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A senior Democratic Energy and Commerce source has confirmed to Legal Sports Report that the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade is planning a May 11 hearing on daily fantasy sports.
That committee is housed within the Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Fred Upton (R-MI). Frank Pallone (D-NJ) is the ranking Democratic member.
Both Michigan and New Jersey have considered legislative answers to the daily fantasy sports question in their state legislatures.
There is no active legislation at the federal level that addresses daily fantasy sports.
Neither a witness list or agenda for the hearing has been made available as of this article.
According to the source, the subcommittee will examine the nature of DFS as a product and the current legal status of the product.
Ongoing legislative developments at the state level, consumer protection issues, and the potential role of the federal government will also be topics on the table.
But LSR understands that the scope of the hearing will also include a broader discussion of online gambling and sports betting.
Online gambling has been a long-discussed topic at the federal level, but numerous legislative initiatives – including some to regulate and some to ban – have failed to gain meaningful traction over the last decade.
Sports betting is something of a different story.
There’s been little legislative activity around the issue during recent sessions, but the issue is picking up heat as a federal law blocking most states from regulating sports betting – the Professional and Amatuer Sports Protection Act (PASPA) – is coming under fire from state legislatures, the American Gaming Association, and other key stakeholders.
The scheduled hearing comes against the backdrop of reports regarding open federal investigations into multiple aspects of the DFS industry.
Federal prosecutors in Florida, Massachusetts, and New York are said to have active probes.