For months, whereas the NBA and Major League Baseball started lobbying states of the problem of legalizing sports activities betting, the NFL sat on the sidelines, awaiting a ruling from the Supreme Court.
That ruling got here down Monday, and all of a sudden the NFL seems prepared to get into the sport.
“The NFL’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to protecting the integrity of our game remains absolute,” a league spokesman stated in an announcement Monday after the Supreme Court discovered the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) to be unconstitutional.
“Congress has long-recognized the potential harms posed by sports betting to the integrity of sporting contests and the public confidence in these events. Given that history, we intend to call on Congress again, this time to enact a core regulatory framework for legalized sports betting. We also will work closely with our clubs to ensure that any state efforts that move forward in the meantime protect our fans and the integrity of our game.”
The Supreme Court struck down PASPA, opening a path for states to legalize sports activities betting in the event that they select. As states transfer ahead, the NFL’s focus is on Washington, D.C., and the league might have discovered a political associate in veteran Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah who stated Monday he’ll introduce sports activities betting laws.
“At stake here is the very integrity of sports,” Hatch stated in an announcement. “That’s why I plan to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to help protect honesty and principle in athletic arena.”
There is already a federal sports activities betting invoice in Congress. In December, Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey launched laws — the GAME Act — that features a regulatory framework. Pallone’s employees reached out to the NFL a number of instances in current months, however was instructed the league wasn’t focused on discussing till after the choice.
Many states will not be ready for Congress to act. New Jersey racetrack Monmouth Park plans to be taking bets inside weeks. Delaware, Mississippi and West Virginia are among the many state that additionally seem poised to transfer rapidly.
For a long time, the NFL has opposed the legalization of sports activities betting over fears that it will affect the integrity and public notion of the video games. At the identical time, NFL house owners invested in day by day fantasy firms and voted overwhelmingly in favor of relocating the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas, the epicenter of U.S. sports activities betting.
In March, the NFL introduced an evaluation on sports activities betting on the house owners assembly in Orlando. The evaluation examined income alternatives, the affect of legalization on followers and methods to handle integrity situation.
“Nothing was resolved on this,” one proprietor instructed ESPN after the presentation. “Mostly a heads up message. We need to be prepared for the possible change in the law; here is what the NBA does; this is the way the Premier League deals with gambling. More discussion to follow at future league meetings.”
Owners are slated to meet once more subsequent week in Atlanta.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano contributed to this report.