The NCAA is supporting a proposed bill that would set federal regulation of legal sports betting.

  • A federal bill known as the Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act was introduced in December of 2018, but it did not gain any momentum.
  • There have been 17 states to legalize sports betting since the repeal of PASPA and not one of them has a put a restriction on collegiate sports betting.
  • A federal ban on collegiate sports betting may be legally challenged if it were to pass since a number of different states already offer this activity.

INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA has come out in full support of federal regulation on US sports betting.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Mitt Romney are now in the beginning stages of developing a federal sports betting bill. The bill is assumed to be similar in structure to the Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act of 2018.

That piece of legislation was introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer and former Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch. Had the Act passed, it would have required state’s seeking to legalize sports wagering to first get approval from the U.S. Attorney General. It would have also mandated that legal sportsbook operators purchase official league data.

While the details of this upcoming bill have not yet been revealed, the NCAA has clearly shown its stance on the issue.

“We are absolutely supportive of federal regulation,” said NCAA Vice President of Hearing Operations Naima Stevenson Starks to ESPN. “It’s fairly daunting to think that every state would have a different set of regulations. Having some minimum standards, we are very supportive of and have been an active proponent of.”

The NCAA has long been a proponent of legal sports betting. That was shown when they challenged the state of New Jersey for passing a sports waging law in 2014. While the court ruled in their favor the first time around, the case was appealed several times over.

The case of Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eventually made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where in May of 2018, it was determined that the federal ban on sports betting known as PASPA was unconstitutional. Since then, 17 states have legalized the activity.

Certain states have special rules put in place in order to protect the integrity of collegiate sports. For example, New Jersey doesn’t allow betting on in-state teams or competitions. However, no state yet has outright prohibited betting on NCAA games.

“The Supreme Court, in its decision, has made it somewhat challenging for a complete carve-out on college athletics to not be something that would be legally challenged at the end of the day,” said Starks.

“Certainly, if there were the ability to have some kind of carve-out on college athletics altogether, that would be something that I know most would be supportive of. Whether or not that would be something that the federal legislation that’s being proposed would do given that states are already doing it, I think that might be a challenge for the bill to potentially get passed, which is the ultimate goal.”

A timeline has not yet been set for when Sen. Schumer and Sen. Romney will introduce their bipartisan bill.

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