EPISODE 221 | LSR Podcast

Bills, Bills, Bills – 2024 Sports Betting Edition | Sports Betting News


35 min
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Bills, Bills, Bills – 2024 Sports Betting Edition | Sports Betting News | LSR Podcast 221

A new bill to address problem gambling drops in Congress, as well as iGaming legislation in New York and sports betting license applications in Arizona. Plus, Pat Evans joins the crew to preview 2024 state-by-state legislation efforts throughout the country.

Full transcript

Matt Brown (00:14):

Hello, and welcome to Episode Number 221 of the LSR podcast. My name is Matt Brown, joined each and every week by the brightest minds in all of the gaming industry. With me, I have Adam Candee, I have Pat Evans this week here on the Legal Sports Report podcast. You can find these guys over in their awesome, awesome words. Pat does really a great job over at Legal Sports Report each and every week, so be sure, take in his hard work and all of the words that are going on to the site over there. This week, we will talk about what’s going on in New York. We’ll talk about some Arizona stuff. We are going to go state by state and talk to Pat about what he thinks is going on in all of some of these states that we have some question marks around. But, Pat, let’s go ahead and kick things off here. We do have a new problem gaming bill in Congress.

Pat Evans (00:59):

This is the US Congress. Listening to state-by-state level everywhere, everyone seems concerned with the rise in problem gambling. Richard Blumenthal and Andrea Salinas have introduced a new problem gaming bill to address research and addiction treatment using the sports betting excise tax, 0.25%, on the overall handle. It’s something we’re going to see if it moves anywhere at the national … in Congress. It’s certainly showing, and Richard Blumenthal cited, the rise in sports betting and how that’s contributing to a national rise in problem gambling. This is one way to take action towards fixing that.


It is to be noted that the American Gaming Association and several other politicians are not exactly in favor of this bill. Dina Titus in Nevada wants to completely get rid of the excise tax. Again, this is something we’re seeing at a state level. Lots of concern of the rise in problem gambling, and it’s rising up to the national level. This is not the first time Blumenthal’s cast his weight behind something at the responsible gaming world. Last year, he sent a letter concerned about the college partnerships and sportsbooks. Yeah, this is not the first or last time, I think, we’re going to see something at the national level addressing problem gambling.

Matt Brown (02:32):

Adam, you and I have long talked on this podcast about making sure that we’re doing everything the right way, doing responsible gambling, responsible gaming. We’ve also talked about the fact that it’s not just necessarily, “Oh, there’s more sports betting, so obviously there’s more problem gambling.” We’ve also highlighted the fact that hey, the sportsbooks offer you the opportunity to self-exclude if you want to do that. There are certain measures in place within, if they see some odd and suspicious activities that are going on. One of the things we definitely have not been able to do in the past before there was legal sports gambling was your bookie was still taking your money. The offshores were still taking your money. That was just going to happen. So we at least have a little bit more in place now already with it being legalized, but this is just taking some of the stuff a step further.

Adam Candee (03:22):

If you go back over the course of 220 previous episodes, you’ll hear a lot of us saying that legalizing sports betting at the state level is not just and, frankly, in some cases, shouldn’t be at all about trying to fill budget holes with the tax revenue that comes from sports betting because it is volatile in terms of how much you will be able to gain off revenue each month based on the results that you get from how people bet. What we did say in all of those episodes as well is that part of the argument for regulation is the ability to better address problem gambling and to better have a light shined on those who need the treatment.


Now, I get where both pieces of this are coming from on the congressional side where Senator Blumenthal is putting forward legislation to use that excise tax money for what is ostensibly a very good cause. I also understand that Dina Titus has had a quest for quite a while to get rid of the excise tax. I think I find myself landing a little bit more on the Blumenthal side for this reason.


We’ve said forever, Matt, where does this tax go? What does this money do? It’s a drop in the bucket when it comes to the federal budget. We’re talking about an amount of money that means nothing in the grand scheme of what the United States has in its coffers. But if we’re actually going to take some of this money and put it towards something that is absolutely necessary, then, yeah, then I have less problem with the federal excise tax than I do with what it is right now, which is just an antiquated notion that’s been out there for a long time that no one has done anything. I think you could make a very good case to say either get rid of it or do something good with the money, and this seems to be at least a step in the direction of doing something good with the money.

