One of the stickiest issues in the move towards regulated sports betting in the United States is the integrity fee demanded by professional sports leagues.

These requested fees, which range anywhere from one to two percent of the handle but have varied from state to state, would supposedly help the leagues prevent sports betting from impacting the play of professional sports. How, exactly, a new subsidy from sports bettors would help billion dollar enterprises protect against game-fixing is not something that has been clearly defined so far. Despite this fact, Peter Moschetti,a New York State Gambling Commissioner, says the Empire State is considering paying this fee to the leagues.

Moschetti made his comment at a gaming conference in Albany that was reported on by the Reuters New Agency.

John Bonacic, chairman of the New York Senate’s gaming committee, stated that his dream version of a sports betting bill included a .20 percent payment of sports betting action from casinos directly to the leagues. Bonacic went on to say that he hopes New York’s bill will be a model for the rest of the United States.

Bonacic is correct in that regard. If his state opted to pay the leagues their integrity fee, it certainly ups the chances that other states will follow suit.

The big question that hangs over the issue of integrity fees is why the leagues need them in the first place? Do regulated markets somehow encourage more fraud than black markets? It’s your local bookie who’s going to be most impacted by regulated wagering. The NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA and NHL, will likely benefit from the increased scrutiny regulated sports betting brings to the game, not the other way around.

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