Ever noticed how “anything Amazon” seems to stir up the media and spark speculation about why, and how, the e-commerce giant is making their next move and what will be the impact? The most recent chatter in the news stems from what is deemed an uncharacteristic shift by Amazon to publish a holiday toy catalog that will be distributed at their Whole Foods Market locations and mailed to millions of households across America. It just seems so oddly conventional for the “think outside of the box – cutting edge” company.
Critics wasted no time pointing the finger at Amazon and shaming the company for their part in killing the brick and mortar stores like Toys “R” Us, and now they are borrowing the methods of traditional retailer to attract more customers.
TUGGING AT NOSTALGIC HEARTSTRINGS
Toy experts say Amazon is trying to tap into the market by tugging at the nostalgic heartstrings of our inner child when the much-anticipated catalogs arrived and the excitement of knowing the magic of the holidays were right around the corner. Walmart and Target both continue to observe the ritual of sending out holiday catalogs in late October in hopes of jump-starting the kids to begin creating their December wish lists.
Toys “R” Us reported $6.5 billion in U.S. revenues in the first three quarters of 2017 and in years past 40% of the company’s annual revenues were generated in the fourth quarter due to holiday sales. That equates to approximately $4.5 billion up for grabs in November and December. The main question is, who will come to handle all the toys that were previously sold by the retail giant?
AMAZON NOT THE ONLY CONTENDER
Truth be told, it is not only Amazon who is jockeying for a piece of the action now that Toys “R” Us is gone. With such a large chunk of the toy market up for grabs, competitors small and large will be trying to get a slice of the pie.
Target announced earlier in the year that they would expand brands and dedicate more shelf space in stores for toys this holiday season, and USA Today recently reported on Party City’s plans to open 50 temporary pop up toy stores:
“The Elmsford, New York-based party goods retailer plans to locate temporary Toy City stores alongside its seasonal Halloween City stores. The stores will open in early September and stay open through the end of the traditional holiday shopping period.
The pop-up shop strategy aims to capitalize on the period during which toy sales are most lucrative – and not be stuck with largely vacant stores the rest of the year.”
The strategy to incorporate traditional retailers’ tools into its business model was first reported by Bloomberg, by sources who requested not to be identified. The leak may end up being a very lucrative ploy on Amazon’s part, by bringing us a holiday buzz and getting everyone excited about Christmas in July. Let’s face it; the fact that the online e-commerce giant is pondering using print adds via a catalog to increase sales is not exactly news. However, if the economy and consumer confidence remain strong, those wish lists might be quite a bit longer this year, with more toys for good girls and boys, and leaving merchants feeling very merry and bright.
District Judge Richard Leon delivered the long-awaited, much-anticipated decision allowing the $85 billion deal between AT&T and Time Warner to move forward with no conditions. This, after a six-week trial that found no antitrust violations and could be seen as the key to the future of the media industry.
By the end of the one-judge, no-jury trial, the odds appeared to be in favor of AT&T prevailing, as many who followed the case reported that the DOJ simply did not have enough evidence. Judge Leon specifically addressed the issue and told the courtroom that the government failed to prove that the merger would lead to higher prices and other harm to consumers. He described the government’s evidence as “too thin a reed for this court to rely on.”
AT&T’s case focused on the impending threat from tech companies who use the internet to circumvent the traditional methods of media distribution. Thus, leaving media companies scrambling to stockpile the most sought-after content and develop their own internet-based distribution services if they want half a chance to compete with the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Google.
DECISION OPENS FLOODGATES FOR OTHER MERGERS
The result of this decision will create a media and telecommunications mega-giant while opening the floodgates to other consolidation deals within the rapidly-transforming entertainment and video streaming arenas. Waiting in the wings are potential mega deals including Verizon and CBS, T-Mobile and Sprint, and 21st Century Fox and Disney. Cable, satellite, and phone companies have been scurrying to find ways to compete in the entertainment world with the big tech companies.
The decision comes as a major blow to the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, who argued vehemently that this deal was not a “vertical merger” and would result in sky-rocketing prices to consumers. The DOJ contended that AT&T-Time Warner would use its increased leverage by charging higher carriage fees for channels like HBO, TBS, TNT, and CNN.
