Ever since regulated sports betting began its march across the state houses of US States, professional sports leagues have wanted a piece of the action in the form of so-called integrity fees. These fees, in the fever dreams of league commissioners, usually involve a .25-.50 percent cut of every wagers that would be used for increased auditing and other efforts to prevent game fixing. (Never mind that regulated markets are much better than black markets in picking up these sorts of anomalies.)

So far no state has taken the bait (and most have flat out rebuffed the leagues) until earlier this when a New York state sports betting expansion bill began crawling its way through the legislative process with integrity fees in tact.

Earlier this week, Senator Joe Addabbo and Representative Gary Pretlow introduced the bill in the State House and Senate as a part of revamp/expansion of New York sports betting to include changes to the licensing process and other procedural processes involving sports betting. Among the items they’ve introduced is a whopping $12 million licensing fee for potential sports betting operators; and a freeze on customer accounts that accumulate more than $2500 (as a means of curbing problem gambling). And, of course, there’s the integrity fee, which the bill’s sponsors think is something the leagues are owed.

In a statement reported on by CalvinAyre.com, Addaboo and Pretlow said, “I do think that the leagues supply the product, and they should be entitled to something. And they will experience some additional expenses. Now, it’s been said that the value of sports betting is going to increase [the leagues’ revenues] exponentially. But to keep labor peace, peace in the world, peace in the Middle East—I threw them a bone.”

All this talk of throwing the leagues a bone could be for not, since New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo doesn’t think state lawmakers can make any of these changes without changing the state’s constitution and is likely to veto the bill if it passes anyways.


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