G2E: Pro sports leagues, state regulators and casino operators to talk betting integrity, other issues Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports · October 15, 2019 at 6:00 pm On Tuesday, the professional sports leagues were scheduled to meet for the first time with state gaming regulators and casino operators to discuss sports betting, information sharing and integrity issues. Dave Rebuck The meeting is the second of the year-old U.S. Sports Betting Forum and the the first in which the leagues would participate. The goal of the Forum is to ensure sports betting in the U.S. is conducted with integrity, free from criminal and corrupting elements. The participants of the conference weren’t disclosed, but several sports leagues and the NCAA have a presence at G2E. On Monday afternoon, in a possible preview of the closed-door Forum meeting, state regulators took part in a panel discussion on the matter at this year’s Global Gaming Expo. The panel raised concerns about scandals that could develop from in-play wagering and emphasized the role that the leagues play in maintaining integrity. Dave Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, said on Monday that, with legalized sports betting is in its infancy, the U.S. has “an opportunity to do things than have never been done in the world before.” New Jersey led the fight against the leagues and the NCAA that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court in May 2018 overturning the federal ban on single-game sports wagering outside of Nevada. “Integrity goes much further than match fixing in the sports wagering world,” Rebuck said. “We will miss a lot of problems (if) we focus on match fixing. Integrity plans must be comprehensive, multi-jurisdictional and have a core commitment to sharing information between all parties.” He said one growing concern about sports betting integrity is in-play wagering, which is still in its infancy in the U.S. but expected to grow exponentially. As the segment grows, there are challenges in trying to identify the risk of those types of wagers. Integrity monitoring can’t be done by regulators themselves, Rebuck said, predicting a “scandal” and Congressional involvement if the industry doesn’t “come together.” The three dominant players on integrity are regulators, law enforcement and sports leagues – along with operators – but the media and payment processors also have a role to play. “We’re going to have a lot of eyes on us, and that’s good,” said Jay McDaniel, deputy director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. “At the end of the day, the real danger comes from the illegal betting market.” Rebuck said New Jersey had had an adversarial relationship with the pro leagues and the NCAA during their seven-year legal battle to overturn the federal ban. Instead of gloating about the win, he said, the state has reached out in an attempt to create a dialogue. “Some have been more successful than others,” Rebuck said. “The NBA is a prime example… we’ve had a wonderful dialogue. They’ve shared information with us, and we’ve talked and educated each other. With Major League Baseball, the first question to me was what are you doing for us now.” The moderator of the panel, former New Jersey state gaming regulator George Rover, is now chief integrity officer of the Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association, a group of U.S. sportsbook operators. He said the sports leagues “are in a unique position to have certain information critical to integrity” and that the message to them is “please cooperate and be open with regulators,” because each has critical pieces to help address integrity. Rover said the Forum is important to develop a working relationship with the sports leagues. “I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, because everybody is protecting their turf, but there’s a way to do it.” The Forum was organized by the UNLV International Center for Gaming Regulation.