American Gaming Association’s senior vice president of public affairs, Sara Slane, has responded to comments made by NCAA President Mark Emmert, stating that legislation is the primary means of promoting integrity in sports in the new post-PASPA era.

Emmert had previously voiced concerns that the legislation of sports betting would pose significant threats to the integrity of collegiate sports across the US.

Slane countered Emmert’s point in a statement to SBC Americas, where she commented: “In recent remarks at the NCAA Annual Convention, NCAA President Mark Emmert suggested that continued legalization and regulation of sports wagering across the country ‘…is going to have a dramatic impact on everything we do in college sports [and will] threaten the integrity of college sports in many ways.”

“Mr. Emmert is failing to address, or choosing to ignore the decades-old, massive illegal market for sports betting in this country – which includes betting on collegiate athletics – that continues to thrive. Surely the NCAA can’t support the status quo.”

Slane pointed out that legalisation should be used as a means of promoting integrity in collegiate sports, primarily through protecting punters and athletes from illegal operations.

She added: “sports wagering is a multi-billion dollar, sophisticated enterprise that, if left primarily in the shadows, will continue to threaten competition and bet integrity, tax law enforcement resources and perpetuate the vulnerability of athletes – particularly unpaid amateur athletes – to bad actors in the illegal market.

“Only by legalizing and regulating this popular American activity can we offer protection to competition, consumers and competitors, ensure that responsible sports wagering is properly regulated, and that those laws are enforced.”

Slane concluded: “The AGA continues to support the expansion of legal, regulated sports wagering. In the eight states where sports betting is now legal, consumers have a viable, safe alternative to place bets and benefit from the protection of stringent oversight by experienced gaming regulators. Without legalization, none of these protections exist and we leave game and bet integrity, consumers and athletes vulnerable.”

Insider Insight: As more and more states are beginning to legalise sports betting in the US, we are seeing much more focus upon integrity in sports betting.

Legalisation and regulation will, in theory, ensure that corruption within sport is prevented and that information can be shared effectively across the board.

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