Time is arbitrary, weekends are a simulation and the Gregorian calendar is a religious construct. Happy Monday, everybody!
If you’re like us, you prefer to start your new week with a strong cup of coffee and a comprehensive review of all active sports betting legislation. Fans of the LSR Podcast will be disappointed to learn that the guys took a week off, but there’s no need to fret. We have plenty of words for you to read, dear friends.
As custom dictates, our lasso begins with a look at the stat line for US sports betting:
- States with regulated sports betting: 8
- Jurisdictions pending launch: 6
- States with bills on file: 38
- Number of bills on file: 152
You’re up first this week, Iowa.
Iowa sports betting legalized
We’ve run out of Field of Dreams puns, so we will just plainly inform you that Iowa legalized sports betting last week. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed S 617 into law on Monday, laying to rest any lingering doubts about her stance.
The new law will allow the state’s 19 casinos to offer sports betting, both in person and online within Iowa borders. That’s good news for folks like DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook, each of which holds a key to the market via an existing partnership.
The framework for IA sports betting is mostly well-conceived, but there are a couple of curious provisions.
Lawmakers were frightened into banning in-state collegiate props, most notably, while casinos successfully backed a requirement for in-person registration through the end of 2020. Both restrictions will lower the market’s ceiling in the short term.
Tennessee sports betting almost legal
From the Dakotas all the way down into the Deep South, the central US has stolen the legislative spotlight in 2019. Tennessee has been an active participant in the conversation, with lawmakers in the two chambers working in tandem.
H 1 is an online-only bill, authorizing an uncapped number of TN sports betting operators. Don’t expect to see a long line at the gate, though. Licenses cost $750,000 annually, and the 20% tax on revenue is also among the highest in the country.
What’s more, lawmakers in Tennessee included an unwanted restriction on allowable data sources, forcing operators to enter into commercial deals with sports leagues. No other sports betting law anywhere in the US includes such a mandate.
The finish line is in sight for the bill, though, having narrowly passed both chambers in recent weeks. Given his opposition to gambling, we expect Gov. Bill Lee to let the bill become law without his signature on May 25.
Michigan sports betting bill coming soon
State Rep. Brandt Iden is building on his reputation as the chief proponent of expanded gambling in Michigan. The sponsor of MI online gambling bills in back-to-back years has now crafted a standalone sports betting bill to go alongside it.
LSR obtained the draft of Iden’s bill last week, and the working version looks decent to our eyes.
Licenses to offer MI sports betting would cost $100,000 annually under his proposal, and the state would tax revenue at a rate of 8%. The bill covers both retail and online betting, expressly allowing remote registration and three skins per licensee.
If there’s one thing that sticks out as unsavory, it’s a still-unprecedented mandate to use official league data for in-play wagers.
Iden intends to introduce the bill this week, then push for passage within his existing online gambling package. Time is no issue for the Michigan Legislature, which remains in session all year long.
Sports betting bills elsewhere
This NY sports betting bill does not have good prospects for passage, but the first retail sportsbooks in the state remain on target to open before football season.
Although the outlook is better for a bill in New Hampshire, the timeline took a big step back last week.
Senate lawmakers passed H 480 with an amendment, but the bill was not sent back to the House for concurrence as expected. Instead, it will make an intermediate stop in Senate Finance, a process which could take several weeks.
This week in sports betting bills
A Monday hearing in Maine is the only legislative item on our docket this week. The joint committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs will meet for a work session on LD 553, which does not yet contain any language.
Have a good week, y’all.