House committee unveils federal GAME Act

26 May 2017

A bill that could overturn laws preventing sports betting across the US has been unveiled by a congressional committee.

The Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement (GAME) Act, released on Thursday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, would effectively repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), the nationwide prohibition on state-sponsored sports betting.

The GAME Act aims to remove federal barriers, give oversight authority to the Federal Trade Commission. It also outlines consumer protections that states would need to introduce in order to offer legal sports betting and fantasy sports.

For the last 25 years, PASPA has prevented states not already offering sports betting from amending their laws, with only Nevada able to offer a full wagering menu.

Rep. Frank Pallone, the ranking member on the Energy and Commerce Committee, said legislation needed to reflect the extent of illegal betting currently taking place across the US.

"Despite the federal gaming laws in place today, Americans are betting up to $400bn a year on sporting events alone," Pallone said in a statement. "It's time to recognise that the laws are outdated, and the GAME Act will modernise them by increasing transparency, integrity, and consumer protections."

Several individual states, including Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, have seen legislation introduced that would allow sports betting. The US Supreme Court is currently deciding whether to review New Jersey's efforts to legalise betting.

Related articles:
Pennsylvania takes first steps towards legalised sports betting

CEI calls for end of ban on US sports betting