A member of the Fraternal Order of Police said the union wants the federal sports gaming ban reinstated. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled the ban unconstitutional. And, the union member wrote an article explaining why the ban should return.
Sports Gaming in the United States
Until May, the only place to find sports gambling in the United States was Nevada. In 1992, Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). This law outlawed gambling on sports at both the college and professional level. Its purpose was to protect the integrity of the sport.
However, New Jersey wanted to add sportsbooks to its casinos in Atlantic City. So, it sued the federal government. The state said that the constitution did not explicitly prohibit or allow gambling. And, for that reason, the federal government can’t outlaw it. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed that regulation of gambling should be up to the states, and struck down the law. Nearly immediately, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Mississippi declared they were going to legalize sports gaming. They would offer sports gaming either through their casinos or race tracks or both. In addition, other states, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, decided to legalize online sportsbooks.
Police Union: Sports Betting Wasted Resources
The Fraternal Order of Police has stated that trying to police illegal gambling is difficult. It also wastes resources the police could use for something else. Police officers want to be able to focus their resources on solving problems. And, it is difficult to focus a lot of attention on illegal sportsbooks.
The police union feels an enormous amount of local resources has been spent on policing illegal sports gaming. These resources could be better spent on investigating and solving crimes, especially violent ones. In addition, the union feels those who run illegal sports betting use the funds for other crimes.
Surprisingly, the union also did not like PASPA because it felt it also encouraged illegal activity. And, according to the union, it allowed the illegal gambling market to grow and prosper. The officers felt there was no regulatory oversight and no way to protect the integrity of the games. There were also no consumer safeguards for people who played the games.
How to Control Gaming
The police union said Congress needs to pass laws that regulate sports gaming in each state. Or, there should be a federal law that regulates all sports gaming. It believes this is the only way to fully police and control gaming. Police officers stated the state governments and federal government need to work together. By doing so, they will be able to keep the online and on-site sportsbooks legal, fair, and safe for consumers. If state and federal agencies work together, there will be less incentive for cheating among legal entities. In addition, illegal sportsbooks will have fewer customers if there are legal sportsbooks available for gamblers to enjoy.
If states legalize sportsbooks, and there are regulations attached, they’re less likely to try to get money from consumers illegally. In addition, because sportsbooks bring additional revenue to the states, police officers will get more money for policing overall. And, this can only help the community. The state police departments will also get more money. They can use this surplus to buy more equipment and hire more police officers for their communities.
Police officers feel their services would be better suited to combat violent crimes and drug crimes as well. If states want to legalize gaming, the police unions feel that they should put money into it. That way, they can ensure that the sportsbooks are legal and legislation is in place that protects consumers. Then, sportsbooks will bring welcome revenue to police departments that they can use to combat crime.
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