Matt Brown (05:11):

Yeah, Pat, that’s been the biggest thing about all this, and the reason Dina Titus has been on this crusade against was just the fact, she’s like, “Where’s the money? Is there a Scrooge McDuck vault somewhere where all this money is just sitting and there’s someone swimming in it? Where is this money? Where’s it going? What is being done?” So she’s kind of like, “Listen, if we have no plan for this, then it’s just pointless for us to keep taking this money where there’s absolutely no plan.” So I’m with Adam. If there is a plan, cool, fine, keep it. If we are not going to come up with any sort of plan, yes, get rid of it because it’s ridiculous to have something where we’re just, “Oh, yeah, we’re going to take this money.” “What are you doing with it?” “Eh, eh, eh, whatever, we’ll figure it out.”

Pat Evans (05:51):

I think it’s about $500 million since 2018, which, again, to Adam’s point, is not a huge amount of money in the greater scheme of the American budget. But if you’re going to take it, you might as well put a good use to it. Under Blumenthal’s plan, I think it’s 75% to the states and 25%, my percentages are probably off, I’m not looking at it at the moment, but to national research. So it’s good for those things. It’s probably a lot of money, but for the broader general fund where it’s going right now, it’s not. If you’re just throwing it to the general fund, you might as well get rid of it and provide sportsbooks a little bit more money to combat offshore, make their product more appealing, or if you’re still going to take it, make it useful for the industry.

iGaming legislation in New York

Matt Brown (06:44):

Adam, let’s head over to New York. The vast majority of the stuff we talk about on here is sports betting, but we do hit the DFS angle for some of the stuff. When there is poker news, we talk a little bit about the poker news out there. Certainly, we hit iGaming news whenever that is available to us as well. So a little bit of stuff coming out of New York from that.

Adam Candee (07:08):

Look, this is not the first time that we’ve talked about iGaming and New York. There was a bill that dropped last year from Senator Joe Addabbo, and it really didn’t go anywhere at all. We’re in a similar spot this year where there’s another attempt. But the governor did not include iGaming in her budget, and that is going to put a major crimp in trying to get anything done. You’ve got a 30.5% tax rate on iGaming in this bill from Senator Joe Addabbo, which might sound like a lot until you remember what New York’s sports betting tax rate is at 51%.


I think the most important thing to keep in mind with this story is that iGaming legislation is not going to be the straight line that a lot of sports betting legislation has been. It is a much harder sell in terms of those who have responsible gambling concerns. It is a much harder sell for casinos who are counting on people coming through their doors to play and don’t want to deal with the unknown boogeyman of whether online casino will take away from that. There’s a lot of research that shows that it’s additive. However, try taking the games that they’re used to having everyone come into the casino to play and throwing them on a phone and telling them that they’ll still be able to make money in terms of the entire ecosystem of what a casino is, and that is going to be a very hard sell.


So I think with these iGaming bills, what you’re going to see is that it’s going to take multiple years, it’s going to take multiple iterations, and there are not going to be as many states that ultimately pass iGaming bills. But for the long-term viability of the standalone sports betting operators in particular, like the DraftKings and FanDuels of the world, it is important that they expand the market when it comes to iGaming because there are only a handful of states in the United States right now that allow for it, and those states have been robust.

Matt Brown (09:07):

Pat, in the grand scheme of things, the true upside play for all of these companies is iGaming. We know that sports betting, sure, it’s nice, but it is still a small margin business in the grand scheme of things, and the iGaming has the infinite upside. I’m sure if we were to talk to people who are investors in these companies and all these things that are talking about what is the long-term aspect and what we might be looking at, it’s always the iGaming factor that’s lingering out there because should that even pop in a few more states even. Even a few more states is a significant revenue uptick for these companies, and certainly New York, the size of New York would be huge.

