Underdog Sports Shows Support for GRIT Act, Becomes First Sports Wagering Operator to Do So
Underdog Sports has made headlines as the first sports wagering operator to officially back the federal Gambling addiction Recovery, Investment and Treatment (GRIT) Act. This new legislation seeks to allocate half of the federal excise tax on sports wagering towards responsible and problem gambling prevention strategies.
The company, which plans to launch its first foray into sports wagering in North Carolina in March, proudly states that it is the first firm to support the GRIT Act. The bill was introduced in January by Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Oregon) and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), and it calls for the distribution of half of 1Q of 1 percent tax on handle to aid in stopping problem gambling.
Vice President of Responsible Gaming for Underdog Sports, Adam Warrington, expressed the company’s support for the legislation. He emphasized the need for dedicated federal resources to aid problem gambling prevention, research, and treatment. Warrington stated that the GRIT Act would direct existing tax dollars paid by legal operators to fill the current funding gap, as there are currently no federal funds allocated for problem gambling.
Not everyone is on board with the GRIT Act, however. Nevada Rep. Dina Titus has voiced her support for the complete abolition of the excise tax, expressing feeling “blindsided” by the initiation of the bill. The American Gaming Association (AGA) has also come out against the bill, while the National Council on Problem Gambling supports it.
The proposed bill allocates 75% of its funds to be returned to states to implement responsible and problem gambling programs, with the remaining 25% funding federal gambling addiction research. It also mandates the Secretary of Health and Human Services to file an official report to Congress evaluating the effectiveness of the implemented programs. The legislation, if validated, will remain in force for 10 years.