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Congress to hold hearing on sports betting next week

The NFL will be testifying to congress as they look to get a cut of the sports gambling profit, but they must be careful not to push too far.

The NFL has refrained from lobbying the various states regarding their sports gambling programs, opting instead to push for a comprehensive federal regulatory scheme. Next week, the effort to craft such a system will commence.

David Purdum of reports that the House Judiciary Committee tentatively plans to conduct a hearing regarding sports wagering on Tuesday, June 26. The NFL has been invited to testify.

Separately, Senator Orrin Hatch has vowed to prepare legislation regarding the issue. According to Purdum, Hatch will focus his effort on bolstering the federal Sports Bribery Act, which wasn’t affected by the recent Supreme Court decision that wiped out the prohibition on the expansion of sports betting in the various states.

The NFL, which has been working with Senator Hatch’s office, realizes that it makes far more sense to have one uniform set of laws that applies to all 50 states, in lieu of dealing with up to 50 different sports wagering rules and regulations. This will also make it easier for the sports leagues to finagle a piece of the action. Clumsily dubbed an “integrity fee” by the NBA, the NFL likely will couch it as fair compensation for providing the basis for the betting.