Pat Evans (09:50):

Yeah, New York would be huge. But to all of this, I was just down at the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States, it’s a mouthful, down in Florida, at their winter meeting. Just last summer, we heard a lot of, “OK, iGaming’s next. We can tackle this. We can get this passed in quite a few states,” whether it was Indiana, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, we’re looking at Maryland as well. This next year could be huge. We’ve already seen Indiana and New Hampshire fall off kind of quietly. There’s basically no chance anything happens there. Maryland’s a state that a lot of proponents are very excited about, but I just watched a study hearing yesterday that the politicians are raising similar flags that we’ve heard from in the past, whether it’d be diversity and inclusion, which is huge in Maryland in everything they do, to job loss at brick-and-mortar casinos and problem gambling jumps they’re worried about. So we’re seeing this.


Then at the meeting this month, it’s been the stakeholders that have rolled it back a little bit of being really bullish and saying, “This is going to be a multi-year chip away at it,” rather than, “We’re just going to get it done in one fell swoop like with many of the sports betting states.” We’ll see how long those chipping away takes, but a lot of it’s not looking good this year.

Matt Brown (11:20):

Adam, I’m sure if we started listing off between the two of you, how many mouthful conferences that you guys have been to over the last five years, we could probably get some really interesting ones going on here. I know that you like to come back with the seven-word conferences that you’ve gone to here recently. That’s one of the things you like to talk about.

Adam Candee (11:39):

There’s a reason that when we talk about the conference that Pat just mentioned, we say NCLGS, and it sounds like a dive bar that you went to in your college town. “Oh, NCLGS! They had $5 beer night. Yeah, right.”

Matt Brown (11:50):

Oh, I loved it. It was amazing.

Adam Candee (11:53):

“Oh my god, I used to get hammered at NCLGS. That was my favorite.”

Adam Candee (11:58):

It’s a lot easier than saying all those words that Pat just said.

Sports betting license applications in Arizona

Matt Brown (12:01):

It’s great. Anytime y’all come back from a conference and you’re just like, “Yeah, so I went to the South, Central and North American sideways, up and down left and right, include Canada Gaming Conference this year.” Then everyone’s like, “Oh, all right. Yeah, all right, interesting. That’s fun. Who was there?” “Well. We’ll go and do all that.” Pat, let’s head over to … over, down for me, down to Arizona, yeah, down for me and over for Adam and down … so whatever. We’re heading over to Arizona. We know that Arizona, one of these states, it has a lot of licenses up for grabs. There were more competitors in the market than there are currently. It looks like we might be at least trying to see if anybody else wants to grab up some of those things.

Pat Evans (12:48):

For the second time since sports betting launched in September 2021, there’s licenses up for grabs. The application period will open next month for no less than two … I don’t know. The wording was weird. There’s one tribal license open, and at least two sports organization licenses open. Of course, there’s 20 licenses available in Arizona, 10 for the tribes, 10 for professional sports organizations, and there has been two sports organization-tied licenses open since launch. There’s some questions of whether Indoor Football League can fully qualify because, per the Arizona Department of Gaming, it’s the highest level of a sport. I don’t know. An IFL team does have a license, but there’s two others in the state, so it’s a whole question there.

Adam Candee (13:40):

Don’t you get into the old IFL/AFL wars, buddy.

Pat Evans (13:42):


Adam Candee (13:42):

We’ll be here for days talking about where the best arena football is.

Matt Brown (13:46):

I have strong opinions.

Pat Evans (13:47):

Grand Rapids Rampage back in the day, they won an AFL championship, so I’m a big fan of the AFL.

Adam Candee (13:52):

They were good.

Pat Evans (13:52):

They were. Arizona’s been one of the premier states to watch, why did I say premier, that was weird, premier states to watch of licensees dropping out. We’ve seen Fubo drop out, and that was why bet365 was able to secure a license last year in the first application period that it was opened. This is not for these two but … I’ll backtrack a second. TwinSpires, the Churchill Downs sportsbook, has finally shuttered its operation in Arizona. That’s the tribal license that’s open now. Then we’ve got Unibet and WynnBET winding down operations, too, in Arizona. So we’ll have probably even more licensed application periods open if there’s sportsbooks that want to be in Arizona anymore. The only one I think at the moment that we can really put a finger on that would probably want to be in there and actually really wants to be in Arizona is Fanatics.

