Biden Signals Possible Federal Role in Sports Betting Guidelines: Report

Posted on: November 23, 2020, 02:10h. 

Last updated on: November 24, 2020, 08:52h.

Joe Biden’s administration might support federal involvement in guidelines for sports betting, according to a financial news website. But Biden also has said he does not favor “unnecessary restrictions.”

Biden May Support Fed Involvement on Sports Betting
Joe Biden (D), seen here, has indicated the federal government should cooperate with states on gaming matters. He also said he does not support “unnecessary restrictions.” (Image: Saul Loeb/AFP)

The Biden campaign said the former vice president “believes states and federal authorities should cooperate to ensure that gaming is safe, fair, and corruption-free,” according to New York-based MarketWatch.

MarketWatch is owned by Dow Jones and Co., which also publishes the Wall Street Journal.

This statement from Biden officials indicates he “might support the federal government getting more involved in setting federal guidelines for sports betting,” according to MarketWatch.

However, Biden also has said he does not “support adding unnecessary restrictions to the gaming industry as the Trump administration has done,” the financial website reported.

Most sports leagues want federal guidelines on legal sports betting. These influential leagues include the NFL, NBA, MLB, and PGA Tour. The leagues would profit more if they only had to comply with one national set of rules instead of various states’ legislation, according to MarketWatch.

Two years ago, the US Supreme Court struck down objections to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. This court action permitted states to legalize and regulate sports wagering.

Sports Betting’s Popularity

Voters approved sports betting this November in the three states where it appeared on the ballot. These states are Maryland, Louisiana, and South Dakota.

Sports betting is legal in 19 states and Washington, D.C., according to the American Gaming Association website. Sports wagering is legal but not yet operational in six other states, including Maryland, Louisiana, and South Dakota. Legislation to legalize sports betting is pending in two other states.

The vote In Louisiana this November is seen as an indication of sports betting’s growing acceptance. Voters in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes approved sports wagering within the boundaries of their parish.

When the Louisiana Legislature next meets in April, lawmakers will determine licensing and taxation issues. Legal sports wagering in Louisiana is unlikely to occur at least until 2022.

Another topic still to be decided in the Bayou State is whether sports betting will be allowed only inside casinos, or on smartphones and other electronic platforms.

Sportsbooks Rake in Millions

In Arkansas, which borders Louisiana, the state’s casinos are experiencing a monthly increase in the amount of money bet in sportsbooks.

Two of the three legal casinos operating in Arkansas brought in more than $1 million in sports bets in the 30-day period ending Oct. 22, according to the most recent figures from the Arkansas Racing Commission. The commission oversees the casino industry in Arkansas.

In November 2018, Arkansas voters approved casino gambling in four cities. Casinos are operating in three of these cities — West Memphis, Hot Springs, and Pine Bluff.

The casino project in the fourth approved city, Russellville, has been licensed but is tied up in a legal challenge and is not in operation.

People wanting to wager on sporting events in Arkansas only are allowed to place bets inside the state’s three legal casinos at ticket windows or kiosks. Smartphone betting has not been legalized.