New Jersey’s top lawmaker says some of America’s professional sports leagues are trying to “extort” money from states looking to legalize sports betting — and he’s asking state leaders across the country not to let it happen.
State Senate President Stephen Sweeney revealed Wednesday that he sent a letter this week to governors and legislative leaders in all 50 states urging them not to give the leagues “integrity fees” they are seeking from sports betting revenue after seven years of fighting New Jersey in court.
In the letter, Sweeney notes that the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, along with the NCAA, successfully sued multiple times to stop New Jersey from allowing its casinos and racetracks to allow bets on pro and college sports games.
But the U.S. Supreme Court sided with New Jersey last week, overturning a 1992 federal ban on such wagering and allowing all states to allow sports books.
Now that New Jersey and other states are considering legalizing sports bets, the NBA and MLB have been asking states to give them a cut of the total amount wagered on their games to help them pay for enforcement to prevent cheating and game fixing.
Sweeney, though, said this is a “hypocritical attempt to extort” money from states.