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Indiana Bill Would Give Sports Leagues 20 Percent Of Gambling Revenues: AGA

Casino Industry Says Provision Would Be Untenable

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It was known earlier this month that Indiana would be home to a sports betting bill this year, and now new details of the proposal have emerged. One of them has drawn the criticism of the commercial casino industry’s top lobbying group on Capitol Hill.

The American Gaming Association said Tuesday that the state’s legislation, pushed forward by State Representative Alan Morrison, a Republican, is misguided. According to the AGA, a provision in Morrison’s bill calls for sports betting operators in Indiana to pay the major sports leagues 20 percent of the state’s sports betting revenue, before the state receives its cut in the form of taxes.

The provision has been called an “integrity fee,” per a report from ESPN, which was the result of legislative input from Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. Assuming it passes the state legislature and is signed by the governor, Morrison’s House Bill 1325 would go into effect only if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, a law that bans traditional sports betting outside of Nevada.

The high court is expected to make a decision by June.

“While we applaud Representative Morrison’s efforts to bring legal, transparent sports betting to Indiana, handing sports leagues 20 percent of what’s left over after winnings are paid out, undercuts its economic viability," AGA CEO and President Geoff Freeman said in an emailed statement. "Doing so will ensure the illegal market continues to thrive in the state, and gut the tax revenues available to fund essential public services. We believe Indiana taxpayers deserve better.

“We encourage Indiana to reject this short-sighted, misinformed idea, which simply replaces a failed federal prohibition with bad state policy. Our goal is to eliminate the illegal market, protect consumers and strengthen the integrity of the game. We invite all stakeholders to join us in working together in a thoughtful and transparent fashion.”

More than a dozen other states in addition to Indiana have at least began making moves in anticipation of the Supreme Court saying PASPA is unconstitutional.

According to the AGA, the U.S. sports betting black market is worth about $150 million annually.

 
 
Tags: Sports Betting,   Indiana,   Supreme Court,   Sports,   MLB,   NBA,   AGA