A new draft bill has surfaced in Congress which could give the federal government the final say when it comes to states legalizing sports betting.
The bill that was introduced earlier this week contains provisions that prevent states from unilaterally passing laws which legalize sports betting.
A passage from the bill reads: “”To request approval to administer a state sports wagering program, a state shall submit an application to the Attorney General at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Attorney General may require.””
The language used in the bill appears to contradict the Supreme Courts decision to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May.
In the Supreme Court’s ruling it was decided that PASPA was unconstitutional as it essentially commandeered power from the state governments to regulate their own gambling industries.
Not only does the bill give the federal government the power to veto sports betting laws put in place by a state government, it will also ban states from allowing residents to wager on amateur sporting events.
The bill also makes amendments to the Wire Act which will allow for some forms of sport betting information to flow between states.
When it comes to the operators, the bill will require the use of official league sports data at least until 2022. Data can be provided by another “”entity expressly authorized by the applicable sports organization to provide such information.”” This would include sports data providers like Genius Sports and Sportradar.
The bill will also create a national sports wagering Commission and a “”national sports wagering clearinghouse.”” Sports betting operators will be required to submit wagering data to the clearinghouse “”in real time.””
The bill also touches son tribal gambling and will allow for states and tribes to enter “”interstate sports wagering compacts””.
On the taxation front, the federal tax of 0.25% of sports betting handle will be placed in a “”wagering trust fund”” which will go towards sports betting related issues.
The bill also includes a set of standards to help tackle problem gambling. These standards are geared towards operators and focus on advertising in order to help protect those who are vulnerable.
The draft bill was distributed by the office of Senator Orrin Hatch. Hatch and the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have both been vocal about their anti-sports betting views.
On 23 August 2018, while speaking on the Senate floor, Hatch said: “”I’d like to say upfront that I am not a fan of sports betting.
“”I have grave concerns about gambling in General, and sports betting in particular.””
In August, Schumer suggested that a federal framework should be introduced to oversee the spread of sports betting across the US. Schumer also received support from the NBA, MLB, and PGA Tour after suggesting a federal framework.
At this moment in time, eight states have some form of legal sports betting in place. It is not yet clear how this bill would affect the states that have legal and regulated sports betting in place.
The bill has yet to be officially introduced but is very likely to become a controversial talking point across the country, especially for those states that are considering legalizing sports betting in 2019.