US Congress Postpone Sports Betting Hearing

By Oliver Rudgewick

The National Foodball League and other sports giants have been invited to testify before a US congressional committee on sports betting in late June, but the hearing seems to have been postponed over a scheduling complication. 

There's no fixed date to convene the widely-anticipated hearing, titled "Post-PASPA: An Examination of Sports Betting in America". American Gaming Association president and CEO Geoff Freeman also is expected to testify should the committee set a firm date.

The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations had invited potential witnesses to testify after the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of New Jersey in a case that has thrown open the doors to legal sports betting across the country. The 14 May ruling invalidated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

The NFL , one of five plaintiffs in a lawsuit against New Jersey's efforts to allow legal sports betting at casinos and racetracks, has said that  it would look to Congress to create a framework for sports betting. 

According to ESPN, the postponement was due to a "scheduling complication in unrelated policy areas." 

The Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee also are examining the sports betting issue. Senator Orrin Hatch has been the most vocal on this, as he focuses on protecting the integrity of sport. Reports suggest Senator Hatch is centring a bill on Sports Bribery Act, a federal law that was not affected by the PASPA vote.

Delaware and New Jersey are already offering Las Vegas-style sports betting. Mississippi, West Virginia and Rhode Island are expected to open for business this summer.

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