US Congress Takes Big Step to Legalize Sports Gambling

Frank Pallone Jr. in 2015

The US Congress has announced their plans to introduce new legislation that would legalize sports gambling.

US Representative Frank Pallone Jr. recently made US gambling news by telling the media that his congressional committee will meet to review current gambling laws and discuss introducing new legislation that would legalize sports gambling, as well as daily fantasy sports.

Sports gambling is illegal in all but four US states at the moment, but Pallone feels the current laws are both “obsolete,” and “in desperate need of updating.” New Jersey in particular has voiced their opinion that the legislation to legalize sports gambling will benefit states, and could be a key factor in helping Atlantic City’s struggling casino industry.

“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,”
Pallone said.

Will the new legislation allow for online sports gambling?

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 essentially killed the online sports gambling industry in the US. The laws made it illegal for businesses to accept gambling payments from US citizens, although an estimated $149 billion is still wagered online by Americans every year, most through online sportsbooks in the US based in other countries, including Curacao operated sports betting sites.

Internet daily fantasy sports in the US are legal in a number of states, as they are considered games of skill rather than luck. Under the new laws set by Frank Pallone Jr, nearly all forms of both online and land-based sports gambling would be made legal.

Daniel Wallach, a gaming and sports law attorney, feels Pallone’s plan to legalize sports gambling will be passed, although it may take some time to gain support from other lawmakers. “Best-case scenario: one to three years. Outer limit: three to five years,” he said. “In 10 years, there’s going to be legal sports gambling. You’ll be able to bet on games inside the arena using mobile phones. But without the stakeholders involved, nothing meaningful will happen.”

What do you think of the plans to legalize sports gambling in the US? Would you like to be able to bet on sports games? Tell us what you think by leaving a comment below!

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