Matt Brown (14:55):

Pat, how dare you forget me and Adam’s very favorite shuttered sportsbook in Arizona-

Adam Candee (15:01):

Oh, it’s Pat’s too.

Matt Brown (15:04):

… MaximBet, MaximBet-

Adam Candee (15:04):

It’s Pat’s too.

Pat Evans (15:04):

It’s mine too, but they were gone.

Adam Candee (15:05):

No one loves MaximBet like Pat.

Pat Evans (15:06):

I love MaximBet, or loved, excuse me, even though I never got to bet on it.

Adam Candee (15:12):

For the articles though-

Pat Evans (15:13):

For the articles.

Adam Candee (15:14):

… always for the articles. You love MaximBet for the articles, obviously.

Pat Evans (15:16):

But even though they applied for the initial license, they weren’t licensed in Arizona. That’s why I didn’t include them. No shade towards them.

Matt Brown (15:27):

Adam, I don’t know because, again, no inside information here, but we have seen Circa at least dip their toe in a few other markets. We know that they’re in Illinois. We know that they’re in Colorado. Arizona obviously being kind of a border state here to Nevada, don’t know what their plans are. Don’t know, but it wouldn’t shock me to see them try to expand a little bit and see if their model that they’re going with would work in a state that has all of the rest-of-country sportsbooks.

Adam Candee (16:05):

It is interesting, isn’t it, because they also went into Iowa. They have chosen some wide-open markets to launch their national product. Look, their national product doesn’t look exactly like what their Nevada product looks like, but we know that that’s for reasons, and that’s not just about Circa. So I would not at all be surprised if they tried to get into Arizona, which is another, again, very easy to get the license, very low tax rate-

Pat Evans (16:31):

Privilege fee.

Adam Candee (16:32):

… lots of advantages. Oh, that’s right. It’s not a tax. It’s not tax in Arizona. It’s a privilege fee. It’s a-

Pat Evans (16:41):

Just wanted to make sure you got that right.

Adam Candee (16:43):

You get freedom fries at the sportsbook there, not French fries.

Matt Brown (16:49):

Adam, having an intimate knowledge of their business model, what they have going after, the reason it wouldn’t surprise me, too, is what they’re doing over at Circa is actually leaning into the thing that we thought maybe Caesars and MGM would do, which is like, “Hey, let’s lean into this product to get people through the doors at our places and all this stuff.” They are using these other products to market Circa Million and the Survivor contests and the things like that and getting people discounts to come in and get rooms and things at Circa and all that. Again, Arizona would be a great feeder market for something like that. It’s weird that the big two don’t do that and lean more into that, but it’s certainly something that Circa has.

Adam Candee (17:31):

That’s why I’ve always been low-key fascinated by whatever happens in California because for a book like Circa, which is already heavily advertising in California, if they could have some form of … any kind of … a free-to-play, any kind of sports betting type products in California with all of the Californians who come to Vegas for their vacations, it just would be a wild kind of idea.

Matt Brown (17:55):

Yeah, it’s pretty interesting. We’ll see how that all plays out. Of course, anything that goes down, you’ll find it over at legalsportsreport.com. Pat, let’s go into your legislative preview here for 2024. We like to talk about what may or may not be happening out there rest of country. Let’s kick things off here with Missouri.

Pat Evans joins the crew to preview 2024 state-by-state legislation

Pat Evans (18:16):

That’s the best state to kick it off with because it doesn’t seem like anything will have changed over the past two years heading into this year because Senator Denny Hoskins hasn’t gone anywhere. He has almost single-handedly killed sports betting in the past two years, and he’s lining up to do it again this year, by all accounts. He really wants to include video lottery terminals, which are the slot machine-like things you find at gas stations across the country. They’re not legal there, and he wants to include that. There’s some reasons behind that. Some are known, some are not so well known.


