New Jersey proposes comprehensive gaming bill

By Robert Simmons
As New Jersey begins its appeal in the US Supreme Court, one of its congressmen has proposed a comprehensive gaming bill which would redefine sports betting in the US, should its appeal succeed.

Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone first proposed the Gaming Accountability and Modernisation Enhancement Act or GAME Act, earlier this year which at its heart aims to open the door for sports betting in New Jersey and potentially other states.

The bill repeals the authority of Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), making it clear that “any person or governmental entity is not criminally or civilly liable under federal law for engaging in gaming activity that is legal under state law.” This is with the understanding the state puts in place consumer protections related to that particular gaming area.

These consumer protections include requirements for licensing or certification, transparency and integrity, age and location verification, appropriate tax collection, and privacy and data security as well as safeguards against crime and problem gambling. Under the proposed bill entities putting in place consumer protections would have to apply to the Federal Trade Commission, which would have the final say on whether they are sufficient to commence gaming operations within the state.

It further defines “bet or wager” to mean the risking of something of value, including virtual currency or virtual items, upon the outcome of a contest of others, a sporting event, or a game of skill or a game of chance, on the expectation that the person will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. The term includes participation in lotteries, sports betting, and participation in fantasy sports and fantasy e-sports.

Speaking last month at the Monmouth Park Casino in New Jersey, Pallone said: “This is an issue of fairness. New Jersey, and every other state for that matter, should have the same opportunity to proceed with sports betting and online gaming that has been allowed in some states.

“The citizens of New Jersey overwhelmingly support legalized sports betting and acted in a referendum to show that support. Both Congress and the Supreme Court should respect these actions and allow places like Monmouth Park to take part in sports betting.”

With New Jersey taking its case to the highest court in the US, the stakes have never been higher in this sports betting poker game and New Jersey has just gone all in for the win.


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