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Sports gamblers mock the law, bloggers say

• Jun 13, 2017 at 5:00 PM

America’s federal ban on sports betting has failed, according to three contributing opinion bloggers for The Hill.

“That’s why a new, diverse coalition including law enforcement, elected officials and gaming leaders is coming together to reform the law,” they wrote. “We want to give states the opportunity to decide whether to legalize and regulate sports betting, just as they already do with casinos, lotteries and other forms of gaming.”

The blog writers — Ed Davis, a former commissioner of the Boston Police Department; Tim Murphy, a former FBI deputy director; and Geoff Freeman, president/CEO of the American Gaming Association — note that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibits traditional sports betting outside Nevada, at least officially.

“Unofficially, millions of Americans bet at will in a vast, unregulated illegal market that offers no oversight by law enforcement, no accountability to regulators, no protections for consumers and no concern about the integrity of games,” they wrote.

They point out that Americans wagered nearly $15 billion on the two biggest sports events of the year, the Super Bowl and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and only about 3 percent of that was bet legally.

“A law mocked and ignored by 97 percent of Americans isn’t serving any public benefit,” they say. “... We believe giving states the power to decide whether to allow sports betting and how best to regulate it would offer many important public benefits.”

Read the complete blog post: “The federal sports betting ban has failed: Let’s legalize and regulate it.”

The opinions expressed by bloggers are not necessarily shared by the Grand Haven Tribune or its employees. They are the sole opinion of the bloggers, who are not employed by or compensated by the Tribune.

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