This week, the U.S. Congress held a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing wherein they weighed the merits of regulating sportsbetting at a federal level, rather than leaving the activity to the hands of the states.
The hearing saw politicians interviewing those involved in the gambling industry, the first such hearing since the Supreme Court struck down the PASPA sportsbetting ban earlier this year. House Republicans seem keen to want to regulate sportsbetting at the federal level, and executives of sports leagues were showing their colors, with their goal to rake in some of the revenues on wagers being placed, albeit under the guise of "integrity" and "information".
In the hearing Wisconsin Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (a Republican) said, "For Congress to do nothing is the worst possible alternative. We have some work to do, and I'm looking forward to working with you to try to come up with something both short term and something more permanent to deal with this issue. I'm afraid if we don't, there are going to be people who get hurt and get hurt badly."
The American Gaming Association represented the casino side of things, saying that everybody shares the goal of safe sportsbetting but that the fees that leagues want operators to pay will make it hard for legitimate books to compete with offshore operators.
It'll be interesting to see where the hearings lead. States have already begun taking on regulating the activity themselves, with New Jersey, Delaware, Mississippi, and West Virginia already implementing sportsbetting. Other states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan are also working on passing their own laws.