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NBA and MLB opposes the Iowa sports betting bill


NBA and MLB opposes the Iowa sports betting bill

National Football Association and Major League Baseball (MLB) have opposed the Iowa House bill which is aimed at legalizing sport betting in the event the Supreme Court declares the Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional.

The NBA and MLB aren't opposing the bid of the state to legalize sports betting. However, the protest comes in the wake of seeking a slice of 'integrity fee' directly from the states. Iowa's casino industry says the demand of the major league sports fee is not pragmatic and it would make Iowa sports books unprofitable.

Wes Ehracke, President of the Iowa Gaming Association, which represents 19 commercial casinos, said, "the dispute appears to be focused on whether professional sports league would be guaranteed a chunk of profits for an integrity fee rather than whether Iowa wagering should be legalized."

"It would kill the prospects of sports betting in any state," he added.

If the state gives the nod to 1 percent fee that the sports league were demanding on the gross amount of money bet, it will gobble up 20 percent of what's left after pot money had been paid out, Ehrecke asserted. 

He further added that about 5 percent of the share would be divided among the states, federal taxes, overhead expenses, casinos and community groups while as 95 percent of the money bet would be returned to the gamblers.

"The leagues would get benefitted from the people who are watching games and are betting on it," he told the news outlet.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass said that the basketball league stands firm and is committed to working with legislators so that these protections in the form of 'integrity fee' gets included. MLB spokesman added that the legislation must consist of some protections to mitigate the risks associated the games.

18 states of the US are likely to introduce the sports betting bill this year, Eilers and Krejick Gaming research report. Moreover, it has also found that only 11 of these would enact their betting bills.

States like Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Alaska, and Hawaii are least likely to enact these bills.