The MGM Resorts International Chief Executive, Jim Murren, voiced his views on the topic of integrity fees at a press event in New York.
According to reports, Murren said that MGM Resorts is “offended by the concept” of an integrity fee and even described the idea of integrity fees as “disturbing.”
Murren went on to say: “I like the word integrity, but I believe we are paying for that already, in the relationships we have, the money we are paying for data and the money we are paying for sponsorships.”
These comments on the topic of integrity fees were made on the same day MGM announced its new partnership with the MLB.
Integrity fees were initially introduced by the NBA and MLB in the run-up to the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
An integrity fee is essentially a tax on legal sports betting handle, but it does not go to state regulators. Instead, an integrity fee is paid directly to the professional sports leagues on the basis that it will go towards protecting the integrity of the sport.
As part of the MLB partnership, MGM will have access to official MLB data and league sponsorship opportunities.
This deal will also see MGM work alongside the league to ensure that responsible measures are in place for sports betting.
This partnership marked the third deal between MGM and the major sports leagues.
At this moment in time, MGM has formed sports betting partnerships with the NBA, MLB and NHL.
With this deal and the comments from Murren it looks as if the major sports leagues are fighting an uphill battle when it comes to campaigning for integrity fees.
The sports leagues were also dealt a major blow on Wednesday when the DC Committee on Finance and Revenue rejected a proposed amendment to a sports betting bill that called for the sports leagues to be paid a ‘royalty fee.’