Congress fantasy sports hearing proves a failure

Congress fantasy sports hearing proves a failure

Thursday, May 12, 2016 Totally Gaming
Frank Pallone is a supporter of legalised sports betting

A US Congressional hearing into the future of daily fantasy sports (DFS) made little progress in agreeing if and how the sector should be regulated at a federal level.

The hearing was initially called some eight months ago by Rep Frank Pallone, a supporter of legalised sports betting in the US, who said he wanted to expose the hypocrisy of DFS’s exponential growth despite being considered by many to be gambling. However, in the months since the hearing was scheduled, DFS has been hit by a series of judicial defeats at state level, which have effectively declared the sector to be just as illegal as betting.

Neither DraftKings or FanDuel were represented on the panel that was quizzed by the House Commerce subcommittee on commerce, manufacturing and trade, with the major sports leagues also absent.

Daniel Wallach, a gaming attorney and DFS expert, told the hearing: “A federal approach would be more effective than a patchwork of conflicting state laws given that the activity at issue predominantly involves interstate commerce.”

The DFS sector was represented by Peter Schoenke, the chairman of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA), which has been one of the key actors in the state-by-state legislative push.

Rep. Michael Burgess, the Texas Republican who is chairman of the subcommittee, asked questions about preventing underage from participating. Kurt Eggert, a professor at Chapman University, pointed to Massachusetts regulations that require customers to prove their identity.

Pallone has authored legislation over the years to exclude New Jersey from the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which, effectively, has limited state-sponsored sports betting to Nevada.

Speaking to reporters, he said: “The biggest thing for me is that I would like us to legalise sports betting.

“I am hoping this panel and the statements that were made about why it doesn’t make sense to allow (sports betting) to go underground and run by organised crime would lead us to some kind of legislation.

“The point is allowing sports betting to be legal in states like New Jersey who want it. That’s what I was hoping this would contribute to, primarily.”

TotallyGaming.com says: "Pallone continues his fight for legalised sports betting in states that choose to allow it. However, this hearing was badly timed and seems to have done little for DFS operators, the betting industry and the millions of Americans who wish to gamble in a regulated environment."

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