Four of Atlanta’s major professional sports franchises are putting their weight behind an effort to allow betting on games.
Presidents of the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta United have formed the Georgia Professional Sports Integrity Alliance and sent a letter to state lawmakers asking them to legalize online and mobile sports betting…
Billy Linville, a lobbyist who is representing the coalition of teams, said the franchises would not see any revenue from sports betting, but that allowing the practice would engage fans who tune in to watch and see how their bets play out — driving up viewership and interest in the games.
“The question isn’t if Georgians are going to bet on sports,” Linville said. “It’s whether they’ll wager in an illegal market or bet in a fully regulated environment that protects consumers and integrity of games.”
These guys are so thoughtful, amirite?
If you’re wondering why I post about this, don’t think Butts-Mehre isn’t watching this development with a careful eye, not because they’re concerned about stopping it (although that would be in line with the Georgia Way we all know and love, especially if they could figure out a way to allow only Magill Society folks to bet in Sanford Stadium… I keed, I keed. I think.), but because of the potential revenue streams flowing from legalized online betting.
But West Virginia’s Joint Standing Committee on Finance spent most of its time Monday trying to figure out whether Governor Jim Justice – who owns the Greenbrier – and West Virginia Lottery officials were still pushing plans to offer the major sports leagues a cut of the state’s betting handle or require betting operators to use league-supplied data to judge wagering results. [Emphasis added.]
Ah, the ol’ “integrity fee”, surely one of the great Orwellian phrases of our time, and/or making it a legal requirement to use official conference statistics in online wagering. Expect the latter to be a standard proposal in the South once Greg Sankey is able to get up off his fainting couch.
These people may not be geniuses, but they’re certainly shrewd enough to know how not to miss many meals. It’s coming.