A report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has called for the US Congress to end the government’s prohibition of sports betting.
The public policy think tank's report states that the current ban doesn’t put people off from betting billions on sporting events or safeguard the integrity of games, but instead prevents billions of dollars of tax revenue being collected and forces consumers into the unprotected black market.
The CEI report said the ban actually increases the risks of match-fixing and corruption, which is one of the major arguments against ending it.
The report entitled Time to End the Madness around March Madness co-authored by Steven Titch and Michelle Minton said that: “While it is unknown how much money Americans bet on sporting events across the board, estimates range from $150 billion (€142.6 million) to $400 billion a year.
“Some 95 to 99% of this economic activity takes place through illegal channels or on websites based offshore, which deprives American consumers of the protections found in a legal market.”
The ban effectively stops all states but Nevada from legally regulating bets on the outcome of individual sports contests. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) prohibits states that did not already allow sports betting from licensing, promoting, or authorising the activity.
The report concludes: “From a constitutional perspective, Washington lawmakers should treat sports betting as a federalism issue, like other forms of legal gambling. PASPA should be repealed or revised to allow states the discretion to legalise and regulate sports betting on their own terms.”