The first week of the new American new sports world is over and sports betting in Delaware has not changed the complexion of sports. But sports leagues, particularly Major League Baseball keep lobbying for something called an integrity fee which they claim is needed to provide their oversight over sports gambling although it seems more like a money grab. Major League Baseball and maybe the National Basketball Association want one percent of the action. The sports leagues claim that people betting are using their intellectual properties or trademarks which would be team names. Major League Baseball sent Joe Torre and others to the New York State capital in Albany to persuade or is it beg lawmakers to include an integrity fee if and when New York State gives the green light to sports gambling. It appears New York might be willing to give sports leagues a quarter of one percent in what would not be called an integrity fee. Instead sports leagues would be collecting a royalty. The sports lobbyists are just trying to help out lawmakers. They are suggesting language that could be incorporated into the final legislation.
There are states that don’t want to give sports leagues an integrity fee. Nevada polices itself and Delaware is not sharing any money with sports and there might be a big reason why Delaware said no. For about a decade Delaware was pushing for an expansion of sports gambling beyond NFL Sunday parlay betting. The NFL and the NCAA sued to block the expansion. That cost the state money for court fees, cash that the state never got back. There is no reason for Delaware or any state to partner with sports leagues. There will be other states that will eventually get around passing sports gambling laws. Integrity is just an illusionary term. It’s all about the money.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred wants an integrity fee.