Executives from MLB, NBA, PGA ask Rhode Island for reduced integrity fee

May 17, 2018 9:00 AM

Executives from Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the PGA Tour went to the Rhode Island statehouse Tuesday asking for an apparently reduced “integrity fee” of 0.25-percent of each wager, should Rhode Island lawmakers pass a sports wagering bill.

The NBA has floated a trial balloon of a one percent payment on each bet earlier this year. Sports betting operators noted that such a payment would be tantamount to a 20 percent “off-the-top expense” because bookmakers typically win only five percent of the total handle.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal law Monday that made most sports gambling illegal.

The leagues are advocating that they should collect the fee because their contests create the source of the betting and they will incur added expenses protecting it from fixing.

Rhode Island Senate Finance Committee Chairman William Conley, a Democrat, said he remains unconvinced by league’s arguments.