The US loses billions of dollars every year due to the ban on sports betting. Representatives of the gambling industry offer to solve the problem.

On September 8, the regular season of the National football League (NFL) started in the United States. According to estimates of the American gambling Association (AGA), residents of the United States during the season will make bets on NFL games in the amount of $ 90 billion. But $ 88 billion (or 98%) of these bets will be made illegally, despite government bans.

The AGA is a person of interest in this story, but the statistics provided by the organization match the results of independent research regarding the legalization of sports betting in the United States.

Earlier this year, bets on the 2016 super bowl final (final
NFL title games) in the United States exceeded $ 4.2 billion, with 97% of them made illegally. 41% of the 2016 super bowl viewers (47 million people) bet on the final match. This is almost three times the number of people who bet on the NFL final meeting last season (17.3 million).

Even us President Barack Obama jokingly admitted to illegally betting on the NFL. In General, according to the AGA, in 2015, US citizens made bets on $ 150 billion, if you take all sports. Almost everything is also illegal.

Realizing the severity of the problem, more than 30 law enforcement leaders from across the country gathered in Washington in June for the first-ever summit to discuss the problem of mass illegal sports betting in the United States, as well as options for solving it.

“Never before has there been such an increased interest in sports betting in the United States,” says AGA President and chief Executive officer Jeff Freeman. — Unfortunately, the Federal ban makes this hobby illegal and jeopardizes the integrity of the game we love. The serious concern of law enforcement about the thriving illegal sports betting market suggests that the time has come to solve this problem and take bookmaking out of business shadows.”

Surveys conducted among US citizens have shown that 67 % of US citizens believe that gambling meets the standards of morality, and 63% of Americans are in favor of legalizing betting on the territory of the country.

In addition to sports fans, other interested parties support the revision of the legislation on sports betting. At the annual conference of mayors of the United States cities this summer, an important step was taken in support of eradicating the thriving illegal market. A unanimous decision was made on the desire to fight illegal immigrants by regulating the industry, rather than total bans. A cooperation agreement was signed with AGA to continue discussions on the potential benefits of a regulated market.

In addition, the national conference of state legislatures last month adopted a Directive stating that “the Federal government must recognize the sovereignty of the States in allowing or prohibiting their residents to bet on sports. US law (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act — PASPA) of 1992,which prohibits sports betting throughout the country in fact does not interfere with illegal bookmakers, but it limits the ability of all States, with the exception of a few, to regulate and collect revenue from sports gambling bets.