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iMEGA Chief Brennan Jr. on Fox: Talks Legalized Sports Betting

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Mar/27/2009
Sports Betting

Joe Brennan, Jr., head of the online gambling industry trade organization, The Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association ( www.imega.org ), appeared on Fox Business Friday to discuss the expansion of legalized online sports betting in the United States, in particular New Jersey.

iMEGA announced earlier this week that they will challenge the Federal law that prohibits the expansion of sports wagering to all but four states. The trade organization is joined in its suit by the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, The Thoroughbred Breeders Association of New Jersey, the Standardbred Breeder & Owners Association of New Jersey and New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-Union).

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1991 (PASPA) prohibits any state - except for Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon - from permitting legal forms of sports wagering of any kind. The four states that had legal sports wagering at the time the law was passed were grandfathered in, and the other 46 states were given only one year in which to pass their own legislation or be forever barred from any attempt at offering a legal, regulated alternative to underground sports betting.

The suit filed against the federal government claims that PASPA violates five amendments to the U.S. Constitution by discriminating against the people of New Jersey and by regulating a matter that should be reserved to the states.

"It makes sense to take this huge underground national marketplace, estimated at more than $360 billion annually and bring it out into the light of day," said Joe Brennan Jr., chairman and CEO of iMEGA. "By offereing legal, regulated alternatives in sports wagering, the state can guard against criminal elements attempting to use their money to influence the outcome of games. We can protect the integrity of the games."

Brennan, Jr. told Fox Business News that sports wagering is the most common form of gambling in the United States, and these last few weeks in March and the first week in April are no exception as an estimated $12 billion was expected to be bet on the NCAA Basketball Tournament.  Gambling911.com, in fact, registered close to 8 million hits to its site (a record) the first four days leading into this year's March Madness.

" Sports wagering is really the most common. Form of gambling in the United States I think.  There's an awful lot of that's going on right now with March Madness in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. And really what you're talking about -- this marketplace already exists this is not like starting a state lottery or national lottery," Brennan Jr. said, shooting down the theory posed by the Fox Business News correspondent that poor people are most likely to bet on sports the way they do the state lottery. "This is money that's already changing hands it's huge."

Indeed, the typical sports bettor at long established online gambling firm, Bookmaker.com, will not hesitate to lay down $1000 on an NCAA game. 

"Las Vegas Sports Consultants has estimated the potential New Jersey marketplace at $10 billion by 2011."

See Video Here

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher 

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