Four months after the Supreme Court struck down a federal law banning states from authorizing sports betting, a House panel Thursday will examine how states are legalizing gambling on football, baseball and other sporting events.
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations also will discuss whether there is an appropriate role for the federal government in the wake of the court’s ruling.
Witnesses include Jocelyn Moore of the National Football League, Les Bernal of the group Stop Predatory Gambling, Sara Slane of the American Gaming Association, Jon Bruning of the Coalition to Stop Online Gambling and Becky Harris of the Gaming Control Board.
The witnesses’ prepared testimony can be found here.
“The sports gambling landscape in America has rapidly changed since the Supreme Court’s decision in Murphy v. NCAA,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said. “Consequently, it raises questions regarding regulation, the integrity of sporting events, the propriety and wisdom of government-authorized wagering, and the effect on other gambling laws at the federal and state levels.”
In Murphy v. NCAA, the Supreme Court in May struck down as unconstitutional the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. That law, which Congress passed in 1992, prohibited states from sponsoring or operating sports betting.
By holding that the law violated states’ 10th Amendment rights, the court effectively opened the door for states to legalize sports betting – a move several states are taking advantage of.
As a result, some lawmakers in Congress say the federal government should at least offer a national framework in which these states may choose to authorize sports gaming.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said national standards should include a minimum age for bettors and transparency on betting data.
“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 who choose to engage in sports betting are appropriately protected,” Schumer said. “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.”
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said federal standards could protect the integrity of sporting events. Hatch said he would propose legislation designed to make “improvements to monitoring and enforcement that will benefit all of the stakeholders – sports books, regulators, governing bodies, and consumers.” To date, that legislation hasn’t been introduced.
More information on the Supreme Court ruling here.