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Lawmakers will converge on Capitol Hill Thursday to discuss sports betting for the first time following the repeal of the federal ban.
The House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations is comprised of 16 members. Most noteworthy, the House will hear testimony from industry stakeholders. Therefore, these include the National Football League (NFL), which continues to lobby Congress for a federal framework.
The hearing is titled “Post-PASPA: An Examination of Sports Betting in America.” It’s scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern time.
List of individuals providing testimony
The committee will hear testimony from five witnesses which include:
- Les Bernal: National Director, Stop Predatory Gambling
- Sara Slane: Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, American Gaming Association
- Jon Bruning: Counselor, Coalition to Stop Online Gambling
- Becky Harris: Chair, Nevada Gaming Control Board
- Jocelyn Moore: Executive Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, National Football League
Potential talking points
Due to various sports betting issues, much of the discussion will revolve around tackling them. Certainly these include integrity fees, official data suppliers, illegal black market and a federal framework.
All of these issues have been discussed by a number of states looking to pass sports betting bills. Most noteworthy, this follows the Supreme Court repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992.
From the AGA’s perspective, the hearing will provide a platform. Industry stakeholders can educate lawmakers on the current gaming landscape, post-PASPA.
“It’s really an opportunity for us to talk about how highly regulated we are in the industry and our commitment to ensuring all illegal activity becomes legal,” Slane said in an interview Wednesday.
Many expect Harris to shelter the load of questioning. Above all, she is the chairman of the NGCB. Nevada has years of experience in regards to regulated sports betting.
Expect strong opposition from Bruning, Bernal and the NFL to push heavily for more federal oversight.
In written testimony submitted Wednesday, Moore urged Congress to act “immediately.” He said to create a “new statutory and regulatory standards for legalized sports betting.”
“The absence of a clear and enforceable set of legal standards for sports betting threatens the integrity of our nation’s professional and amateur sports contest – something Congress has sought to protect for more than 50 years,” wrote Moore in her seven pages of written testimony.
Next for sports betting at the federal level
A spokesman for committee chairman Jim Sensenbrenner, a Republican, said the hearing has an ultimate goal. This is to determine if Congress needs to intervene.
“Sensenbrenner is very open-minded on this issue and is interested in what all parties have to say. There will only be next steps if the committee determines Congress has a role to play,” he said.
A number of states are looking to introduce sports betting bills beginning in 2019. Seems like the hearing could potentially sway them. This includes Washington, D.C., which recently saw its own version of a sports betting bill released earlier this week.
Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio have all shown extensive interest in sports betting. Therefore these states plan on introducing legislation at the start of their respective legislative sessions.