West Virginia rejects sports betting integrity fees

The West Virginia Lottery Commission (WVLC) has approved final state rules for sports betting - rejecting integrity fees.

The WVLC published temporary rules in August, fielding public comments on the legislation for the next 30 days.

As many as 18 changes were proposed; seven of which came from sports leagues, such as the PGA Tour, NBA and MLB.

All seven of those were rejected, including the introduction of an integrity fee, which would essentially provide leagues with tax revenue from legalised sports betting in exchange for monitoring the integrity of different sports.

The WVLC said: “The Lottery declines to intervene between negotiations between private business entities.”

The idea of an integrity fee in West Virginia has its supporters, including Governor Jim Justice, but West Virginia Racing Association President John Cavacini backed the WVLC’s decision.

He said: “The state has no business negotiating a contract between two privately held, for-profit, companies.”

The WVLC did approve a rule change allowing those using a sports betting app to check their accounts while in another state, without placing a bet.

The permanent rules will receive final approval during next year’s 60-day regular session.