Hatch to introduce sports betting bill after Supreme Court decision

Greg Nash

GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) said on Monday that he will introduce new sports gambling legislation after the Supreme Court  struck down a federal law that banned the betting in almost every state. 

“At stake here is the very integrity of sports. That’s why I plan to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to help protect honesty and principle in the athletic arena,” Hatch said in a statement. 
The Supreme Court ruled earlier Monday that provisions in the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 that prohibit states from authorizing and licensing a sports gambling scheme violate the anti-commandeering rule. 
{mosads}The decision opens the door to legalized sports gambling nationwide.
Hatch, who is retiring after this Congress, was one of the four original authors of PASPA. 

He added on Monday that “problems posed by sports betting are much the same as they were 25 years ago,” when PASPA was originally passed.

“But the rapid rise of the Internet means that sports betting across state lines is now just a click away. We cannot allow this practice to proliferate amid uneven enforcement and a patchwork race to the regulatory bottom,” Hatch said. 

The Utah Republican didn’t detail how his forthcoming legislation would try to regulate sports gambling. 

But his office noted the bill would “establish fundamental standards” including trying to protect consumers and states that decide not to legalize sports betting, and upholding “the integrity” of sports. 

“I invite stakeholders and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in addressing this important issue,” Hatch said.

In the high court’s majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito left the door open to further legislation on the issue.

“Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own. Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA is not,” he said.

“PASPA ‘regulates state governments’ regulation’ of their citizens. The Constitution gives Congress no such power.”

Sixteen state legislatures have already begun considering measures to legalize sports betting.

Tags Gambling Orrin Hatch Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act Sports betting Sports law Supreme Court United States Senate
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