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US Federal Gambling Laws Up for Review

Despite its 24 year hold on the American gambling industry, the federal ban on sports betting may finally come to an end.

New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. has termed the ban on sports betting as both obsolete and in desperate need of updating.

While he specifically refers to sports betting, including fantasy sports, due to the complexity of US gambling legislation three different acts would need to be revised to make any changes to the status of sports betting.

The three acts, which affect not only sports betting but all forms of online gambling as well, are the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992, the Federal Wire Act of 1961 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA).

This revision could result in great consequences for the online casino industry and a revolution of the current scheme of industry players. In a statement made last month to ESPN, the congressman emphasized the importance of levelling the playing field for land-based and online betting institutions.

The laws need a wholesale review to see how they can actually work together and create a fairer playing field for all types of gambling, both online and offline, including sports betting and daily fantasy sports.

At the same time, we must ensure the laws are actually creating an environment of integrity and accountability, and include strong consumer protections.

I plan to continue discussions with the key stakeholders and then will introduce comprehensive legislation to finally update these outdated laws.

If successful, this attempt to modernize the US gambling industry and allow it to join the long list of countries with legalized online betting would result in huge opportunities for new entrants and potential losses for current top dogs.

Land-based casinos are expected to oppose any revisions that would result in increased competition in their sector, although major sports organizations stand to gain much for these legal changed.

The NBA has already openly given their support in favor of the legalization of online sports betting. Pallone has always been a huge advocate for the massive economic New Jersey would experience should the legal status of online gambling change.

Since PASPA is scheduled for review at the end of 2017 and Donald Trump is now president-elect, it appears that the future for online gambling and sports betting in the United States is brighter than ever.

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