West Virginia adopts sports betting legislation

Business News

West Virginia has become the sixth state to pass a sports betting law, which will only truly go into effect should the U.S. Supreme Court rule in a way that ends the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992’s prohibition on states licensing or authorizing sports wagering.

If that occurs, then West Virginia will begin allowing its five gaming facilities to provide sports betting options to consumers in exchange for individual $100,000 licensing fees.

While West Virginia’s passage of the legislation is noteworthy, what is perhaps most interesting is the money and time being spent by the NBA and MLB to cause a change to the bill before it truly becomes law. The MLB’s and NBA’s problem with West Virginia’s efforts is that the bill currently does not include any commission from wagers for the leagues, which is something each league has been very focused on lobbying for, state-by-state, in the recent past.

For instance, some lawmakers in Missouri have caved in to the leagues’ demand that legislation include a 1% “integrity fee” on all wagers, which would equate to roughly 20% on the gross gaming revenue (the revenues actually received by the sportsbooks after paying out winners of wagers).

A pending New York bill would provide the leagues with less than they are demanding, but at least they would get something — a fee of up to 0.25% on wagers — if passed in its current form.