Steve Sweeney Urge States to Reject Sports Betting ‘Integrity Fee’

Steve Sweeney.

Steve Sweeney. Kevin B. Sanders for Observer

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney urged elected officials in all 50 states to not pay “integrity fees” to sports leagues as part of any sports betting bills they enact.

In a letter to governors and legislative leaders across the nation, Sweeney accused the sports leagues of attempting “extortion” by asking for payments to help protect the integrity of their games after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting.

Sweeney (D-Gloucester) detailed how New Jersey spent more than $10 million in legal fees fighting the leagues in court to bring sports betting to the state’s casinos and racetracks.

“Now that their efforts have been ultimately unsuccessful they wish themselves to make ‘the fast buck’ and to ‘get something for nothing,’” Sweeney wrote.

The leagues are seeking a cut of the money gambled on sports to monitoring bets and make sure the games are free from cheating.

“Ironically, they are calling this extortion attempt an ‘integrity fee,’ even while fully aware that providing participants a stake in the volume of betting would amount to what could more accurately be called an ‘anti-integrity’ fee,” Sweeney wrote.

New Jersey lawmakers are expected to pass a sports betting bill on June 7.

Steve Sweeney Urge States to Reject Sports Betting ‘Integrity Fee’