The tide is turning again and soon we should see some significant changes in regards to the state of sportsbetting in the US. Once considered to be nothing more than a long shot, the idea of legalized sportsbetting has come a long way and can now be said to be a safe bet thanks to the efforts of like-minded individuals including U.S Rep. Frank Pallone. Pallone who has been championing the legalization of sportsbetting, however, clarified that his involvement was not in any way personal after speculations about his motives arose;
“I do not bet. People think I am a gambler because of all of this, but I am not.”
The federal ban on full-fledged sports betting outside the state of Nevada has been in place for 25 years now but significant changes are expected to be initiated by Frank Pallone and other like-minded lawmakers who are going to have to face off against pro-PASPA politicians. According to Public Affairs for the American Gaming Association vice president, Sara Slane, fifteen states have already prepared relevant legislation that will authorize sports gambling as soon as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is overturned. This could be as early as 2018.
“You already are starting to see states get in front of this issue,’’ she said. “And again, I think that speaks to the desire to want to administer sports betting if they so choose to.’’
Oral arguments about PASPA’s constitutionality are set for a hearing at the Supreme Court on Monday with the nine justices expected to issue a ruling on the same by spring 2018. A lot of pressure has been diverted to this particular legislation and now even Utah, a state where there is no gambling has teamed up with 19 other states to sign a court filing that seeks for the abolishment PASPA on the grounds that it infringes on the rights of individual states. In addition to this, the American Gaming Association has also pointed out that PASPA has indirectly facilitated an underground sportsbetting industry that is not regulated, avoids billions of dollars in taxes and is worth well over $150 billion dollars.
At this point, Pallone and like-minded lawmakers do not need to put in too much effort to be heard as far as the abolishment of PASPA is concerned – the reason being that his quest for the legalization of sportsbetting has been endorsed by many other powerful entities. One of these powerful organizations includes the Capitol Hill-based American Gaming Association which is funded by casinos. Much of the research used to preach the benefits of the legalization of sportsbetting has been paid for by this organization something that has been labeled as a concerted campaign that is hell-bent on liberating the sportsbetting industry.
Geoff Freeman, American Gaming Association president is of the opinion that a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court would, of course, be welcome but it is not vital at this point in time. According to him, support for the repeal of PASPA has continued to grow and will most likely have more influence on how the legislation plays out.