Geneva, 15 May 2018 - The Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) CEO Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros issued a preliminary statement shortly after the announcement of the Supreme Court of the United States’ (SCOTUS) ruling on Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association.  SCOTUS’s decision on the case determines that the federal ban on sports betting, as established by the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), is unconstitutional, thus opening the door for legalisation of sports betting in the country:

The US Supreme Court’s ruling is a game-changer for sports betting in the US. It must also be a game-changer for sports betting integrity.

SIGA and our members have long championed for robust regulation of the sports betting market worldwide.  

With our Universal Standards on Sports Betting Integrity[1], our multi-stakeholder global coalition is well equipped and well positioned to assist the US regulators, sports movement and betting industry to meet the mounting challenges ahead. As the SIGA Expert Summit has demonstrated just last week[2], we are committed to playing an active role in shaping the future of sport and ensuring its integrity, including in the US.

The upcoming SIGA Sport Integrity Forum, to be hosted by the United Nations in Geneva on 26 July, will address the full range of consequences of the PASPA repeal and the existing best practice on sports betting regulation. We invite the sports betting industry, the leagues and other sports rights owners, as well as the regulators, law enforcement authorities and all key stakeholders to join us in this crucial debate.

On behalf of SIGA’s Committed Supporter, Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), Chief Enforcement Division, Karl Bennison commented:

The Nevada Gaming Control Board is the gold standard for legal, regulated sports betting.  For decades, Nevada has been the only jurisdiction to offer a full range of sports betting options to the public. Nevada has proven that our model is not only successful, but stands the test of time.  The Nevada Gaming Control Board supports the Supreme Court decision striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.  In the coming months, as individual states decide whether or not to authorize legalized sports betting, and embark on establishing their own regulatory frameworks, the Nevada Gaming Control Board looks forward to acting as a resource and sharing our model with other jurisdictions.”

Ian Smith, Integrity Commissioner at esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) and SIGA Member, said the following:

This has been a long time coming and some States are ready, but many are not. There is a danger that, with 50 States and over 120 Tribal authorities, the US ends up with a mish mash of over 150 different sports betting regulatory regimes. This could render the decision more or less meaningless outside major urban centres, because sports betting will simply not be profitable; especially if the government does not deal with the Wire Act at the same time to allow cross State border betting. There is still much to do, but I would urge two things - first, all States should look to model their systems on what Nevada does and, second, the Federal Government should have the courage to set minimum and consistent standards so that at least core elements of consumer protection and sports integrity are built in as advocated by the SIGA Universal Standards on Sports Betting Integrity.”

João Paulo Almeida, Director General of the Portuguese National Olympic Committee and SIGA Member, commented:

SCOTUS’s ruling is not a surprise as it follows a tendency to move gambling customers into the legalized market as is the case with the vast majority of European jurisdictions. Evidence shows a considerable illegal gambling and sports betting market in the US undermining tax revenues and legitimate expectations of a fair return from the professional sports leagues. On the other hand, this acknowledges the utmost need to set a comprehensive action plan to tackle criminal infiltration and match-fixing in the US professional sport and sports betting market. We should not neglect the support from several commissioners of the main professional leagues to this outcome.”

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