Ernie Stevens, Jr., the chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

National Indian Gaming Association backs effort to legalize sports betting

The National Indian Gaming Association is supporting efforts to legalize sports betting in order to ensure tribal concerns are addressed.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act bans sports betting except in a small number of states. The American Sports Betting Coalition hopes to change the situation with NIGA, which represents 184 tribes in the gaming industry, at its side.

“Of chief concern to NIGA is to ensure that tribal interests are protected, particularly avoidance of any negative impacts on existing compacts and exclusivity clauses,” Ernie Stevens, Jr., a citizen of the Oneida Nation who serves as chairman of the organization, said in a press release. “As one of the key stakeholders in these discussions we want to ensure that if legalized, our members have the opportunity to offer this activity as part of their overall entertainment package and as an additional source of revenue for rribal government gaming to promote tribal economic development, tribal self-sufficiency and strong tribal government.”

“We have a window of opportunity to get this done and the National Indian Gaming Association is critical to making it happen,” added Geoff Freeman, the president and chief executive officer of the American Gaming Association. “Tribal engagement will help to move the needle forward and as the industry further unites, we will be able to end the failing ban on sports betting and allow our industry to grow.”

The American Gaming Association operates the American Sports Betting Coalition out of its office in Washington, D.C.

Read More on the Story:
Tribal gaming throws support behind sports betting legalization (CalvinAyre.Com 7/31)