Will The Senate Get A Sports Betting Bill Passed?

If at first you don’t succeed.

In the here we go again department, the United States Senate may take up sports gambling legislation. It seems that New York Democrat Chuck Schumer and Utah Republican Mitt Romney are trying to concoct a bill that could establish some federal rules for the states that have legalized sports gambling to enforce. There was an attempt in 2018 to get some federal guidelines on the books as retiring Utah Republican Orrin Hatch put forth The Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act of 2018, which would have required bookmakers to use official data that was provided or licensed by professional sports leagues in posting odds. Hatch also proposed a National Sports Wagering Clearinghouse that would share data on betting in order to help regulators, lawmakers, operators, and league officials track suspicious wagering activity. Hatch’s legislation went nowhere.

Sports leagues that opposed sports gambling are now embrace it. The league owners think betting creates more fan interest and the owners can make some money off gambling. The National Basketball Association is taking in money from sports gambling marketing deals but league officials are still not comfortable with states instead of the federal government providing the rules of engagement between bettors and casinos in the various states that offer sports gambling. Those states contend that they can regulate sports betting while the leagues are looking to Congress for uniform rules and perhaps an integrity fee to regulate the sports gambling industry to the owners’ liking. Hatch went after West Virginia in an August 2018 speech claiming the state has done little to protect sports integrity. States don’t want federal interference nor does the American Gambling Association. Sports owners are making money from casinos that offer sports betting in marketing deals. It is not enough though. They want a slice of the pie as more and more states offer sports gambling.  It is all about money.

Betting windows are seen at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, N.J., Monday, May 14, 2018. The Supreme Court gave its go-ahead for states to allow gambling on sports across the nation, striking down a federal law that barred betting on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)