Note to Pro Leagues: No One Wants to Pay You

Note to Pro Leagues: No One Wants to Pay You

May 16, 2018 10:38 AM


America’s pro leagues are so transparent. Over the last year, it’s been clear that the leagues are generally, at least publicly, not in favor of sports betting. They have claimed again and again that it may impair their games while simultaneously saying that legal, regulated betting is better for business, as opposed to an already-flourishing black market. But securing the benefit of a well-regulated legal market that they have identified is not enough.

The NBA and Major League Baseball have, for months, been lobbying individual states to include an “integrity fee,” which the leagues claim will be used to pay for oversight and investigations should sports betting become legal across the country. The payout, a whopping 1 percent off-the-top of all sports wagers, is nothing more than a payoff. That 1 percent would equate to billions for the leagues to divvy up.

The NFL has been mostly mum on the topic, but the owners are seeing green.

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