US Player Associations Insist on Joining Sports Betting Legalization Discussions

The major player associations in the US – the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), Major League of Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) – have broken their silence while waiting for the US Supreme Court’s ruling on the New Jersey sports betting case. The player association released a joint statement in order to officially announce their position on the matter.

As said in the statement, the organizations are addressing not only the possible sports betting profits, but the costs, too. They revealed that after discussing the potential impact that legalized sports betting could have on players’ privacy and security and the games’ integrity, they shared a belief that lobbyist groups should not be the only ones to take part in the process of legalization. According to the associations, athletes must also be given the right to take part in the discussions in order to make sure that their rights and the integrity of games are kept intact.

It all began in 2012, when the four major sports leagues filed a lawsuit against Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey, after he made an attempt to pass a piece of legislation to make sports betting legal in the state. However, the bill did not manage to pass, as the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) bans the state from offer such type of gambling.

Finally, the sports betting case got to the US Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments at the beginning of December 2017. After that, a large number of US states have rolled out sports betting bill, seeking to make sports wagering part of their gambling regulatory framework.

Player Leagues Want a Chunk of Sports Betting Revenue

Now, with the legalization of sports betting on the territory of the US being more likely than ever, the major North American sports leagues’ player unions insisted that they should get a seat on the table of negotiations. For some time now, both the MLB and the NBA have been insisting to get a percentage of the bets made on their sports, with a number of proposals being rolled out, saying that it would help them to cover the costs of new regulation and keep their integrity after the possible expansion of the market.

Keeping the integrity of the game protected, as well as the already existing regulation, has been a topic of discussions for some time now, with the NBA and MLB being some of the most active associations insisting to get their fair share from the bets made. The two organizations have made a proposal for a 1% integrity fee from the overall pool of bets to be paid to leagues, while the Senate of the state of New York has recently rolled out a piece of legislation under which a 0.25% fee is to be provided to player leagues.

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