Congressional Hearing On Legal Sports Betting Set For Sept. 27

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A Congressional subcommittee will meet on Sept. 27 to discuss the proliferation of legal sports betting across the country. A source told Legal Sports Report that the meeting, “Post-PASPA: An Examination of Sports Betting in America,” will occur at 10 a.m. that day in the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigation.

Whether the meeting would remain on the schedule was in doubt due to possible conflicts from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh‘s confirmation hearings. However, the meeting will proceed as planned next Thursday.

The House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigation is a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. The committee, which is chaired by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), consists of 10 Republicans and seven Democrats.

Federal oversight for legal sports betting is still on the table

Since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, legal sports betting has exploded across the United States. Four states are already offering sports betting to residents and visitors. Two more are likely to join in the next few months.

The meeting’s existence suggests some of the thought processes about sports betting afoot in the federal government. Some Congress members have made it clear that they do not intend to take PASPA’s dismissal lying down.

As it happens, a hearing about the matter has been in the works since June 2018. The committee later canceled the planned June meeting.

Interestingly, the spread of sports wagering has caused the formation of some unusual Congressional alliances. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D – NY) have found themselves unified at the forefront of calls for federal oversight.

Of course, neither of these senators’ positions are terribly surprising. Hatch is one of the principal authors of PASPA, and has been a noted opponent of gaming for his entire tenure in the Senate.

Schumer doesn’t have ideological problems with sports betting, but does represent the state home to all of the major sports leagues in the country. So, his proposal of a league-friendly framework merely represents his advocacy for his deep-pocketed constituents.

Who will be testifying at the meeting?

The committee will hear testimony from a variety of stakeholders in the sports betting industry. As with many Congressional hearings, the representatives will want a diversity of positions and be able to ask questions of the attestants.

Representatives from the NFL will weigh in on the matter. Support of federal oversight has been one of the NFL’s core principles espoused since the fall of PASPA.

There might also be a representative from Las Vegas Sands, Sheldon Adelson‘s gaming company. Adelson has been a frequent advocate against online gaming in recent years, but does offer online sports betting at his Las Vegas, Nevada properties.

Finally, the American Gaming Association’s Sara Slane will testify during the proceedings. The AGA made headlines last week when it sent a reply to Schumer after he proposed his league-friendly framework.

In the letter, Slane pointed out that Schumer’s proposals would cause unfair situations. She also said that states regulate their own sports betting. So, her testimony to the committee will likely stay along the same lines.

Bart Shirley

About

Bart Shirley is a writer and poker player from Houston, Texas. Bart writes about the NJ online casino industry and US online poker. He has a master's degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a degree in English from Texas A&M.

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