DOJ COULD APPEAL, BUT IT WON’T BE EASY
The DOJ could decide to appeal the ruling, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it would prevent the merger from happening before the deadline. Gene Kimmelman, President and CEO of the public interest group Public Knowledge, told Yahoo Entertainment: “To stop the merger from going forward pending an appeal, the government would likely have to prove that there was a good chance they will succeed in their case and the merger moving forward would cause irreparable harm.”
Judge Leon rejected the concept of temporarily suspending the merger for a possible appeal. This makes the drop-dead date of June 21 crucial for AT&T to get the deal done. Once the merger takes place, the appeal by the DOJ, if it were successful, would require a complicated unwinding of the efforts put forward by both AT&T and Time Warner to consummate the deal. As it stands now, if the merger is not wrapped up by the June deadline, either company could walk away, and AT&T would have to pay a $500 million breakup fee.
David McAtee, AT&T General Counsel, said: “We are pleased that, after conducting a full and fair trial on the merits, the Court has categorically rejected the government’s lawsuit to block our merger with Time Warner.” He also made it clear that AT&T plans to close the deal on or before the June deadline.
We live in a world in which scale drives profit. As consumers of all types of goods and services, we better get used to it; the name of the game is mega-mergers. They say it won’t be harmful to competition, that it is all about free enterprise, yet the choices are fewer and the prices are higher.
The House Ways and Means Subcommittee recently held a hearing on “Lowering Costs and Expanding Access to Health Care through Consumer-Directed Health Plans.” They examined trends in enrollment and demographics for health spending account holders and the benefits of consumer-directed health care, as well as policies designed to give more consumers access to tax-favored savings accounts, including Health Savings Accounts.
The experts invited to give testimony hailed from a wide array of the healthcare industry and included:
- Roy Ramthun, President and Founder of HSA Consulting Services, LLC.
- Matt Eyles, President & CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).
- Jody Dietel, Chief Compliance Officer of WageWorks, Inc.
- Sherry Glied, Dean of New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman, Peter Roskam (R-IL) said:
“Health care reform should empower individuals and families to make decisions for themselves based on what fits their needs and budget. One of the best tools we have to accomplish this goal is consumer-directed health plans that are paired with Health Savings Accounts or ‘HSAs.’ These plans offer lower premiums and a higher deductible to encourage better use of healthcare services. Engaging consumers in their healthcare spending is critical to reining in our system’s ever-increasing costs. These plans continue to increase in popularity, now covering more than 21.8 million Americans.”
CDHPS OFTEN CONFUSES WITH HIGH-DEDUCTIBLE PLANS
There are several different types of Consumer-Directed Health Plans (CDHPs). Some can be paired with an individual plan, but others must be paired with a group plan through an employer. The one thing all CDHPs have in common, though, is that a personal health care account is used to pay for medical expenses, giving you more control over your healthcare dollars. CDHPs let you make decisions about how you’ll get the most value for your money based on what factors are most important to your circumstances. You make choices about what doctors and hospitals to use, then work with your doctor to decide what medications and courses of treatment are right for you. Finally, you pay for your health care using a combination of your medical insurance and your healthcare spending account.
CDHPs are often confused with high-deductible health plans. A high-deductible health plan (HDHP) is a specific type of CDHP, which includes a deductible of at least $1,300 for an individual or $2,600 for a family. Also, an HDHP’s total yearly out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles and cost-sharing (co-pays, coinsurance), can’t surpass $6,550 for an individual or $13,100 for a family. Adversaries of HDHPs and CDHPs have long argued that because consumers enrolled in these plans are more worried about saving money than seeking adequate health care, the financial incentives lead beneficiaries to use fewer healthcare services even under medical necessity. This could lead to more expensive conditions down the road, including avoidable hospitalizations and long-term spending on chronic diseases.
HEALTH CARE IS MAIN BURDEN ON FAMILY BUDGETS
Founded in 1981, the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC) is a non-profit organization that focuses on preserving, protecting, and defending the tax-advantaged programs currently available to working families through employer plan sponsors. ECFC submitted testimony to the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health. The statement said:
“Today, health care is the main burden on family budgets and can cripple their ability to remain independent and productive members of the workforce and their communities. ECFC membership believes that HSAs and FSAs should be expanded in the marketplace to provide families and individuals with the ability to manage their health costs and decrease the financial burden that results from an unexpected and expected healthcare crisis.
