New York open to paying leagues share of sports betting revenues
Paying fees to professional sports leagues is an option under plans for the introduction of sports betting in the US state of New York.
Various states are presently considering the implications of the decision in May by the US Supreme Court to effectively legalise sports betting, by ruling that the Professional And Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which prohibits the majority of sports betting outside Nevada, was not consistent with the US constitution.
However, the major leagues have long proposed than any legalised betting on their sports should entail an ‘integrity fee’, namely a share of the revenues in return for monitoring games for potential fixing.
Speaking in a panel session at the Saratoga Institute on Equine, Racing, and Gaming conference in Saratoga Springs on Tuesday, Peter Moschetti, one of New York’s gaming commissioners, said “all” components of a state senate bill introduced this year are under consideration, including the fee.
However, other states have so far shown a reluctance to adopt such a plan.
Fellow panelist John Bonacic, chairman of the New York Senate’s gaming committee, said he hoped his sports gambling bill put forward in March would form the basis for regulations in his state and beyond.
His plan envisages an 8.5-per-cent state tax on the revenues from betting on sport and 0.2-per-cent fee paid by casino operators to the major leagues.
Bonacic claims that the state of New York would raise around $500 million in revenues from legal sports bets at casinos each year, twice that of Nevada sports books, of which $41 million would go to the state government.
Dan Spillane, a senior vice-president at the NBA, claimed that the basketball league, Major League Baseball and golf’s PGA Tour are now seeking an integrity fee of 0.25 per cent of betting revenues, down from the 1 per cent initially sought.
In seeking to justify the payment, he said: “Leagues should be viewed as partners, not adversaries. Without sports there is no sports betting.”
The NBA recently became the first major North American league to partner with a sportsbook operator, as it struck a multi-year deal with MGM Resorts to become its official gaming partner and that of the women's WNBA.