Library Receives Donation of Popular Art Valued in the Millions

 

Largest Donation of Comic Books in Library History Includes the Original Storyboards for the Creation of Mickey Mouse

Steve Geppi, owner and CEO of Diamond Comic Distributors in Baltimore, Maryland, shows off his collection, May 22, 2018. Photo by Shawn Miller.

The Library of Congress announced today that collector and entrepreneur Stephen A. Geppi has donated to the nation’s library more than 3,000 items from his phenomenal and vast personal collection of comic books and popular art, including the original storyboards that document the creation of Mickey Mouse.  This multimillion-dollar gift includes comic books, original art, photos, posters, newspapers, buttons, pins, badges and related materials, and select items will be on display beginning this summer.

The Stephen A. Geppi Collection of Comics and Graphic Arts has been on public display in Baltimore, Maryland, for the past decade and is a remarkable and comprehensive assemblage of popular art.  It includes a wide range of rare comics and represents the best of the Golden (1938-1956), Silver (1956-1970) and Bronze (1970-1985) ages of comic books. The mint-condition collection is also noted for its racially and socially diverse content as well as the distinctive creative styles of each era.

The collection also includes motion picture posters and objects showcasing how music, comic book characters, cultural icons and politicians were popularized in the consumer marketplace.  Among these are Beatles memorabilia, a collection of flicker rings popularizing comic book characters and political figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Richard Outcault’s The Yellow Kid printing blocks and the No. 2 Brownie camera model F from Eastman Kodak Company.

One signature item in the collection represents the birth of one of animation’s most iconic characters. Six rare storyboards detail the story layout and action for Walt Disney’s 1928 animated film, “Plane Crazy.”  It was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon produced, but the third to be released, after sound was added, in 1929. “Steamboat Willie” was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon to be theatrically released, on Nov. 18, 1928, which marks its 90th anniversary this year.

“The Library of Congress is home to the nation’s largest collection of comic books, cartoon art and related ephemera and we celebrate this generous donation to the American people that greatly enhances our existing holdings,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “The appeal of comic books is universal, and we are thrilled that this new addition to the collections will make them even more accessible to people worldwide.”

“When I began collecting comic books as a young boy and then in earnest in 1972, I would have never dreamed that a major portion of my collection would find a home at the Library of Congress, alongside the papers of 23 presidents, the Gutenberg Bible and Thomas Jefferson’s library,” said Geppi. “This gift will help celebrate the history of comics and pop culture and their role in promoting literacy.”

Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, May 22, 2018. Photo by Shawn Miller.

Geppi is the owner and CEO of Diamond Comic Distributors, based in Baltimore.  A fan of comic books as a child, he later began seriously collecting them and turned his passion into a series of pop culture businesses.  Over the years, Geppi amassed one of the largest individual collections of vintage comic books and pop culture artifacts in the world.

Geppi will continue to be an active collector and will be considering other donations to the Library of Congress in the future.  “I view this newly established connection to the Library of Congress as the beginning of a long-term relationship,” said Geppi.

The Library holds more than 140,000 issues of about 13,000 comic book titles, dating back to the 1930s.  The collection includes many firsts and some of the most important comics in history, including the first comic book sold on newsstands; the first series featuring Batman and other iconic characters; and All Star Comics #8, which introduced fans to Wonder Woman.  The Library also holds a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, which tells the origin story of Spider-Man, and the original artwork that Steve Ditko created for that issue. The Geppi Collection expands and enriches this strong foundation and fills gaps in specific issues.

The Serial and Government Publications Division maintains one of the most extensive newspaper collections in the world.  It is exceptionally strong in United States newspapers, with 9,000 titles covering the past three centuries. With more than 25,000 non-U.S. titles, it is the largest collection of international newspapers in the world. Beyond its newspaper holdings, the division also has extensive collections of current periodicals (40,000 titles), comic books (13,000 titles) and government publications (1 million items). The collection of comic books is available for research use by scholars, collectors and other researchers in the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room.  More information can be found at http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/coll/049.html.

