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New NJ Sports Betting Bill Includes "Sports Wagering Integrity Fund"

05/31/2018

Sports bettors throughout the US received great news this month (May) when the Supreme court ruled against the validity of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (aka PASPA). Now, each state has the ability to allow legalized sports betting for its residents. 

It's no secret that the state of New Jersey has been a pioneer when it comes to online gambling in the US. They were indeed the first state to legalize online casino gambling. Now, the state seeks to be the first (Las Vegas aside) to offer its resident the opportunity to bet on college and professional sports from all over the world. 

With that said, the devil is in the details. The New Jersey state legislature is examining every aspect of this new endeavor. The biggest hurdles facing the House and Senate are coming from the sports leagues themselves. The leagues are looking to get a slice of the gambling revenues for using the respective league's content. 

To address the situation, a new bill sponsored by general assembly persons Eric Houghtaling, Joann Downey, and John Burzichelli, who is also chair of the Appropriations Committee, has risen to the forefront. The most important clause in the new bill addresses the use of the proposed "Sports Wagering Integrity Fund". 

These are funds that will be set aside from taxes charged to sports wagering providers for the purpose of the monitoring and maintaining of integrity within the sports leagues being wagered upon. In prior bills, the leagues themselves have lobbied to have control of said funds to be used as reimbursements for expenses incurred policing the leagues and is players. 

The new bill seeks to make sure the state legislature has control of these funds. The funds would be derived from an assortment of taxes on sports gambling revenues, plus portions of licensing fees being charged to the wagering providers. Under this proposal, the leagues will still get some integrity funding, which would be paid as reimbursements for specific integrity monitoring expenses. The issue at hand revolves around the stipulation that the leagues would only get reimbursements if there are funds remaining after the state has claimed its reimbursements. 

To date, the only thing everyone can agree with is there must be monitoring to make sure the criminal element doesn't infiltrate the leagues. The battle for control of the Integrity Funds figures to be the most heated battles as the casinos and leagues move forward and work out the sports wagering details.

 
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