The professional sports teams and casinos and sportsbook operators all want it. They’ve got a bill that’s been introduced the past two years and has been introduced again this year that has a huge amount of support legislatively. But because of rules there, a single man can filibuster a bill away, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to change this year. Bill DeWitt III, the president of the St. Louis Cardinals, they’ve got a ballot proposal initiative starting to circulate now. He said it the best when he reiterated the quote that is “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting something different.” The same thing’s going to happen this year if I had to put any sort of money down on it.

Matt Brown (19:48):

Adam, let’s play our favorite game here, Geography Matt.

Adam Candee (19:51):

Hell yeah.

Matt Brown (19:55):

Let’s talk about bordering states of Missouri. We got Iowa. We got Illinois. If you go down to the bottom little tiny little thing there, we have Tennessee as well with all of these. So we have a ton of different states in which there is legal sports betting that citizens of Missouri might be just driving across that border and sending the money to somewhere else.

Adam Candee (20:20):

I love when I get to talk about the old Casino Queen, the Casino Queen in East St. Louis, Illinois, which you can actually see the DraftKings Sportsbook in Illinois from Busch Stadium. It is across the river. You can walk across a bridge to be able to get your DraftKings account in Illinois from Missouri. So there are multiple ways that you can go about this if you are a Missourian and you’re getting Denny-ed right now.

Matt Brown (20:49):

Oh, I love it. I love it. All right, Pat, let’s head to Minnesota.

Pat Evans (20:53):

This is a little different. Minnesota has tried as well since 2018 really, and last year, they got as close as they’ve come. There was an unexpected twist where the Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party gained control of both chambers of the legislature as opposed to what was expected to be a Republican majority in both. They took their issues and pushed forward a huge agenda, a giant package. Sports betting, unfortunately, was left behind because there are opponents on both sides, of course. It’s a very bipartisan issue. It’s such a slight majority, they weren’t able to get it over the hump on their own.


They really want the tribes to have exclusivity. The tribes have killed sports betting legislation in the past in Minnesota, so their support is absolutely necessary. Meanwhile, the Republicans want the tracks included, and the tracks want a license. The tribes say that’s a no-go. So we kind of left last session with negotiations ongoing. There was 30% revenue from sports betting going to the tracks that was on the table. I have yet to fully understand what happened in the offseason.


So far we’ve got a new bill from the Republican senator, Jeremy Miller, that would allow the tribes to partner with tracks and professional sports teams to offer in-person sportsbooks. Does that have traction with the DFL? I haven’t been able to get ahold of anybody on the DFL side yet as of Friday when we’re recording this. But the tracks themselves say the Republicans and the DFL are still far apart in their situation. So while Minnesota might look like and I feel like it still has the best chance of any state this year, there’s still an uphill battle to go in Minnesota.

Matt Brown (22:47):

Adam, we talk a lot about some of these states that may or may not pop and we go, man, this a state full of professional sports teams. Minnesota, low-key, big-time sports state. Minnesota fans, they don’t have multiple teams in each sport in some of these states that we’ve talked about. But, man, Viking fans love their Vikings, and Twins fans love the Twins, and the Timberwolves obviously have been up and down over the last few years, but still some basketball fans. It’s kind of a low-key sports hub there in Minnesota.

Adam Candee (23:23):

I got Geography Matt, but I can’t get Hockey Matt from the same podcast? We can’t talk about Kirill Kaprizov? Uh, Matt, you disappoint me.

Pat Evans (23:30):

Or Marc-Andre Fleury.

Adam Candee (23:31):

You’re letting me down.

Matt Brown (23:34):

Oh, ah, who is now second all-time on whatever it is that-

Adam Candee (23:40):

Look, there he is.

Matt Brown (23:40):

Yes, see, look at that.

Adam Candee (23:41):

Here he is. Hockey Matt was hiding, but he came out to play.

Matt Brown (23:43):

There we go. There we go.

Adam Candee (23:43):

That’s what I like to see. Shout out to Minneapolis, by the way. Low key, one of my favorite work/travel cities that I’ve been to over the years, especially come summertime. It’s actually a good restaurant city, a good place to be.

