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Legalized US Sports Betting to Use a Federal Framework Soon?

Date Posted: August 31, 2018

US Senate minority leader Charles Schumer proposed the use of a federal framework for legal sports betting in America last Wednesday, August 29.

With the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act made unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in May, legality and regulation of sports betting is now decided upon by each state’s local government. In fear that this court ruling may bring negative impact on bettors, leagues, and even sports fans, Schumer suggests that the federal government should have a role in regulating the country’s sports betting. The senator said:

“As a New York sports fan—especially my Yankees and Giants—and a senator, my priority in the wake of the Murphy v. NCAA decision 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. With the Supreme Court’s ruling, it’s incumbent on the federal government to take a leadership role and provide the necessary guidance to prevent uncertainty and confusion for the leagues, state governments, consumers and fans alike.”

According to Schumer’s office, the proposed policy focuses on three core principles: to protect problem gamblers and fans under 21, to maintain the integrity of the game, and to have consumer protection for betting individuals.

Schumer believes that sportsbook outcomes should come only from official data of sports leagues. He also stated that federal laws should be implemented to protect the sports world from probable treason, saying:

“The stakes are too high—legal sports betting laws must be crafted and executed in a careful and thoughtful way. As state legislatures develop new legislation in the weeks and months ahead, I hope they will take these principles under consideration. I also support the efforts in the Congress to debate and develop bipartisan federal legislation that would adhere to these principles. The integrity of sports is too precious to not protect as best we can.”

The senator’s proposal immediately gained the support of several sports leagues. NBA, MLB, and PGA Tour even issued a joint statement on Wednesday, saying:

“As legalized sports betting spreads across the states, there is a need for consistent, nationwide integrity standards to safeguard the sports millions of fans love. We strongly support the legislative framework outlined by Senator Schumer and we encourage Congress to adopt it.”

Given that the Congress has a lot of other priorities within the last four months of the current legislative session – not to mention the reelections happening this November – it is unlikely that Schumer’s proposal will be adopted anytime soon. But like Schumer, other lawmakers including Senator Orrin Hatch express their intention to introduce bills related to sports betting regulation. Following Schumer’s proposal, Hatch said he will pass a new sports betting bill in the coming weeks.

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