead of protecting competition, the failed law perpetuated a massive, $150 billion-a-year illegal marketplace that left athletes and consumers vulnerable.”

He further said that it’s very difficult for sports bettors, particularly for new betters, to make a distinction between legal sportsbooks and unregulated offshore operators. It becomes even more difficult when mainstream publications try to legitimize the dangerous illegal market, blurring the line between regulated sports betting and the unregulated offshore market.