UNLV releases in-depth report on US sports betting regulation and integrity

US sports betting report

The University of Las Vegas (UNLV)’s International Gaming Institute has published a 33-page offering guidance on the future of sports betting regulation in the US. 

Sponsored by GVC Foundation US, the document is titled ‘The Big Questions: Sports Wagering in America’.

Numerous factors are looked at, including how to regulate sports wagering while also maintaining sporting integrity.

Sports betting in the US has spread across multiple states since PASPA was repealed in 2018.

Sports betting in the US is nothing new

As the report mentions, “sports wagers have been popular in America since the dawn of the nation itself”.

In the place of regulated sports betting, illegal wagering has been prevalent over the years. The 1961 Wire Act was brought in to combat criminal activity, including within sports wagering. And as CBS reported in 2017, the American Gaming Association (AGA) believed that $150 billion was spent on unregulated wagers per year at that time.

UNLV IGI Executive Director Bo Jason Bernhard believes that sports betting will only continue to grow in popularity in the US. As such, it’s important to reap the benefits of a regulated market and reduce the risk of harms.

His words on the matter were as follows.

“We expect to see a surge in the popularity of sports betting as the U.S. acclimates to this ‘new normal.’ As researchers, we want to ensure that this industry is regulated in a way that fosters the socio-economic benefits of gambling while minimizing its harms.

“As always, the IGI seeks to shed academic light on the major debates of the day, bringing together our ‘dream team’ of experienced and multi-disciplinary thinkers to weigh in on the big questions. Today, U.S. policymakers can rely on an independent evaluation that covers a range of key issues, thanks to this first-of-its-kind report.”

Legal sports betting and sporting integrity can both be achieved 

While the research was sponsored by the GVC US Foundation, which was created by GVC Holdings, GVC didn’t actually get to access the report until it was published. This was to keep a balanced viewpoint.

The UNLV IGI’s report was “also subjected to a rigorous, independent peer review conducted by two expert academics unaffiliated with his project”.

GVC Foundation US Trustee and GVC Holdings Director of Regulatory Affairs Martin Lycka spoke about the steps needed to ensure that sporting integrity in a regulated sports betting landscape was assured.

“Our goal in drafting questions for the study was to highlight all major aspects of sports betting–the good, the bad and the ugly.

“For sports betting to be the fun, safe, and well-structured enterprise that it’s meant to be, our industry needs to commit to honestly presenting its unique components to all regulators and legislators alike.”

An infographic was also developed to accompany the report.