Political Landscape: Sports Betting

Part
01
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Part
01

Companies Lobbying For Sports Betting

The National Basketball Association (NBA), the Major League Baseball (MLB), the Professional Golfers' Association Tour (PGA Tour), the National Football League (NFL), and the National Hockey League (NHL) are five sports organizations in the United States that are lobbying or requesting for sports betting regulations. As can be seen below, there are some differences in what these sports organizations are demanding. The NBA, the MLB, and the PGA Tour are seeking compensation equivalent to a percentage of the total amount wagered, among other things. The NFL is seeking the mandated use of official league data and the ability to influence the types of bets sportsbooks can offer, among other things, while the NHL is seeking either congressional action or a collective agreement among states to standardize sports betting rules. All in all, these sports leagues are making these requests to maintain game integrity, make sports betting consistent across states, and protect intellectual property and other assets.

Given the sample source provided, where the lobbying efforts of the MLB and the NBA were discussed, we took sports franchises to mean sports leagues.

NBA

Main Lobbying Action

In February 2018, when 16 states were reported to have already proposed sports betting legislation, there was a report that NBA was actively lobbying in seven states, namely, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. NBA's lobbyists were also MLB's lobbyists. A total of around 30 lobbyists were co-registered for both leagues, with New York having 11 lobbyists, the biggest concentration. A number of lobbying firms, including Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, were engaged. It was reported as well in September 2018 that lobbyists for the NBA were setting up shop in Kentucky, where there is no NBA team yet.

Proposed Regulation

In February 2018, there was news that NBA, along with the MLB, was calling for legislation that entitles leagues to an "integrity fee," amounting to 1% of the amount wagered. The two leagues were also seeking age restrictions and internet gaming regulation. Dan Spillane, NBA's assistant general counsel for league governance and policy, explained that the integrity fee would serve as compensation for the risk and expense brought about by sports betting and the value the leagues' products create for sports betting operators. The fee is supposed to maintain the integrity of sports, but it has so far drawn ire from several parties and has been deemed self-serving.

MLB

Main Lobbying Action

In February 2018, there was a report that apart from MLB's aforementioned co-lobbying with NBA, MLB was reportedly lobbying in Illinois as well. Illinois was the only state where the NBA had no registered lobbyist.

Also, in June 2018, it was reported that the MLB and the NBA had been hiring over 80 lobbyists to influence lawmaking in over 12 statehouses. In New York alone, records indicate that the two leagues had been jointly spending $58,500 a month on the services of 21 lobbyists, who all came from the state's five leading lobbying firms. In New Jersey, on the other hand, the two leagues had reportedly hired 13 top lobbyists from Trenton, including well-known A.J. Sabath and Eric Shuffler. These lobbyists reportedly had been able to land private meetings with New Jersey's top officials, including the governor's chief of staff, Senate President Steve Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. In West Virginia, lobbyists for the two leagues had been able to land a closed-door meeting with Governor Jim Justice, who owns The Greenbrier resort that periodically hosts NBA and NFL training camps and PGA tours.

There was news as well in September 2018 that 10 lobbyists for MLB had registered in Kentucky to lobby on "any issue relating to professional sports, sport integrity, sports wagering, taxation, or business development." The state, so far, has no MLB team.

Proposed Regulation

In January 2019, it was reported that MLB was ensuring legislation is in place for the protection of the sports' integrity. The MLB and NBA together drafted a model bill calling, among other things, for integrity fees or royalties, which, at the time, were already reduced from 1% to 0.25% of the amount wagered. According to Bryan Seeley, senior vice president and deputy general counsel at MLB, it is only fair that they receive a small percentage as operators are expected to earn substantial revenues from sports betting. The integrity fees or royalties would be used to ensure umpires and players remain educated, betting activity is regularly tracked, and there is no manipulation of the outcome of games, particularly in the minor league and the college level where players are not as well-compensated.

To maintain sports integrity, leagues would be hiring additional manpower, developing software, hiring consultants, training players, employees, and referees. However, states, so far, have not promulgated any legislation that imposes integrity fees or royalties. It appears state lawmakers are not convinced by the 'integrity' argument, as illegal sports betting has long been prevalent in the country and other countries have long been offering legal sports betting on the leagues' games. Also, there is no integrity fee in Nevada, where sports betting has been legal for a long time. Seeley counters, however, that he "can't think of another industry where a class of people is able to make hundreds of millions of dollars off someone else's product, put risk on that party, and pay them nothing."

