AGA chief praises impact of NHL franchise in Las Vegas

American Gaming Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman on Tuesday praised the potential impact of an NHL franchise in Las Vegas after a report indicated that the league will expand to Las Vegas and give the city its first major league sports team.

“Today marks a milestone for Nevada and for the casino gaming industry at large,” Freeman said in a statement. “The placement of the first major professional sports franchise in Las Vegas reflects a rapidly evolving view of gaming as an important, mainstream segment of the broader economy that supports 1.7 million jobs and serves as a community partner in 40 states.

“The NHL’s decision is the latest signal that professional sports leagues are increasingly comfortable with legal, regulated sports betting. Nothing threatens the integrity of sports more than the illegal sports betting marketplace where Americans spent at least $150 billion over the last year through bookies and illegal, and often offshore, websites.”

Freeman added: “It’s time for a new approach to sports betting that eliminates the federal prohibition and recognizes what the NHL, NBA and others have acknowledged through the rise of daily fantasy sports: today’s fans are seeking greater engagement with the sports, teams and players they enjoy. An NHL team in Las Vegas is a win for Nevada, a win for casino gaming and a win for fans.”

The American Gaming Association is a national trade group representing the $240 billion U.S. casino industry.

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