The commissioner of the PGA Tour has placed support behind the legalization of sports betting in the United States. While the Supreme Court weighs in on the sports betting case in New Jersey, an increasing number of sports leagues and states are in preparation of picking sides for the possibility of ending the national sports betting exclusion.
Statements from the PGA Tour, as well as the organization, recently confirmed that it "supports the sports betting regulation in a responsible and safe manner." The statement also said that "it's aligned with the MLB and NBA" and its interests in "generating revenue for leagues, operators, and the government."
We can safely presume that the PGA Tour will support the integrity fee that the MLB and NBA have been seeking for in several states. The statement from the PGA Tour hinted at this when they said it's aligned with the MLB and NBA and look forward to seeing revenue generated for sports leagues. The fee was initially proposed by the NBA to assist them in offsetting the cost of increased oversight as well as guard against corruption should sport betting ever become legal in the United States.
The argument clearly ignores the fact that the illegal sports betting industry is already considered a multi-billion-dollar market and regulation would make it much easier to detect corruption as licensed sportsbooks in the U.S will likely cooperate with authorities and leagues. The NBA also argued that the integrity fee is partly a royalty payment because leagues host the events that bettors can wager on. The argument disregards any benefits the leagues gain from betting, including increased viewership.
Despite these rocky arguments, the sporting leagues do have a point. They certainly host the sporting events, making sports betting possible, and they will need to spend more money if they are going to change the way they monitor corruption through a legal environment. However, the integrity fee is very expensive which is the biggest problem.
The leagues are requesting a total sports betting handle of 1%. It doesn't look like much by just looking at the number, but most licensed sportsbooks like Sports Interaction only keep up to 5% of their total betting handle after winners are paid out. The remaining amount must take care of all costs and cater to the operation to make a profit. Taking a total sports betting handle of 1% when sports betting operators only keep 5% is like charging 20% tax on revenue. That's an enormous sum of money that will go straight to sports leagues.
Another recent hearing at the Illinois Senate committee mentioned that witnesses and lawmakers discussed how sportsbooks that are state-licensed could compete with offshore betting sites. In other words, how could legal operators in the state of Illinois compete with the black market?
Most of the witnesses that were present pointed out the importance of keeping fees and taxes low. Although the report lacks the necessary details of what exactly transpired, you can imagine that they stressed that sports betting is essentially a low-margin business that doesn't contain loads of room to absorb excessive fees and taxes. Should the books be forced to pass these costs to customers through less attractive odds, it's going to be extremely difficult to attract savvy bettors from offshore and neighbourhood betting sites.
Grizzly Gambling has a list of sportsbooks to choose form. Each one offers a variety of popular sports to bet on, including football, basketball, baseball, tennis, motorsports, golf, and more.
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