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NBA, MLB Criticize West Virginia Sports Betting Bill

Mark J. Terrill
AP Photo
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred speaks during a news conference at the baseball owners meetings in the Four Seasons Hotel, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Los Angeles.

A bill moving through the West Virginia Legislature has drawn criticism from the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball.

The Intelligencer of Wheeling reports the organizations issued separate statements Monday pointing out the bill's weaknesses and suggesting improvements. They say the bill doesn't protect consumers or prevent players from betting on their own sports, in addition to lacking proper safeguards.

An attorney representing both leagues, Scott Ward, proposed four possible provisions to the Senate Finance Committee on Monday, including advertising restrictions and leagues being able to opt out of specific betting forms they believed aren't sufficiently monitored. He also supported a 1 percent "integrity tax" to help investigate and monitor games in real time.

MLB and NBA executives hadn't responded to the newspaper's request for comment as of Monday.

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