A U.S. federal sports betting law has been in talks for a little while now, but it’s been so far on the back burner that it hasn’t been worth discussing; better leave it to the states to figure out. But the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has figured out their best way to have a say on the matter might be in Washington D.C, and so a new bill is reportedly being worked on.
ESPN reports Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Chuck Schumer of New York are starting to work on such a bill. The bill, a spiritual descendent of 2018’s Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act, which Schumer also worked on, has no timeline or details available, but the NCAA has some suggestions.
“We are absolutely supportive of federal regulation,” NCAA vice president of hearing operations Naima Stevenson Starks is reported as commenting. “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 hasn’t been a fan of legalized sports betting, arguing repeatedly that it’s bad for college athletics, which they believe should be kept pure and away from the influence of money (the players, atleast.) That appears to be why they’re getting involved at this stage in the senators work, and pushing for a specific prohibition on college sports betting.
“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,” Starks suggested. “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 potentially get passed, which is the ultimate goal.”
It’s anybody’s guess if Schumer and Romney will finish a bill anytime soon, with a divided legislative branch and presidential elections starting to kick into gear. If they do though, we all know what the NCAA is hoping for.