Federal Lawmakers Ready to Regulate Sports Betting

Summary: As more states begin to legalize sports betting, federal lawmakers look to create sports betting regulations.

In May, the gambling landscape of the United States changed dramatically, with the United States Supreme Court striking down the Sports & Amateur Sports Protection Act, allowing each state to pass sports betting legislation. Several states have already passed legislation and are offering sports betting for real money. Now, it seems the federal government has been watching and certain lawmakers have decided to propose sports betting regulations that will have to be followed nationwide.

New Proposal Coming

Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Orrin Hatch have plans to introduce a measure involving sports betting regulation on a national level. The bill will be titled Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act of 2018 and will allow the United States Justice Department to set the minimum standards that states will have to meet to be approved to provide sports betting.

Federal lawmakers are not going to provide integrity fees, a payment that professional sports leagues have requested from each state. In commenting on their plans, Senator Schumer stated: “As a lifelong sports fan I treasure the purity of the game. (after the SCOTUS ruling) I knew that Congress had an obligation to ensure that the integrity of the games we love was never compromised. That is why I believe the time is now to establish a strong national integrity standard for sports betting that will protect consumers and the games themselves from corruption.”

Senator Hatch stated that once the Supreme Court made the decision, he began to work with stakeholders to make sure that Congress what doing everything possible to protect sports from corruption. The legislation introduced by the Senators is begin done after eight months of meetings, negotiations and discussions.

Eight States in Operation

Several states already offer sports betting and they will be affected by any federal changes. These states include: Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Council members in Washington D.C. have approved a bill legalizing sports betting, becoming the next area in the US to offer the wagering activity.

Other states have already pre-filed sports betting bills to be considered in 2019. These states include Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia and Missouri. These states will consider legislation next year and hopefully more states will get in on the action.

It is estimated that as many as 30 states will be considering legislation in the New Year. State after state are seeing the value of offering sports betting. The industry can bring millions to each state every year and local governments can certainly benefit from the addition of new revenues.

With the new federal measure, the integrity fee wanted by the leagues would not be paid but operators would have to obtain data that is provided or licensed by the leagues. The professional leagues, like the NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB have asked for one set of rules that every state will follow nationwide.

If the measure is passed into law, the leagues will at least get a portion of what they would like. On top of this section, a self-exclusion list will be created that will be available nationwide. Players who have a ambling problem will be able to add their name to the list and operators will know to not allow players to take part.

We will be watching over the next few days, into next year, to see what becomes of this bill and if federal regulations will be put in place.