New GAME Act drafted to repeal federal ban on sports betting

US C

Sports betting board1
ongress today unveiled The Gaming Accountability and Modernization Act (GAME), a draft of legislation seeking to lift the federal ban on sports betting.

Released today by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the GAME Act aims to remove federal barriers, outline consumer protection and allow states to legalise and regulate sports betting, including fantasy sports.

Significantly, Section 8 of the GAME Act would reverse the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). Viewed by many states as controversial and even unconstitutional, PASPA outlaws state-sponsored sports betting nationwide. Exemptions, however, include Oregon, Delaware, Montana and Nevada. Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey, moreover, are currently the only states that allow online gambling.

Republican Frank Pallone is leading the way with the new GAME Act legislation. "Despite the federal gaming laws in place today, Americans are betting up to $400 billion a year on sporting events alone," Pallone said in a statement announcing the legislation. "It's time to recognise that the laws are outdated, and the GAME Act will modernise them by increasing transparency, integrity, and consumer protections."

Under the GAME Act, sports betting operators would also need to submit proof to the Federal Trade Commission of how they were offering the required consumer protection.

Other initiatives to repeal PASPA are also underway. The Supreme Court is currently deciding whether to review New Jersey's efforts to legalise sports betting; while Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are among other states to introduce sports betting legislation in 2017.

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