Seventh Heaven? More States Working On Legal Sports Betting Bills

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legal sports betting

When the Supreme Court ended PASPA in May 2018, most thought it would take a few years for legal sports betting to be embraced across most of the US.

It looks like that inflection point is already here.

Legal US sports betting is available in 21 jurisdictions so far with more on the way. The last to launch was Virginia, which arrived in time for the Super Bowl.

It’s not just about legalizing either. Multiple states, including New York and Oregon, have sports betting bills that would amend how wagering operates in their states.

Here are efforts in seven other states that are worth keeping an eye on:

Maryland should get legal sports betting this year

Many are eagerly awaiting sports betting legislation out of Maryland after voters approved sports betting last November.

We’re still waiting to see legislation that would legalize MD sports betting, but SB 24 is associated.

Sen. Chris West wants the Maryland State Fair and Agricultural Society to also get a license so it can offer betting at the Maryland State Fairgrounds.

Mississippi trying again for mobile

Mississippi sports betting is alive and well, but only in retail sportsbooks. Mobile betting is technically allowed but is geofenced to a casino’s property.

Full mobile MS sports betting legislation has failed for years but there are three bills trying again this year. None of the bills look to materially change the market.

Sen. Scott DeLano‘s SB 2396 is short and sweet. It would allow each casino operator to offer one online sportsbook each.

Sen. Philip Moran‘s SB 2732  and Rep. Jay McKnight’s HB 1042 tweak the existing legislation to include online betting throughout the state. Moran’s bill also expands betting options to include esports and the Olympics.

Nebraska has three proposals for sports betting

There are multiple bills that would legalize sports betting in Nebraska after residents approved casinos through a referendum last November.

Sen. Justin Wayne is again trying to legalize his Games of Skill Act through LB 545, which would allow both sports betting and certain poker games online. All games of skill would have revenue taxed at 25%.

Sen. Tom Briese wants to legalize sports betting at casino racetracks throughout the state in LB 560. He wants to charge $1 million as a one-time fee to offer betting, which wouldn’t include betting on colleges in Nebraska. The bill would create the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission, which would set the tax rate.

Mobile betting would be allowed, though it would be geofenced to the casino properties in “Mississippi mobile” fashion.

The third attempt, LR 26, is a referendum that would allow Nebraska voters whether sports betting should be legal or not.

New Hampshire could add retail sportsbooks

New Hampshire is the land of DraftKings Sportsbook after the state gave DK a monopoly outside of lottery-based betting from Intralot, which has yet to launch.

The state limited physical NH sports betting locations to 10, but there are a few bills that would change that.

HB 330 removes the 10-license cap and allows live betting at retail sportsbooks. HB 181 would let more towns and municipalities vote on whether citizens want a retail sportsbook there and HB 354 cleans up the language of the ballot question.

New Mexico could see gaming expanded at racinos

New Mexico already has sports betting at various tribal casinos but could see that expanded.

HB 101 would legalize sports betting and table games at the state’s five racetracks. Those tracks are already racinos – they operate slot machines and various table games, but those tables are automated games.

The legislation includes online sports betting, which means the state’s tribal casinos could offer betting apps as well. State law allows for six racinos, so naturally, there are six licenses available for both sports betting and table games.

Sportsbooks would pay a $10,000 application fee with an annual $5,000 renewal fee. Sports betting revenue would be taxed at 10%.

North Dakota sports betting could also go online

The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians might have influenced this North Dakota online betting bill a bit.

The Chippewa announced last year they would team up with IGT to launch sports betting at their casinos. HB 1448 would take that a step further and allow gaming tribes to launch online casino and sports betting.

A Senate companion isn’t available on the website, though HB 1448 also lists Sen. Richard Marcellais as a sponsor. Marcellais was previously the chairman of the Chippewa.

Washington wants to include cardrooms, racetracks

Last year, legislators passed a bill to legalize sports betting in Washington state, but it wasn’t complete. The legislature picked the proposal that limited the market the most: no online betting and only at tribal casinos.

SB 5212 aims to change that. Cardrooms and racetracks around the state would be allowed to offer sports betting with online betting also legalized.

Each licensed gaming operator would pay $100,000 for a betting license and would get one skin each. Sports betting revenue would be taxed at 10%.