A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee will meet Thursday morning to discuss legal sports betting, a source confirmed today to Legal Sports Report.
The meeting entitled “Post-PASPA: An Examination of Sports Betting in America” will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday in the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigation. That’s a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.
The continued confirmation proceedings for potential Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh (more on his relationship with sports betting here) placed some doubt on whether the rumored hearing would continue. A source familiar with the subcommittee’s plans confirms that it will take place.
Federal oversight creeping back into discussion
The Supreme Court struck down PASPA, the long-standing federal sports betting ban, in May. Since then, four states have started sports betting operations and another two are expected to do so within 2018.
Despite states seemingly moving forward with no problems in launching sports betting, some in Congress remain interested in enacting federal oversight. The same subcommittee for Thursday’s hearing scheduled and canceled a similar hearing in June.
Unlikely allies Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) both called for either federal legislation or guidelines on sports betting. Hatch co-authored PASPA and strongly opposes gaming, while Schumer represents the state where all major pro sports leagues are headquartered.
As reported this week, the leagues are furthering their nationwide push for integrity fees and/or required official data purchase. That charge continues right now in West Virginia among other states.
Who will testify at this sports betting hearing?
Rumors persist that NFL representatives will appear in front of the subcommittee. While not a proponent of integrity fees, the NFL strongly supports federal legislation governing sports betting. The league consistently opposed legal sports betting for decades before the fall of PASPA.
The subcommittee also might hear from Las Vegas Sands LLC, the international gaming company of billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, according to the source familiar with plans for the hearing.
The NBA and MLB are not expected, per the source. That presents a slight surprise considering those leagues have spearheaded the push for federal regulation and integrity fees.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) confirmed Thursday it will send senior vice president of public affairs Sara Slane to testify. The AGA’s position: “states and sovereign tribal nations – not the federal government – are best positioned to regulate and oversee legal sports betting markets.” Slane expressed that sentiment last week in a letter to Schumer.
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