There are many debates raging in Washington DC over the legality of sports betting. Two pieces of legislation have been introduced to the Senate, which would have legalised sports betting in the US. The House has not yet voted on these bills and it looks like they may never get there.
House Concurrent Resolution No 4 introduced by Representative Jim Bridenstine of Iowa would regulate and tax the total points allowed in a bet. Currently there is an exemption for NCAA teams. This means that any match that was played by an NCAA team, a member of the House could place bets on that match and not be charged with the same. The House is looking to reintroduce the regulation so that everyone has the right to bet on NCAA matches.
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida is one of the sponsors of the House sports betting bill. He sees it as a way to level the playing field between college sports bettors and professional sports bettors. He also sees it as a way to generate revenue for the state of Florida. His reason for supporting the bill is that he feels it is necessary to protect the rights of Florida residents and tourists.
Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont is the sponsor of the Senate sports betting bill. His reasons for supporting the legislation are that the current situation in the US allows people to place bets on anything, anywhere. He believes that legalizing sports wagering will eliminate the need for gambling. legalized sports wagering would also make online gaming more appealing to Americans who might otherwise be turned off by the concept of gambling online. It is unclear as to whether his preferred legislation will become law or if he will be blocked by the Senate and House in their attempts to legalize sports betting.
If legalized sports wagering did become law, it would mark a significant step forward for those who favor legalized gambling. It is estimated that it could cost the NCAA a fortune if it was legalized because there would be a tax on top of the current billions of dollars in annual revenue that is generated through football games and basketball tournaments. Other sports such as baseball and basketball would also lose a lot of money if betting became legalized but it is highly doubtful that any sport would lose money due to legal action. The US government and different groups opposing the bill believe that the revenues generated from legalized sports wagering will be small compared to the already sizeable profits made from betting on basketball and football.
An amendment to the House bill would allow states to require that all wagering activity take place through licensed establishments. This means that only licensed casinos, racetrack, race tracks, and similar establishments can legally engage in sports wagering. The House also proposes that the Paspa or Professional and Amateur Protection Act are added to the House bill as a separate measure. The Paspa Act contains some additional measures that will help protect the rights of players and other related parties. For example the amendment would add a mandate for a sportsbook to post the list of valid gamblers at a minimum of each game they carry.
The Paspa and ABA together will prevent offshore gambling and encourage more US based offshore gambling operators. The House proposes that all U.S. licensed casinos must have adequate safeguards in place to prevent the transfer of gambling information or software to an unauthorized party. Additionally all sports books would need to register with the Department of Treasury to conduct authorized transactions with sports books and online gambling operators. In addition, all online gambling establishments would need to register and provide banking information to the Department of Treasury. The goal is to prevent offshore gambling from breaking up the already booming U.S. industry.
The House and Senate voted on and passed the bill without amendment. President Bush is expected to sign it into law. This marks another victory for the Interactive Gaming Industry Association and the government’s attempts to reform gaming laws. Sports Betting is legal in the US, but not without the constant vigilance of government officials and the protection of our finances.