Sports gambling is the act of placing a bet on the result and predicting sports outcomes. The typical frequency of sports gambling ranges from a few times per week to once per month, with a majority of bets being placed in NFL games. Gambling can be done by individuals or organizations, though most experts believe that betting on NFL results is the easiest and most profitable.
Several U.S. state legislatures are discussing establishing legal wagering limits in light of recent heightened interest in sports gambling. In late December, Representative Barney Frank introduced legislation to enact a bill for a constitutional amendment to the U.S. Congress. The proposal, called the “RESOLUTION for Limit on State Restrictive Gaming,” would establish a limit on the number of states which may regulate sports gambling, while maintaining all other state taxing and borrowing powers. The proposed amendment would also limit sports gambling to games that take place in a casino and eliminate offshore gambling. Similar proposals are currently being debated in both houses of the legislature in New York and Florida. Many other legislative attempts are expected throughout the 2021 legislative session.
One of the topics that members of the General Assembly are considering now is whether U.S. House members will attempt to pass a bill for a possible constitutional amendment to the U.S. Congress. This article briefly discusses the efforts of House Democrats to introduce a resolution in the nature of a reconciliation bill proposing to eliminate the clause within the Internal Revenue Code that allows state and local governments to tax sports gambling profits. Although it is unlikely that this measure will become law anytime soon, it could indeed spark additional controversy between state and local municipalities over U.S. House efforts to eliminate the loophole in the federal tax code. If the House passes this resolution as part of its upcoming reconciliation bill for fiscal year 2021, many state and local municipalities will lose their ability to collect state and local taxes from sports gaming profits.
As mentioned earlier, several U.S. House representatives have introduced resolutions calling for the House to pass a resolution against sports gambling. In the past, there have been several attempts to introduce similar resolutions at the national level, but most have been unsuccessful. A few representatives have introduced individual pieces of similar legislation in both chambers but those efforts have also failed to gain momentum. Perhaps this is because individual members of Congress are unwilling to take the time to build support for the resolution. Some members of Congress have made it clear that they would like to see the issue resolved as quickly as possible and have not backed up any attempts to introduce bills that would attempt to amend the U.S. Congress’s definition of gambling as something beyond gambling.
One member of Congress who has been critical of U.S. House efforts to introduce a sports betting bill is Illinois Congressman Peter Roskam. According to a press release from his office, Roskam plans to reintroduce the Stop Artistic Gaming Enforcement Act to overturn the UIGEA. The proposed amendment would make it illegal to operate an offshore gambling site through any means, which is a violation of the sovereign laws of some countries around the world including the United States. This would effectively criminalize those Americans who are participating in online gambling anywhere in the world where they may be accessing such services.
Many states across the country, including New Jersey and California have already taken measures to legalize sports gambling through various means including the implementation of sports betting legislation. According to a recent New Jersey study, legalizing sports gambling in the Garden State would create millions of new jobs, increase state tax revenue by over twelve million dollars, and generate over three hundred thousand jobs within the industry over the next two years. However, many other states, including Montana, Wyoming, and Oregon are expected to take up the issue in the upcoming years.
It appears that the political will to legalize sports betting throughout the United States is building and it will not take too long before all fifty states will have enacted legislation that legalizes the practice. In addition to New Jersey, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire have already passed comprehensive sports betting legislation. Legal sports betting in the Total States will only be introduced in the upcoming legislative session. Once introduced in the legislatures, the proposals should then pass into law by the end of the 2021 calendar year.
The majority of U.S. House members and Senate members, along with a number of prominent sports gambling CEOs believe that the time has come for states to legally begin offering sports betting opportunities to consumers. “This historic initiative takes us one step closer to ensuring that every American can enjoy the opportunity to wager on sports without being breaking the law,” said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. “I am particularly proud that our state is leading the way for the nation on this issue.”