The MLB, along with the NBA and PGA Tour, is also seeking regulation that will require casinos to submit anonymized betting data, so the data can be analyzed for any signs of corruption or rigging, and report any irregularities. It is also calling for regulation that will allow leagues to comment on the types of bets that can be offered, as it does not want bets to be placed on individual plays and minor league games, where there could be higher chances of rigging.

PGA TOUR

Main Lobbying Action

There was news in December 2018 that the PGA Tour had joined forces with the NBA, the MLB, MGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and Washington Nationals to persuade lawmakers in Washington D.C. to pass sports betting legislation that will make all parties happy. The league-operator alliance prepared and distributed a one-pager listing its proposed sports betting legislation. In September 2018, there was news as well that lobbyists for the PGA Tour were registering in Kentucky.

Proposed Regulation

The league-operator alliance called for the following essential legislation components: that operators be required to "use official league data to settle bets" and that leagues be compensated with a "license fee" equivalent to 0.25% of the total amount wagered. The alliance argued that allowing leagues to have a direct financial interest in sports betting will be beneficial to the state as it will lead to a strong partnership among leagues, operators, and local government. A recent vote, however, resulted in the removal of the license fee from the DC bill. The alliance also sought "exclusivity zones for professional sports facilities" where retail establishments will be unable to operate a sportsbook without express consent from the facility's owner.

NFL

Main Lobbying Action

Similar to the NCAA, the NFL issued a statement, immediately after the Supreme Court's ruling, declaring its intention to lobby Congress for a law that will protect the interests of the league. Also, four lobbyists for the NFL registered in Kentucky sometime between July and August 2018 to influence sports betting lawmaking in the state. The registration documents of these lobbyists show that the lobbyists will engage in lobbying on "any issues related to professional athletics, sports wagering, taxation, or sports game integrity." The state, so far, has no NFL team. There was news as well that NFL lobbyists attended a House Judiciary Committee hearing in West Virginia in February 2019 to influence the establishment of the state's permanent sports betting rules.

Proposed Regulation

After the Supreme Court ruled in May 2018 that states are free to legalize sports betting, the NFL urged Congress "to enact a core regulatory framework for legalized sports betting." Same as other major leagues, it called on federal lawmakers to establish a uniform code to minimize differences in legislation across states choosing to legalize sports betting. Unlike the NBA, MLB, and PGA Tour, however, the NFL is not seeking any integrity fee, royalty, or license fee. It explains it is focusing instead on consumer protection and game integrity. For integrity purposes, the NFL is calling for the mandated use of official league data in settling bets and the ability to control which types of bets sportsbooks can offer. It is also seeking intellectual property protection, consumer protection, and law enforcement cooperation.

At a committee hearing in West Virginia, the NFL made the following requests: NFL's yearly submission of employee list to the state to prevent the league's employees from betting in the state, NFL's ability to provide input on types of bets to be offered, and cooperation between state officials and NFL investigators in cases where betting rules were violated.

NHL

Main Lobbying Action

The NHL publicly calls for measures to standardize sports betting regulations across states, but unlike the NBA and MLB, which have spent significant sums of money hiring lobbyists, the NHL does not appear to be actively lobbying for sports betting regulation. It does not have lobbyists registered in states to influence lawmaking. It has so far concentrated instead on forging deals directly with gambling organizations, such as MGM Resorts International. The deals involve mostly the licensure of official league data and the use of team and league logos in marketing materials. NHL's strategy is to leverage its intellectual property, data, and other assets.

Proposed Regulation

The NHL would like a congressional action or a collective agreement among states to make sports betting regulations consistent and uniform. The major leagues agree that, for consistency and efficiency purposes, there should be a single set of uniform rules instead of different laws in each state. On this front, a bill requiring the U.S. Justice Department to establish minimum standards has so far been proposed. While the proposed bill does not include the payment of royalties, it does not explicitly prohibit them either. NHL wants a cut of the sports betting revenue as well, but it clarifies that it is not about integrity but about intellectual property instead. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman explains that "if you’re going to allocate for yourself to run a business on our intellectual property and the performance of our athletes and the platform that we put on for our games, we’re entitled to be involved in that.


