The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has responded positively to input from several interested parties into the current regulations (Act 42) governing sports betting in the state. Among those to submit their views were Penn State University; Harrah’s; Penn National Gaming; Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Club; Major League Baseball; the PGA Tour; the National Basketball Association; and the National Football League.
Penn State University’s response, predictably, focused on the importance of maintaining integrity at a collegiate level. It commented: “We believe strongly that wagering on collegiate sports must be limited by prohibiting sports wagering on sporting events involving varsity sports teams from colleges and universities domiciled in Pennsylvania for at least the two-year period of the temporary regulations.”
For the Pittsburgh Pirates, an integrity fee to keep sports betting crime free and ensure the upkeep of its stadium were top of the agenda. It wrote: “We are very concerned that the current iteration of the regulation does not call for any portion of sports wagering revenue to be set aside to ensure the integrity of the sports on which the wagering is based.
“We believe an ‘integrity fee’ is essential to fund programmes educating our players, fans, and the general public regarding the potential involvement of unsavoury characters and organisations that may attempt to alter the outcome of these sporting events. The proceeds of this integrity fee would also allow teams such as the Pirates and leagues such as MLB to monitor betting lines and betting information internally.
“We think it is important to note that any revenue generated through sports wagering is largely dependent on organisations like the Pirates who actually supply the sports wagering product. Without professional sports there can be no professional sports betting. Providing a professional sports product is a costly endeavour.
“It stands to reason that a portion of the revenue collected from sports wagering should be allocated to the maintenance and upkeep of PNC Park (home of the Pirates) and the other facilities in Pennsylvania which provide for sports wagering in the first place.”
Doug Harbach, communications director at the board, told SBC Americas: “We appreciate the input from Penn State and from other entities, both collegiate and professional, as we continue to craft regulations that will provide oversight to sports wagering in Pennsylvania.”