The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division holds more than 15 million photographs, drawings and prints from the 15th century to the present day.  International in scope, these visual collections represent a rich array of human experience, knowledge, creativity and achievement, touching on almost every realm of endeavor—science, art, invention, government and political struggle, and the recording of history.  More information can be found at loc.gov/rr/print/.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm oft he U.S.Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.  Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S.federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

Healthy Eating Research: Building Evidence to Promote Health and Well-Being Among Children

2018 Call for Proposals

    Release Date: May 23, 2018 | Application Deadline: July 18, 2018, 3:00 p.m. ET
Healthy Eating Research (HER) is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program, which supports research on policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) strategies with strong potential to promote the health and well-being of children at a population level. Specifically, HER aims to help all children achieve optimal nutrition and a healthy weight. HER grantmaking focuses on children and adolescents from birth to 18, and their families, with a priority on lower-income and racial and ethnic minority populations that are at-risk of poor nutrition and obesity. Findings are expected to advance RWJF’s efforts to ensure that all children and their families have the opportunity and resources to experience the best physical, social, and emotional health possible, promote health equity, and build a Culture of Health.

Healthy Eating Research issues calls for proposals (CFPs) to solicit scientifically rigorous, solution-oriented proposals from investigators representing diverse disciplines and backgrounds. This CFP is for two types of awards aimed at providing advocates, decision-makers, and policymakers with evidence to promote the health and well-being of children through nutritious foods and beverages. The award types are Round 11, small- and large-scale grants. The two funding opportunities are described in more detail beginning on page 2 of the CFP.

You can learn more about Healthy Eating Research at www.healthyeatingresearch.org.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

For All Grant Opportunities

  • Preference will be given to applicants that are either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or Type III supporting organizations. The Foundation may require additional documentation.
  • Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.
  • The focus of this program is the United States; studies in other countries will be considered only to the extent that they may directly inform U.S. policy.

Key Dates

May 23July 18, 2018 (3 p.m. ET)
RWJF online system available to applicants for concept papers.

June 6, 2018 (3 p.m. ET)
Optional applicant webinar. Registration is required. Please visit the program’s website for complete details and to register.

July 18, 2018 (3 p.m. ET)
Concept papers due. Those submitted after July 18, 2018 (3 p.m. ET) will not be reviewed.

August 13, 2018
Applicants notified whether they are invited to submit a full proposal.

March 13–15, 2019
Healthy Eating Research Annual Meeting

For all grant types, see table in the CFP for separate key dates/deadlines for small-scale vs. large-scale grants.

Total Awards

Approximately $2.6 million will be awarded under this CFP for the two award types. The anticipated allocation of funds is as follows:

  • Approximately $1.6 million will be awarded as small-scale grants, resulting in the funding of up to eight small research grants through this solicitation. Each grant will award up to $200,000 for up to 18 months.
  • Approximately $1 million will be awarded as large-scale grants, resulting in the funding of two large-scale grants through this solicitation. Each grant will award up to $500,000 for up to 24 months.

Federal Reserve Board issues Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households

The Federal Reserve Board’s latest Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Householdsfinds that economic well-being has generally improved over the past five years. The report notes that 74 percent of adults reported they were doing at least OK financially in 2017‑‑up 10 percentage points from the first survey in 2013. Even so, notable differences remain across race, ethnicity, education groups, and locations and many individuals still struggle to repay college loans, handle small emergency expenses, and manage retirement savings.

The report draws from the Board’s fifth annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED) and examines the economic well-being and financial lives of Americans and their families. In November and December 2017, more than 12,000 people participated in the survey. They described their experiences on a wide range of topics, including income, employment, unexpected expenses, banking and credit, housing, education, and retirement planning.

Among the new topics covered in this year’s report is the relationship between the opioid epidemic and local economic conditions. One in five adults personally knows someone who has been addicted to opioids, and those who do have somewhat less favorable assessments of economic conditions. Still, over half of adults exposed to opioid addiction say that their local economy is good or excellent, suggesting a role for factors beyond economic conditions in understanding the crisis.

“This year’s survey finds that rising levels of employment are translating into improved financial conditions for many but not all Americans, with one third now reporting they are living comfortably and another 40 percent reporting they are doing ok financially,” said Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard. “Even with the improvement in financial outlook, however, 40 percent still say they cannot cover a $400 emergency expense, or would do so by borrowing or selling something. We learned that about one in five adults knows someone with addiction to opioids or painkillers; whites are about twice as likely to have such exposure as blacks and Hispanics; and exposure does not vary much by education level or by local economic conditions.”

The Board’s SHED data looks at how individuals are managing their finances and making decisions vital to their financial lives and futures. Alongside the economic gains observed since the Great Recession, this report also notes challenges faced by people who are trying to piece together multiple jobs or who are struggling to establish emergency savings. The Board will continue to follow these developments.

