Sports Betting Federal Framework Mulled

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The future of sports betting is advancing. A federal betting framework will now be discussed at a Congressional hearing to see if there is a way for the whole thing to go federal. AGA has recently warned lawmakers not to busy themselves too much with attempting to slap the segment with any unnecessary legalese, but the request might have fallen on deaf ears.

Sports Betting on Capitol Hill

Next week, a Congressional hearing will be held, which will determine whether sports betting activities do in fact need regulation on a federal level. It has been a debate well worth considering, and to speak the truth – a divisive one. The American Gaming Association (AGA) has spoken out recently against any attempts to undertake this.

Conversely, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigation has scheduled a hearing called “An Examination of Sports Betting in America”. The hearing will take place on September 26 in Washington, DC.

The introduction of regulation on a federal level may seem a bit out of place, especially given the successes that states have been reaping. There are 16 states that are down in the pipelines to introduce their own iteration of sports betting and while not all of them will succeed immediately, steady progress has been made.

The repeal of PASPA back in May spearheaded by New Jersey and sanctioned by the Supreme Court of the United States (PASPA) has allowed New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Mississippi, and most recently West Virginia to all kick-start their own sports betting activities.

Some Merit in the Hearing After All

Some experts see a point in the hearing after all. Looking at it broadly, there is some opportunity to introduce a federal-level legislation that will allow the regulation of the industry and adoption of responsibility checks. However, there is always the lurking danger that this may just digress thing to a previous, heavy-handed state of affairs.

US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that sports betting operations should adopt a sure-fire way to prevent individuals who are not of the legal gambling age to participate in such activities, citing 21-year-olds.

A lot of the ongoing advertisement in the sector may inadvertently target youngsters or people who are not yet of the legal gambling age. Most recently, a British gaming company, William Hill has been sanctioned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over a MarioKart ad. Following a debate, it was established that Will Hill had not indeed intended to target this specific audience.

However, ASA called it irresponsible to advertise using a popular gaming character and expect the ad not to seep through to individuals who are not of the legal gambling age. Conceding partial defeat, William Hill will have to be careful. In related news, an integrity monitoring association is now under consideration.

This applies for every single operator involved in the United States market. Given the fact that local operators have no experience dealing with media regulators, it may be difficult for them to adapt. Perhaps, a regulatory framework to oversee how casinos advertise is not such a bad idea after all.

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