Chuck Schumer in the Limelight

Publish: 16.09.2018

The American Gaming Association (AGA) is pushing back against the sports betting lobby. It recently urged Chuck Schumer, Democrat from New York and Senate Minority Leader to give up on his push for federally regulating sports betting in the country. The organization views that state regulations are enough to manage sports betting.

In a letter dated September 13, AGA’s Senior VP of Public Affairs Sara Slane noted that “robust state regulation” can better handle consumer protection and integrity of sports. The organization’s idea of regulation is in stark contrast to Schumer’s view. He said in August that the government must come forward and take a leadership role in preventing confusion for leagues and state governments alike. This could help in preventing uncertainty for the consumers and fans as well.

Schumer’s point of view was supported by Senator Orrin Hatch, who was one of the authors of the 1992 PASPA that was revoked by the Supreme Court In May. PASPA prohibited state-sanctioned sports betting. Hatch, who was unamused by the new state of uncertainty in the US over sports betting, said that the state regulation will allow the gambling scene to proliferate as there will be uneven enforcement across the states. He even called it “a patchwork race to the regulatory bottom.”

Several leagues also believe that state regulations for sports betting will only benefit state gambling industries, avoiding their own interests. Schumer’s proposal is designed to keep the leagues’ interests in mind. The framework makes it compulsory for sportsbooks to use official league data only. This will provide the leagues more control over the sports betting scene. Schumer, however, hasn’t proposed actual legislation. Hatch could be the person who will introduce a federal sports betting bill.

Schumer’s goals match those of AGA, according to Slane, who suggests that eliminating the black market of sports betting is essential. However, both differ in their path adopted to achieve this goal. She further states that sports betting regulation is underway in several states and it is effective, calling federal regulation unnecessary.

Slane added that over 4,000 dedicated public servants regulate the commercial and tribal casino industry in the country, including sports betting. Replacing an already effective regulatory regime with untested federal regulation would be futile. Moreover, letting a federal regulation decide the sports wagering regulation in the country would go against 7 out of 10 Americans who believe that such regulation is best left to states and tribes.