NCLGS Gives Bettors Voice In Summer Sports Betting Panel

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A professional sports betting panel will highlight next week’s National Council of Legislators From Gaming States Summer Meeting in Pittsburgh

Legislators and regulators will convene regarding a number of sports betting topics from July 17-20 at Rivers Casino in the Steel City

Other highlights of the NCLGS conference include discussions regarding model online gaming legislation, and with the NCAA regarding player protections and sports betting. 

Importance of sports betting panel

NCLGS president Shawn Fluharty spoke to LSR Tuesday about the importance of giving bettors a seat at the table.  

The July 19 panel will feature professional sports bettors Gadoon “Spanky” Kyrollos and Billy Walters, along with gaming industry veteran Richard Schuetz.

“It’s probably one of the first panels where you’re going to have members of the actual betting community have their voices heard,” Fluharty told LSR. “Most legislation that has been passed has been one without any lobbyists related to the sports betting industry as far as bettors go. They don’t have a lobby. They don’t have hired guns. 

“Everybody knows Billy Walters. Richard Schuetz is fantastic, with many years in the industry as a regulator. The knowledge that’s going to be sitting at that table is impressive. I think it’s been a long time coming to have this discussion, especially in a room with regulators and legislators who are the decision-makers. And getting input from people that are directly impacted by the decisions that are made.” 

Sports betting limits is a hot topic

One hot topic in the sports betting community has been limits. No active sportsbook operator in Massachusetts attended a recent roundtable held by the state regulator on limits. 

However, details are being worked out about a potential follow-up meeting that sportsbooks would attend. 

“I do think that could come up, the limit portion of it,” Fluharty said. “I think what you’re going to hear is they want to see a system that’s fair. Billy Walters has said that having a sustainable sports betting model in the US, as someone who has been pushing for it for years, has really been a dream.

“And he wants to see it succeed. And for it to succeed, he believes it’s going to require fairness for everyone involved. To see full transparency. And that’s where you get into the limits side of things. I think he also would like to see disclosure of the true odds be part of the formula.” 

Lawsuit naming Spanky not a concern

Kyrollos was named in a recent lawsuit against DraftKings Sportsbook over missing sports betting funds. He has denied the accounts in the lawsuit. 

“That’s a civil matter that’s completely outside the scope of our concerns,” Fluharty said. 

Fluharty: WV bettor helped on 2023 bill

Fluharty is the Minority Whip for the West Virginia House of Delegates

In 2023, he worked on a bill that allowed West Virginia bettors to deduct their gambling losses from their state income tax. 

Fluharty said the bill, which was approved and signed into law, originated through an email from a sports bettor in the state, who brought the issue to his attention (before follow-ups with accounts to confirm its validity). 

“I never knew about that. We never know about that on Day 1. And this is a sports bettor issue. It wasn’t a sports betting industry issue,” Fluharty said. “And I think the time is here now that we need to merge these interests. So we have a model that will sustain across time.” 

Photo by Associated Press