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Pallone Introduces GAME Act on Day Supreme Court Hears Arguments in New Jersey’s Sports Betting Case

December 7, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) will introduce a comprehensive gaming bill, the Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act, or GAME Act, which allows states to legalize sports betting and online gambling if appropriate consumer protections are also in place.  The GAME Act would provide states with the legal framework to adopt sports betting at their discretion.

Earlier today the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Christie v. NCAA, in which the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a 25 year old federal law prohibiting states from legalizing sports betting, is at stake. 

“Today’s argument before the Supreme Court showed there is a serious question as to whether PASPA violates the Constitution and whether New Jersey even violated PASPA in the first place.  It is clear to me that PASPA is unconstitutional.  I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will decide in New Jersey’s favor, and the GAME Act provides the necessary legal framework for states to move forward,” Pallone said. 

“The truth is that Americans are already betting up to $400 billion a year on sporting events, but it’s mostly taking place illegally and without consumer protections.  It is time to update our laws and bring sports betting out of the shadows.  The GAME Act will modernize sports betting regulations and ensure fairness for all states while maintaining transparency and consumer protections.”  

The GAME Act is intended to remove the federal obstacles to legalized gambling at the state level.  It does not create a federal framework for gambling and instead allows states that choose to legalize and regulate sports betting and/or online gambling to do so.

The bill removes federal barriers in states that have implemented basic consumer protections, including mechanisms for age and location verification; safeguards to protect privacy and data security of players; and recourse mechanisms for consumers.

In May 2016, the Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing at Pallone’s request to examine the relationship between fantasy sports and gambling. Since then, Pallone has conducted an extensive review of the federal gaming laws and the effects on the legal and illegal gambling markets.  Pallone’s review found that the current system is not working as intended, as illegal gambling and other forms of gambling that skirt federal and state laws are prevalent.

A section-by-section summary of the bill and the text of the bill are attached.