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Pallone Unveils Comprehensive Gaming Bill & Solicits Feedback from Stakeholders

May 25, 2017
Press Release
Discussion Draft Would Allow States to Legalize Sports Betting & Online Gambling if Consumer Protections are in Place

Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) today released a discussion draft of a comprehensive gaming bill, the Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act, or GAME Act, which allows states to legalize sports betting and online gambling if appropriate consumer protections are also in place.


“Despite the federal gaming laws in place today, Americans are betting up to $400 billion a year on sporting events alone,” Pallone said.  “It’s time to recognize that the laws are outdated, and the GAME Act will modernize them by increasing transparency, integrity, and consumer protections.”


In May 2016, the Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing at Pallone’s request to examine the relationship between fantasy sports and gambling. Since then, Pallone has conducted an extensive review of the federal gaming laws and the effects on the legal and illegal gambling markets.  Pallone’s review found that the current system is not working as intended, as illegal gambling and other forms of gambling that skirt federal laws are prevalent. 


The GAME Act is intended to remove the federal obstacles to legalized gambling at the state level.  It does not create a federal framework for gambling and instead allows states that choose to legalize and regulate sports betting and/or online gambling to do so. 


The discussion draft removes federal barriers in states that have implemented basic consumer protections, including mechanisms for age and location verification; safeguards to protect privacy and data security of players; and recourse mechanisms for consumers.


A section-by-section summary of the bill is available here.


The text of the discussion draft is available here.