NFL Punts … Changes Stance About Online Gambling

by Lou on August 12, 2010

The National Football League, one of the staunchest opponents to Barney Frank’s Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, which would establish mechanisms and procedures to license and regulate online gaming, has changed its stance.

An amendment to Frank’s bill by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) explicitly prohibiting companies licensed under the legislation from offering sports betting—except for pari-mutuel racing—was what the NFL was looking for. Frank’s bill was passed by the House Financial Services Committee on July 28.

The first version of Frank’s bill included online sports betting, and the NFL quickly voiced its opposition.   Frank then removed sports betting from a subsequent version to focus on poker and casino games, but the league’s position remained unchanged.

But Rep. King’s amendment appeased the influential and contentious NFL, which opposed online gaming since working a fantasy football carve-out into the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and then supporting the bill’s passage.

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