As sports betting in Pennsylvania nears its official launch, various stakeholders including the professional sports leagues, colleges, and even individual sports teams are making the final push towards cementing their positions in the budding industry. This was made possible by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) which fielded public comments on the proposed regulations that were published a month ago and, as expected, there has been a ton of responses (letters addressed to the board) from nearly all the interested parties.
What the Colleges Have to Say
Among the concerned parties in the largest college in the Keystone State, Penn State University whose officials are of the opinion that the state’s sports betting laws should be amended or reworked before the casinos are given the go-ahead to take bets on professional and collegiate games. In a letter written on behalf of Penn State, the university’s president, Eric Barron pointed out a number of concerns that they had noted in the legislation relating to sports betting.
“While Act 42 expanded the types of gaming permitted within the Commonwealth to include sports wagering, Act 42 fails to incorporate any provisions to ensure the integrity of the sports events – namely collegiate athletic events – upon which sports wagering would be permitted,” an excerpt of the letter reads.
In a nutshell, Baron hopes that the PGCB will include stronger measures in the law so as to protect the integrity of college sports. In addition to this, he wants the board to ban betting on college sports involving Pennsylvanian teams for at least two years.
Pittsburgh’s Major League Baseball (MLB) team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, chose a rather controversial approach – they want, among other things, a cut of the revenue that the casinos will be getting from sports betting. In a two-page letter addressed to the state regulator, the team stated that they want a so-called “integrity fee” to be paid to them for the purposes of facilitating such activities as mowing grass and monitoring “betting lines and betting information internally.”
The Pro Sports Leagues Want to Be Involved
There are, of course, a lot of specific demands made by each of the leagues but the nitty gritty parts of all of their individual demands could be summed up to one simple one – they want to have greater input on in-game wagering.
“We believe these proposed regulations will lead to a safer and more sustainable environment for sports betting in Pennsylvania while protecting the integrity of the underlying sporting events.”
Surprisingly though, they left out the issue of the integrity fee they have been aggressively lobbying for in the months that led up to the Supreme Court ruling that repealed PASPA. Seemingly, that ship has already sailed as far as the Keystone State goes.