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iMEGA’s Efforts To Expand Sports Betting in New Jersey and NFL’s Twisted Logic

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Sep/24/2010
Sports Betting New Jersey

 

The Financial Times today covered iMEGA and New Jersey's efforts to permit the expansion of regulated sports betting in the US. It also contains an example of the NFL's weak, logically unsustainable argument in opposition of that effort:

Jeff Miller, NFL’s vice-president of government relations and public policy told the Financial Times. “If gambling is more regulated, we believe there is an increased danger to the integrity of the game.”

On NJ & iMEGA's efforts:

However, the biggest legislative challenge continues to be the US, which has proved resistant to changes to its restriction of online gambling. The main battle ground is New Jersey. There, the state legislature is considering becoming the second state in the US (behind Nevada) to allow betting on sports.

Gambling is an important industry in New Jersey, which is the home of Meadowlands racetrack and Atlantic City’s casinos. The second of three gambling summits, on September 10, attracted 600 people in a state squeezed by recession and competition from casinos in neighbouring states. If sports betting becomes legal in New Jersey it could set up a legislative chain reaction along the US eastern seaboard.

But opposition is fierce, particularly from the biggest sporting body in the US, the National Football League (NFL), which actively lobbies against legalisation. “We oppose any action to loosen up the laws,” Jeff Miller, NFL’s vice-president of government relations and public policy told the Financial Times. “If gambling is more regulated, we believe there is an increased danger to the integrity of the game.”

“The NFL’s position on sports betting in the US is crazy,” counters Mr Davies, who is a former managing director of Betfair. “They can’t stop betting on the NFL in other countries. Illegal gambling is a global issue.”

Any changes to laws in the US are unlikely to happen soon, but UK companies are confident the cricket scandal will have little effect on appetite for gambling. “The recent allegations haven’t hit us so badly,” explains Ciaran O’Brien of Ladbrokes. “It is clearly associated with illegal betting in an unregulated market.

But we have always said we are victims of illegal betting and that makes us incentivised to solve it.”

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