Sports Gambling Ban Repeal Could Happen in Trump's First Term, Group Claims

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(Associated Press) - As top sports officials and the American public soften their decades-long opposition to legal sports betting, the American Gaming Association, one of the leading advocates for a regulated marketplace for wagers, says that an end to the federal ban on the popular pastime is near.

Both the NHL and the NFL voted to place permanent franchises in the U.S. gambling capital this year, even as they remain opposed to legal betting on their events. The commissioners of the Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer have each called for a reexamination of what a legal regulated market would look like in 2017, while NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has openly advocated for federal legalization. President Donald Trump is a former casino magnate that has expressed support for legalization in the past.

The AGA, which lobbies on behalf of the casino industry, will be one of the groups eventually tasked with presenting the case to repeal the federal ban on sports betting to legislators on Capitol Hill – a development that is still likely years away. But Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the Washington D.C.-based advocacy group, says his organization has a clear strategy to take advantage of what he calls a “perfect storm” of events that show progress toward legalization.

“This is really happening. There is tremendous demand and tremendous need for a regulated sports betting market,” Freeman told FOX Business. “I think we’re closer than at any point in the past several decades to making that a reality. With that said, there’s a process here. We’re committed to that process, which means working with the leagues and other interested parties to ensure alignment on all the key issues.”

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