MLB Says It Deserves A Cut Of Sports Betting Profits
When it comes to the expansion of legalized sports betting in the United State, everyone wants a cut. Now that most leagues have softened their stance — or at least realized it’s going to happen with or without their support — they feel as if they should get a piece of the pie. Yesterday at a casino trade show in Las Vegas, Major League Baseball pitched the idea that they deserve a 0.25% “integrity fee.” They argue that it is their product casinos are profiting from. The problem is that MLB doesn’t realize there simply isn’t enough money to go around. They see casinos as a cash cow, which they are, but sports betting is completely different. Outside of the Super Bowl, March Madness or a big fight, there is clear documentation that Las Vegas sportsbooks spend much of the year grinding out profits. And in the case of betting on MLB, the handle doesn’t come close to that of football or even basketball. Ever popped your head into a Las Vegas sportsbook in mid-July? There’s no one there outside of a handful of die hard bettors watching Quarter Horse races at Los Alamitos and a MLB day game. The American Gaming Association understands this and countered to MLB that the request was simply not viable.
“The state is going to designate these three, four, five very specific licensed entities: You guys get the right to make money from sports betting,” he said. “From a fairness perspective we think, if you are going to designate someone to be able to make money off of what at the end of the day is our sport and our events because if the Yankees weren’t playing the Red Sox last night, you are not betting on the Yankees and the Red Sox … we think we should be involved in that.”