Summary: Missouri and Ohio are the latest states to announce consideration of sports betting legislation, with both revealing they are not against integrity fees, like other states have been.
Since May, states in the US have had the ability to legalize sports betting. A ruling by the United States Supreme Court made the change possible and states are taking advantage. Sports betting is a multi-million dollar industry, providing states with tons of revenues via land-based venue services as well as online. As legislation has passed, states have been bombarded by professional leagues who are now for sports betting but want a piece of the action.
Leagues like the NBA and NFL would like to see an integrity fee paid by the states as they begin to offer sports betting. The leagues argue that the fee would help them to protect the integrity of the games, though this is something that they are already supposed to be doing. For the most part, states have not included integrity fees in their legislation and have no plans to pay the leagues a portion of their earnings. However, two new states that have announced ambition to consider legislation are seemingly going to pay this fee to the leagues.
A bill has already been created in the state of Missouri regarding sports betting. Senate Bill 44 was proposed to allow sports betting to take place within riverboat casinos in the state. Online gaming would also be allowed. Sportsbooks would pay 12% in taxes based on their adjusted gross receipts and a 2% tax has been placed in the bill, being called an administrative fee. This amount would be paid along with an integrity fee set at ½ percent.
To offer sports betting in the state, operators would have to pay a $10,000 fee for a land-based license as well as pay for an interactive license. $10,000 will be paid for each interactive license acquired. $5,000 will have to be paid by operators to the Gaming Commission as a separate integrity fee along with $10,000 paid each time a license is renewed.
In Ohio, the state is looking to start discussions involving sports betting. The state is actually considering an option where several states could come together and offer services. However, some lawmakers are not happy with this plan. Senator Bill Coley has stated that a multi-state arrangement would give sports leagues one-quarter of 1% as an integrity fee.
According to Coley, if they go about sports betting legislation in the right manner, the winner will be the leagues and the franchises will be able to double in value. While growth within these sectors are good, for the most part, states do not want to include integrity fees within their legislation.
Sports leagues in the United States continue to argue that they should be given a piece of wagers because they have to make sure that resources are in place to keep games fair and avoid any match-fixing. States argue that leagues do not need this fee as they are already having to ensure the integrity of games.
While integrity fees are not being praised by states, leagues are able to cut deals with gaming operators to provide data for sports betting. Being a data supplier will give leagues a piece of the action without the integrity fee in place. Leagues can provide data they already collect to help operators be able to set their odds for upcoming events and games.