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Congress searches for a federal solution to sports betting

Superbook at the Westgate in Las Vegas
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) proposed legislation that would create a federal framework for states to regulate sports betting, ESPN first reported and Axios has since confirmed.

Why it matters: It pits pro sports leagues, which want a federal framework, against casinos and other big gaming companies, which don't.

Since the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting earlier this year, there has been no regulatory consistency among the states seeking to allow participation within their borders.

More from ESPN on Hatch's draft legislation:

"The legislation, which would allow wagering on professional and collegiate sports, would require states to apply for approval from the U.S. attorney general when implementing new sports betting laws and regulations. It would force sportsbook operators to use official league data to grade wagers until at least 2023 and create a mechanism for authorities to target unlicensed operators domestically and offshore."

Pro sports leagues would favor Hatch's bill because they likely could charge for the official league data. Gaming organizations, of course, don't believe such data is necessary for gaming integrity — pointing to historical success in Las Vegas.

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has his own proposal for a federal framework and, unlike Hatch, isn't retiring next month.
  • Last week, companies including MGM, Caesars and Fanduel created the Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association to monitor wager integrity.
  • MGM currently has deals with the NBA, MLB and NHL, allowing the casino to access official league data feeds.
  • Some casinos have individual partnerships with teams, including the New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia 76ers and Dallas Cowboys.

Here's the draft legislation:

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