Many employers are moving toward higher deductible health plans or plans that increase the cost-sharing amounts borne by employees, and consequently, consumer-directed benefit such as FSAs, HRAs and HSAs, are of increasing importance to American workers.”
In May, Liberty Nation reported on the findings of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which reinforces data contained in the ECFC statement. Both sources show HDHPs are on the rise.
MILLENNIALS HAVE DESIRE TO CONTROL MORE OF THEIR SPENDING
Studies show these types of plans may attract younger individuals with a greater desire to control more of their spending. Millennials are more likely to be engaged when picking a health plan and making cost-conscious health care decisions. They also have a higher likelihood of participating in wellness and preventive health behaviors. Younger generations are more likely than Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers to request less expensive generic prescription drugs for treatments and to use cost-tracking tools to stay on top of what they’re spending.
The subcommittee agreed that improving healthy lifestyles would be the most cost-effective way to lower the price of care in America. In the meantime, the challenge remains how to make it affordable and accessible to everyone. Republicans want more choice and custom plans and to move away from “one size fits all.” Democrats on the committee voice concern regarding the elimination of the individual mandate and expanding HSAs further; there is a potential to remove the young and healthy out of the existing markets resulting in higher premiums for those who are older and sicker. And so, the proverbial can is kicked down the road for another day.
A report released by the Commerce Department shows that in the month of April, personal income increased by 0.3%. The figure is in line with economist estimates and reflects Americans’ pretax earnings from wages, salaries, investments and other U.S. sources.
Meanwhile, the report said consumer spending jumped 0.6% over the previous month. The increase is the biggest gain in five months and more than economists expected. The spending data, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity and measures household spending on everything from health care to magazines, is a good sign of economic growth in the second quarter after a sluggish first quarter.
GASOLINE AND HOUSEHOLD UTILITIES BOOST SPENDING
Spending was boosted by purchases of gasoline and other energy products. Nondurable goods purchases increased 0.9% while outlays on services rose 0.5%, elevated by demand for household utilities.
The personal-consumption-expenditures (PCE) price index, a benchmark used by the Federal Reserve to measure inflation, climbed to a seasonally adjusted 0.2% for the third month in a row, leaving the year-over-year increase in the core PCE price index at 1.8 percent. Economists expect the index will break through the Fed’s target in the coming few months and predict two or three more increases this year of 0.25% in the Central Bank’s short-term interest rate which is currently at 1.5% to 1.75%.
CONSUMERS ARE MAKING MORE, SPENDING MORE AND SAVING LESS
Consumers are earning more and spending more, but they are saving less. With spending up by more than income, personal saving as a percentage of disposable income fell to 2.8% in April from 3% March. In dollars, that equates to personal savings falling from $446 billion in March to $420 billion in April.
Most indicators look to be pointing to a growing economy where momentum is rebuilding. Rising incomes, additional dollars from last year’s tax cut and low unemployment helped propel spending on both goods and services in April, which suggests a more robust second quarter is on the horizon.
In his continued efforts to chip away at the remnants of Obamacare, the POTUS during his rally in Nashville hinted, okay touted, that soon Health and Human Services (HHS) would be announcing a new insurance plan. The Trump administration intends to offer Americans an affordable alternative to the high-cost of coverage on Obamacare’s exchanges by abolishing one of the previous administration’s most oppressive regulations.
Short-term health plans are much less expensive than plans sold on the state and federal insurance exchanges and typically cost fractions less than major medical plans, while the benefits help pay for unexpected medical care resulting from accidents and illnesses. Also, because they usually exclude preexisting conditions, they tend to be an option for healthy individuals who are looking for financial protection from high claims.
SHORT-TERM PLANS ARE AFFORDABLE AND FLEXIBLE
The head of HHS, Alex Azar, has explained over the past few weeks that while the short-term plans might not be the best choice for everyone, they do provide additional options for some people who lack insurance coverage now. They are flexible and affordable, which is something missing in today’s market.
As predicted, even as far back as 2015, the premiums this year have ballooned to an all-time high. While millions of Americans struggle to afford health insurance, Congress seems content not to wake the sleeping dog.
