As part of its efforts to get the United States’ Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) revoked, the American Gaming Association trade group has announced that some 97% of all domestic wagers on this weekend’s Super Bowl LII are likely to be placed illegally.

Introduced in 1992, PASPA instituted a nationwide ban on all sportsbetting in the United States with the notable exceptions of venues located in Oregon, Delaware, Montana and Nevada. New Jersey had been given the chance to become the fifth member of this exclusive club but was unable to pass legislation within the required window of opportunity and has since launched the Christie v NCAA federal lawsuit in an effort to change this current state of affairs.

The American Gaming Association stated that it recently conducted an investigation that indicated around $4.76 billion is set to be bet domestically on Sunday’s contest between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots but that only about $138.5 million of this will be wagered through venues in Nevada, which is the only state to offer full-scale sportsbetting.

“Thanks to the failed federal ban on sportsbetting, Americans are sending billions of their hard-earned dollars to corner bookies, shady offshore operators and other criminal enterprises,” read a statement from Geoff Freeman, President and Chief Executive Officer for the American Gaming Association. “The big question we’re asking; is 2018 finally the year when governments, sporting bodies and the gaming industry work together to put the illegal sportsbetting market out of business.”

In arriving at its estimate, the American Gaming Association declared that it had taken the $80 billion the 1999 National Gambling Impact Study Commission’s final report had conservatively estimated had been wagered before applying modern-day inflation and gross domestic product growth figures. The group explained that it had moreover factored in the proportion of cash that had been bet on past Super Bowls via Nevada sportsbooks and applied this figure on a nationwide basis.

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