Free Minds & Free Markets

Pro Sports Want the Government’s Help Taking a Cut of Sports Betting. States Should Say No: New at Reason

Leagues are lobbying states to institute an "integrity fee" that would entitle them to 1 percent of all the money bet at sportsbooks.

Roman Volskiy/Dreamstime.comRoman Volskiy/Dreamstime.comThe landmark Supreme Court decision striking down the federal ban on most sports gambling rightly restores state legislatures' right to decide whether to legalize the multibillion-dollar sports-betting market.

In anticipation of the decision, West Virginia, Mississippi, and four other states passed laws legalizing the practice. Many more states are likely to follow in their footsteps. But they should be on guard against special interests clamoring for a piece of the action.

Professional sports leagues have been sending lobbyists to dozens of state legislatures asking that they institute an "integrity fee" that would entitle the leagues to 1 percent of all the money bet at sportsbooks, write Jason Huffman and Russ Latino.

Photo Credit: Roman Volskiy/


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