Among the report’s other key findings:

  • Individuals of all education levels, races, and ethnicities have shared in the economic expansion over the past five years, although reported well-being remains lower for racial and ethnic minorities and those with less educational attainment
  • Most workers are satisfied with the wages and benefits from their current job and are optimistic about their future job opportunities. Even so, challenges including irregular job scheduling remain. One in six workers have irregular work schedules that they did not request, and one in ten receive their work schedule less than a week in advance
  • Many adults are struggling to save for retirement, and less than two-fifths believe that they are on track with their savings. While preparedness for retirement increases with age, concerns about inadequate savings are still common for those nearing retirement
  • Four in 10 adults, if faced with an unexpected expense of $400, would either not be able to cover it or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money. This is an improvement from half of adults in 2013 being ill-prepared for such an expense

Other data on urban and rural geographic differences and national and local views are also in the report. Survey data files from the report are available for download. The report, downloadable data, and a video summarizing the survey’s findings may be found at: https://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerscommunities/shed.htm.

DEATH RATES FROM PROSTATE CANCER HAVE STOPPED FALLING RENEWING QUESTIONS ABOUT TESTING FOR THE DISEASE

After falling for two decades, the death rate for prostate cancer has stopped decreasing and cases of advanced disease are on the rise, researchers reported this morning.
The unwelcome trends roughly coincided with a decline in screening for the disease, the study showed. But the authors added that it isn’t clear whether reduced screening is responsible because cancer incidence and death rates could be affected by many factors.
Nevertheless, the new report is reigniting long-running arguments over the use of screening tests called prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, tests. Some experts had discouraged routine use of PSA blood tests to avoid harm from aggressive treatment for malignancies that didn’t pose a threat; now men are urged to talk to their doctors about it.

Read more » (Washington Post)

Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction to be Awarded to E. Annie Proulx

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today that E. Annie Proulx, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Shipping News” and the short story “Brokeback Mountain,” will receive the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction during the 2018 Library of Congress National Book Festival on Sept. 1.

Hayden selected Proulx as this year’s winner based on the recommendation of a jury of previous winners, distinguished authors and prominent literary critics from around the world. The prize ceremony will take place during the National Book Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

“E. Annie Proulx has given us monumental sagas and keen-eyed, skillfully wrought stories,” Hayden said. “Throughout her writing, she succeeds in capturing the wild, woolly heart of America, from its screwball wit to its every last detail. She is an American original.”

One of the Library of Congress’ most prestigious awards, the annual Prize for American Fiction honors an American literary writer whose body of work is distinguished not only for its mastery of the art but also for its originality of thought and imagination. The award seeks to commend strong, unique, enduring voices that—throughout long, consistently accomplished careers—have told us something new about the American experience.

“This high honor came as a shock to me,” Proulx said. “My writing has examined the lives of unimportant people—poor people plagued with bad luck, financial and personal troubles. They were hill farmers, small town country music groups, hunters and fishermen, immigrants and accordion repairmen, failed newspapermen and fishermen, war veterans and cowhands, closeted rural gays in denial, ranchers, lumbermen, wood-choppers, widows. They were strung across the continent from Newfoundland to Vermont to Louisiana to Wyoming to Michigan to Oregon. Not the kind of characters to be graced with notice by the Library of Congress. And yet somehow it has happened. I want to believe the people in my writing will step up with me to receive this award, for they are as real as history.”

Author of ‘The Shipping News’ and ‘Brokeback Mountain’ to Appear at National Book Festival. (Photo: Gus Powell)

Proulx was born in Connecticut in 1935 and attended Colby College and the University of Vermont. She lives in Port Townsend, Washington. Proulx is the author of eight books, including “The Shipping News,” which received the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize; and “Postcards,” winner of the PEN/Faulkner award—Proulx was the first woman to win the award.

Proulx’s other honors include the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature, the National Book Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her O. Henry Prize-winning story “Brokeback Mountain,” which originally appeared in The New Yorker, was made into an Academy Award-winning film. Her most recent novel is “Barkskins.”

For more information on the prize, including previous winners, visit loc.gov/about/awards-and-honors/fiction-prize/.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

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FEDERAL INTERAGENCY COMMITTEE ON EMS SEEKS INPUT ON RFI TO IMPROVE PREHOSPITAL TRAUMA CARE

90-day public comment period is open for Request for Information to improve prehospital trauma care.

Each year, nearly 200,000 people in the U.S. die from traumatic injuries. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) estimate as many as 20% of these deaths could have been prevented. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on behalf of the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS), is seeking comments by July 26, 2018 on the effectiveness of current treatment efforts and opportunities to improve prehospital trauma care.

