NFL to testify at congressional hearing on sports betting

A congressional hearing on sports betting is being scheduled for next week in Washington, D.C., with the NFL among those invited to testify, sources told ESPN.

The House Judiciary Committee will tentatively hold the hearing June 26, unless circumstances force it to be rescheduled.

The hearing will take place roughly six weeks after the United States Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), the federal prohibition that had restricted state-sponsored sports betting to a handful of states, with only Nevada being allowed to accept bets on single games.

The Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee also are examining the issue.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has announced that he is working on sports betting legislation focused on protecting the integrity of sports. Sources told ESPN that part of Hatch's initiative is centered on strengthening the Sports Bribery Act, a federal law that was not impacted by the Supreme Court decision.

Last week, a spokesperson for the Senate Commerce Committee confirmed to ESPN that sports betting has been discussed, but said there were no plans for any hearings on the issue at this time.

The NFL was one of five plaintiffs in a suit against New Jersey's efforts to allow legal sports betting at the state's casinos and racetracks. The case lasted nearly six years, before the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey on May 14 and invalidated PASPA.

The NFL said it would look to Congress to create a framework for sports betting. The league has been working with Hatch's office.

NFL senior vice president of public policy and government affairs Jocelyn Moore is representing the NFL's lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. Moore is a former deputy staff director of the Senate Finance Committee.

American Gaming Association president and CEO Geoff Freeman also is expected to testify. Freeman recently announced that he will be leaving his post with the AGA to join the Grocery Manufacturers Association as president and CEO. He will remain with the AGA through July.

Since the Supreme Court ruling, Delaware and New Jersey have begun offering Las Vegas-style sports betting. Mississippi and West Virginia are expected to open for business at some point this summer.