President Trump wants the HHS to expand access to alternative options that won’t price millions of individuals out of coverage. The proposed rule change is a step in the right direction and could even be more powerful by also making plans renewable. Obamacare’s proponents are not in favor moving forward. They refer to the short-term plans as “junk insurance” because they only cover the bare necessities, like doctor visits and emergency care and not all ten of the “essential health benefits” under Obamacare.
SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING
This healthcare crisis will not go away on its own, and with the critical mid-terms right around the corner, it seems the president is the only one who dares broach the topic of healthcare. At least he is trying to do something to help and not sitting around waiting for the magical mystery tour bus to appear and fix everything. To date, in addition to ending the individual mandate and easing restrictions on short-term health plans, President Trump has put forth the following initiatives:
- Expand access to association health plans and prohibit them from refusing coverage or charging more to those with pre-existing conditions. It also allows people on association health plans to buy policies in other states.
- Allow employers to use pretax dollars for “health reimbursement arrangements.” These help workers pay for any medical expenses. Under Obamacare, workers could only pay for health policies that met its rules.
- Find ways to limit consolidation within the insurance and hospital industries.
- Find additional means to increase competition and choice in health care.
- Allow senior citizens enrolled in Medicare who hit the catastrophic period, which kicks in after they have paid more than $5,000, to pay nothing more out of pocket.
- Require insurers to share rebates from drug companies with Medicare patients and change the way Medicare pays for expensive drugs administered at doctors’ offices.
These may not be perfect, but they are at least something. After the debacle in the Senate with repeal and replace, Mitch McConnell has no desire to bring anything forward unless he is confident there are enough votes to secure passage. Americans deserve more from their elected officials.
President Trump is in the process of burying this disaster he inherited called Obamacare. The Democrats are already sitting back and pointing fingers, saying that he is responsible for this mess. Moreover, while it might be a dangerous cliff to scale, Americans might be willing to cast votes during the mid-terms for any semblance of change and not care who is to blame. So Republicans, while there is still an opportunity to be something other than complacent, maybe it is time to roll up the sleeves and get to work.
The Trump administration said in a statement: “to protect national security, specifically intellectual property; the U.S. intends to implement specific investment restrictions and enhanced export controls for Chinese persons and entities related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology.”
Many of those following this issue were caught taking a deep breath following what seemed like a deal had been struck last week. But this latest flip-flop could damage the credibility of the U.S. and President Trump. That’s not exactly a good thing right before entering a month of essential negotiations around both trade and denuclearizing North Korea.
Meanwhile, “the United States will continue to pursue litigation at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for violations of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights based on China’s discriminatory practices for licensing intellectual property.” A case was filed regarding these violations in late March. In front of the WTO board, the Chinese have vehemently argued against these allegations.
An article in Reuters infers the Chinese were very much aware of the newly imposed tariffs:
“Chinese and U.S. envoys sparred at the World Trade Organization on Monday over U.S. President Donald Trump’s claims that China steals American ideas, the subject of two lawsuits and a White House plan to slap huge punitive tariffs on Chinese goods.”
Furthermore, the U.S. will take multiple steps against China’s “certain discriminatory and burdensome trade practices.” These steps include a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion in Chinese imports, many of which fall in the technology industry. Officials have long contended that China has engaged in theft of intellectual property and unfair practices such as forced technology transfers. Both issues would have been expected to be ironed out in the agreement which Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin has been working on diligently. Last week he made rounds on several news programs appeared very confident and optimistic about the progress made with the trade deal.
According to the White House, the tariffs “will be implemented in accordance with Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and will include products affiliated with the “Made in China 2025 Plan.” The strategy is a 2015 Beijing initiative promoting the country’s information technology, high-end machinery and robotics, aerospace, marine equipment and ships, advanced rail transport, new-energy vehicles, electric power, agricultural machinery, new materials and bio-medical sectors.
TRADE NEGOTIATIONS WILL CONTINUE
“The United States will continue efforts to protect domestic technology and intellectual property, stop noneconomic transfers of industrially significant technology and intellectual property to China, and enhance access to the Chinese market,” the White House also said.
