[toc]Both sides presented oral arguments at the US Supreme Court in New Jersey’s case for legalized sports betting on Monday. In the meantime, 1st District of Nevada Federal Congresswoman Dina Titus is pushing for Congress to address the issue.
In fact, Rep. Titus wrote a letter to House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) Monday. The letter asks that the committee hold a hearing on the future of sports betting in the United States. Titus’ letter reads:
“As the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Christie v. NCAA and examines the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), Congress should also turn its attention to sports betting in the United States. Regardless of legality, the sports betting market is alive and booming in the U.S. Our current system has created a $150 billion illegal sports betting market annually which is ripe for manipulation and use in other forms of criminal activity.”
Standing behind states rights
Despite her home state holding a relative monopoly on full-fledged legalized sports betting, Rep. Titus appears to stand firmly behind New Jersey and other states’ rights to legalize it.
“Legalizing sports betting with regulation and safeguards would diminish problems caused by the black market and allow state governments to generate additional tax revenue to fund local communities,” she wrote.
According to Titus, no less than 13 states introduced sports betting legislation this year. Lawmakers introduced these bills in anticipation the Supreme Court will rule in favor of New Jersey, allowing other states to open up legal and regulated sports betting markets.
Additionally, Titus claims NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the NBA will engage Congress on the issue. In fact, she says Silver is willing to discuss federal policy to regulate sports betting regardless of the outcome of the New Jersey sports betting case. Rep. Titus wrote:
“It is evident that this issue will be coming to Congress, and we must be ready to move quickly to ensure we protect consumers while excluding bad actors from participating in the marketplace. Members of Congress need to be prepared should action at the Supreme Court open the door for sports betting in their home state or warrant federal legislation.”
Calling for expert testimony
Rep. Titus is requesting the Energy and Commerce Committee hold a hearing on the issue. Plus, she’s hoping to have gaming regulation experts from her district testify.
Nevada is the only state where full-scale sports wagering is legal. Rep. Titus’ district includes the Las Vegas Strip, where much of it takes place. Gaming establishments, sports books, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Center for Gaming Regulation are all in the district. She says testimony from them would make the hearing a worthwhile and informative event.
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