Congress Last Desperate Attempt to Set Up State Framework for Allowing Sports Betting

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

Outgoing Republican Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is pushing forward a bill that would establish a federal framework for states to regulate sports betting, but he only has days to find additional sponsors.


Sports betting industry expert Joe Brennan, Jr tweeted out this week:

It’s been fun watching Betting Twitter get lit over this “federal bill”,  but this is nothing more than a dinner bell for lobbying interests to get themselves to the Hill; and a last stab at getting a sponsor, since Hatch is an ex-senator in a month first reported on the draft legislation.

The legislation, which would allow wagering on professional and collegiate sports, would require states to apply for approval from the U.S. attorney general when implementing new sports betting laws and regulations. It would force sportsbook operators to use official league data to grade wagers until at least 2023 and create a mechanism for authorities to target unlicensed operators domestically and offshore.

Some say such a bill is overreach, especially considering that more than half a dozen states have already approved sports betting since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to abolish decades long prohibition against the activity. 

Pro sports leagues would favor Hatch's bill because they likely could charge for the official league data, Axios suggested.

The push for federal legislation is not likely to go away with Hatch's departure.  Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has his own proposal for a federal framework and he plans to be sticking around for a while.

- Gilbert Horowitz,

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