Save the date – Congress to discuss sports betting
U.S. Congress sets September 27th for the hearing on sports betting regulation
The big date that the industry has been waiting for all summer has been announced. U.S. federal legislators will hold a hearing on sports betting next week– September 27th. This news is in spite of resistance from gaming operators believing that federal oversight of wagering is both unnecessary and unwanted.
This year has proved revolutionary in the industry due to the eradication of PASPA. Leading iGaming companies have initiated plans to go beyond the European sphere to the once forbidden United States. Industry leads such as NetEnt, Stars Group and iSport Genius all announced their stateside ventures last week.
On Thursday, ESPN’s David Purdum revealed that the House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigation had planned a hearing for Thursday, September 27th at 10 am.
The possibility of the Congress having their say in regulating sports betting took an unexpected turn last month when Senator Orrin Hatch vocalised his plea to “a set of fundamental, federal standards” for sports betting. The following week, Hatch’s outlook was reaffirmed by Senator Chuck Schumer.
The American Gaming Association (AGA), opposed Hatch’s and Schumer’s proposals, commenting that the last federal effort to control sports betting was “an abject failure”. On Thursday, the AGA issued a statement saying it looked forward to discussing the gaming industry’s “core principles” on legal sports betting with the subcommittee members. Last week, the AGA sent Schumer a letter restating its stance that individual states had already enacted “significant, effective regulatory oversight” of wagering and thus “additional federal engagement is not warranted at this time.”
Both Hatch and Schumer deemed sports integrity a major reasoning for federal involvement, and the AGA’s letter references discussions with AGA members and the major sports leagues concerning “the formation of an integrity monitoring association,” which would establish “a data repository to share any suspicious betting information with law enforcement and gaming regulators.”
However, the AGA maintains there is “neither a need nor a legal precedent to mandate sportsbook operators purchase ‘official data’ directly from leagues.”
The AGA insists that forcing operators to obtain their sports data from a single source would permit this source “to set inflated, non-competitive monopoly prices for their services.” This would put US-licensed operators at a competitive disadvantage to the numerous internationally licensed online sportsbooks that continue to address the unmet needs of US bettors.
For similar reasons, the AGA disputes the leagues’ push for the right to confine the types of wagers that can be offered on their respective sports. The AGA remarks that these same leagues didn’t impose on Nevada sportsbooks during the years they held a monopoly on US wagering.
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