New York state officials are discussing a bill that could help bridge the gap between gambling facilities and U.S. sports organizations in the ongoing negotiations regarding legal sports betting and Supreme Court case Christie vs. the NCAA.
The bill would be meant to extend legal sports betting activity from the state’s casinos to horse racing tracks, off-track facilities and mobile and online sources. The bill also attempts to address some demands made known by professional sports leagues amidst other legal sports betting legislation efforts around the country.
The following is a potential provision of the bill:
“Each sports governing body shall be eligible to receive reimbursement for expenses incurred for integrity operations including monitoring, public relations and integrity investigations, up to of one-quarter of one percent of the total amount wagered at on its sporting events. This funding shall be used exclusively for expenses incurred by the sports governing body to ensure the integrity of its sporting events, providing such integrity expenses shall be approved by the gaming commission. Each sports governing body which receives in excess of fifty-thousand dollars annually from the integrity fee shall annually submit a report to the commission no later than the thirtieth of June of each year…
This provision takes a different direction on issues of directing and enforcing “integrity” than Major League Baseball’s proposed bill in Missouri. There, MLB is pushing much of the responsibility of policing gambling operations on state gaming facilities while maintaining full control over where data will come from and other aspects of data collection. That control will still be granted by the bill, as it states:
“Casinos shall use in all sports wagering only statistics, results, outcomes, and other data relating to a sporting event that have been obtained from the relevant sports governing body or an entity expressly authorized by the sports governing body to provide such information to casinos.”
Additionally, the bill would give into demands by pro sports leagues made known in other discussions and attempts at state legislation. The bill would still require operators to share personal bettor information, bet amounts and IP addresses of bets made at the request of the leagues. The New York state gaming commission would also take responsibility for creating policing legislation, while following internal rules and a code of conduct created by the leagues and reporting breaches of those rules.
Mobile betting would also be permitted and leagues would still have the power to ask for restrictions on who can gamble on its event. The new catch to the latter, however, would be the power of review granted by the commission when fielding such requests rather than giving the leagues all the power over who can and can’t play.
The compromises present in this bill appear much fair to states and facilities. Sports leagues had planned to charge their one percent fee and make the state commissions do all the work but the new bill incentivizes the leagues by creating a system of reimbursement for their efforts to put their money where their mouth is in terms of their care for integrity.
It also would place a $50,000 cap on the amount that can be demanded each year by the leagues from the facilities which would make budgeting and profiting from a legal sports betting industry more realistic for states like New York.
Should the bill be accepted and supported by pro sports leagues it has the potential to be a major landmark piece of legislation in the national push for legal sports gambling. Each of the four major U.S. sports leagues (NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB) are headquartered in New York, and New York City would be a potential hub, as it is for most other industries, communication and culture, for sports betting activity on a nationwide scale.
Major headway on the bill would probably not be made until June, but an earlier decision announced by the Supreme Court could create a mad dash and expedite efforts by states all across the country to put legal sports betting legislation through in the spirit of competition. The bill remains at the mercy of the fate of PASPA which is looking more likely to fall every day.