$10 Billion Will Be Bet On The College Basketball Tournament, Mostly Illegally

Mar 12, 2018, 12:00 AM | Updated: Jan 4, 2019, 11:24 am
GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 03: Confetti covers the Final Four logo after the North Carolina Tar Heels def...
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 03: Confetti covers the Final Four logo after the North Carolina Tar Heels defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four National Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. The Tar Heels defeated the Bulldogs 71-65. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — America’s gambling industry predicts $10 billion will be bet on the college basketball tournament — nearly all of it illegally or off-the-books.

That’s one of the reasons the American Gaming Association favors the full legalization and regulation of sports betting in the United States.

The U.S. Supreme Court is weeks away from ruling on New Jersey’s challenge to a law limiting legal sports betting to just four states: Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon, and a ruling that legalizes sports betting nationwide could provide new revenue opportunities for cash-strapped state governments, as well as casino companies.

The group found 54 million people — or about a quarter of the U.S. adult population — participated in a sports betting pool last year, spending $18 billion on entry fees. That includes 24 million who filled out basketball brackets pools and spent $2.6 billion on entry fees.

It also conducted a survey that found that roughly two-thirds of U.S. states make it illegal to participate in sports betting pools if money is involved. Enforcing those laws, however, has not been a priority for law enforcement.

“Our current sports betting laws are so out of touch with reality that we’re turning tens of millions of Americans into criminals for the simple act of enjoying college basketball,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. “The failed federal ban on sports betting has created an illegal, unregulated sports betting market that offers zero consumer protections and generates zero revenue for state and tribal governments.”

Freeman said only 3 percent of the $10 billion the group predicts will be wagered on the games will be done through legal Nevada sports books, or about $300 million.

The group also counted 48 pieces of sports betting legislation active in 18 state legislatures across the country as lawmakers anticipate a favorable Supreme Court ruling and prepare for the advent of legal sports betting.

The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey says “sports betting is a cause for concern.” While neutral on gambling, the group has been contacting New Jersey lawmakers to discuss needs that will arise if sports betting is legalized.

“Sports betting may have more appeal to our children, it has the potential to affect the integrity of the games, and it may put many more people at risk for problem and disordered gambling,” said Neva Pryor, the group’s executive director.

___

Follow Wayne Parry at https://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Basketball

Rick Osentoski/Getty Images...
Amiliano Fragoso

Live Tracker: NBA Free Agency news and updates

Welcome to free agency season NBA fans! The NBA’s legal tampering period officially kicked off Thursday at 3 P.M. PST, starting the most dramatic and chaotic time of the year for the league. Where will the stars and the role players of the NBA wind up? Below is everything you need to know to stay […]
3 days ago
(Chris Watkins / Sactown Sports Digital)...
Chris Watkins

[VIDEO] Keegan Murray Speaks With Media After First Sacramento Kings Practice

Sacramento Kings 2022 first-round pick, Keegan Murray talks with the media following his first-ever practice in a Sacramento Kings uniform as the Summer League roster gets ready for the California Classic and Las Vegas Summer League. WHEN DO THE KINGS PLAY? Sacramento will play three games, beginning with its first contest on Saturday, July 2 […]
4 days ago
Dejounte Murray...
Amiliano Fragoso

Cattles & Ramie Discuss Dejounte Murray Trade

Wednesday on The Cattles & Ramie Show, the guys discussed the blockbuster trade that sent All-Star guard Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Danilo Gallinari, three first-round picks and a pick swap to the San Antonio Spurs. Topics discussed: Initial reaction to the trade Was that too big of a haul for […]
4 days ago
MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 28: Trey Lyles #41 of the Sacramento Kings brings the ball up court during t...
Franklin Cartoscelli

Sacramento Kings Expected To Exercise 2022-23 Option On Trey Lyles

Trey Lyles' $2.6 million team option has been exercised by Sacramento
5 days ago
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 08: Chimezie Metu #7 of the Sacramento Kings celebrates with the ...
Amiliano Fragoso

When Does Free Agency Start For The Sacramento Kings?

With the NBA draft now behind us, it’s time to look ahead to one of the most exciting and dramatic parts of the offseason: free agency. This summer should be no different as there are several high-caliber players likely on the move later this week when the window opens. But before we get to the […]
6 days ago
...
Chris Watkins

Keegan Murray Introductory Press Conference

Sacramento Kings GM Monte McNair introduces the fourth pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Keegan Murray, in front of the local media at Golden 1 Center. During Murray’s press conference, the rookie answered questions about his thought process on draft night and explains what Kings fans can expect from him when he steps onto the […]
6 days ago
$10 Billion Will Be Bet On The College Basketball Tournament, Mostly Illegally