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27 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 353
Note by Zach Schreiber*
ambling has been the subject of controversy since its inception. While some claim that it is a “gentleman’s game” and a means of social entertainment, others argue that it is a sinful endeavor that enables corruption, scandal, and addiction. Today, there are several different types of gambling that occur in the United States—all with varying degrees of legality and regulation. For example, betting on horse racing is legal throughout the United States, and state-sanctioned lotteries are present in forty-four of fifty states. Commercial casinos, like those in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, are regulated on a state-by-state basis, and gambling on card games is legal in over twenty states (and counting). This Note focuses on betting in professional sports, which is more tightly con-trolled than any of the other games of chance. With the prevalence of daily fantasy sports and the tentative merger between its two largest providers, FanDuel and DraftKings, sports betting has been at the forefront of the news as it relates to gaming law. The United States has taken a strict regulatory approach toward sports betting, which is inconsistent with its stance toward other types of gambling, such as slot machines, horse racing, lotteries, and, most recently, daily fantasy sports. On the other side of the Atlantic, the United Kingdom has taken a drastically different approach. According to a study on gambling prevalence conducted in 2010, over seventy-three percent of the British population have engaged in some form of gambling. While there were certainly issues of concern with the legalization of sports betting, the U.K. Parliament believed it would be counterintuitive to outright prohibit a multi-billion dollar industry, especially one with overwhelming participation by a majority of the population. Part I of this Note examines the history of sports betting and discusses its origins and the motivations behind the legislation in both countries, such as notorious betting scandals in professional sports. Part II reviews the federal framework currently in place in the United States by surveying the history and implementation of the Wire Act and discussing the legislative history and subsequent enactment of PASPA. Part II also considers one of the latest attacks on these laws by state governments. Part III analyzes the sports betting landscape in the United Kingdom by reviewing the history of sports betting internationally and presenting a discussion of the laws that regulate legal sports gambling in the United Kingdom. Part III also examines the Betting and Gaming Act of 1960—the first major change in the United Kingdom’s betting policy—and reviews the Gambling Act of 2005 (on which this Note intends to base its model). Part IV proposes that the United States should adopt the U.K. model of sports betting legislation, wherein Congress should follow the lead set by the U.K. Parliament, and dis-cusses the economic benefits of a legalized sports betting industry. This Note concludes that the United States should set up a gaming commission and legalize sports betting nationwide, while regulating it to protect against corruption.
*J.D. Candidate, Fordham University School of Law, February 2018; Editor-in-Chief, Fordham Sports Law Forum; Notes & Articles Editor, Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal, Volume XXVII. He is also a sports agent who represents professional athletes worldwide. This Note reflects his views solely as a law student and is not related to his professional position.