Part
02
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Part
02

Political Landscape: Sports Betting

Our research team has provided you with a list of elected officials who have been either very publicly FOR or very publicly AGAINST sports betting and / or sports betting regulations. For each identified official, we have identified their positioning on sports betting, public statements, associated groups, and any passed or proposed legislation that they have championed on this subject. In order to include all legislation we have included sources that were older than two years old. Our results are listed below:

Position: For sports betting
Public Statements: "It's a lifelong sports fan I treasure the purity of the game, I knew that Congress had an obligation to ensure that the integrity of the games we love was never compromised. That is why I believe the time is now to establish a strong national integrity standard for sports betting that will protect consumers and the games themselves from corruption."
Associated Groups: Not affiliated with any special interest groups related to sports betting.
Proposed or Passed Legislation: In 2018, Senator Chuck Schumer, along with retired Senator Orrin Hatch co-introduced sports betting legislation; however, this bill denies the NFL a cut of any profits received.

Position: For sports betting
Public Statements :"This highlights the importance of the State of Texas’s rights in deciding for ourselves whether an initiative like this is best for Texas.
Special Interest Groups: Not affiliated with any special interest groups related to sports betting.
Proposed or Passed Legislation: On February 1, 2019, Eddie Lucio III introduced "a 15-page bill relating to the regulation of sports betting." The bill proposed the legalization of sports betting, however operators would be required to pay a $250,000 fee and obtain a license. The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation would supervise all sports betting. The proposed legislation would also mandate a 6.25% tax. He also recently filed two additional pieces; House Joint Resolution 61, which seeks legalization of sports betting in the state of Texas and House Bill 1275 would provide the framework and regulations for sports betting in the state of Texas.

Position: Against sports betting
Public Statements: "“I’m not a big fan of expanding gaming on the Internet, especially for revenue purposes.”
Special Interest Groups: Not affiliated with any special interest groups related to sports betting.
Proposed or Passed Legislation: Rubio submitted bill S 1668, in response to the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, which was introduced in 2015. This was not passed. This bill would make all forms of online gambling, including sports betting, illegal.

Position: Against
Public Statements: "Online gambling is the Wild West with no rules, and “we need to get ahead of this, or we’re going to regret it.”
Special Interest Groups: Not affiliated with any special interest groups related to sports betting.
Proposed or Passed Legislation: Lindsey Graham has had three unsuccessful attempts at revisiting the Wire Act, which would make all forms of gambling online illegal, including sports betting.

Position: For sports betting
Public Statements: “I don’t think we need a mobile sports betting bill if we incorporate it into the current language where gaming can be had at the four casinos. I would personally advocate that, if they put mobile servers on site and people are required to go to these four sites to register, that would satisfy our state constitution by my interpretation.” and “I think we need to maximize our potential this year with regard to sports betting, If that’s just the four upstate casinos, that’s fine, but we need to do all we can within the constitution this year regarding sports betting, especially with neighboring states surrounding us with sports betting and us losing revenue to those states. We have constituents who can get on their bikes and place a bet in New Jersey in the matter of minutes."
Special Interest Groups: Not affiliated with any special interest groups related to sports betting.
Proposed or Passed Legislation: Joseph Addabbo Jr, proposed S 17; however it was not included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget
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Part
03
of three
Part
03

Sports Betting Insights

Our research team has provided you with 7 detailed insights regarding sports betting, lobbying, legislature, and/or regulations specifically focused on NFL betting/wagering below. We have focused our research to New York, California, Texas and the federal level.

NEW YORK

CALIFORNIA

TEXAS

  • On February 1, 2019, Representative Eddie Lucio III proposed a "15-page bill relating to the regulation of sports betting." The bill would allow operators in to offer sports betting upon obtaining a permit and paying a $250,000 fee. The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation would regulate all sports betting to include NFL sports betting under this new law and would also mandate a 6.25% tax.

