Supporters and opponents of Senate bill 1772, which would prohibit states from using the outcome of professional sports events as the basis for lotteries, met yesterday in the Dirksen Senate office building for a judiciary subcommittee hearing about the controversial legislation.

The bill comes at a time when many states -- and the District of Columbia -- are considering or have considered lotteries based on sports scores. Currently only Oregon has such a lottery. A similar proposal here was blocked by the D.C. Council in May.

Presiding over the hearing was Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.), who introduced the bill with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Witnesses who spoke in favor of the bill included former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Reggie Williams, Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jeff Ballard, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Jim McKay, ABC announcer and spokesman for the American Horse Council Inc.

Among those speaking in opposition to the bill were Jim Davey, Oregon lottery director, and Michael Carr, president of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries.

Supporters of the bill stressed the negative effect of state-sanctioned gambling on the integrity of sports.

"I can think of no greater threat to an athlete's personal sense of accomplishment than governmentally sanctioned sports gambling," said Williams, now a member of Cincinnati's city council. "State-sponsored gambling makes a mockery of an athlete's sacrifices and commitments . . . and immediately silences all players as role models for youth."

Tagliabue's appearance continued his crusade to eliminate the influence of gambling on the NFL. He has informed the five networks televising NFL games that they would not be authorized to broadcast point spreads.

Sports-based lotteries "would create a pervasive air of suspicion about controversial plays in NFL games," he said. "Professional sports will no longer represent competition {and} success through preparation. They will come to represent, instead, the fast buck, the quick fix, {and} the desire to get something for nothing."

Tagliabue also said Oregon's decision not to include games by its state universities, Oregon and Oregon State, and area high schools "is a dead giveaway that {lottery officials} are themselves concerned with the negative messages they propose to send to young people."

But opponents of S. 1772 argue that, if professional sports leagues were really intent on eliminating gambling, they would attack the more lucrative operations in Las Vegas. Davey said the Oregon lottery, which included NFL and NBA games except those involving the Portland Trail Blazers, grossed $7.7 million in its first year, while sports "books" in Nevada were making billions.

"Who would be more likely to try to fix a football game?" asked Davey. "A guy with a $1 million bet in Las Vegas on a single game, or a guy with a $2 bet who would have to fix 14 games to win only $84,000?"

Davey added that $2.6 million of the revenue generated by the sports lottery in Oregon went to assisting intercollegiate athletics, especially nonrevenue sports, in the state.

Carr said lotteries involving sports are no more than "a slightly larger-scale version" of the traditional office pool. "Has anyone ever tried to fix a game to win the office pool?"