American Gaming Association (AGA) President and CEO Bill Miller is mad as hell, and he isn’t going to take it anymore. That’s the vibe he gives off in a letter published recently in the Hill magazine.
Miller was responding to a March 27 column in the influential Washington D.C. newspaper by Sheldon H. Jacobson titled, Will Online Sports Gambling Kill America?. In the column, Jacobson lashes out at controversial gaming industry practices such as free bets and partnering with American colleges and universities.
Both of those practices, Miller notes in his letter, were recently banned by the AGA in their own code of responsibilities. Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering. He then goes on to outline a number of the ways the AGA, and the gaming industry as a whole, works to prevent problem gambling.
The AGA chief also takes a few jabs at the sensational nature of recent media reports about free bets and college sponsorship deals, especially Jacobson’s. Miller refers to the coverage as little more than thirst traps for the anti-gambling crowd. “Criticizing legal sports betting adverts might drive clicks, but it misses the mark on what legal advertising does in practice: it plays an essential role in moving people away from the illegal, offshore sportsbooks that provide no consumer protections, aren’t accountable to regulators and siphon over $700m away from state tax coffers each year.
“But we won’t be deterred. AGA members will continue to set a high bar for responsible, legal sports betting in America,” he added.
Miller signed off by reminding critics that keeping sports betting in the shadows isn’t beneficial to anyone except opinion writers like Jacobson.