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West Virginia Governor Says Sports Betting 'Integrity Fee' Agreement Was Reached

Casinos Say Announcement Isn't True


West Virginia is shaping up to be a key battleground state in the push for sports betting ahead of an anticipated Supreme Court ruling that would allow every state to pass laws legalizing the activity.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said Thursday that a “tentative agreement” was reached between the state’s Lottery commission, the state’s licensed casino operators and the “sports consortium” that includes the major sports leagues over so-called integrity fees, or royalities, for the intellectual property that sports books rely on.

“I insisted from day one that no part of an integrity fee for sports betting would be paid by the state,” Gov. Justice said in the news release. “I demanded that the entire fee be paid by the casinos […] This was a difficult negotiation between many different parties, but the outcome will be very good for the State of West Virginia as well as the sports leagues.”

He added that "additional dollars received by the state from sports betting will be utilized for the benefit of many of our residents. However, all of this is a moot issue until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the legality of sports gaming across the country.”

The governor added that the state will soon be “working on ways to implement the integrity fee and will determine what, if any, legislation is needed for codification.”

However, at least one of the state’s casino gambling operators says there was no deal reached this week. Speaking to, Penn National Gaming said the following:

“There is no agreement. There are the bones of an agreement. There are concepts that both sides are discussing further, but it’s still at the conceptual phrase. There is no agreement in place.”

According to a report from ESPN, representatives from Major League Baseball, the NBA, the PGA Tour and as well as Marshall and West Virginia met with representatives from the West Virginia casino industry Wednesday.