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AGA: $90B To Be Bet On Football This Season

Casino Lobby: Nearly All Of It To Come Through Illegal Channels

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The American Gaming Association, a lobbying group in Washington, D.C., said this week that an estimated $90 billion will be bet on football this season, with $88 billion of it coming through unregulated channels.

That includes NCAA and NFL games, the latter of which begin on Thursday, Sept. 8 when the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers in Denver.

The AGA has been advocating for federal sports betting reform to bring the black market into the open. Betting on single football games only happens in Nevada, while Delaware casinos offer parlays. A 1992 federal law limited sports betting to just a few states under a grandfather clause.

More than $4 billion was bet on Super Bowl 50, the AGA also said. Of that amount, only about $120 million was bet at Nevada sports books.

The group estimated that “at least” $150 billion was bet on all sports in 2015, again, nearly all illegally. The amount wagered keeps growing, as the AGA estimated that in 2014 Americans bet $145 billion on sports. Bets on football last year were also about $90 billion.

“The American appetite for sports betting has never been greater,” Geoff Freeman, AGA president and CEO, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, a failing federal ban drives this national pastime into the illegal market and threatens the integrity of the games we love. As law enforcement’s deep concern with the thriving illegal gambling market demonstrates, it is time to address this problem and bring sports betting out of the shadows.”