Matt Brown (23:57):


Adam Candee (23:58):

When it comes to the sports betting side of things, what Pat is saying is really important to understand that this is a lot closer than I thought this state would get when we were talking about states that have tribal exclusivity. This is a state in which gaming tribes have exclusivity, and they’re willing to play ball in a sense that even neighboring Wisconsin really hasn’t done. They have a couple of sportsbooks at some of their tribal casinos. But Wisconsin really hasn’t done anything in terms of that, and we could talk ad nauseam about other states that have tribal gaming exclusivity. This is different when it comes to Minnesota. I think really when it comes down to it, from what Pat said, this is going to be about the tracks. This is going to be about the hold they have on certain legislators and whether or not that you can still get enough votes to pass something if those legislators who are partial to the tracks do not ultimately come around.

Matt Brown (24:54):

Pat, let’s just hit the South here just in general. We know that Louisiana has your traditional sports betting that we know that we’re getting in the majority of the states, but Mississippi yet to have mobile. We have Alabama, we have Georgia, we have South Carolina. You don’t really see at this point now when we look across the United States where there’s a big stretch of states that all don’t have it. What’s going on? Who’s going to be the first one to make a move? So let’s talk about all three of those as we head into it with our South overlook.

Pat Evans (25:27):

I think after coming away from NCLGS, the big thing to remember in the South is they’re largely Republican-controlled with some solid Democratic and minority voters or legislators that they’re going to need to court for any sort of sports betting legislation to have a hope. Again, that’s because it’s such a bipartisan issue with people on both sides who love it and people on both sides who hate it.


The big thing to take away, again, back up a little bit again, is so many industry sources told me this is an election year, a national election year, a presidential election year that can be very divisive at a state level. That’s something we’ve seen a lot of in Georgia. The past two years you’ve seen the Republican caucus just go with some sort of legislation that really upsets the Democrats, and so they all put in their heels and just say, “No way, we’re not going to help you with sports betting,” even though there’s lots of people in Georgia on the Democratic side who want sports betting.


You’re seeing that, too, in South Carolina. There’s so much pushback from a certain segment of the right. Even though North Carolina is going live soon with online sports betting and there’s some hope that that’s going to carry momentum over to South Carolina, I’m being told nothing’s going to happen in South Carolina until Georgia passes. Again, we’ll see what happens there.


Of note in Georgia, there is a bill that is coming back from last session, so there’s some momentum starting to roll there already this session. In that is a tax, a stepped tax where base single game wagers are at 10% and higher profit parlay wagers and in-game bets are at 15%. I think that was a fun takeaway from that bill that, I don’t know, maybe other states will see that and say, “Hey, that’s a fun idea. Let’s do that.”


Alabama, same sort of thing. They don’t even have a lottery. I’ve talked to several legislators down there who say the last 30 years of gaming is just a mess in Alabama. So there’s a huge hurdle there just to get anything done. Sports betting is a hope for some people down there, but maybe even just establishing a lottery is a first step down there.


Mississippi, there was a task force in the fall. They talked through all sorts of things about mobile sports betting. Of course, there’s local casinos, locally owned casinos who don’t want it. They don’t want to see FanDuel, DraftKings, and the like come in and dominate the industry. They suggested a 51% revenue share situation like we see in Arkansas that’s kept big operators out. But then there’s big casino operators in Mississippi who are saying, “Let’s do it. Let’s do what we want to do and let’s go.” So Mississippi, once that bill drops, it’ll be a fun one to watch. But the Southeast is going to be a really weird place to watch in the next couple of sessions and maybe just in general because it’s a fun place to watch.

Matt Brown (28:50):

Adam, it’s one of those things like when we were talking about as the bill was introduced and then as Louisiana was getting passed and then as the ramp up for Louisiana getting kicked off, we were saying, “This has got to force Mississippi’s hand,” and just they don’t care. So with all of that, it makes you look at these other states and say, everyone else has it, they’ve got to do it, but that’s just not necessarily the case. We thought for sure. This is like, okay, you are now going to lose all of those people from New Orleans. All of those people that were driving over to Mississippi, that is gone. You’re going to have to do it to where you make it easier for the people in the rest of your state to bet on sports. Nah, it’s been a couple of years now. Nah, they hadn’t done anything. So to think that it’s just this, “Well, everyone else is doing it, so they’re going to do it,” it’s really actually not how it works down there.

