The rather sizable number of $400 Billion plus is the widely acknowledged estimate of the amount of money that Americans regularly spend on sports betting. More to the point of this article, that $400 Million is being shelled out despite the fact that there federal online gaming laws on the books.
Recall that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA)is a federal law enacted some 25 years ago. Note that the wording of PASPA limited state sponsored legal sports betting to but one state, that of Nevada.
Interestingly, at this point PASPA is under attack from two different angles. On one hand, there is the widely publicized bid to have none other than the U.S. Supreme Court to review the efforts of the state of New Jersey to legalize sports betting.
At the same time, there is a new Bill put forth by U.S. Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ). Pallone’s Bill, named the GAME Act was only recently introduced to the House of Representatives. According to Pallone himself: “ Americans are betting up to $400 Billion a year on sporing events alone. It is time to recognize that the laws are outdated, and the GAME Act will modernize them by increasing transparency, integrity, and consumer awareness.”
In an interview with the widely read USA Today Sports, Pallone made his case quite clear. Pallone was quoted as stating that: “The point is allowing sports betting to be legal in states like New Jersey who want it.”
Note that the approach taken by the GAME Act is clearly focused on taking back control of online gambling and sports betting from federal control and putting these matters in the hands of the individual states themselves. The language in the GAME Act stipulates that each state will have the choice to legalize sports betting and such as long as there are consumer protections in place, prohibitions on underage gambling activities, and safeguards to identify compulsive gambling activity.
Does this mean that at long last that PASPA is on its way out? Maybe, but then again maybe not. After all, never lose sight of the fact that there are those with vested interest in keeping things exactly as they are at present. Stay tuned as this is most certainly a dynamic constantly changing story.