The Request for Information (RFI) seeks public input on areas in which improved prehospital care could help save lives. In 2016, NASEM released A National Trauma Care System, a report that defined preventable deaths after injury as those casualties whose lives could have been saved by appropriate and timely medical care, regardless of tactical, logistical, or environmental issues. The RFI asks respondents from all backgrounds and areas of expertise to provide input on a range of issues including opportunities for medical collaboration, EMS data integration, and the possibility of cross-training military EMS resources with civilian EMS.

Comments may be submitted:

  • Online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal (identified by Docket No. NHTSA-2018-0056)
  • Through mail or hand delivery to: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590

FDA WARNS ABOUT STEM CELL THERAPIES FROM UNSCRUPULOUS PROVIDERS

Doris Tyler lay on the examining table as the doctor stuck a long, thin tube into her belly. The doctor pulled back a plunger, and the syringe quickly filled with yellow blobs tinged with pink.

“Look at that beautiful fat coming out. Liquid gold!” one of the clinic’s staff exclaimed in a video of the procedure provided to The Washington Post.

Hidden in that fat were stem cells with the amazing power to heal, the Stem Cell Center of Georgia had told Tyler. The clinic is one of hundreds that have popped up across the country, many offering treatments for conditions from Parkinson’s disease to autism to multiple sclerosis. WASHINGTON POST

Stem cells have been called everything from cure-alls to miracle treatments. But don’t believe the hype. Some unscrupulous providers offer stem cell products that are both unapproved and unproven. So beware of potentially dangerous procedures—and confirm what’s really being offered before you consider any treatment.

The facts: Stem cell therapies may offer the potential to treat diseases or conditions for which few treatments exist. Sometimes called the body’s “master cells,” stem cells are the cells that develop into blood, brain, bones, and all of the body’s organs. They have the potential to repair, restore, replace, and regenerate cells, and could possibly be used to treat many medical conditions and diseases.

But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is concerned that some patients seeking cures and remedies are vulnerable to stem cell treatments that are illegal and potentially harmful. And the FDA is increasing its oversight and enforcement to protect people from dishonest and unscrupulous stem cell clinics, while continuing to encourage innovation so that the medical industry can properly harness the potential of stem cell products.

To do your part to stay safe, make sure that any stem cell treatment you are considering is either:

  • FDA-approved, or;
  • Being studied under an Investigational New Drug Application (IND), which is a clinical investigation plan submitted and allowed to proceed by the FDA.

Stem Cell Uses and FDA Regulation

The FDA has the authority to regulate stem cell products in the United States.

Today, doctors routinely use stem cells that come from bone marrow or blood in transplant procedures to treat patients with cancer and disorders of the blood and immune system.

With limited exceptions, investigational products must also go through a thorough FDA review process as investigators prepare to determine the safety and effectiveness of products in well-controlled human studies, called clinical trials. The FDA has reviewed many stem cell products for use in these studies.

As part of the FDA’s review, investigators must show how each product will be manufactured so the FDA can make sure appropriate steps are being taken to help assure the product’s safety, purity, and strength (potency). The FDA also requires sufficient data from animal studies to help evaluate any potential risks associated with product use. (You can learn more about clinical trials on the FDA’s website.)

That said, some clinics may inappropriately advertise stem cell clinical trials without submitting an IND. Some clinics also may falsely advertise that FDA review and approval of the stem cell therapy is unnecessary. But when clinical trials are not conducted under an IND, it means that the FDA has not reviewed the experimental therapy to help make sure it is reasonably safe. So be cautious about these treatments.

About FDA-approved products derived from stem cells

The only stem cell-based products that are FDA-approved for use in the United States consist of blood-forming stem cells (hematopoietic progenitor cells) derived from cord blood.

These products are approved for limited use in patients with disorders that affect the body system that is involved in the production of blood (called the “hematopoietic” system). These FDA-approved stem cell products are listed on the FDA website. Bone marrow also is used for these treatments but is generally not regulated by the FDA for this use.

Safety Concerns for Unproven Stem Cell Treatments

All medical treatments have benefits and risks. But unproven stem cell therapies can be particularly unsafe.

For instance, attendees at a 2016 FDA public workshop discussed several cases of severe adverse events. One patient became blind due to an injection of stem cells into the eye. Another patient received a spinal cord injection that caused the growth of a spinal tumor.

