After a few headlines about NFL suspensions related to gambling, US Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) wants professional sports leagues to be transparent on their sports betting policies.
Titus sent letters to 13 professional leagues and the NCAA on Thursday, asking them to clearly outline their sports betting and gambling policies for athletes and employees. The Congresswoman expects responses by July 15.
Titus, who represents the Nevada district that includes the Las Vegas Strip, wants the public to be assured the games they watch and bet on are fair, according to the release.
Letter to NFL on sports betting
Titus’s office included a link to the letter sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about their gambling policies.
“With sports betting increasingly becoming legal across the United States, sportsbooks and innovative integrity monitoring companies can alert gaming regulators and leagues when suspicious betting activity occurs. When players get suspended and coaches get fired, that means the system is working.
“The goal, however, should be to stop these bets before they are placed. Increased education of players and
coaches about league policies regarding sports betting would assure fans that games they watch, and often bet on, are fair.”
Specifically, Titus asked:
- What is the gambling policy for athletes and staff?
- How often is in-person education about gambling required?
- How many employees focus on gambling education, monitoring and investigation?
- How many active investigations into gambling are there? How many individuals have been caught since 2018?
Titus: concerned about tax dollars
If this is like any of Titus’s other concerns as co-chair of the Congressional Gaming Caucus, the concern comes down revenue.
Titus has tried multiple times to end the federal excise tax on sports betting, giving more money to sportsbook operators to improve their products. She also co-sponsored a bill to increase the federal tax withholding limit on slots from $600 to incentivize slot play.
Headlines like multiple Detroit Lions players being suspended for gambling, followed shortly by Indianapolis Colt Isaiah Rodgers Sr reportedly betting on his own team could hurt betting interest from US viewers.
Encouraging leagues to outline their gambling policies should help reinforce the integrity of their games.
Sports betting drawing federal attention this year
This is the second sports betting issue to draw the attention of the federal government this year.
The first issue concerned the proliferation of gambling ads and their “predatory” tactics. US Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) filed the Betting on Our Future Act that would limit gambling ads in the manner of cigarettes.
Tonko does not like the use of risk-free bets that did not return money to the bettor if they lost. That language has basically all but stopped in the US betting industry.