The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is searching for best approaches to the expanding legal sports betting market in the United States, focusing on Washington, where 2 prominent senators are taking up the cause.
According to ESPN, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) are in the early stages of cooperating on federal sports betting legislation, which is expected to be the same to the Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act introduced in December by Schumer and retired senator Orrin Hatch, but đin’t gain momentum. There is no brief timeline for the introduction for the bill of Schumer and Romney.
The NCAA would prefer a prohibition on collegiate sports betting be included in federal legislation. However, there are legal questions about any carve-out.
Since May 2018, when a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, legal sportsbooks have started operating in 13 states. Some additional states have also passed sports betting legislation. No state has banned betting on collegiate sports, though New Jersey, for example, doesn’t allow betting on games that involve in-state colleges such as Rutgers and Seton Hall.
Ahead of the Supreme Court decision, the NCAA president Mark Emmert suggested a prohibition on wagering on collegiate sports be included in any federal legislation. However, Starks says that any such carve-out will likely be legally challenged unless all states were prohibited from taking wagers on college sports, including states that had already done so.
The bill that was introduced by Schumer and Hatch last year didn’t include a prohibition on wagering on collegiate sports.
Meanwhile, the NCAA has ramped up efforts for student-athletes and referees, now dealing with a new landscape, where a legal sportsbook might be operating just down the street from arenas and campuses. Student-athletes have received updated educational materials while referees were given access to an instructional video to deal with sports wagering issues. The NCAA has instituted enhanced background checks for officials, too.
It also has entered into a formal partnership with an international company in order to monitor the wagering markets both domestically and internationally, as well as an ad hoc committee on sports betting has been created by the NCAA governors.