Sports leagues slash the price of money for nothing, as NFL remains silent

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Major League Baseball, the NBA, and the PGA want states that adopt gambling to cough up one percent of the action in exchange for, well, nothing. But the sports leagues are willing to take a lot less in exchange for, well, nothing.

Via Patrick Anderson of the Providence Journal, the trio of leagues has slashed their request from 1.0 percent to 0.25 percent in Rhode Island.

PGA Tour vice president David Miller told the Rhode Island Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday that the “[l]eagues create the source of activity” on which the betting will be used, and that the leagues “bear the burden of integrity risk” of gambling-driven irregularities like match fixing and point shaving.

“These are our games,” NBA senior V.P. Dan Spillane argued at the same hearing. “The games and the fans who are interested in them. That’s what you are getting for it.”

That argument has never flown in Nevada, and the sports leagues never have tried to take a stand against illegal gambling on this plank of sanctimony. Instead, they’ve historically enjoyed the increased interest in their sports via legal betting in Nevada and illegal betting elsewhere. Now that the other 49 states can get in on the act, the sports leagues are putting a hand out because: (1) they can; and (2) the cost for doing so pales in comparison to the money they could make, if they can convince one or more states to swallow a hook that holds no actual bait.

The NFL has yet to make a move for any type of integrity fee, but the league’s constant references to the “integrity of the game” (even with one of the teams already slated to move to Las Vegas) seems to be the precursor to making a play not in statehouses but in Congress to get a fee aimed at giving them the money, ostensibly, to ensure that the games will have something they already should.

36 responses to “Sports leagues slash the price of money for nothing, as NFL remains silent

  1. These people have no clue at how thin the PROFIT margins are for sport books.

    Yes, there is a 10% vig on a bet, but for every $22 bet in this standard case $21 is returned to the winner which means only 1/22 or 4.1% is gross revenue. From that you have to deduct all the salaries and other expenses shrinking that number further. If they ask for 0.1% they may have a chance. Anything more and they will be told to get lost and start their own sports book.

  2. Sports is so stupid. When people bet they watch the games they otherwise could care less about. 1% fee is too much unless you are betting close to an even bet.

  3. If sports books and states tell the leagues to F-off, what will they do – not play? What leverage would the PGA, NBA, or MLB have on any sports books or states?

  4. Nothing but a shakedown. The gambling industry would be right to tell the leagues to go pound sand. What are the leagues gonna do? Not play the games? Integrity of the game has been a red herring from the start. Any player that wants to gamble on games can do so. It’s been here since the beginning of time. I don’t think it’s that widespread with players, but if it was, we’d probably never find out about it. The leagues should just take their additional TV money due to ratings and shut up. But they won’t. Because the system is corrupt and they’ll grease enough pockets to get regulation, all along playing the legalized gambling is more of a blight on society than illegal gambling, casinos, offshore betting, state lotteries, etc. A sickening joke.

  5. Two random thoughts.

    One, if the NFL saw this legal ruling coming, the decision to let the Raiders move to Vegas seems less rebellious than it previously did.

    Two, and this may be the wrong site, but g’dammit let Pete Rose into the baseball Hall of Fame already.

  6. Nevada sports books won $248.7 million, gross, an all-time record, in 2017. $4.86 billion was wagered in 2017, also an all-time high, according to Nevada Gaming Control.

    Profit margin is small? What a joke! Guess that 10% adds up.

  7. Given that gambling has already been legal in Nevada, if there were such a need for extra integrity police in each league, they should already have them in place, and the need would already be there. Allowing more states the same thing does NOT change the equation.

    Now, if they wanted to try to go after them for using player names and likenesses (like for video games), that would seem to have a better chance. Although, again, if that were already a need, they would have gone after Nevada for that as well.

  8. Salaries and other expenses don’t just come from sports book revenue, which is only in Vegas. There’s also food, liquor, entertainment, hotels, table games, slots, etc. If casinos wouldn’t give up more than 2% they’d put themselves outta business.

  9. tedmurph says:
    May 16, 2018 at 8:28 pm
    Nevada sports books won $248.7 million, gross, an all-time record, in 2017. $4.86 billion was wagered in 2017, also an all-time high, according to Nevada Gaming Control.

    Profit margin is small? What a joke! Guess that 10% adds up.
    _________________________________________________________

    Just a rudimentary grasp of basic mathematical concepts would have stopped you from shoving your foot into your mouth. 248.7M / 4.86B (also read as 4860M) yields a gross profit margin of 5.1%. Gross, we’re not talking net, gross. Still have to pay the expenses to run the business.

  10. So if I place a bet on the weather I should pay a % to whom? Totally ridiculous from the sports leagues

  11. Give then nothing which is exactly what the states should do as what can the sports leagues do? Nothing…….they wont pass up revenue from increased viewership. Sure Jerry Brown of California will give them 3%,while others states will get the leagues to pay them.

  12. I dont get how the law won’t let a church organize a Super Bowl party without kicking some money back to the NFL but making a killing handling bets on the NFL’s games without paying a dime to the NFL is allowed.

  13. When vastly experienced, and highly skilled negotiators unhesitatinly reduce their demsnd by 75 percent before receiving a counter offer or even reaching the table, it’s pretty clear that even they know this is ludicrous.

    Their best move now is to quietly slink back to their mansions before they lose every last shred of respect and goodwill.

    I sure didn’t read of them handing out bonuses and extra pay from their bloated revenue and profits sparked by the gambling craze.

  14. “if they can convince one or more states to swallow a hook that holds no actual bait.”

