Senator Orrin Hatch Promises New Federal Sports Betting Legislation

Senator Orrin Hatch Promises New Federal Sports Betting Legislation

May 15, 2018 3:01 AM


One of the original authors of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which was struck down by the Supreme Court on Monday, didn’t waste any time in renewing his efforts to “protect” the integrity of sporting events. Utah Senator Orrin Hatch announced that he plans to introduce legislation to regulate sports betting now that its legality has become a state issue. 

“At stake here is the very integrity of sports,” said Hatch in a statement released by his office Monday. “That’s why I plan to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to help protect honesty and principle in the athletic arena.”

Hatch, 84, is set to retire when his current term runs out. The long-time Republican senator is Mormon, and and his religion shuns gambling of any kind. Gambling is also not legal in Utah. It would be fair to say that whatever Hatch has planned likely won’t make it any easier on the states that want to legalize sports betting. 

s far as Hatch is concerned, little has changed since he and and three other congressmen authored PASPA in 1992. In fact, he appears to feel that with the proliferation of the internet, the threat to sports’ integrity is even greater. 

“The problems posed by sports betting are much the same as they were 25 years ago,” he said in the statement. “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. At stake here is the very integrity of sports.”

Based on his comments, it would seem highly unlikely that Hatch would support mobile or online sports betting, which many state lawmakers see as a key component of any modern sportsbook.  

PASPA, which effectively outlaws sports betting in every state except Nevada, was under review by the Supreme Court after the state of New Jersey tried to make sports betting legal. Oral arguments in the case, Murphy v NCAA, were heard in December, and on Monday the high court released its opinion, in essence saying that the law violates states’ rights.

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