FEDERAL

  • On May 14, 2018, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Sports betting to include NFL wagering will be legalized and regulated at the state level
  • Following the Supreme Court verdict, the NFL submitted testimony to the Congress in September 2018 lobbying for federal legislation to regulate sports betting. In addition, the NFL asked for the establishment and enforcement of strict age limits and asked that sports betting operators should be mandated to use official league data.
  • The NFL is also almost certainly privately lobbying members of Congress to shepherd a bill that would affirm its proposed regulatory framework which is described above. The NFL's recent lobbying efforts are in recognition of the fact that sports betting would be good for business, this is departure from its previous stance distancing itself from sports betting.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "The NBA and MLB are actively lobbying in eight of the 16 states pursuing sports betting legislation, according to a Bloomberg Tax analysis of state lobbying disclosures. The analysis also showed that the NBA and MLB are tackling lobbying measures jointly, often using the same lobbying firms and agents to conduct state level outreach.ban."
  • "As both leagues throw their weight into the sports betting conversation, each is seeking a set of legislative criteria ranging from age restrictions to the regulation of internet gaming. Most notably, the leagues are pressing for an “integrity fee"—a 1 percent payout of the amount wagered on league sporting contests."
  • "Based on lobbying disclosures, the NBA and MLB are actively lobbying in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Rhode Island, and West Virginia."
  • "There are approximately 30 lobbyists working on behalf of the leagues. New York, home to both the MLB and NBA headquarters, has the highest concentration of active lobbyists—a total of 11 from two firms."
  • "The leagues also have engaged several firms, such as Orrik, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, which spearheaded lobbying initiatives for the legalization of fantasy sports betting on behalf of FanDuel Inc. and DraftKings Inc."
  • "Illinois is the only state where only the MLB, but not the NBA, has a registered lobbyist. In Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Rhode Island, and West Virginia, all known lobbyists are co-registered for both the NBA and MLB."
Quotes
  • "The MLB told Fox News it believes sports betting is here to stay – so its main focus is to make sure laws and regulations are in place to protect the integrity of its game. That also includes charging gaming entities integrity fees or royalties on the total amount wagered on its product."
  • "The MLB is advocating for .25 percent of the amount wagered on its games, which could result in a handsome sum being turned over to the league. The NBA has publicly advocated for the same."
  • "Seeley said a portion of the funds would go toward making sure its players and umpires are educated and monitoring betting activity so it doesn’t affect the outcome of games, especially in the minor league, where the players aren’t compensated nearly as well as its players in the major league."
  • "So far, states have not enacted legislation that includes integrity fees for sports leagues. However, federal legislation proposed by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-New York, and Sen. Warren Hatch, R-Utah, requires the U.S. Justice Department to set minimum standards for states that do legalize sports betting. It also requires casinos to use official league data but falls short of imposing fees on gaming entities."
Quotes
  • "Some operators and major US sports leagues apparently are working together to get a law passed to legalize sports betting in Washington, D.C."
  • "At least three sports betting operators — MGM, DraftKings and FanDuel — are actively working with the NBA, Major League Baseball and the PGA Tour to pass a bill all of the parties involved could live with."
  • "The alliance was first reported by The Washington City Paper and included a one-pager circulating around the DC Council, which recently advanced a piece of sports betting legislation. Monumental Sports & Entertainment (the owner of the Washington Wizards and Capitals) and the Washington Nationals also were listed as supporters of that document."
  • "That document included a list of “essential components” that all of the alliance members could live with. Among those components were items that most sports betting operators have dismissed as unnecessary, including a requirement by operators “to use official league data to settle bets.”"
  • "The league-operator alliance also supports a “small fee” equal to 0.25 percent of all money wagered on sports in DC. The fee is not termed either a “royalty” or an “integrity fee,” two monikers that fee has gone by in lobbying around the country in 2018. It now is being called a “license fee.”"
  • "The NFL and NHL are not involved, from the side of the sports world. And MGM, DraftKings and FanDuel represent only a part of the sports betting industry, albeit a substantial one in the early days in the US. A variety of national and regional casino operators, as well as actual sports betting companies, are not signed onto this effort."
Quotes
  • "The NBA, MLB and golf’s PGA Tour began lobbying individual states for direct payments, an idea widely known among legislators and lobbyists as an “integrity fee” but that the leagues prefer to call a royalty. The leagues say they deserve to be reimbursed for costs to make sure their games are free from scandal and manipulation. They also feel that outside companies making money from games should share profits with those organizing the sports."