Adam Candee (29:44):

I think there are a few key takeaways including what you’re talking about there, Matt. The first of one is that, from what Pat was saying earlier about Georgia, it is vital to keep in mind that if you are, let me check the timestamp, roughly 30 minutes into a podcast about legal sports betting, you probably care a lot more about this issue than the average legislator does. It is not a needle mover. It is not one that, unless you’re Governor Andy Beshear in Kentucky, that you’re really putting out a bunch of press releases about if it passes. It’s just not something that people get passionate about, and it can get swallowed up in any number of issues, especially as Pat mentioned, in an election year.


Now, Matt, to the point you’re talking about of surrounding states when it comes to legal sports betting in the South, Pat laid out a very interesting case in which you have kind of a witches’ brew where a lot of states that have taken the lead on passing legal sports betting actually have been Republican-controlled legislatures and Republican governors. But you have such a religious conservatism that takes prevalence in those legislatures down there that you mix that with what has been the traditional Democratic opposition to worrying about preying on people who are of lower socioeconomic status, that it becomes a different horse trade to try to get the votes done in those situations.


Now, you tell me if I’m crazy here, Matt, because this is something that jumped out at me, especially about Mississippi. You know college football in the South a lot better than I do, but Ole Miss is pretty damn good now, and it’s been a little while since Ole Miss was pretty good. We know that in the South, college football rules everything, especially when it comes to betting. We saw it in Louisiana as well with LSU. Do we think that the success of a college football program might increase the viability of legal sports betting legislation within a state?

Matt Brown (31:44):

It is not out of the realm of possibility at all. If some legislator could somehow figure out a way to get Lane Kiffin to reference it somehow, whatever, in some passing interview and just be like, “Yeah, I don’t know why the people across the border can…” whatever, seriously, that would make some people want to act. That’s all it takes. They just need someone that they like and adore to say something. They’re like, “I’m behind it. I’m in.”

Adam Candee (32:16):

I’ve got it, I’ve got it. I think the big sportsbooks need to hire Nick Saban as an official consultant who goes down to the legislatures and talks about the need for this in a regulated market.

Matt Brown (32:30):

If Nick Saban had done that, and if Nick Saban does that in Alabama, we will have the bill passed tomorrow. If Nick Saban just stood up there and gave a five-minute Nick Saban in the way that he talks and his cadence and he said, “This needs to be done,” tomorrow. It’s just like Jesus said it. That’s basically coming from Jesus’ mouth at that point. It really is though. Look, Ole Miss is set up for a while, and there’s going to be a lot of people more interested in sports now than were even just a few years ago because, “Oh, our team’s good again. Hey, let’s get behind all of this.” As you get more interested in sports, obviously sports betting is going to be something that your friends are doing in other states, your bordering state and Louisiana is doing, and you’re kind of like, “Hey, what the hell? Why are we not being able to do it?”

Adam Candee (33:23):

Yeah, I don’t think there’s any question. I think Pat will continue to have some very interesting hearings that bring some very interesting quotes to us about sports betting over the course of 2024.

Matt Brown (33:37):

Yes. Well, when you get back from North America, South America, Asian, Pan-American NCLGS conference, we’ll have you back on to be sure and tell us about everything that’s going on out there. Guys, everything we do, absolutely free, so we do appreciate your support. If you hit that subscribe button every single time we do one of these, it’ll just magically appear on your podcasting listening device, whatever it is, whatever your choice is. So we do appreciate that. We are on Apple, Spotify, Google. Go in, hit that subscribe button, it’ll be in there. Of course, Adam and team, including Pat, all the awesome words over at legalsportsreport.com. Appreciate the support over there as well. For Pat, for Adam, I’m Matt, talk to you guys next week.

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