    Any chance this becomes a real issue the next time a team threatens to move to a different state (and the league must approve)?

  15. exinsidetrader says:
    May 16, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    “…Anything more and they will be told to get lost and start their own sports book.”
    ——————————

    Interesting. I wonder if the NFL will ultimately start their own “official” sports book and have locations present in the stadiums (like the in-stadium betting in the UK)?

  16. “I don’t get how the law won’t let a church organize a Super Bowl party without kicking some money back to the NFL…”.

    Churches can have all the Super Bowl day parties that they wish without paying the NFL. They just can’t use the words “Super Bowl” to promote said parties. And even if they did, it would not be a “kickback”. It’s a fee for using a trademarked phrase.

  17. The leagues and teams are going to be iced out of the legal gambling profits which may very well lead to owners and GMs, as well as players and coaches, taking matters into their own hands. Point shaving, fake injury reports, inexplicable personnel decisions during games, peculiar officiating, etc. will tend to make fans suspicious that insiders are possibly manipulating outcomes. When fans have a feeling that they are merely buying tickets to view predetermined conclusions, say goodnight Gracie.

  18. mmack66 says:

    What exactly is the process of turning kickbacks into integrity?
    ————————————–
    Thank you for this. I chuckled.

  19. Man you have no clue, you have no idea how many times i’ve won on the under in a Tennessee Titans or Cleveland Browns game, 2 teams i never watch.

    tarheel219 says:
    May 16, 2018 at 8:05 pm
    Sports is so stupid. When people bet they watch the games they otherwise could care less about. 1% fee is too much unless you are betting close to an even bet.

  20. If these leagues take 1% of the betting pool, aren’t they now a 100% participant in the same gambling laws they fought against for years? They said that gambling on games is immoral and would ruin their game but now that it’s legal, they flip over like a dog and will do all they can to strong arm each state for the “straight gambling cash homey” … hypocrisy at it’s finest.

  21. “I dont get how the law won’t let a church organize a Super Bowl party without kicking some money back to the NFL but making a killing handling bets on the NFL’s games without paying a dime to the NFL is allowed.”
    ________________

    Let’s compare apples to oranges and scratch our heads wondering why they’re so different from each other. It’s almost like they’re totally different things or something.

  22. nyyankeehatespoliticos says:
    May 16, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    If sports books and states tell the leagues to F-off, what will they do – not play? What leverage would the PGA, NBA, or MLB have on any sports books or states?

    ================

    What leverage? Well, there’s the question of where they hold tournaments, Super Bowls, drafts, where they look to for expansion franchises… leagues won’t forget which states made which choices.

  23. Rick G. says:
    May 17, 2018 at 10:42 am

    If these leagues take 1% of the betting pool, aren’t they now a 100% participant in the same gambling laws they fought against for years? They said that gambling on games is immoral and would ruin their game but now that it’s legal, they flip over like a dog and will do all they can to strong arm each state for the “straight gambling cash homey” … hypocrisy at it’s finest.

    =============

    I agree with you, but at the same time, it’s pretty inevitable now that a huge, overt gambling infrastructure is going to be built up around games – web, TV, phones, you name it, all kinds of portals to interact with money and games. No way the leagues will just passively allow all that to be built and all that money to be created without them trying to either own or at least “regulate” (take a cut of) the experience.

  24. The states should agree to the 0.25%, on the condition that any NFL/NBA/MLB/NHL or minor league team with any financial ties to those leagues that requests public funds for stadium building is subject to sanctions of at least $1,000,000.

  25. Except, I find it unlikely any team will agree to it which means the NFL or other leagues won’t have any locations to choose from except those that wouldn’t give them free money.

  26. I understand how the church thing works, genius. Trust me, I am smarter than you. My point still stands except ur too blinded to see it. Also, the church thing wasnt about them using the term Super Bowl to promote the event, it was because it was a gathering of more than 20 people watching on a big screen where food and drink would be sold or something ridiculous like that -even after the pastor said they would remove the entrance fee, they still werent allowed to hold the event. So I say again, if they had refused to do as ordered, law enforcement agents would have eventually come down on them. Same thing as a video game company that makes football games featuring NFL names. But when a giant sports book is making a whole industry out of taking and advertising bets on the NFL’s games, there is not one dime they have to pay for that?

  27. vicnocal says:
    May 17, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    I understand how the church thing works, genius. Trust me, I am smarter than you. My point still stands except ur too blinded to see it. Also, the church thing wasnt about them using the term Super Bowl to promote the event, it was because it was a gathering of more than 20 people watching on a big screen where food and drink would be sold or something ridiculous like that -even after the pastor said they would remove the entrance fee, they still werent allowed to hold the event. So I say again, if they had refused to do as ordered, law enforcement agents would have eventually come down on them. Same thing as a video game company that makes football games featuring NFL names. But when a giant sports book is making a whole industry out of taking and advertising bets on the NFL’s games, there is not one dime they have to pay for that?
    _____________________
    Judging from your post I doubt you are smart, let alone “smarter” than him. If I described you as clueless on the subject-matter I would be exaggerating your expertise.

  28. They are not asking for 1% of the profits. That is small potatoes. They are asking for a 1% tax on all bets placed. Which makes them the house. Talk about integrity!

  29. Why are you surprised the NFL wants free gambling money? Their whole mantra is to screw the taxpayers into giving them free lavish stadiums and then demand major renovations every 3 years or so. Then they’ll throw tantrums and threaten to move if they don’t get it. This is also the same multi billion dollar organization that had TAX FREE status for years and was able to prevent networks for showing local games.

    The arrogance of the NFL is just appalling.

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