Last Thursday, a congressional hearing dubbed as a Post-PASPA: An Examination of Sports Betting in America was held to ascertain whether there is a need for federal oversight. As it stands, the current regulations only require oversight from individual states. This hearing is the first of its kind since the United States Supreme Court repealed PASPA and lifted the federal ban on sports betting, a move that allowed individual states to have the power to decide whether or not they would like to offer legal, regulated sports betting.
Just like many other hearings, a bit of fiasco was witnessed at the September 27 sports betting hearing especially because the government officials and some of the league’s officials that attended do not have much knowledge of the topics.
To begin with, the NFL submitted seven pages of testimony which largely comprised of things that everyone who has been following the sports betting industry in the industry will have heard before. Some of the things they pointed out were their intention to protect the integrity of the games, forcing official data on sportsbook operator, and imposing age limits on sports betting.
Apparently, the NFL does not trust the states to effectively prevent underage betting on their games, something that was not new and quite useless. However, the league, through Jocelyn Moore, its Executive Vice President for Communication and Public Affairs, managed to get the lawmakers to begin pondering over the regulation of sports betting.
“Sports gambling conducted pursuant to State law threatens the integrity and character of, and public confidence in, professional and amateur sports, instills inappropriate values in the Nation’s youth, misappropriates the goodwill and popularity of professional and amateur sports organizations, and dilutes and tarnishes the service marks of such organizations,” the NFL’s testimony read.
The States Have Already Done It
Moore failed to mention or acknowledge the fact that the states that have already begun sports betting have successfully regulated it following the landmark ruling by the United States Supreme Court. By doing so, the game’s integrity is highly prioritized and thus there would be no need for federal oversight or an act of Congress. Luckily, the AGA was there to point out this fact.
“States and tribes have proven to be effective gaming regulators in the 26 years since Congress enacted PASPA. As Congress has refrained from regulating lotteries, slot machines, table games, and other gambling products, it should similarly refrain from engaging on sports wagering barring an identifiable problem that warrants federal attention,” the AGA’s Senior Vice President for Public Affairs, Sara Slane clarified.
The American Gaming Association attended the hearing primarily to tell the committee that the sports betting industry does not need any additional federal engagement.
“My testimony will focus on conveying the extent to which the gaming industry is already a well-regulated industry from the top-down and why states and sovereign tribal nations – not the federal government – are best positioned to regulate and oversee legal sports betting markets,” Slane said before the hearing.