The NFL wants Congress to legislate sports betting

It’s been known for some time that both the MLB and the NBA were pushing for a piece of the sports gambling action should the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) be repealed.  The NFL remained relatively quiet on the subject, waiting to see how the match between New Jersey and the Supreme Court played out.  Now that NJ has won, the NFL is breaking its silence. 

In a statement released by the NFL, the league stated, "The NFL’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to protecting the integrity of our game remains absolute.  Congress has long-recognized the potential harms posed by sports betting to the integrity of sporting contests and the public confidence in these events. Given that history, we intend to call on Congress again, this time to enact a core regulatory framework for legalized sports betting.  We also will work closely with our clubs to ensure that any state efforts that move forward in the meantime protect our fans and the integrity of our game."

Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah has already announced plans to introduce a bill to regulate sports betting.  Hatch said, "At stake here is the very integrity of sports.  That’s why I plan to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to help protect honesty and principle in the athletic arena."

Another federal sports gambling bill is currently in front of Congress.  Last December, Representative Frank Pallone of NJ submitted the GAME Act, which includes regulatory framework.  Pallone had repeatedly sought input from the NFL, but the league said it wasn’t interested until after the Supreme Court ruling was announced. 

While the league has only hinted at possibly seeking a portion of gambling proceeds, it only stands to reason that any congressional oversight on the matter would offer concessions to the NFL, as well as the other leagues.  

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