The American Gaming Association trade group has announced that the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) has joined the ranks of its American Sports Betting Coalition in order to help advocate for an end to the nationwide prohibition on sports wagering.
Launched seven weeks ago, the American Sports Betting Coalition includes members of the American Gaming Association such as Boyd Gaming Corporation, Rush Street Gaming and Penn National Gaming Incorporated along with organizations of attorneys general and police, policymakers and others. Its mission is to get the 25-year-old Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) repealed and curb an illegal market that is currently conservatively estimated to be worth about $150 billion.
“We have a window of opportunity to get this done and NIGA is critical to making it happen,” read a statement from Geoff Freeman, President and Chief Executive Officer for the American Gaming Association. “Tribal engagement will help to move the needle forward and, as the industry further unites, we will be able to end the failing ban on sportsbetting and allow our industry to grow.”
Ratified in 1992, PASPA forbids all sportsbetting except in venues located in the states of Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon, which received exemptions because they had earlier approved some form of sports wagering. New Jersey was given a chance to become the fifth member of this illustrious club but was unable to pass legislation within the required time window but it has since petitioned the United States Supreme Court for the right to institute legalized sportsbetting.
“We are pleased to announce that NIGA will be joining the American Gaming Association’s American Sports Betting Coalition, which will enable us to coordinate with and provide feedback to the American Gaming Association with regard to tribal gaming concerns as the American Sports Betting Coalition advances its policy objectives,” read a statement from Ernie Stevens, Chairman for NIGA. “Of chief concern to NIGA is to ensure that tribal interests are protected, particularly avoidance of any negative impacts on existing compacts and exclusivity clauses.”
Despite the existence of a federal prohibition, the American Gaming Association explained that thirteen states including California, Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan have so far introduced legislation that would legalize sportsbetting. It stated that more jurisdictions are likely to follow suit “in the coming months” while pointing to a recent survey from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner that showed nearly six in ten United States residents along with 72% of avid sports fans favored an end to PASPA.
“As one of the key stakeholders in these discussions, we want to ensure that, if legalized, our members have the opportunity to offer this activity as part of their overall entertainment package and as an additional source of revenues for tribal government gaming to promote tribal economic development, tribal self-sufficiency and strong tribal government,” read the statement from Stevens.