Recent Push by Senate Majority Leader for Federal Sports Gambling Framework

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Speaking

Concerns regarding the sanctity of sports gambling have been raised by several legislators, recently the Senate Majority Leader Charles Ellis “Chuck” Schumer openly spoke on introducing a federal-level framework for all sportsbooks in the U.S. to abide by.

New York Democrat Schumer intends to unleash this proposed legislation if states begin allowing and accepting interstate wagers. However, recent applications of the Federal Wire Act, as well as state-specific sports gambling laws, prevent any domestic sportsbook from accepting bets across state lines thus potentially nullifying the need for Schumer’s framework.

In a recent memo Schumer sent to ESPN he spoke on various U.S. states currently with active sportsbooks and those states drafting their legal sports betting legislation stating the “laws [should be] crafted and executed in a careful and thoughtful way”. By this, Schumer explains the need for all sportsbooks to act in unison and utilize uniform standards.

Schumer suggests USA sportsbooks only use official league data, allow sports leagues to determine what bets can be made and how they are monitored, responsible advertising by sportsbook entities, followed by immediate reporting of suspicious activities, and real-time information sharing. Schumer’s framework would also revoke young adults from wagering by setting the minimum sports gambling age to 21 across the entire nation regardless of state laws.

The Senate Majority Leader has also shown his support for states employing these principles within their legal sports betting bills and any potential toward a federal bipartisan legislation developed by those in Congress. After Schumer’s memo, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch announced he would too introduce a federal sports betting bill. Despite this new push, little effect will be made through these proposals as a similar bill in December by Congressman Frank Pallone rallied few individuals behind it.

The passing of such bill or idea has no momentum behind it thus leading to its unlikeliness of federal application. Schumer’s proposed principles and guidelines, if implemented at the federal level, would provide sports leagues with a monopoly over data, rights, and funds. Leagues which have shared their public support of Schumer’s idea are the NBA. PGA, and MLB.

Schumer pushing this idea may be for the benefit of the leagues over states, as these guidelines could potentially reverse key legislative pieces in each state. Some of these special state rights allow young bettors to wager and protect private casinos and venues from data manipulation while also providing responsible gambling regulatory oversight by local commissions and boards over sports conglomerates.