More than three months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court opened the floodgates for nationwide sports wagering. Since then, several states have taken advantage of the ability to separate citizens from their money without increasing taxes. The federal government, however, has done nothing.
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) wants the federal government to take action. In comments delivered Thursday on the Senate floor, Hatch lamented that the subject has been “conspicuously absent from the public dialogue on Capitol Hill,” pointing out that a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee set for June was postponed and not rescheduled.
Hatch vowed to release a legislative proposal “in the coming weeks” regarding the issue, and it’s clear that he hopes to create a federal framework that ensures the integrity of the games.
The NFL supports Hatch’s efforts, for obvious reasons. Instead of skittering from state to state in an effort to get the best possible terms and protections from 50 different legislatures, backing a federal effort solves the problem in one fell swoop.
Whether it comes in the form of federal legislation or the establishment of a federal agency, it seems inevitable that the federal government will at some point have a role in sports betting. The only question is whether action is taken before or action a major scandal that generates headlines from sea to shining sea.
Of course, that won’t happen until the topics that currently are generating headlines from sea to shining sea subside. And there’s no indication that those topics will be going away any time soon.