AGA aims to redefine sports gaming

Dec 29, 2015 3:00 AM

Sports betting will be a special focus of action by the American Gaming Association during the next year.

AGA President Geoff Freeman spent some quality time with this subject during his recent state of the industry comments.

We were able during the last year, he said, to “coalesce the industry around the idea that current law is irrational and that this current law needs to be revisited. This is a significant step for the industry.”

He continued, “We now need to work with other interested parties such as leagues, lotteries and many others to discuss what the right solution might be. We will be doing that behind the scenes. Those conversations have already begun.”

Freeman said it is his hope that as the Association goes before lawmakers on Capitol Hill and other policy makers it can be done in a united way.

“And the only way we do that in a united way is to have a transparent and honest discussion with each one of those interested parties. We’re optimistic that we can find common ground on this complex issue.”

Another big AGA priority during 2016 will be to shine a “brighter light on what’s happening in today’s sports betting marketplace.”

He said the illegal market is “enormous. It has effects on the integrity of games. It has effects on consumers and it has many detrimental effects in terms of where those dollars are going and the dollars that are lost to states that could regulate this product.”

What he called “society’s interest” in the subject sports betting has begun to move the subject forward in discussions that have nothing to do with the AGA.

Yes, the times they are a changing.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: [email protected].