Michigan Betting To Include “Integrity Fee”?
To this point in the sports betting chronicle, leagues such as the NBA and MLB have been unable to persuade lawmakers in passing a law to pay them an “integrity fee” or “royalty”. However, that could soon be changing.
Michigan state Rep Brandt Iden has seemed to have changed his mind after spending more times communicating with the leagues, according to Reuters. Sports officials have started to steer away from the “integrity fee” term and are now just calling it a royalty, like Kenny Gersh who is the Executive Vice President of Major League Baseball.
So, basically, what would happen is that state of Michigan would essentially forfeit a portion of money that could be used to increase state funding and give it to the leagues instead, with the mindset of without the leagues, there’d be no legal sports betting to begin with.
Legalized Sports Betting in Other States
Other states that have legalized or are in the process of legalizing sports gambling— Arkansas, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Kentucky—are staunchly opposed to paying, as different states have different issues within their state. For example, Kentucky has an ongoing pension issue.
However, there are also states like New York who are in favor of advancing the legalization process that offered up a deal to include .20 percent of all wagers placed to be given to sports leagues as a royalty. That bill was brought by John Bonacic, though, and he is no longer in the political landscape.
As mentioned, the NBA is interested in receiving the loyalty as Commissioner Adam Silver said, “My view is we should be compensated for our intellectual property, but we can do that directly, again, with commercial relationships with gaming establishments.”
After those comments, though the NBA and MGM struck a deal to be partners for $25 million over three years.
Other than that, individual teams have made deals with various casinos to be partners, too.
Conversely, leagues like the NFL and NHL have either not commented on the issue, or, in the NHL’s case, have no interest in receiving a cut. With PASPA passing, each individual state can determine what is best for them and negotiate however they see fit and that is the position Iden is in.
“I believe that there’s an opportunity to have a holistic discussion to ensure we are coming up with the best policy where all parties involved feel they have a fair shake in the policy discussion. We’re still having conversations to ensure all voices are heard. Whether [a fee is] off-the-top or otherwise, my goal is to take 2019 to put the best policy together we can, while having everyone’s voices heard. My goal is to spend 2019 on this,” he said.