The Federal Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 are two of the most widely-known pieces of federal legislation relating to online gambling; however, several other pieces of legislation are in the books that impact the legality of online gambling in the United States along with proposed legislation that would dramatically impact the world of online betting.
One of the main legislative attempts to outlaw sports betting in the United States was the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which essentially banned betting on pro and college sports in the United States. Exceptions were made for sports like horse and dog racing or jai alai, which have a tradition of gambling.
In March 2012, U.S. Representative Frank LoBiondo introduced legislation that would legalize sports betting in 46 states. The “Sports Gaming Opportunity Act” was introduced by LoBiondo, a chair of the Congressional Gaming Caucus, as a way to restore what he called the “right” of sports betting to citizens in states other than Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana where sports gambling is not allowed. The act would allow each state to make their own decision on the legality and regulation of sports gambling.
LoBiondo isn’t the only American politician to support legalizing gambling. Other legislative action included Republican Representative Joe Barton and Democratic Representative Barney Frank, who attempted to make tax revenues from legal gambling part of the “supercommittee” budget package in 2011. Senate majority leader Harry Reid also attempted to slip language legalizing gambling into a 2011 budget bill.