Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) became the latest member of Congress to put forth specific suggestions for a federal framework for sports betting Wednesday in a memo first provided to ESPN.
Schumer's suggestions include the idea that all sports books only use official league data to determine outcomes and that the leagues themselves should be involved in determining what bets would be accepted.
Schumer also suggested leagues would have to reasonably step up monitoring, but did not mention so-called "integrity fees," the idea that leagues should be paid a portion of bets on their sport to be paid back for ratcheting up security associated with sports gambling out in the open.
Schumer also puts forth more obvious suggestions such as making it illegal for anyone under 21 to place a sports bet in any state, requiring entities taking bets to responsibly advertise away from youth and to properly disclose dangers of betting, as well as to reporting suspicious activity and share information among sports books, the leagues and state regulators that could help uncover anything that compromises the integrity of games.
Suggesting that legal books would have to use official data could be a huge revenue stream for leagues, but some could also be strongly opposed, reasoning that requiring official data would give the leagues a monopoly and not integral to the sanctity of a bet.
"As a New York sports fan - especially my Yankees and Giants - and a senator, my priority in the wake of the Murphy v. NCAA decision is making sure the integrity of the games we love is preserved, that young people and those suffering from gambling addiction are not taken advantage of, and that consumers that choose to engage in sports betting are appropriately protected," Schumer said in a statement. "With the Supreme Court's ruling, it's incumbent on the federal government to take a leadership role and provide the necessary guidance to prevent uncertainty and confusion for the leagues, state governments, consumers and fans alike."
Three states -- Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi -- have taken bets since the Murphy v. NCAA, et al decision, which in May overturned the federal ban on state-sponsored sports betting as a result of the Professional and Amateur Sports Act (PASPA) of 1992. New Jersey, whose fight enabled the overturning of the law, has been the most progressive, as the only new state that has offered a mobile product thus far.
Schumer's suggestions are what the sports leagues have advocated for -- a national framework so that each state, while they can decide on their own whether they want to take on sports betting, won't be able to make their own rules.
"The stakes are too high -- legal sports betting laws must be crafted and executed in a careful and thoughtful way," Schumer said. "As state legislatures develop new legislation in the weeks and months ahead, I hope they will take these principles under consideration. I also support the efforts in the Congress to debate and develop bipartisan federal legislation that would adhere to these principles. The integrity of sports is too precious to not protect as best we can."
Given the priorities of Congress and with only four full months left to the current session, it is highly unlikely that any type of bill will be pushed through.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has said he will be introducing sports betting legislation in the coming weeks, and Congressman Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey) introduced sports betting legislation in December.