NBA & MLB insist on 1% betting handle request

14 Feb 2018

integrity fee nba mlbThe National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball continue their crusade to guarantee a 1% betting handle tax from sports betting revenues. Although we are still relatively early in the week, we have witnessed significant developments in the legal processes of removing the prohibitions on online wagering within West Virginia. Despite things looking positive for casinos, the NBA and MLB are not receiving any support from online operators or legislators and will have to up the ante if they are to gain a slice of the pie.

A bill of law, authorizing the West Virginia Lottery Commission to monitor the betting activities of the five local casinos, is to be voted as a whole on Friday.  The NBA and the MLB are expected to reject the bill in their attempt to take their well-deserved “integrity fee”.

Scott Ward, legal advisor of NBA and MLB, reminded the precondition of both associations that the data provided by them should be used by the casinos. Both leagues should take part in supervising betting in order to eliminate suspicious activity and prevent players from placing "shady" bets.

On the other hand, Danielle Boyd Lottery Commission chief counsel warned that the leagues’ slice might be increased from 1% to 10%.“It was hard for us to quite wrap our heads around how the costs of monitoring integrity would increase in a regulated market”, he said. 

NBA: We spend, therefore we deserve

Some years ago, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver added fuel to fire talking about "a federally regulated market which ignores betting prohibitions".

Speaking on Talkline radio show last Monday, the NBA legal counsel assistant Dan Spillane explained once again why both associations consider the 1% fee to be deemed indispensable but fair.

According to Spillane, the NBA is offering an avant-garde product by spending billions and deserves to take part in ensuring legal betting. His suggested that the NBA is either a non- profit organization or one which does not ensure integrity and will continue not to do so unless they receive this desirable 1%.

It’s the leagues and not the casinos that bear a greater responsibility if a betting scandal bursts out, stated Spillane. Moreover, he added that the “integrity fee” demanded by the associations won’t be unbearable for their “opponents” in the betting monitoring.

Major League Betting

The MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has put the stress on previous statements to the fact that MLB is reconsidering its position on gambling and needs to meet the standards of the new regulatory system.

According to the most recent MLB statement, “West Virginia’s betting legislation unfortunately falls short of meeting the league’s desire for clear, robust, enforceable protections to mitigate any possible risks to our games.” Nevertheless, MLB is still optimistic that the law will be revised in order to guarantee that the system operates transparently.

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