After the US Supreme Court ruled last year to overturn a nationwide ban on sports betting, sports leagues had no choice but to accept that states would be opening their markets to legal and regulated betting. Throughout the process, however, these leagues have been demanding what they call an ‘integrity fee’ – a fee paid to them in return for the use of official league data for wagering purposes.
However, the former governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has come out forcibly against this idea and has urged state legislators to follow his suit.
Speaking at the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States Conference in New Orleans last week, Christie was adamant that sports leagues such as the NBA and NFL did not deserve to be paid integrity fees.
“We’re going to reward the people who fought us for seven years with fees that are going to diminish your margins?” asked Christie. “They don’t need it, and given their conduct over the last seven years, they don’t deserve it.”
At the same conference, Christie also came out strongly against a bi-partisan bill that was introduced late last night by Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Orrin Hatch. The bill gives the federal government the right to regulate and oversee the US sports betting market, including the set up of a National Sports Wagering Clearing House.
Chris Christie, however, believes that the Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act of 2018 is totally unnecessary.
“We do not need a federal solution to this problem,” said Christie. “States have been regulating gambling for decades without incident.”
Echoing his sentiments was the AGA (American Gaming Association) which said: “This bill is the epitome of a solution in search of a problem, representing an unprecedented and inappropriate expansion of federal involvement in the gaming industry, which is currently one of the most strictly regulated.”