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New regulations for sports betting in Pa.

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved new temporary rules Wednesday as the state moves to open the door for sports wagering.

The Board approved rules to require casinos that offer sports betting to hire third-party monitors to ensure the integrity of their sports wagering.

Douglas Harbach, a Gaming Control Board spokesman, said these third-party integrity monitors are common in other places, including Europe and Nevada, where sports betting has been in place for years.

The Gaming Control Board has been establishing new rules for setting up sports betting under a 2017 state gaming expansion law that allowed for sports wagering if legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court opened the door sports to betting in a May 14 decision. Since then, New Jersey and Delaware have both gotten sports betting up and running.

Harbach said there is no firm timeline for doing the same in Pennsylvania, but Wednesday’s meeting “pushed the ball down the field.” He added that the Board could release its rule spelling out what kinds of sports contests will be open for legal for betting as soon as next month.

In a letter to the Gaming Control Board, Penn State President Eric Barron asked that college sports be excluded from the state’s sports wagering expansion at least during the first two years. Barron said amateur athletes may be more prone to fall under the influence of those trying to manipulate the results of sporting events.

Pro athletes are paid “annual salaries plus incentives tied to individual and team performance. The absence of financial compensation for amateur athletes creates an opportunity for inappropriate influence,” Barron wrote.

University of Pittsburgh Athletic Director Heather Lykes stopped short of asking for a college sports betting ban. She called for “impact fees” to be passed along to the colleges to cover their increased costs tied to managing the changed landscape due to pressures from sports betting.

Professional sports leagues have also been lobbying for states to enact similar so-called “integrity fees,” Harbach said. These fees would be passed along to the pro sports leagues to offset their costs in trying to combat cheating.

John Finnerty reports from the Harrisburg Bureau for The Daily Item and other Pennsylvania newspapers owned by CNHI. Email him at jfinnerty@cnhi.com and follow him on Twitter @cnhipa.

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