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Leagues want a share of the action in WV sports betting legalization


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Senate Finance Committee members debated at length Monday legislation to legalize sports betting at the state’s casinos, and for the first time, heard from professional sports leagues that want a cut of the action (Senate Bill 415).

Scott Ward, a Washington attorney representing Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association, said the leagues would like to have a 1 percent “integrity fee” on each wager to help monitor betting on sporting events.

“We share the goal you heard from the [West Virginia] Lottery of changing the black market into a regulated market,” Ward told the committee.
He said the integrity fee would be used to:

— Monitor and share data on abnormal betting on games with the leagues. An example of abnormal betting, Ward said, could be a individual who bets on NBA games only when a particular referee is officiating the games.

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