NJ lawmaker rejects sports betting integrity fees

The lawmaker has urged states to reject the sports betting integrity fees proposed by sports leagues.

US.- State Senate President Steve Sweeney, one of the principal supporters of overturning PASPA, the act that prohibited states from offering sports betting, has urged states to reject the integrity fees that sports leagues want to obtain from the gambling modality.

The top lawmaker believes that the sports leagues’ demands are equivalent to “extortion” and that all 50 states should reject their efforts to collect an integrity fee on sports betting revenue. Sweeney said that the leagues are more focused on getting a piece of the revenue instead of protecting the integrity of their games.

Sports leaders have historically opposed the idea of a legalised sports betting market in the United States, but recently changed their stance after numerous industry experts estimated that the Supreme Court would overturn the federal ban. The legal fight has cost New Jersey more than US$8 million: “The Leagues fought with all of their resources to stop states from allowing their citizens to legally wager on sports,” Sweeney wrote in a letter to governors and lawmakers of every state. “Now that their efforts have been ultimately unsuccessful they wish themselves to make ‘the fast buck’ and to ‘get something for nothing.’ Essentially, the Leagues are asking to be paid to allow games to be played fairly.”

Sweeney is currently a sponsor of a sports betting bill in Trenton that will likely be sent to Governor Phil Murphy on June 7th. He said that giving leagues some of the revenue would not boost integrity, as it would only result in increased scepticism.

“Taking the Leagues at their word, giving them a ‘piece of the action,’ would make suspicions grow whenever turning-point calls in close games go in favour of the more popular team — whose presence in the ‘big game’ would drive ratings and betting,” Sweeney said.

Moreover, New Jersey’s governor said that the government is working well with the Senate president and his team, the speaker and team, as they pull a regulatory scheme agreeable to all players in Trenton. “I think it will happen sooner than later,” Murphy said. “We’re having a meeting on Friday and that’s something we’re going to talk about, among other things.”

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