Sports Leagues Might Receive an Integrity Fee from Betting in New York

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At a recent Gaming Law Conference in Saratoga Springs a gaming official said that a bill to pay fees to sports leagues by sports betting operators is being considered.

 

The fee, termed as integrity fee, was asked for by sports leagues with the aim of policing against cheating.

 

Peter Moschetti, a New York Gaming Commissioner, said that all components of the proposed bill are under consideration. If the bill does get passed, it will be a first in the country. Presently, no other state in the US pays a fee to professional sports leagues.

 

The bill was proposed after a May ruling by the Supreme Court allowed for gaming betting to expand to other states. With the gambling revenue as a promising stream of revenue for states, lawmakers sought to have the Integrity Fee Bill passed to bolster finances.

 

The plan put forward asks for a state tax of 8.5% on all revenue earned through gaming betting and for casino operators to pay a 0.2% fee to sports leagues. Panelists at the Gaming Law Conference hope that the bill that was first introduced in March would not only be used in New York but other states as well.

 

The bill is not without its opponents as casino operators resist it. Foxwoods Resort Casino’s executive director Seth Young said that the bill was unnecessary and that the casino operators make a 5% margin on an average on sports book operations.

 

Young believes that sports betting already helps to promote the sports leagues and an additional fee is not required.

 

However, with legal sports bets looking to generate an income of $500 million in New York, which could translate into revenue of $41 million for the state government, lawmakers appear to be in favor of the bill.

 

Professor of global gaming law at Columbia University, Linda Mintas believes that the fee is a reasonable sum for casino operators to pay leagues for integrity monitoring.

 

The National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and Professional Golf Association are all looking to make a quarter of a percentage point as integrity fee. NBA senior vice president Dan Spillane claims that the quarter percentage is a compromise from the one percent that was initially sought.

 

Legal sports betting in New York alone could add $7 million annually to the NBA fund. The extra revenue could expand the NBA teams’ salary cap, said Spillane.

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