A new sports betting bill in Indiana is proof that (a) politicians are clueless about gambling, and (b) sports leagues are evil.
Monday saw Indiana Rep. Alan Morrison make good on last week’s promise to introduce legislation to legalize sports betting – including online and mobile wagering – by the state’s licensed gaming operators, provided the US Supreme Court takes a knife to the federal prohibition on single-game wagering outside Nevada.
However, ESPN’s David Purdum reported that Morrison’s HB 1325 contains an “integrity fee” of 1% of total betting handle, in addition to the 9.25% tax on sportsbook revenue. (A companion bill in the state senate contains the same tax rate but makes no mention of the integrity fee.)
The 1% fee would go to ‘sports governing bodies,’ an apparent reference to the professional sports leagues on whose product the books would be taking action. The fee is supposedly intended to assist these bodies in combatting the alleged onslaught of match-fixing that anti-gambling killjoys claim will follow betting legalization.