Press Releases

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Washington, DC—Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the President Pro Tempore of the US Senate and the Chairman of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force, issued the following statement after the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), legislation that has limited state-sanctioned sports betting for over two decades: 

“The problems posed by sports betting are much the same as they were 25 years ago,”Hatch said. “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. That’s why I plan to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to help protect honesty and principle in the athletic arena. I invite stakeholders and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in addressing this important issue. 

From the Hatch office: “It will be up to each state to decide whether to legalize and sports gambling and how to regulate it.  But given that sports betting activity can now be conducted across state lines via the Internet, Senator Hatch believes we need to ensure there are some federal standards in place to ensure that state regulatory frameworks aren’t a race to the bottom.”

Background:

  • Senator Hatch was one of four original authors of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, created to protect the integrity of athletics from taint or corruption.
  • PASPA enjoyed exceptional bipartisan support: 62 senators cosponsored the bill, and it passed the Senate 88 to 5.
  • Today, the Supreme Court ruled that PASPA is unconstitutional, potentially opening the door to legal sports betting in states across the country.
  • The Supreme Court has acknowledged that Congress can regulate sports betting directly.
  • Congress will seize this opportunity to establish fundamental standards for sports betting that will uphold the integrity of the game, protect consumers, safeguard against underage and problem gambling, and help states who choose not to permit sports betting within their borders.

 

  

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