U.S. House Panel to Hear Pros, Cons of Sports Betting Guidelines

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Thursday will be a busy day on Capitol Hill. Several stakeholders in the sports betting industry are scheduled to testify on whether federal sports betting guidelines are necessary as more states allow sportsbooks.

The House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and investigation, a subsidiary panel of the House Judiciary Committee, will consider the current state of sports wagering in the wake of the federal ban on sports betting being overturned in May by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Nevada has long been in the sportsbook business and now Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey and West Virginia are taking bets. Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania are on deck.

House members are expected to discuss the integrity of sports and problems that could arise when betting begins. Also, possibly up for discussion is the creation of a federal framework to help states in build gambling polices.

According to Bloomberg BNA, among witnesses scheduled to testify on the pros and cons of guidelines are:

  • Becky Harris, chair of the Nevada Gaming Control Board
  • Jon Bruning, counselor at the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling
  • John Warren Kindt, professor at the University of Illinois and a gambling critic
  • Sara Slane, senior VP of public affairs at the American Gaming Association
  • Jocelyn Moore. executive VP of communications and public affairs for the National Football League

Right now, no other representative of professional sports leagues is scheduled to speak to the panel.

Slane is expected to testify that states and sovereign tribal nations are better stewards of sports betting regulations than the federal government.

The hearing, rescheduled from June, comes on the heels of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) insisting a sports betting framework is needed.

His concerns include protecting those placing bets, protecting the integrity of the game(s) and safeguarding those with a gambling addiction. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis), the subcommittee chairman, has said little about his committee working on legislation.

“My subcommittee will look at the implication of this SCOTUS ruling and talk about what it means for the integrity of sports as well as what sorts of improper or illicit activities could arise,” he said at a news conference last week.

About $150 billion is wagered on sports annually by Americans, according to the American Gaming Association. The vast majority of that with online sportsbooks based outside of the US.

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