Other potential safety concerns for unproven treatments include:

  • Administration site reactions,
  • The ability of cells to move from placement sites and change into inappropriate cell types or multiply,
  • Failure of cells to work as expected, and
  • The growth of tumors.

Note: Even if stem cells are your own cells, there are still safety risks such as those noted above. In addition, if cells are manipulated after removal, there is a risk of contamination of the cells.

FDA Actions on Unapproved Stem Cell Products

When stem cell products are used in unapproved ways—or when they are processed in ways that are more than minimally manipulated, which relates to the nature and degree of processing—the FDA may take (and has already taken) a variety of administrative and judicial actions, including criminal enforcement, depending on the violations involved.

In August 2017, the FDA announced increased enforcement of regulations and oversight of stem cell clinics. To learn more, see the statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on the FDA website.

And in March 2017, to further clarify the benefits and risks of stem cell therapy, the FDA published a perspective article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The FDA will continue to help with the development and licensing of new stem cell therapies where the scientific evidence supports the product’s safety and effectiveness.

Advice for People Considering Stem Cell Therapies

Stem cell products have the potential to treat many medical conditions and diseases. But for almost all of these products, it is not yet known whether the product has any benefit—or if the product is safe to use.


If you’re considering treatment in the United States:

  • Ask if the FDA has reviewed the treatment. Ask your health care provider to confirm this information. You also can ask the clinical investigator to give you the FDA-issued Investigational New Drug Application number and the chance to review the FDA communication acknowledging the IND. Ask for this information before getting treatment—even if the stem cells are your own.
  • Request the facts and ask questions if you don’t understand. To participate in a clinical trial that requires an IND application, you must sign a consent form that explains the experimental procedure. The consent form also identifies the Institutional Review Board (IRB) that assures the protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects. Make sure you understand the entire process and known risks before you sign. You also can ask the study sponsor for the clinical investigator’s brochure, which includes a short description of the product and information about its safety and effectiveness.

If you’re considering treatment in another country:

  • Learn about regulations that cover products in that country.
  • Know that the FDA does not have oversight of treatments done in other countries. The FDA typically has little information about foreign establishments or their stem cell products.
  • Be cautious. If you’re considering a stem cell-based product in a country that may not require regulatory review of clinical studies, it may be hard to know if the experimental treatment is reasonably safe.

Last Updated: 11/16/2017

WITH THE SUPREME COURT’S PENDING SPORTS GAMBLING DECISION STATES ARE ALREADY PREPPING FOR LEGALIZATION

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A screen shows a baseball game next to various betting lines at the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas, Nevada. John Locher/AP Photo

Jennifer Roberts,
University of Nevada

The gambling world is waiting with bated breath for the United States Supreme Court decision that could result in an expansion of sports betting. The decision could be announced anytime between today and the end of June.

Since I teach sports betting regulation and gambling law, I’ve been closely watching the developments as well. Although Nevada has had a robust sports betting industry for decades, New Jersey has been at the forefront of the push to legalize sports betting.

In recent years, many other states have prepared for a ruling from the Supreme Court that would overturn the prohibition of sports betting. Even professional sports leagues – which have emerged as the leading opponents of efforts to legalize and regulate sports betting – are looking to cash in.

How we got here

According to the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

For this reason, states have traditionally overseen and regulated casino gambling. The Nevada Supreme Court specifically recognized, in a case involving the infamous Frank Rosenthal (portrayed as Ace Rothstein by Robert De Niro in the movie “Casino”), that gaming is “a matter reserved to the states within the meaning of the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

However, in 1992, responding to concerns about the spread of state-sponsored sports wagering, Congress enacted the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, also known as the Bradley Act, named after its lead sponsor, then-U.S. Senator Bill Bradley.

The Bradley Act made it unlawful for any governmental entity, such as states, municipalities or Indian tribes, to “sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, license, or authorize by law or compact” any sports betting. In addition, the act prohibited any individual from operating any sort of sports betting enterprise.

However, the Bradley Act exempted four states from the prohibition: Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana. Of these four states, Nevada was – and remains – the only one with full-scale sports wagering. New Jersey was given a one-year window to legalize sports wagering, but the state legislature failed to take action within the allotted time.

Fast forward to 2011. That year, New Jersey government officials decided they wanted to have regulated sports wagering, so the state introduced a referendum on a statewide ballot that would amend the state Constitution to permit wagering on college, amateur, and professional sports at Atlantic City casinos and racetracks across the state.

New Jersey voters supported the ballot referendum, and in 2012 the New Jersey legislature passed a law to legalize sports wagering.

