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Congress To Review Federal Gambling Laws

United States Representative Frank Pallone Jr. said that the current federal laws pertaining to gambling are “obsolete” and believes that they need to be updated.  A congressional committee is reviewing current federal gambling laws in order to introduce new legislation that would include daily fantasy sports.

Frank Pallone Jr. said to ESPN:

“The laws need a wholesale review to see how they can actually work together and create a fairer playing field for all types of gambling, both online and offline, including sports betting and daily fantasy sports… At the same time, we must ensure the laws are actually creating an environment of integrity and accountability, and include strong consumer protections. I plan to continue discussions with the key stakeholders and then will introduce comprehensive legislation to finally update these outdated laws.”

Ringside Analysis:

Daily Fantasy sports have pushed the boundaries of what people consider sports betting.  The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) prohibits single-event betting on sports in every state except Nevada but daily fantasy’s tournaments and cash payouts based on user’s predictions in sports has shown that PASPA might lack clarity and is outdated in the newer tech era.

There is another core issue with daily fantasy in that all of the action and financial transactions occur online, which might be illegal under the Federal Wire Act of 1961 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA).  UIGEA allowed the federal government to take down online poker games.

Having an economic incentive in following sports games would greatly increase fan avidity and being able to tax sports betting could generate millions in state revenue.  The concerns may center on if new legislation would harm the integrity of sporting events and if the removal of prohibition could cause an increase in gambling addiction or other moral considerations in society.

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