MGM and Caesars are among the members of a new not-for-profit that will monitor integrity in sports betting. The organization, the Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association, will bring together key gaming stakeholders, including state and tribal regulatory bodies, federal, state and tribal law enforcement, in an effort to uncover and prevent fraud and other illegal activities related to sports betting and sporting events.
The group is modeled after the Europe Sport Security Association which monitors sports betting and sports events for fraud. 888Sport, PaddyPower/BetFair and William Hill are among ESSA’s members. According to SportTechie.com, ESSA was involved in the creation of SWIMA and the two organizations plan to work together to monitor integrity.
After hearing from a bevy of sports betting professionals, major professional leagues, players’ associations, and those opposed to sports betting, Illinois lawmakers continue slow and steady on their approach to legal sports wagering. While the state legislature has been considering different types of gaming for more than a decade, it has been slow to act. And it appears things will be no different when it comes to sports betting.
Illinois currently has 10 casinos and three active racetracks, and there has been discussion in the state legislature about approving additional venues, particularly in the city of Chicago. But politics and procedural questions have long slowed the process. Representative Bob Rita (D-District 28) organized and held two hearings on sports betting, the most recent in the state capitol of Springfield on Oct. 17. In the final analysis, the hearing may have provided more questions than answers:
What will the tax rate be?;
What will the mobile/internet component look like?;
Will there be any kind of payout to the professional leagues? The players’ associations?;
Where will the state’s cut of sports betting revenue go?; and
Whose bill will make it to a vote?
Sports Betting Hearings Left IL Lawmakers With More Questions Than Answers, So Don’t Expect a Bill to Be Filed Until 2019.
Rita said last week that he doesn’t expect sports betting to come before the Illinois general assembly until the new session begins in late January. The state does have a two-week “veto session” around Thanksgiving, but it’s highly unlikely that any legislation will be far enough through the pipeline to be considered at that point. There’s multiple sports betting bills floating around the general assembly, some to do with sports betting, others to do with daily fantasy sports and still others to do with iGaming. But none, according to Rita, address all the relevant issues, and none have made it to a full vote.
This is the second of a two-part series seeking to answer, “So What the Heck Is ‘Integrity Monitoring’, Anyway?” (Read Part I here.)
Even before the United States Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May, the NBA and Major League Baseball began lobbying state legislatures for funds to finance “integrity monitoring” measures. Part of the leagues’ claim is that expanded legal wagering will create new, greater obligations for sports leagues.
But what exactly is “integrity monitoring,” and how are bookmakers perceiving the leagues’ efforts to garner an “integrity fee?” In the first installment of this series, we spoke to Jennifer Roberts, Associate Director of the International Center for Gaming Regulation, a gaming lawyer and adjunct professor at University of Nevada Las Vegas, who teaches such courses as fundamentals of casino operations management.
Here, to get the behind-the-counter perspective, we spoke to Robert Walker, who heads up sportsbook operations for USBookmaking. Walker’s resume also includes nearly 12 years as the director of race and sportsbook operations for MGM Mirage in Las Vegas, and before that served as the race and sportsbook manager for TheStardust.