  • "Those costs include hiring additional people to monitor games and betting activity, training players, referees and other league employees on integrity measures, developing special software and hiring outside consultants, said Dan Spillane, an NBA senior vice president. But neither of those leagues would quantify exactly how much integrity measures are costing them or how much is new spending, given that illegal sports betting has been popular in America for a long time and other countries offer legal wagering on their games."
  • "The NFL — even with the most popular betting sport in the United States — says it never sought such payments."
  • "The National Hockey League has put most of its energy into reaching direct deals with gambling companies, including gambling giant MGM Resorts International, one of a flurry of deals the leagues made last year. These pacts have included sportsbooks licensing official league data as well as using league and team logos in marketing and advertising."
  • "MLB and the NBA say they are pursuing state-by-state fees and deals with private companies as parallel but independent efforts."
  • "So far this year, Missouri, New York, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa and Massachusetts have introduced bills providing fees of between 0.2 percent and 1 percent for the leagues."
Quotes
  • "The NFL called on Congress “to enact a core regulatory framework for legalized sports betting,” essentially asking federal lawmakers to make a uniform code before state legislators create differing laws."
  • "Seeley, the MLB vice president, said the league’s lobbying efforts, which have been a joint effort with the NBA and PGA Tour, have been aimed primarily at having a say in how betting lines are monitored. The leagues want laws that ensure casinos share anonymized betting information, so they can analyze it and spot potential corruption. They also want casinos to call them directly when irregularities are spotted."
  • "MLB has also pushed for input on what kind of bets will be offered — it doesn't want minor league games to be wagered on, and it is leery of bets individual plays, such as whether the next pitch will be a curveball or fastball."
Quotes
  • "“We’re looking for consistency,” Bettman said. “Whether that can be done federally — which would make it easier to make sure (of) the rules of the game, the types of bets that are being placed, how things are being conducted — we’d like consistency and we’d like not to have it vary state-by-state.""
  • "That places the NHL somewhere in-between its fellow leagues. The NFL called for Congress to pass a new law to replace PASPA in setting nationwide rules for sports betting. The NBA shifted last week from a firm call for federal legislation to advocating a “50-state solution” either in Congress or through state legislatures."
  • "Bettman rejected the labeling of the integrity fee, but said the league deserves compensation for its “intellectual property.”"
Quotes
  • "A group of four lobbyists for the National Football League disclosed that they’d be engaged in lobbying on “any issues related to professional athletics, sports wagering, taxation, or sports game integrity.” Nearby Cincinnati, Ohio, and Nashville, Tenn., have teams, but Kentucky doesn’t have an NFL squad."
  • "Likewise, a group of 10 lobbyists for Major League Baseball disclosed that they would engage in lobbying on “any issue relating to professional sports, sport integrity, sports wagering, taxation, or business development.” Lobbyists from the National Basketball Association and the Professional Golfers Association are also setting up shop in the state. However, there is no MLB or NBA franchise in Kentucky."
Quotes
  • "The NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and PGA Tour have registered lobbyists in Kentucky, according to the latest update of the state’s registered lobbyists, dated Sept. 26. The move shows that the leagues believe that the Kentucky legislature will move on legalizing sports betting in 2019, and that they want a piece of the action, which means requiring sportsbooks to purchase “official league data,” among other things."
  • "Pro-league lobbyists have had no success in getting an integrity fee in any state that has legalized sports betting this year, and Koenig is not alone in his no-payout stance in Kentucky."
  • "The four pro leagues that registered lobbyists in Kentucky have been pushing for different goals. The NBA has been the most aggressive of the professional leagues in lobbying for a “integrity fee” or royalty, as well as forcing sportsbooks to use official data. MLB and the PGA have aligned themselves with the NBA. "
  • " The NFL has been less focused on an integrity fee while seeking a mandate — either federal or state — for the use of official data as well as the ability to dictate which wagers sportsbooks may offer — in the name of integrity, testifying as such in Washington last week at a House hearing. "
  • "The NHL has been noticeably absent from lobbying efforts."
Quotes
  • "In its first statement issued in the aftermath of Monday’s landmark ruling paving the way for nationwide sports betting, the NFL makes clear its intention not to lobby individual states but to lobby Congress for a law that protects the NFL’s interests."
  • "Congress has long-recognized the potential harms posed by sports betting to the integrity of sporting contests and the public confidence in these events. Given that history, we intend to call on Congress again, this time to enact a core regulatory framework for legalized sports betting. "
  • "The NFL may have a hard time getting Congress to pass any laws that would regulate state-by-state gambling, given that Monday’s ruling arises from the rights of states to determine whether they want to have sports wagering, without interference from the federal government."
