Does anybody at Ogden do any research before they write an editorial? I’ll answer that: apparently, not. Case in point – yesterday afternoon's Wheeling News-Register editorial on sports betting. For the sixth time, an Ogden editorial claims that the state’s take from sports betting is too small -- only 10% which the editorial claims is “a miniscule cut of the profits.” (A survey of other states puts WV on the lower end – some take even less, and some take much more.) Past editorials have argued that West Virginia should tax at a rate close to Pennsylvania's which takes at least 35%.
So how is Pennsylvania, one of the first states to pass sports wagering legislation, doing? Once the Supreme Court gave its approval, Pennsylvania put everything in motion except a funny (but very predictable) thing happened – nobody applied for a license. From Legal Sports Report three weeks ago:
More than a month after the state made PA sports betting licenses available, none have been given out.
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board spokesman Doug Harbach confirmed Tuesday that the state remains in wait for its first applicant.
That comes as little surprise, given the landscape established by Pennsylvania legislators in approving legal sports betting. The 13 potential licensees . . . . face a steep path to profitability in contrast to other states.
I just checked, and Pennsylvania, with its 35%+ taxation, still does not have an applicant. And this is the state tax rate that Ogden editorials wants West Virginia to use?
All of this is easily researched. They’re just lazy.
A month ago, I wrote about Ogden Newspapers’ support for a sports integrity fee as part of West Virginia’s soon-to-begin sports wagering. Through the spring, the locals’ editorial crusade was also supported by a couple of news articles written in favor of the fee.
In that earlier post, I discussed the ethical concept of “full disclosure” which is
the disclosure of any connection between a reporter (or publisher) and the subject of an article that may bias the article.
Not one of those previous articles or editorials mentioned that the owner of the paper, Bob Nutting, also owned the Pittsburgh Pirates. Obviously, local readers were not informed of the windfall Nutting would receive if the integrity fee was added. And even though an integrity fee is not a part of any states’ current gambling law, today’s Wheeling News-Register continues to argue for it:
Serious flaws exist in sports betting law and regulations. For one thing, the idea of cooperating with professional sports leagues, in exchange for a modest integrity fee, has been rejected.
The News-Register want to enrich the owners of professional sports for something they’re already doing and, of course, it doesn’t mention that one of those owners also owns our local papers.
Yes, another day, another example of lazy and unethical journalism from an Ogden “newspaper.”