Wednesday, October 10, 2018

When billions aren't enough... MLB seeking .25 integrity fee from states in order for them to institute sports betting

Major League Baseball has suddenly morphed into the mob by attempting to negotiate (extort) a .25 royalty from the states in order for them to institute sports betting legislation.

Calling the royalty an 'integrity fee', representatives of the game of professional baseball are seeking what they refer to on the street as 'protection money' which ironically is currently not demanded of Las Vegas casinos who happen to run their own sports books.

Major League Baseball and the casino industry are entrenched in their views on a league proposal to get a cut from wagers placed on the sport following the repeal of a federal ban on sports betting earlier this year. 
Representatives from both industries vigorously defended what they believe is their right over the money wagered Wednesday during a panel at the casino industry's top trade show in Las Vegas. MLB and other pro leagues have asked for a percentage of the wagers, and casinos have strongly opposed any direct payments. 
Kenny Gersh, MLB's executive vice president of gaming, told the crowd of casino executives that a proposed 0.25 percent fee -- which some have dubbed an "integrity fee" -- is essentially a royalty that casino companies should pay if they are going to make money off of the sport. He defended it as a case of "fairness" and partnership with casino operators. 
Professional sports leagues have failed so far to convince any state to build the fees into their laws. Nevada, which has offered sports betting for years, does not pay an integrity fee. - ESPN
It is kind of humorous for MLB to be demand fees from states seeking to allow sports betting when over the decades this organization has already browbeat and coerced numerous cities to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for sports stadiums in which they received little or no compensation.

In 2017 Major League Baseball set a new record for gross revenues of over $10 billion while at the same time cities across the country were falling deeper in debt for outstanding bonds (some tied to stadium projects for the NFL and MLB), and shortfalls in pension funds.  And ironically when you look at sports betting now in America, an estimated $150 billion is gambled each year illegally of which zero dollars are given to any sports association or outfit.

Just as a growing number of fans are ditching the NFL for their support of Colin Kaepernick over that of the military and American flag, so too are people getting fed up with any sport that feels they can charge outrageous prices while also seeking to squeeze even more from the communities that service a team.  And all that will happen if MLB chooses to push this issue is that sports betting will remain in the shadows, and the only ones hurt will be the states and cities who could desperately use the added tax revenue.

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