Mixed Reaction To Chuck Schumer Suggesting A Federal Sports Betting Framework
New York democrat and U.S. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer has stated his position on sports betting. He thinks that it makes most sense for the industry to be regulated by the federal government. This decision comes after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a long-standing federal law that prohibited full-fledged sports betting beyond the borders of Nevada.
Sports writer and law professor Andrew Brandt notes that it’s a bit convenient for Schumer to have waited until after the Supreme Court decided to overturn the prohibition.
“Leagues are a bit late on this; should have pressed harder before Supreme Court allowed state-by-state patchwork…,” tweeted Brandt.
Further, Schumer’s actual suggestions appear to lack justification. He wants all sportsbooks to only use official league data and allow sports leagues to control the types of bets to be accepted by operators. Giving the leagues control over the types of bets seems to provide excessive power when the risk is on the operators to make sure that they are providing good lines, not on the leagues themselves.
Additionally, it is somewhat unclear whether Schumer thinks that the leagues should be entitled to a fee in exchange for use of their official data. That said, the implication is that any effort to compel operators to use official league data will come with a required data licensing fee.
“Someone please ask Chuck Schumer why official league data should be used, there is no reason for it, other than to appear as a less offensive ‘integrity fee.’ The solution is not to give a boatload of money to people without any authority to regulate the integrity of the market,” tweeted Oklahoma State assistant professor John Holden in response to Schumer’s suggestions.
Yet, not everyone is totally against at least the concept that Schumer is pushing. Casino and gaming analyst and consultant Steve Ruddock notes that a federal framework for sports betting can provide positive, uniform attributes related to creating a minimum age to bet, best advertising practices, self-exclusion and prohibitions on suspect or edgy bets like those related to the Little League World Series.
But even Ruddock is not sure that Schumer’s proposal is made altruistically, questioning whether it is a “league friendly” effort at the behest of the sports leagues.
Meanwhile, the American Gaming Association (AGA), representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry, is not interested in what Schumer has to offer.
“The casino gaming industry shares Senator Schumer’s goal in preserving the integrity of sporting events and providing consumer protections. Federal oversight of sports betting was an abject failure for 26 years only contributing to a thriving illegal market with no consumer protections and safeguards. New federal mandates are a nonstarter,” said AGA Senior Vice President, Public Affairs Sara Slane in a statement.
Finally, Major League Baseball, the NBA and the PGA Tour have released a join statement that reads, “As legalized sports betting spreads across the states, there is a need for consistent, nationwide integrity standards to safeguard the sports millions of fans love. We strongly support the legislative framework outlined by Senator Schumer and we encourage Congress to adopt it.”