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NEWS 29 November 2018

MGM Resorts CEO speaks out against integrity fees after MLB deal

By Tim Poole

MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren has spoken out against the concept of an integrity fee in US sports betting.

The operator this week announced a gaming partnership with MLB, the deal being the first of its kind for baseball and covering both the US and Japan.

As part of the agreement, MGM Resorts will use MLB’s official statistics and work alongside the league to ensure responsible gaming measures are put into practice.

The deal also takes the US sports betting industry a step further away from the introduction of integrity fees.

Advocates suggest a percentage of revenue should be paid from sportsbooks to sports governing bodies as a type of tax, in return for being allowed to use official data and ensuring the “integrity” of a sport is kept in place.

But CEO Murren is quoted as telling reporters MGM Resorts is "offended by the concept" of an integrity fee.

He said: "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 sponsorship."

RELATED TAGS: Legal & Regulatory | Sports Betting
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