Texarkana, TX 90° View Live Radar Wed H 81° L 70° Thu H 88° L 71° Fri H 92° L 75° Weather Sponsored By:

Industry: $10B will be bet on March Madness, most illegally

Industry: $10B will be bet on March Madness, most illegally

March 13th, 2018 by Associated Press in College Sports

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.—America's gambling industry predicts $10 billion will be bet on the March Madness college basketball tournament—nearly all of it illegally or off-the-books.

That's one of the reasons the American Gaming Association favors the full legalization and regulation of sports betting in the United States.

The U.S. Supreme Court is weeks away from ruling on New Jersey's challenge to a law limiting legal sports betting to just four states: Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon, and a ruling that legalizes sports betting nationwide could provide new revenue opportunities for cash-strapped state governments, as well as casino companies.

The group found 54 million people—or about a quarter of the U.S. adult population—participated in a sports betting pool last year, spending $18 billion on entry fees. That includes 24 million who filled out basketball brackets pools and spent $2.6 billion on entry fees.

It also conducted a survey that found that roughly two-thirds of U.S. states make it illegal to participate in sports betting pools if money is involved. Enforcing those laws, however, has not been a priority for law enforcement.

"Our current sports betting laws are so out of touch with reality that we're turning tens of millions of Americans into criminals for the simple act of enjoying college basketball," said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. "The failed federal ban on sports betting has created an illegal, unregulated sports betting market that offers zero consumer protections and generates zero revenue for state and tribal governments."

Freeman said only 3 percent of the $10 billion the group predicts will be wagered on the games will be done through legal Nevada sports books, or about $300 million.

The group also counted 48 pieces of sports betting legislation active in 18 state legislatures across the country as lawmakers anticipate a favorable Supreme Court ruling and prepare for the advent of legal sports betting.

Freeman predicted "a flood of new products" if sports betting is legalized, including increased opportunities for bets on events within a game and not just on its final score or statistics.

"There's a lot of money that's going to go to innovation that's currently sitting on the sidelines," he said.

The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey says "sports betting is a cause for concern." While neutral on gambling, the group has been contacting New Jersey lawmakers to discuss needs that will arise if sports betting is legalized.

"Sports betting may have more appeal to our children, it has the potential to affect the integrity of the games, and it may put many more people at risk for problem and disordered gambling," said Neva Pryor, the group's executive director.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com