Quotes
  • "MLB and the NBA have been pressing for "integrity fees" of up to 1 percent of all bets placed on games — purportedly for policing against game-fixing — and drafted what's known as model legislation to help get the fees codified into law in each state. To make their case, they have been bankrolling more than 80 lobbyists in more than a dozen statehouses and dispatching top officials across the country — from Kansas to New York — to testify in legislative hearings."
  • "In New York, for instance, lobbying records show that the leagues are sparing no expenses, jointly paying $58,500 a month to retain the services of 21 lobbyists, who hail from five top lobbying firms in the state — including The Parkside Group, a political consulting firm that also represents the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee."
  • "The playbook was similar in New Jersey, where the leagues hired a total of 13 top Trenton lobbyists — with both enlisting A.J. Sabath, a former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and Eric Shuffler, a longtime political player who served on Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy's transition team earlier this year. Lobbying records show that they have landed private meetings with the state's top leaders, all Democrats, including Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Senate President Steve Sweeney and two of his staffers, as well as the governor's chief of staff."
  • "In January, the leagues' lobbying campaign helped them score a win in the Indiana General Assembly, which introduced a pair of bills that borrow some language from their model bill — titled, "Model Sports Wagering Act" — including a provision for integrity fees. Since then, six other states have also introduced bills that give the green light to integrity fees."
Quotes
  • "Lobbyists for the professional sports leagues, including the NFL, will continue to lobby against its passage — or at least for an amendment. Major League Baseball, the NBA, and the PGA Tour have been lobbying across the country since early last year in an effort to get a royalty or “integrity fee.”"
  • "It’s likely that the NFL, which is not advocating for a direct cut of wagers, will continue to break from the other pro leagues when it comes to lobbying. The league has been clear that it wants the purchase of league data to be mandated, but has not publicly supported a fee, which is also the NHL’s position."
  • "The league’s “core points” for sports betting include protection of intellectual property, consumer protections, use of official league data, and cooperation from law enforcement to help preserve the integrity of the game. The league also openly favors a federal framework rather than state-by-state laws."
Quotes
  • "Sources tell Legal Sports Report that NFL lobbyists made their way to Charleston on Thursday for an upcoming House Judiciary committee hearing."
  • "The league is asking legislators to consider a series of requests as they review permanent WV sports betting rules. Those rules passed the House Finance committee earlier this week."
From Part 03
Quotes
  • "The National Football League is calling for federal legislation to regulate sports betting in light of the Supreme Court striking down a law which made it illegal. In testimony submitted to Congress, the league also demanded that strict age limits are established and enforced, and asked that it be made compulsory for sportsbook operators to use official league data to ensure the integrity of games is guaranteed."
  • "In addition to the NFL, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League also back federal regulation."
Quotes
  • "The NFL is not publicly in favor of legal sports betting and would probably be happy if Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch could shepherd through a bill conferring the NFL’s various preferred regulatory bullet points."
  • "Big picture, the NFL will become the second professional league to have a franchise in Las Vegas when the Raiders move there in 2020, so even if it doesn’t favor sports wagering, it knows it has to deal with the reality, and knows it’s very good for business. "
  • "The NFL has been preparing for this inevitability and it’s a near-certainty that it is now privately lobbying other members of Congress for federal action that would benefit the league."
Quotes
  • "At the annual owners meeting on Wednesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell publicly addressed a matter he can no longer ignore: legal sports betting may soon arrive across the United States — far beyond Las Vegas, Nevada, which the Raiders will call home beginning in the 2020 season. As is customary with any thorny issue, Goodell addressed it mostly vague terms."
  • "“I think what we did this week was make sure people understood the, I would call it, prospects and potential for how gambling can change,” he said. “How it’s evolved on its own beyond that. And this isn’t new work. We’ve been focusing on this for several years of how does it affect the way we operate.”"
  • "Through a combination of Goodell’s remarks and from reports by national NFL writers, as well as observation of the NBA and MLB’s lobbying efforts regarding sports betting legislation over a dozen states, we can get a sense of where the league is really at with respect to wagering on its games."
  • "The NFL began its study before the high court took the case and now most experts and observers (including this one) believe that a favorable ruling for New Jersey resulting in PASPA’s elimination is more likely than not. It’s certainly a lot more likely now than when the study started. This partly explains the NBA and MLB’s urgent lobbying efforts."