Bill introduced that could regulate US sports betting at a federal level

A bill has been introduced in Congress to regulate the emerging US sports betting market at a federal level.

Democratic senator Chuck Schumer and republican Orrin Hatch introduced the bill which seeks to protect consumers and sports integrity and would require states to get federal approval to run a sports betting programme.

An early draft of the bill published by Legal Sports Report appears to give the federal government the power to veto state sports betting laws and create a national clearing house to monitor the market in real-time. It would also allow for betting on Olympic and college sports. Significantly it would mandate the use of official league data by sports betting operators but would not include integrity fees or other royalties.

The NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB have all argued the case for a federal framework and for a requirement for the use of official data. In fact, most of the betting partnerships struck by the major leagues so far have licensed betting operators to use the official game data from the professional leagues.

The bill is thought to have bipartisan support and will also be welcomed by technology providers looking to create a national standard for sports betting platforms. Betting operators and some states, however, will likely oppose the bill.

US representative Dina Titus, of Nevada, said the bill “would inject uncertainty into an established and regulated industry, weaken Nevada’s ability to promptly adapt to maintain its gold standard, and risk causing bettors and operators to leave the regulated market”.

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