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Betting Ban May not Stop Publication of Point Spreads

13 June 2000

WASHINGTON – June 13, 2000 – As reported by Associated Press: "A newspaper industry group says a proposal in Congress to ban betting on college sports probably would not prompt newspapers to stop publishing point spreads for coming games.

"…An April poll commissioned by the newspaper association found that 70 percent of people who look at point spreads on college sports do so to obtain information about a favorite team or a future game. Only 11 percent of respondents said they look at point spreads to place bets.

"Sturm also said newspapers are only one source of published point spreads. Other sources include radio, television, toll-free telephone numbers and the Internet.

"John Shelk, who lobbies for casinos as vice president of the American Gaming Association, said the NAA statement is significant. He said proponents of banning amateur sports betting launched the effort last year with the argument that newspaper point spreads connect legal betting in Nevada and illegal betting on college campuses.

"…The legislation approved by the Senate Commerce Committee is awaiting action by the full Senate.

"…Defenders of legal sports betting in Nevada say the ban would hurt that state without making a dent in college sports betting. They say 99 percent of gambling on college sports occurs illegally on college campuses, not legally in Nevada casinos."

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