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Illegal Sports Betting Hurts Nevada Gaming Industry

It's football season and as Nevada race and sports books gear up for their busiest time of year, gaming officials warn against the dangers surrounding illegal sports betting.

The American Gaming Association estimates sports fans nationwide will wager $95 billion on NFL and college football games this season, the majority of which will come from illegal bets.

A.G. Burnett chairs the Nevada Gaming Control Board. He says football alone brought in nearly $100 million dollars to Nevada last year, and gaming is still the largest revenue creator in the state. He says illegal sports betting hurts legal gaming companies, both big and small.

"There are a number of sports betting companies that aren't just our casino operators that hold sports betting licenses, but they're also licensed sports operators where that's all they specialize in."

Burnett says it makes more sense for patron to come to Las Vegas or Reno to a licensed sports book where they know their bets will be protected and they will be paid if they win; comforts that are not guaranteed when placing illegal bets.

Esther Ciammachilli is a former part-time broadcaster at KUNR Public Radio.
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