Assessing these fines may be a calculated move by the Trump team or just an excellent head fake. Either way, we will know soon enough. The final list of covered imports subject to penalty will be announced by June 15 and imposed shortly thereafter. The proposed investment restrictions will be published by June 30 and take effect at a later date. Between now and then investors might want to buckle in because anything with a hint of trade war sends the stock market into a frenzy.
On Monday, it was revealed that numerous Amazon members’ accounts had been terminated as a penalty for returning goods too often. The terminations appeared to come without warning and included numerous lifetime bans. Many people seem to be less concerned with the injustice of it all and more worried about whether the returns they have made in the past pose a danger to their own Amazon accounts.
A quick internet search for Amazon banning customers fielded 20 or more articles, all quoting WSJ. Even In-Style and Food and Wine reported it as the news of the day. Why? Because many of their readers depend on, and love, the convenience of Amazon for delivering merchandise to their doorsteps daily.
Amazon has 300 million members because it is the ultimate in convenience; it has perks like free two-day shipping and comes with what most consider a fairly liberal return policy. As with many things in this ever-evolving world, however, “the times they are a-changing.”
THE ONLINE WORLD OF ALGORITHMS
We live in an online era driven by data, which feeds algorithms that monitor our behaviors. Whether it be personal relationships or political affiliations on Facebook, the daily swings of the stock market due to geopolitical events, or the retail tracking of our purchases and returns, they want it all. The sophistication of these algorithms allows businesses to uncover things that before went undetected. Moreover, while we the consumer may not like them, or may feel they have invaded our privacy, we also have the option to not put ourselves at risk by simply not doing business with these online companies. And that is the beauty of free enterprise.
AMAZON: LOVE ‘EM OR HATE ‘EM
Whether you love or hate Amazon, the fact remains that it is a business and must protect its margin. Over the years, fraudulent returns have run rampant and cost the retail industry billions of dollars. Amazon is dealing with the high cost of these returns, just as it will have to deal with high fuel costs, increased delivery costs with USPS, FedEx and UPS, and balancing a human and robotic labor force. It is business, baby.
According to the WSJ, most of the people affected were able to settle the issue and have their membership reinstated. Amazon, while sending a message loud and clear, might want to rethink the delivery of the bad news by explicitly stating in their return policy that certain types and or frequency of returns could lead to discontinued membership.
The company’s current return policy does not make the prohibition on regular returns clear, but it does state it has the discretion to terminate accounts.
Regardless of what Amazon’s next steps are with regards to refunds and terminating memberships or the next business adventure they undertake, it will no doubt make headlines because, hey, it is Amazon.
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued its Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2017. The report provides a full-year of health insurance estimates for the U.S. The study questions approximately 78,000 people every quarter and monitors the number of Americans with and without health insurance.
The findings show the overall number of people uninsured remained relatively flat over last year. In 2017, there were 29.3 million persons (9.1%) uninsured compared to 28.6 million persons (9%) in 2016. The results seem to belie other survey expectations and the noise made over the past 12 months in regards to President Trump’s on-going agenda to kill Obamacare.
HYSTERIA CALMED ON THE LEFT
Earlier this month, the Commonwealth Fund held a private survey, which reported: “the uninsured rate among working-age people, that is those between 19 and 64, rising to 15.5 % in 2017, up from 12.7 in 2016, meaning an estimated 4 million people lost coverage.” The prediction had Obamacare supporters pulling their hair out. The CDC report has calmed them, as most insurance experts believe it to be more definitive and the authoritative resource on insurance coverage due to the large number of participants, quarterly intervals, and the fact that the survey is done in person.
In November of last year, Liberty Nation reported on the hysteria from the left that President Trump had “sabotaged” the enrollment process of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by shortening the sign-up period and cutting the outreach and education budget for Obamacare by 90% from $100 million to $10 million. Based on the newly released CDC report, it appears to be $90 million well saved.
Other notable findings in the survey results include that the number of uninsured dropped slightly in states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the ACA and rose a little bit in those that did not. The number of people under the age of 65 enrolled in the Health Insurance Marketplace or state-based exchange plans decreased in from 11.6 million (4.3%) in 2016 to 9.8 million (3.6%) in 2017. Additionally, the number of high deductible health plans (HDHP) increased from 39.4% in 2016 to 43.7% in 2017. In this robust economy, it is possible that as younger and healthier people are getting back into the workforce, they opt to switch from marketplace plans to the lower premium HDHPs.
