NBA, sports betting industry at odds over 1% 'integrity fee'


After the public meeting, the American Gaming Association, the commercial casino industry's top lobbying group on Capitol Hill, blasted the idea of giving the NBA a share of the winnings. But such a proposal - which also has been floated in the in state legislature as it considers its own sports gambling framework - was greeted with skepticism that bordered on hostility Wednesday in NY.

Pro leagues in Australia and France receive a small percentage of bets made on their sports.

The bill defines sports gambling as: a lottery, sweepstakes or other betting, gambling or wagering scheme based, directly or indirectly, on one or more competitive games in which amateur or professional athletes participate, or are meant to participate, or on one or more performances of such athletes in such games. "Congress should adopt a federal framework that allows states to authorize betting on professional sports, subject to strict regulatory requirements and technological safeguards". "One approach, which we would prefer, is for Congress to adopt a federal framework that would allow NY and other states to authorize betting on sports, subject to strict regulatory requirements and technological safeguards". The NBA, with Major League Baseball, recently backed a similar 1 percent "integrity fee" in Indiana.

Humphreys says a New Jersey case that's now before the U.S. Supreme Court could give states the chance to decide for themselves whether or not to allow legal sports gambling. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling this spring, and many experts have predicted that the law will be struck down, at least in part. Spillane said that those states enacted legal sports betting because of the NBA's support in 1992.

"We can all agree that the 25-year ban on sports wagering has been a failure in every regard", Freeman told the Daily News.

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"Sports leagues provide the foundation for sports betting while bearing the risks it imposes, even when regulated", says Bass.

"Smart move by the National Basketball Association taking the lead on creating a profit center from gambling", Danny Turek, a California-based attorney, said.

No one knows how much is wagered illegally on sports each year, with estimates reaching into the hundreds of billions. "Now, lets get real about eliminating the illegal market, protecting consumers and determining the role of government — a role that most certainly does not include transferring money from bettors to multi-billion dollar sports leagues".

Spillane urged the state to pass a "comprehensive sports betting bill that would serve as a model for a 50-state solution". It added that the integrity fee would make regulated sports betting less attractive to consumers because odds from legal bookmakers would be "distorted". "I think you are seeing that in the form that most seats at games are now paid by corporations, because individuals can no longer really afford them".