The influential National Football League softens its opposition to internet gambling
Several US media reports indicate that an amendment to Congressman Barney Frank’s proposal to legalise and regulate internet gambling in the US may have the effect of softening opposition from the traditionally opposed National Football League.
The amendment, made during the recent House Financial Services Committee mark-up session on HR 2267 explicitly prohibits companies licensed under the proposed legalization from offering sports betting, with the exception of pari-mutuel horse racing.
The reports quote vice president for communications at the NFL, Brian McCarthy, as saying: "We don't oppose [HR 2267] since it now includes the language we had hoped for. The amended language adequately addressed our specific concern. We are pleased with the outcome."
HR 2267 was voted forward from the Committee following a number of amendments in a 41-22-1 vote at the end of July.
The NFL has been a powerful anti-online gambling legalization lobbyist in past years, and is influential, often taking the lead over other national sports organisations on issues. It was also instrumental in the passage of the UIGEA, which perpetuated carve-outs for horse racing, state lotteries and fantasy sports betting.