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New York could introduce ‘integrity fee’ in sports betting bill

New York sports betting hearing
New York gaming officials may succumb to the demands of sports leagues, as preparation is underway for the drafting of legislation to legalise sports betting in the state.

Most of the leagues are for what they call an “integrity fee”, which will take a percentage of all sports bets.

New York gaming commissioner, Peter Moschetti, during a panel discussion at the recently held gaming industry conference in Saratoga Springs, New York, said the entire bill submitted is under consideration, of which the integrity fee is part of.

States that have already implemented sports gambling legislation do not have an integrity fee, which means NY could be the first state in the US to pay the fee.

The chairperson of the NY Senate’s gaming committee, John Bonacic, who introduced the sports gambling bill in March, is optimistic it will become a framework for the state and replicated in other jurisdictions.

The proposed bill provides for a 8.5% state tax on sports betting revenue and 0.2% of the revenue to be paid to the major sports leagues.

Mr Bonacic was confident the NY sports gambling market could compete favourably with Nevada and estimates about $500 million would be spent annually on sports betting, almost twice of that spent in Nevada. If his estimation is correct, around $41 million in revenue will come to the state monthly.

A professor of global gaming law at Columbia University, Laila Mintas, supported the integrity fee quoted by Bonacic, saying it was a fair amount.

However, the executive director of online gaming at Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort, Seth Young, is not in support of the integrity fee and believes it is not necessary. He was worried that the fee would affect the revenue stream of casino operators as they receive only a 5% margin on sports wagers.