Sports Betting Integrity Fees – How Do They Affect Official Betting Data?

After the Supreme Court opened legal sports betting in 2023, Brett Koenig was excited to place a bet at his favorite sportsbook. But he quickly discovered that he lives in Missouri, one of only a few states that has not yet made sports wagering legal. Koenig is now a vocal advocate for changing that, and believes that the state will eventually allow sports betting, perhaps through a ballot measure.

Until recently, the NCAA and its athletes have fought to keep sports betting off college campuses. The leagues fear that the practice threatens to corrupt the integrity of their games and erodes the well-being of student-athletes. However, recent research reveals that many students have engaged in sports betting activities.

In an effort to leverage this new revenue source, the leagues are attempting to collect a “integrity fee” on top of US sports betting handles. This fee is not tied to a specific product or service and would simply cut directly off the top of every bet placed on any event. No other industry collects such a fee, and Nevada has paid no such fees in its decades of bookmaking.

But the premise behind these so-called integrity fees is flawed, and the industry is right to fight it. Ultimately, the market will determine how much official data is worth, and operators should not be forced to forge commercial agreements with the leagues while giving a single entity a monopoly over such information.