A senior member of the United States House Of Representatives has announced that he intends to introduce comprehensive legislation next year that will update a trio of federal gambling laws including the 24-year-old partial prohibition on sportsbetting.
According to a report from ESPN, New Jersey representative Frank Pallone declared that current federal gambling laws are “obsolete” and “in desperate need of updating” but declined to provide any specific details or timeline regarding his coming legislation, which is also set to address the provision of daily fantasy sports.
“The laws need a wholesale review to see how they can actually work together and create a fairer playing field for all types of gambling, both online and offline, including sportsbetting and daily fantasy sports,” said Pallone, who is the ranking Democratic representative on the United States House Of Representative’s Energy And Commerce Committee. “At the same time, we must ensure the laws are actually creating an environment of integrity and accountability and include strong consumer protections. I plan to continue discussions with the key stakeholders and then will introduce comprehensive legislation to finally update these outdated laws.”
ESPN reported that inconsistencies regarding current gambling legislation in the United States have recently been highlighted by the debate over the legality of daily fantasy sports. May saw the United States House Of Representative’s Energy And Commerce Committee hold a hearing on the activity and spotlight areas of the law that had failed to keep pace with technology.
“Daily fantasy, at its core, involves betting on sports,” Jan Schakowsky, a Democratic member of the United States House Of Representatives from Illinois, said at the hearing.
Pallone explained that his legislation will attempt to harmonize the Professional And Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 with 1961’s Federal Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006. The American Gaming Association trade group previously revealed that it intends to begin lobbying for the abolishment of PASPA, which prohibits state-sponsored sportsbetting in all but a handful of states with only Nevada allowed to offer single-game wagering, from next year.
“The next President is going to have that issue of legalizing sportsbetting on their desk,” read a statement from Geoff Freeman, President and Chief Executive Officer for the American Gaming Association.
Despite PASPA, ESPN reported that American punters have not had any trouble finding ways to wager on sports with the American Gaming Association estimating that $149 billion was illegally bet last year with most flutters placed via unregulated offshore sportsbooks and local bookmakers. By contrast, the trade group calculated that some $4.3 billion was wagered with Nevada’s regulated sportsbooks.