For more than a year, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association have argued that they should get a cut of every legal bet placed on their games.
A study from gambling consultant Spectrum Gaming Group says imposing the controversial royalty — also called an integrity fee — could generate more money for sportsbooks and states because of greater cooperation from the leagues.
Commissioned by the leagues to analyze the viability of a 0.25 percent royalty, Spectrum calculated that annual gaming revenue should range from $6.5 billion to $9.1 billion in the roughly 20 states that are currently mulling regulation. League involvement, the study says, could push the money to the higher end of the range, a potential swing of billions of dollars.
“A royalty fee to the leagues could create a partnership among leagues, operators and states that could accelerate the passage of legislation and create a larger regulated sports betting market and therefore more revenue for all parties,” Spectrum said in its executive summary. The report doesn’t take an official stand on the fee.
The study says the NBA and MLB could be instrumental not just in passing legislation, but passing the right type of legislation. Spectrum, which declined to comment beyond the report, suggests the leagues could help advance effective regulation, reasonable taxation and mobile betting. Mobile alone could be worth triple the proposed fee.