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Will McCain's Gambling Stance Scare Voters?
by Tony Batt
12 February, 2008


SOURCE: Las Vegas Review-Journal

The casino industry is not worried Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., might resurrect a plan to prohibit Nevada sports books from taking bets on college football and basketball games if he becomes president, according to the industry's chief lobbyist.

"The world has changed," said Frank Fahrenkopf, president of the American Gaming Association.

McCain began pushing the sports betting ban in 2000 when he first ran for president.

After being repeatedly outmaneuvered by Nevada lawmakers and casino lobbyists, McCain acknowledged in 2005 that Congress would not pass a ban until another gambling scandal occurred on a college campus. McCain also predicted there would be another scandal.

But Fahrenkopf said support for a sports betting ban faded when new leadership at the NCAA decided it would not be a priority.

Since then, the casino industry has forged a "tremendous working relationship" not only with the NCAA but also with the National Football League and the National Basketball Association, Fahrenkopf said.

Now, Fahrenkopf said, "Most believe we are the canary in the mineshaft with regard to detecting point shaving and fixing of games."


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