Sen. Orrin Hatch has drafted legislation that would provide federal oversight for sports betting.
The 37-page untitled discussion draft, obtained by ESPN, is viewed as an initial step in what’s expected to be a long, tedious process that will play out as legal sportsbooks pop up in an increasing amount of states.
The legislation, which would allow wagering on professional and collegiate sports, would require states to apply for approval from the U.S. attorney general when implementing new sports betting laws and regulations. It would force sportsbook operators to use official league data to grade wagers until at least 2023 and create a mechanism for authorities to target unlicensed operators domestically and offshore.
In addition, the bill calls for the formation of the National Sports Wagering Clearinghouse, which would collect anonymized sports betting data in real-time, including the amount and type of wagers, date and time in which the bet was accepted, where it was placed and the outcome. The goal of the clearinghouse would be to monitor for any unusual betting patterns, a potential sign of corruption.
Hatch’s comprehensive legislation also addresses sports betting advertising and problem gambling, and looks to amend two federal gambling statutes. The bill would amend the Wire Act of 1961 to allow sportsbook operators to lay off bets to other states through compacts, and strengthen the Sports Bribery Act of 1964 by adding extortion, blackmail and wagers based on non-public information as violations.
The Washington, D.C. Council will vote on its sports betting legislation on Dec. 18.
The bill would allow private businesses to apply for licenses to operate sports betting facilities throughout D.C. One class of licenses would be set aside for facilities located at four of the city’s stadiums and arenas: Nationals Park, Audi Field, Capital One Arena and the new St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena. Another class of licenses would allow sports betting at other facilities, like bars and restaurants.
It would also give the D.C. Lottery a monopoly to operate a citywide app-based sports betting platform, brushing aside requests from private operators like DraftKings and FanDuel that the Council instead allow multiple apps. Under the Council’s bill, private operators could provide sports betting apps within their brick and mortar facilities, but only D.C. Lottery would be able to offer bettors an app that could be used anywhere in the city.
Kansas lawmakers plan to educate themselves on sports betting before passing any legislation.
Kansas lawmakers will get a crash course in sports gambling this week as they consider how to capitalize on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May that lifted a federal ban on it.
Seven states offer legal sports betting , and Kansas is among numerous other states considering whether to jump on the bandwagon. The surge in interest comes after New Jersey successfully challenged the federal ban, clearing the way for gambling on games to expand beyond Nevada.
Democratic Gov.-elect Laura Kelly voiced support for expanding into sports betting during her campaign. Kansas already allows commercial casino gaming. The challenge is the details, said state Sen. Bud Estes, a Republican from Dodge City who is the chairman of the committee that will handle bills on the topic.
“I don’t want to skate on thin ice on something we don’t know anything about,” he said, while adding that it is “probably” going to happen in some form. He’s encouraging all lawmakers to show up Tuesday and Wednesday in Topeka for a special interim committee session on the topic.
A Missouri state senator proposed a 0.5-percent fee for sports betting that would go toward an “Entertainment Facilities Infrastructure Fund.”
His idea is to cut that fee to 0.5 percent. Then, the state can use it to create an Entertainment Facilities Infrastructure Fund. It will pay for the construction and maintenance of various entertainment, cultural and recreational facilities across the state instead.
Other than that, Hoskins’ bill is relatively standard sports betting fare and almost exactly what the leagues have been pushing for.
FanDuel has already paid out bettors who backed Alabama to win the national championship before the college football playoff has even started.
The company announced Friday night it is treating the top-ranked Crimson Tide as the winners already, and paid out single-game bets to customers’ online or mobile accounts. Those who made bets in person can bring their winning slips to that location to be paid.
Alabama also is being marked as a winner on parlay bets that included the necessity of it winning the title.
FanDuel says the move could cost it $400,000. Should Alabama not win the national championship, FanDuel will pay out bets on whichever team wins the title.
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