US Senator Wants to Introduce Federal Sports Betting Legislation... Again

Publish: 14.09.2018

It seemed the US Supreme Court’s decision to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) back in May had finally brought an end to the discussion over a federal sports betting legislation.

But US Senator Orrin Hatch is not overjoyed with the court’s ruling and has clearly stated his opinion on the matter.

In his latest speech on the Senate floor, Hatch stated he would give his best to introduce federal sports betting legislation before the end of his term in the Senate, where he has spent more than four decades.

He Doesn’t Want to Give Up

Talking about his plans, Hatch pointed out the importance of adopting a state-level sports betting legislation, describing it as a ‘race to the bottom’. But his position on the PASPA repeal comes as no surprise whatsoever.

Hatch was one of the authors of this controversial piece of legislation, adopted by the 102nd United States Congress. PASPA came into force on October 28, 1992, effectively prohibiting sports betting nationwide, excluding a few states (Oregon, Delaware, Montana, and Nevada).

Speaking in front of the Senate, Hatch said America required a set of fundamental, federal standards that will protect the integrity of the games that will protect consumers and the sports wagering market. He also stated there had been no sports betting discussion following the ruling.

Federal sport betting legislation? Not again.

The hearing on sports betting had indeed been scheduled by the judiciary committee, but it was later postponed for unknown reasons.

Following the PASPA repeal, a number of states have adopted sports betting legislation, while Hatch claims many of them were hastily enacted. He singled out West Virginia, stating its legislation failed to introduce the proper tools to ensure the integrity of the game.

Is There Any Chance He Could Succeed?

Back in May, Hatch promised to introduce a new betting legislation, but his proposal is yet to be revealed. Another problem for him is the fact his Republican Party doesn’t want to impose a solution that would be – let’s be honest here – similar to the now-unconstitutional PASPA. Well, at least not with the mid-term elections approaching.

Hatch will likely run out of time to push his proposal forward. First of all, the Senate will make a two-week pause before the mid-term elections in November, and secondly, Hatch will not be looking to get re-elected in November, ending his 42-year run in the upper chamber of the United States Congress. That way, his colleagues won’t have the reason to back his proposal in the next legislative session.

On the other hand, many, including the American Gaming Association (AGA) believe such a move would be wrong. In a statement issued last week, the AGA reminded that federal oversight of sports betting was an abject failure, and suggested it should be left to individual states to decide what was the best solution for their residents.

All in all, Hatch’s legislation may reach the lawmakers by November, but it’s highly unlikely it will succeed.

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