Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Associated and the PGA Tour expressed joint support for federal regulation of the sports betting industry on Wednesday, hours after Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) unveiled a proposed framework.
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“As legalized sports betting spreads across the states, there is a need for consistent, nationwide integrity standards to safeguard the sports millions of fans love,” the leagues said in a joint statement. “We strongly support the legislative framework outlined by Senator Schumer and we encourage Congress to adopt it.”
The U.S. Supreme Court voted last May to overturn a 1992 act that outlawed sports betting in all but four states. The ruling effectively granted states the right to decide whether to legalize sports gambling on a case-by-case basis.
Schumer proposed a federal framework that would call on leagues to provide data about their leagues to sportsbooks, step up monitoring of betting activity and weigh in on which elements of their games are acceptable subject for wagers. The Democratic senator also called for age limits on betting and a requirement that sportsbooks not target young people in their advertisements, among other proposals.
"The stakes are too high -- legal sports betting laws must be crafted and executed in a careful and thoughtful way," Schumer said, adding that “the integrity of sports is too precious to not protect as best we can."
The NFL, which has long opposed the legalization of sports betting, called on Congress last May to adopt a federal framework, but did not participate in the joint statement from other leagues Wednesday.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has also expressed his intention of introducing a bill to regulate sports betting activity.