Sports betting legalization in the US could be possible through a new Congressional bill. The Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act, or GAME Act, made its Congressional debut through the Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill calls for the repeal of PASPA, or the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, the federal ban on sports betting that has been standing for 25 years.
PASPA bans sports betting in 46 states, with Oregon, Delaware, Montana and Nevada the only exceptions. Out of these four, Nevada is the only state to offer single-game betting through licensed and regulated brick-and-mortar and online sportsbooks. The GAME Act, if passed, would effectively repeal PASPA and allow for a legal and regulated framework to be set up for casinos, poker rooms and sportsbooks nationwide. All authoritative oversight would fall to the Federal Trade Commission which would also be responsible for establishing consumer protections each state must adhere to before being able to offer sports betting. Sports betting would need to be legalized via voter referendum per state and the individual states would handle their own regulation.
This expansive ambition is the product of Representative Frank Pallone, the head of the Energy and Commerce Committee and fierce sports betting advocate. Pallone has authored previous bills that called for sports betting in his home state of New Jersey, but those pale in comparison to the scale of the GAME Act. His state also recently lost out on their initial sports betting case thanks to the Solicitor General. That case was the preliminary effort against PASPA, though it tried to work around the ban instead of calling for it to be repealed.
Legal sports betting is not impossible for US residents. Bettors can make the trip to Nevada and walk into one of the physical sports betting locations, or they can try their hand at one of the Nevada Gaming Commission’s regulated online sportsbooks. There are also other options in offshore sportsbooks. US federal law permits US residents to place bets with legally sanctioned and regulated offshore sportsbooks providers. The top reputable offshore sportsbooks that accept US residents emulate the Las Vegas brick-and-mortar sports betting experience but with more perks. These perks include a wider selection of betting lines and wagering types, 24/7 live chat support and exclusive bonuses and promotions that give players more money to bet with at no additional cost to bettors.
Pallone’s GAME Act could potentially reimagine the US sports betting landscape. US-based online gambling initiatives have not been able to compete with offshore providers in terms of selection or services rendered. This has led a vast migration of American bettors over to these sites. Pallone even cited the $400 billion sports betting industry that is being missed out on because of PASPA in the GAME Act’s introductory session. He also admitted that the bill does need some revisions if it is to pass through the legislative process.
However, if the GAME Act passes and there is a nationwide sports betting framework created, the US might start to see some of the traffic divert away from offshore betting sites and instead opt for US-based online sportsbooks. In fact, US-based sportsbooks may even try to offer a similar bonus incentive structure with more betting lines and wagering types so they can become more competitive within the industry. All of this rides on the GAME Act successfully passing, which will likely be a drawn out process. Sports betting advocates have been lobbying for this type of legislature, and the GAME Act may very well be the answer they have been looking for.