A congressional committee on Thursday unveiled a draft of comprehensive legislation that would repeal the federal prohibition on sports betting and allow states to legalize online gambling.
The Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act or GAME Act, released Thursday morning by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, aims to remove federal barriers, give oversight authority to the Federal Trade Commission and outline consumer protections that states would need to have in place in order to offer legal sports betting, including fantasy sports.
Section 8 of the GAME Act would repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), the federal prohibition on state-sponsored sports betting.
Sports betting is legal in only a handful of states, with only Nevada allowed to offer a full wagering menu. Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey are the only states that allow online gambling. Legislation is advancing in Pennsylvania to legalize online gambling, as well.
The GAME Act defines a bet or wager as “the risking of something of value including virtual currency or virtual items, upon the outcome of a contest of others, a sporting event or a game of skill or a game of chance, on the expectation that the person will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.” Participation in lotteries, sports bets, fantasy sports and “fantasy esports” is included in definition of a bet or wager, according to the legislation.
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