The Supreme Court’s recent landmark decision to open the door for legalized sports gambling nationwide has led many to worry about the affect it might have on integrity in pro and college sports.
To that end, Congress will host a hearing on sports betting next week. According to ESPN, the NFL is reportedly among those invited to testify before the House Judiciary Committee hearing set for June 26.
Two Senate committees are also studying how to regulate the sports betting landscape. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) announced last month Congress must legislate the issue, because “At stake here is the very integrity of sports.”
“The problems posed by sports betting are much the same as they were 25 years ago,” Hatch said in a statement. “But the rapid rise of the Internet means that sports betting across state lines is now just a click away. We cannot allow this practice to proliferate amid uneven enforcement and a patchwork race to the regulatory bottom. 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.”
On May 14, the Supreme Court ruled a federal ban on state-sanctioned sports betting is unconstitutional. New Jersey had challenged the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, in a bid to allow sports gambling at casinos and racetracks. The NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA all sued New Jersey in an effort to stop the case.
Delaware and New Jersey have already launched state-sanctioned sports betting operations. A 2017 report by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming estimated 14 states would offer sports betting within two years, another 18 states are expected to offer it within five, and another dozen could eventually pass legislation to allow gambling.