Recently updated on July 26th, 2020
During the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on college sports integrity, Chief Executive Officer of the American Gaming Association (AGA), Bill Miller was invited to testify. While the inquiry is centered on likeness, name, and image, legal sports betting might impact decisions.
Since July 18, the committee has discussed possible federal legislation that would allow student-athletes to use their name, image, and likeness for compensation. As part of the possible laws, college athletes would get a lot more protection from the law.
However, sports betting might throw a spanner in the works and put student-athletes in danger of threats on their lives. So, Bill Miller has used his testimony to point out some key factors of regulated betting.
Considering Legal Protections
According to Miller, legal sports betting has more protections in place to prevent match-fixing and negative influences on college-level sports. During his testimony, he also pointed out that 74% of bettors would prefer to be with legitimate operators.
Further, he said that: “the protection of the integrity of competition” is vital to the sports betting ecosystem. After all, there are “innovative technologies and other resources available”. Which can track the betting activity on legal platforms, including any “suspicious activity.”
For example, sportsbooks in Nevada are usually the first to discover match-fixing, irregular wagering patterns, and reporting it.
To date, 22 states have legalized forms of sports betting after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was struck down. However, college sports are sitting in a grey area, and colleges are pushing for bans from the Senate Judiciary.
Two of the committee members, Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), are spearheading a bill of rights for students. Reportedly, one of the expected provisions will deal with sports betting.
Senate Judiciary Committee Concerns
Opponents of betting on college athletics have found an ally in Senate Judiciary Committee’s Chairperson, Senator Lindsey Graham. During Miller’s testimony, Graham interrupted when he used an example of prop bets on a first play being a run or pass.
He said that fixing might be uncontrollable in a real-life setting with amateur athletes “even with name and likeness.” On this side of the debate, the University of Pittsburgh Athletics Director Heather Lyke brought up the same argument.
In her testimony, she mentioned that many states that have allowed sports gambling have acknowledged the dangers and banned it (in-state college betting).
So, federal laws could balance the sheet while giving athletes rights to their likeness, name, and image instead of letting some colleges exploit them.
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