SPECULATION BUT NO ACTION EXPECTED
No doubt speculation of what will happen in the next 12 months will continue, especially with the individual mandate going away in 2019. Experts suggested that this alone could result in some 2 to 4 million electing to drop insurance coverage. President Trump and his administration are working to find ways to expand the use of association health plans, groups of small businesses that pool together to buy health insurance and to broaden the definition of short-term insurance. Critics worry these moves could have the potential to increase premiums in ACA plans already in place and cause the number of uninsured individuals to grow.
Repeal and replace seems to be a bad dream that neither the Democrats nor Republicans want to relive. Instead, the swamp people will continue to waste their time marching to the “who did what with the Russians” drum. In the meantime, we taxpayers will have to live on a hope and a prayer when it comes to fixing the healthcare crisis in America.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court gave each state the power to determine whether to allow sports gambling, and it has many people jumping for joy. Most proponents predict high economic gains from the additional revenue and new jobs.
Here at Liberty Nation, we set out to put some numbers to this speculation – not an easy task. The most thorough analysis we found is a study released by Oxford Economics in 2017: The Economic Impact of Legalized Sports Betting. We used the most conservative estimates in the study, which assumes legalizing sports betting across all 50 states with a high tax rate (15% of Gross Gaming Revenue) and convenient product offerings (includes casinos, retail locations, and online mobile betting), and the results are as follows:
- Adding up to $19 billion to the U.S. economy (GDP).
- Generating up to $36 billion in total economic output.
- Providing as much as $8 billion in additional annual tax revenue.
- Adding up to 189,000 American jobs.
ALL 50 STATES BUY IN “NOT LIKELY”
It is important to note these numbers are based the “best case” scenario, assuming all 50 states legalize sports betting. However, the reality is that although the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned by SCOTUS, each state will have to pass a bill to legalize betting within its borders.
Chris Grove, managing director at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a California-based research firm that serves the gaming industry, told USA TODAY it will be at least a year before most states will consider joining the gaming industry:
“Broadly speaking, you’re looking at a few distinct waves in how states will proceed.
The first wave comprises a handful of states that basically have legal mechanisms in place and were just waiting for a favorable ruling from the high court. This includes New Jersey, West Virginia, Delaware, and Mississippi.
The next involves a slightly larger set of states whose legislatures are still in session and have sports-betting bills pending. California, New York, Illinois, and Michigan are among this group.
The largest group of states will wait until 2019 because they are out of session or almost out of session. How, and when, states move on this will be heavily influenced by the actions of neighboring states.”
Other experts think there will never be an “all-in” when it comes to states offering sports betting and over the next ten years, we would only see about 30 states participate – at most. They could be right. There seem to be just as many opponents to this as there are supporters.
ALREADY PUSHBACK FROM SPORTS ORGANIZATIONS AND MEMBER OF CONGRESS
In Monday’s Supreme Court decision, Justice Alito wrote that there were good policy arguments on both sides about whether to legalize sports betting.
“Supporters argue that legalization will produce revenue for the states and critically weaken illegal sports betting operations, which are often run by organized crime. Opponents contend that legalizing sports gambling will hook the young on gambling, encourage people of modest means to squander their savings and earnings, and corrupt professional and college sports.
Congress can regulate the sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so each State if free to act on its own.”
Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT), one of the original authors of the law struck down on Monday, said he planned to introduce federal legislation regulating sports betting. A statement from his office reads, “It will be up to each state to decide whether to legalize and sports gambling and how to regulate it. However, given that sports betting activity can now be conducted across state lines via the Internet, Senator Hatch believes we need to ensure there are some federal standards in place to ensure that state regulatory frameworks aren’t a race to the bottom.”
The NCAA wrote on its website, “The NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering, which has the potential to undermine the integrity of sports contests and jeopardizes the welfare of student-athletes and the intercollegiate athletics community.” Also, in statements released after the Supreme Court’s ruling, both the NBA and the NFL called on Congress to pass a federal sports betting law.
We may not have heard the last of it on this topic. It appears to be one of those times when taking a pause seems to be the best route, and it may be wise not to attempt making any predictions. And, of course, no one should yet be counting their chickens.