Congress is mulling over a federal sports betting bill draft. The bill would give the federal government the final decision when it comes to making sports betting legal. The bill will apply to all states.
This new bill would also prevent U.S. states from passing unilateral sports betting laws. This is in direct contradiction to the Supreme Court decision. The ruling in May overruled the PASPA, or Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.
Sports Betting in the United States
There are eight U.S. states in which sports betting is legal. It is likely that more states will approve legislation for sports betting before the passing of the drafted bill. It’s not yet clear what the state’s position will be if the bill is approved.
Part of the bill reads: “To request approval to administer a state sports wagering program, state shall submit an application to the Attorney General at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Attorney General may require.”
The bill also includes details about setting a minimum requirement for handling problem gamblers. States will also get information on permitting gambling data across state lines. The sports betting bill will also mandate how official data from sports leagues is incorporated into gambling events.
More about League Data
The issue of sports league data has been assessed in detail. The bill has specific regulations regarding bets that are placed before December 31, 2022. In regards to these bets, the gaming operator must determine the result only by using licensed data. The data must also be provided by an entity or organization that has been authorized to do so.
The bill discusses the federal excise tax as well. The tax will be 0.25% of the handle. The percentage will be put into a wagering trust fund used to finance matters related to sports betting. The funds will be used to create and support a National Sports Wagering Commission. The money will also go toward a national sports wagering clearing house. The clearing house will coordinate sports betting issues on the national and state levels.
Information on the Sports Betting Bill Draft
The bill draft was circulated by Senator Orrin Hatch’s office. Hatch, along with Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader, have been rather vocal about their sports betting opinions. While speaking in August on the Senate floor, Hatch stated, “I’d like to say upfront that I am not a fan of sports betting. I have grave concerns about gambling in general, and sports betting in particular.”
Schumer also stated publicly, “As a New York sports fan…and a senator, my priority…is making sure the integrity of the games we love is preserved, that young people and those suffering from gambling addiction are not taken advantage of, and that consumers that choose to engage in sports betting are appropriately protected.”
What Other Lawmakers Are Saying
Many state representatives and industry officials have also spoken out since the bill draft was publicized.
American Gaming Association (AGA) Vice President of Government Relations, Chris Cylke, stated, “Since the Supreme Court’s ruling in May, the American Gaming Association has consistently maintained that federal legislation regarding sports betting is not necessary.”
Cylke further asserted, the “underlying position remains unchanged. At the same time, we remain committed to maintaining an open and constructive dialogue with policymakers considering sports betting legislation at any level of government.”
Nevada Congresswoman, Dina Titus, also weighed in on the bill. She said, “This draft bill raises serious questions about the treatment of states like Nevada that already successfully regulate sports betting.” Titus shares that she sees it as her mission to protect the state in the wake of new gambling laws. She asserts, “The Supreme Court’s decision overturning PASPA was not an invitation for the federal government to repress states that have led the way. I’ll continue to fight for Nevada’s best interests in these discussions.”
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