Romney Focusing on a New Federal Sports Betting Bill

  • Senator Romney working on a new sports betting bill
  • S.3793 introduced in December 2018
  • A new federal law on sports betting is possible

Utah Senator Mitt Romney is now working on a new federal sports betting bill. S.3793 wants to introduce mild tweaks to the current sports betting climate without taking power from states.

Senator Mitt Romney Works on New Federal Sports Betting Law

US Senator Mitt Romney from Utah has broached a discussion about a federal sports gambling bill. The changes that Mr. Romney anticipates is reportedly working on are quite interesting. According to people close to the matter, Senator Romney is working with a colleague, Senator Chuck Schumer from New York.

More specifically, the pair have been working on a draft bill that emulates the Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act. While everything seems to be still in its initial stages, there is already support. The bill is co-sponsored by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, who retired, letting Romney take the reins in the Senate instead.

The bill that is worked on now was first introduced in December 2018, but it wasn’t assigned to any committee. S.3793, as the piece of legislation is known, reiterated a common trope in Washington – sports betting is banned in the country, but states are allowed to create their own unique frameworks and allow the activity to take place on their own turf.

A Look at S.3793 – The New Federal Sports Betting Bill

Interestingly, S.3793 skirts any mentions of integrity fees – a clear sign that thinking has evolved and that integrity fees are wishful thinking for the most part. Instead, the legislation wants to focus on official league data. Specifically, the bill grants such organizations the right to trade and sell data to sportsbooks.

The bill is not an unnecessary red tape, as it turns out. In fact, it plans on the creation of the National Sports Wagering Clearinghouse, which will be funded with 0.25% of the federal excise tax on sports betting handle in the country.

While the bill is nowhere near close to any tangible solutions, S. 3793 has a proviso that bans the betting on any and all college sports, with the exception of Pan-American Games, Paralympic Games and Olympic Games. ESPN has reported that the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) has endorsed the bill.

However, with so many states already having passed their own unique binding framework, it’s not certain how much traction an attempt to regulate sports betting from all high could have. It’s worth reminding that while PASPA was struck down, the U.S. Supreme Court said that a new federal law may freely emerge in future and that it would not be unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, the First Circuit of Appeals has dismissed an appeal filed by the Department of Justice and Attorney General William Barr over whether the Wire Act pertains exclusively to sports betting. There has been a lot of tension between the DOJ and NH Lottery, as well as lawmakers in favor of expanding sports betting.

With yet another pothole on the road, the ball is back in the DOJ’s half of the field. Plus, the Department had to defer the enforcement of the new Wire Act Opinion to 2020, as the U.S. Congress said it would not fund the DOJ’s legal overtures fighting states in court over whether online gaming can be banned.

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