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60 Minutes Correspondent: An Estimated $400 Billion Is Bet Illegally on Sports Annually

60 Minutes legal analyst Jack Ford put together a report on what legalized sports betting would mean for New Jersey, and he went on Colin Cowherd’s ESPN Radio show (clip above) today to discuss it. One of the foremost arguments for regulated gambling is that it’s not as though the government has had even a modicum of success at curbing the activity.

“The numbers are staggering,” Ford tells Cowherd. “The estimate is $400 billion a year on illegal sports betting. The estimate is more than $10 billion bet on just the last Super Bowl. Nevada makes a lot of money, but they’re not making anywhere close to that.”

It’s unclear whether Ford’s figures include recreational betting like March Madness pools or fantasy football leagues that are, by and large, wagers between friends, or if that staggering amount of money all passes through illicit bookmakers. Either way, it seems silly that this activity proliferates in back rooms instead of in a regulated manner.

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