NBA Commissioner Adam Silver still wants that integrity fee.
The National Basketball Association’s regular season is near and it appears the 30 owners are reasonably happy with the economics of the league and even if they are not, there is little they can do because the collective bargaining agreement with the players has at least another five years before they or the players can pull the plug on the pact. The NBA is taking in additional money this year from sports gambling but league officials are still not comfortable with states instead of the federal government providing the rules of engagement between bettors and casinos in Nevada, Delaware, West Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Mississippi. Those states contend that they can regulate sports betting while the leagues are looking to Congress for uniform rules and perhaps an integrity fee to regulate the sports gambling industry to the owners liking. All of the states that have sports gambling have told sports owners to forget about collecting an integrity fee.
The NBA’s Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum said. “There’s been some recent interest by the federal government, who have indicated that they think maybe there should be some broad set of federal regulations which we would obviously be in support of.” Retiring Utah Senator, 84-year-old Orrin Hatch has been promising some sort of legislation that would give the federal government authority over the states in legislating sports betting. Hatch went after West Virginia in an August claiming the state has done little to protect sports integrity. States don’t want Hatch’s interference nor does the American Gambling Association. The group’s spokesperson Sara Stone agrees that states and sovereign tribal nations know what is best for their constituencies. Sports owners are making money from casinos that offer sports betting and in fact the NBA has a partnership with one sports book that allows the operator to use NBA material. It’s all about money.