MLB Wants Casinos to Pay It a Cut from Wagers Placed on the Sport

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistOctober 11, 2018

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 28:  A bucket of baseballs in the dugout during the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Houston Astros at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 28, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
G Fiume/Getty Images

Kenny Gersh, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of gaming, said the league is seeking a fee from casinos if sportsbooks are going to profit off legalized sports gambling.

According to the Associated Press' Regina Garcia Cano, Gersh told a panel at a Las Vegas trade show on Wednesday that MLB wants a 0.25 percent cut of betting handles in the spirit of "fairness."

"The state is going to designate these three, four, five very specific licensed entities: You guys get the right to make money from sports betting," Gersh said. "From a fairness perspective we think, if you are going to designate someone to be able to make money off of what at the end of the day is our sport and our events because if the Yankees weren’t playing the Red Sox last night, you are not betting on the Yankees and the Red Sox ... we think we should be involved in that."

MLB has been adamant about receiving an integrity fee ever since the United States Supreme Court declared the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 unconstitutional in May.

"We think the integrity fee, a negotiable figure below 1 percent at this point, is an appropriate recognition of the fact that the gaming industry is riding our intellectual property, our content and presenting a threat to our competition from an integrity perspective that we're going to have expend money to prevent that threat from becoming a reality," commissioner Rob Manfred said at the Leaders Sport Business Summit in May, per SportsBusiness Daily's Eric Fisher.

Legalized sports betting is up and running in Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia, per Ryan Rodenberg for ESPN.com.

Pennsylvania, New York and Rhode Island are considered the next states most likely to take that step.

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