One of the most senior members of the United States Congress has reportedly introduced draft legislation that would bring federal oversight to the nation’s recently-deregulated sportsbetting industry.
According to a Wednesday report from ESPN.com, United States Senator Orrin Hatch (pictured) from Utah filed his discussion draft last week as federal legislators continue to come to terms with a sector that is blossoming in the wake of May’s invalidation by the United States Supreme Court of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
Hatch is the most senior Republican in the United States Senate but will be retiring at the end of the month after some 42 years in office. The 84-year-old reportedly voted in favor of PASPA’s passage in 1992 and has been arguing since its revocation earlier this year that the growing domestic sportsbetting industry is in need of federal regulation.
ESPN.com reported that Hatch’s draft legislation would, if passed, permit wagers to be placed on professional and collegiate sports but require states to obtain official permission from the Office of the United States Attorney General before implementing any new laws or regulations on sportsbetting.
The Republican’s 37-page measure reportedly comes as up to 20 additional states are considering whether to join the likes of Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and West Virginia in legalizing sportsbetting. As written, Hatch’s measure would also purportedly compel operators to grade all of their wagers until at least 2023 using official league data and make blackmail, extortion and the placing of bets based on non-public information illegal under the Sports Bribery Act of 1964.
ESPN.com reported that Hatch’s proposal features language designed to address problem gambling and advertising practices while its passage would moreover alter the Wire Act of 1961 so as to make it possible for operators to sign compacts with compatriots in other states.
Finally, ESPN.com reported that the passage of the proposed legislation from the seven-term United States Senator would additionally lead to the establishment of the National Sports Wagering Clearinghouse. This body would purportedly be tasked with looking for signs of corruption by collecting anonymized real-time sportsbetting data including the type, date and amount on every wager placed in the United States.
Proposal ‘not necessary’:
The American Gaming Association recently estimated that punters in the United States spent around $150 billion on sportsbetting in 2017 while the industry body’s Government Relations Vice-President, Chris Cylke, reportedly told ESPN.com that Hatch’s proposed legislation is unnecessary.
Cylke reportedly told ESPN.com…
“Since the [United States] Supreme Court’s ruling in May, the American Gaming Association has consistently maintained that federal legislation regarding sportsbetting is not necessary. That underlying position remains unchanged. At the same time, we remain committed to maintaining an open and constructive dialogue with policymakers considering sportsbetting legislation at any level of government.”