New Jersey getting squeezed for gambling integrity fee

The state that successfully waged a legal battle against all sports leagues to secure for all states the ability to have gambling on all sports now has the sports leagues trying a different approach.

Yes, they want their integrity fee in New Jersey.

Via NJ.com, the NBA, MLB, and PGA spent Thursday lobbying New Jersey legislators for the one-percent cut that those leagues have tried to get in other states. Baseball has enlisted (paid, presumably) former pitcher Al Leiter to assist.

Even without betting, plenty of fans think that the leagues want certain teams to make the playoffs and then to advance in the postseason. When the payoff isn’t simply increased ratings but increased bets from which the sports leagues receive a cut, those suspicions will grow.

The NFL continues to not be part of the state-to-state effort to secure an integrity fee. Instead, the NFL will be trying to lobby Congress for a nationwide regulatory scheme that gives the sports leagues payment under a less awkward label than integrity fee.

California Superior Court Judge Nona Klippen ruled Wednesday that insufficient evidence exists to proceed with domestic violence charges against Foster. The judge also reduced a charge of possession of an assault weapon to a misdemeanor, scheduling a pre-trial hearing for June 6.

Foster’s ex-girlfriend recanted accusations against him in a hearing last week.

Foster, 24, still faces a marijuana possession charge from his January 12 arrest in Alabama, with a court date scheduled for June 20. He is subject to league discipline for that arrest under the NFL’s substances of abuse policy.

Conversely, at times the small numbers are revelatory. After a period of championship contention built around a drafted haul such as Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, the Phillies have fallen in recent years and having a major-league-low 10 players this year from the 2008-13 drafts is a reason. The best was Ken Giles.

The Tigers also have followed serial contention with a slide and have just 13 drafted players in the majors from that period, the best of whom is Nick Castellanos and the second-best might be Chad Green.

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