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Monday, March 1, 2021

Unions seek player safeguards as sports gambling expands

Unions representing professional athletes are starting to lobby states that are considering legal sports gambling, seeking protection for athletes from threats and harassment and from those who might seek to manipulate their performance on the field for monetary gain.

In a document being circulated to state and federal lawmakers and obtained by The Associated Press, attorneys for five players’ unions are urging states to approve laws and regulations that protect players who report contact with people seeking to influence games. The unions are also asking that athletes, officials and members of their families be protected “from physical attacks, verbal threats, or other forms of harassment occurring in the workplace or elsewhere.”

The Supreme Court last month struck down a federal law that limited full-fledged sports books to Nevada, and states are scrambling to legalize gambling to boost their casinos or lotteries. Sports books opened last week in Delaware, and New Jersey will follow suit on Thursday.

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