May 17, 2024 4 min read


Congresswoman Titus Wants Federal Excise Tax Revoked

Congresswoman Dina Titus has once again expressed support for revoking the federal excise tax on sports betting while giving tips on professional sports integrity at the SBC Summit North America

Congresswoman Dina Titus expressed her support for repealing the current federal excise tax on sports betting at the SBC Summit North America last week.

The fifth edition of the leading conference and tradeshow dedicated to the online betting and gaming industry in North America was held in New Jersey, one of the largest sports betting and iGaming markets in the US. 

The event once again reunited executives from every major operator in the region, allowing them to exchange ideas regarding emerging opportunities.

While Titus was not able to count among those who attended the summit in person, she still brought her important contribution to the summit using a 15-minute video message that was played during the event. 

The Tax “Serves No Dedicated Purpose”

The co-chair of the Congressional Gaming Caucus, who is known to be a fierce opponent of the federal excise tax on sports wagers in the last 10 years, took the opportunity to once again make her views on the need to see the federal excise tax on sports betting be abolished. 

At the moment, sports betting operators are asked to cover a 0.25% tax payment on their total sports betting handle. 

Titus called the 0.25% tax one that “serves no dedicated purpose” and which, in turn, instead “penalizes” operators in the regulated industry. 

She also noted that the respective tax “empowers illegal operators” since they are capable of attracting customers by providing them with better odds since they are not paying the tax.

Over the years, Titus has also put forth a number of bills meant to repeal the tax, but without gaining momentum. 

One of her freshest efforts in this regard, HR 1661, was introduced in March 2023 with help from both Democrats and Republicans.

Titus also criticized the Gambling Addiction, Investment, and Treatment Act (GRIT). The latter proposes to take 50% of the funds generated by the federal excise tax and apply it to funding for problem gambling.

Titus explained that while she fully supports investments in resources that promote responsible gaming, “using the handle to do this only hurts the legal operators.”

She further added that sports betting operators are already investing millions into resources and research, and each US state sets aside money for this exact matter. 

The American Gaming Association (AGA) is another opponent of the GRIT Act. 

Similarly to Titus, the AGA supports the removal of the federal excise tax and the migration of Americans “into the protections of the regulated market,” as explained by senior vice president, government relations Chris Cylke in a statement that followed the introduction of the GRIT Act.

Five Tips to Combat Professional Sports Gambling

The congresswoman also issued five recommendations aimed at sports organizations in their ongoing battle against sports betting problems within professional sports.

In the same video, she spoke about the high-profile incidents that occurred in several major sports since the beginning of the year. 

Among them, Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter’s lifetime ban from the NBA for the prop bets placed on his performance in several games.

Titus added that she had personally gotten in touch with each major professional sports league as well as the NCAA regarding their sports betting policies. 

Some of her recommendations were aimed at simplifying the regulations to have a better focus on integrity, maintaining a database of violations and punishments available to the public, and making in-person training for league personnel mandatory at the head of each season.

The congresswoman also advised sports organizations to ban the promotion or use of illegal sportsbooks and to complete yearly surveys that would guarantee player input as well as a full understanding of policies.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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