However, the major professional and college sports leagues – NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL – opposed the legislation and filed a lawsuit to stop New Jersey from regulating sports wagering.

In response, New Jersey claimed that the Bradley Act was unconstitutional because it violated the state’s 10th Amendment rights to regulate gambling in the form of sports wagering. In 2013, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the leagues, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider the case. The Bradley Act remained intact.

New Jersey pressed on. Having lost on the argument that legalizing sports wagering is equivalent to “authorizing” it under the existing Bradley Act, New Jersey got creative and decided to simply repeal the state’s criminal laws and regulations that prohibited sports book operations in casinos and racetracks.

Once again, the sports leagues sued to stop New Jersey. In response, New Jersey argued that it would be a violation of the 10th Amendment if the state were prevented from repealing an existing law. Again, the lower courts and Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the leagues – but for the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court decided it would weigh in.

Prepping for the inevitable?

Now we await the decision.

It’s important to note that this case is about more than sports betting, which is simply the subject matter before the Supreme Court. It has more to do with states’ rights, and the decision has the potential to affect other areas of dispute, from marijuana legalization to the ability of cities to protect undocumented immigrants to gun control.

There are several possible outcomes. The U.S. Supreme Court could decide in favor of the leagues, which would mean New Jersey – and any other nonexempted state – would remain prohibited from allowing any sports wagering.

At the other end of the spectrum, the court could declare the Bradley Act unconstitutional, and states and Indian tribes would no longer be blocked from authorizing and regulating full-scale sports wagering.

Another possibility is that the court sides with New Jersey and allows the state to decriminalize sports wagering – on an either limited basis (in casinos and racetracks) or entirely – but not regulate it.

Finally, the Supreme Court could strike the prohibition that prevents states and tribes from permitting sports wagering, but keep the restriction so that individuals cannot conduct legal sports wagering. If this were to happen, sports betting could be permitted by states, but individuals would be prevented from operating their own sports betting business.

About 20 states are already preparing for the event that the Bradley Act gets overturned and are gearing up to pass laws (or have already done so) that will give them the ability to offer regulated sports wagering.

However, there are many unknowns and issues that will need to be addressed: Will state-sponsored sports wagering be run by state lotteries or private enterprise such as casinos or racetracks? Will amendments be needed to permit Indian tribes to offer sports wagering? And will information on sporting events for wagering purposes – such as scores, outcomes or game statistics – be restricted to data generated from the leagues?

There are already disagreements over something called an “integrity fee.” In states where sports betting will likely become legal, leagues have been pressing to receive 1 percent of all amounts wagered on a sporting event.

In Nevada – where legal, regulated sports wagering has taken place since 1949 – such a fee has never been in place. Instead, casinos simply pay the state up to 6.75 percent in a tax on revenues (which is the same tax paid by casinos on other forms of gambling), in addition to a federal tax of 0.25 percent on amounts wagered. States looking to legalize sports betting are proposing varied rates of taxation.

So how might an integrity fee affect sports books?

If we look at the most recent Super Bowl, over US$158 million was wagered in Nevada on the game. If there was a mandated integrity fee, this means that the NFL would have received $1.58 million from Nevada sports books.

But in the case of the Super Bowl, Nevada sports books only made $1.17 million, or 0.7 percent of the total amount wagered. So that means that if Nevada sports books had to pay an integrity fee on the Super Bowl, it would have lost money even before having to pay state and federal taxes, rent, employee salaries and the other costs of operating a sports book. From the industry’s perspective, sports wagering isn’t always as lucrative as it’s often portrayed to be.

The ConversationFor this reason, states must be educated and informed when considering whether to legalize sports betting. If they think they’ll get a tax windfall for schools and roads, they could be sorely mistaken – especially if the leagues end up getting a cut.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

 

 

REP. PATRICK MEEHAN(R-Pa.) RESIGNS AMID ETHICS PROBE REPORTS OF SECRET SETTLEMENT WITH STAFFER WHO ACCUSED HIM OF SEXUAL HASASSMENT

Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) resigns amid ethics probe, reports of secret settlement with staffer who accused him of harassment

Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.), who previously announced his retirement from Congress following reports he had paid a secret settlement to a staffer who accused him of harassment, resigned outright Friday.

His resignation came as the House Ethics Committee continued a probe into his behavior that could have resulted in serious sanctions. The former aide, a younger woman, alleged that Meehan had confessed romantic feelings for her after she became involved with another man. Meehan, she alleged, later retaliated after she repelled his advances. Full Story