D.C. Council Quashes Pro-League Fee, But Sports Betting Bill Moves On

The professional sports leagues struck out again on Wednesday when the D.C. City Council opted to remove language from its sports betting bill that would have payed the leagues a royalty. Entering Wednesday’s “mark-up” hearing in the Finance and Revenue Committee, a revised version of Bill 22-944 included a one-quarter of 1 percent cut of gross sports wagering revenue as a payout to the professional leagues. But the council unanimously agreed to cut the amendment that added that fee.

The net result is that the committee agreed to move the bill along to a first reading, set for Dec. 4. The goal is to get the bill voted on at a Dec. 16 meeting.

During the one-hour hearing, several other bills were discussed, but the committee spent about half an hour discussing sports betting. Key changes to the original bill included creating a two-block no-competition zone around designated gaming facilities; removing the mandate that sportsbooks use official league data and replacing that with the royalty; language reaffirming that the D.C. Lottery would regulate sports betting; and allowing mobile bettors to use the D.C. Lottery sports betting app around the city, but requiring them to use only the app approved by a gaming facility in said facility.


Read more D.C. Council Quashes Pro-League Fee, But Sports Betting Bill Moves On on SportsHandle.

Missouri Lawmakers Will Continue Push for Sports Betting

Add Missouri to the growing list of states set to consider sports betting legislation in 2019.

“I certainly anticipate it being out there (in 2019) for discussion before the House and the Senate,” Representative Dean Plocher, (R-Des Peres) told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this week.

Plocher sponsored legislation last spring that did not advance in either legislative chamber. Multiple drafts of legislation were circulating even before the May U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned the law banning states from offering Nevada-style, single-team sports betting.

Expect Sports Betting to Be on 2019 Legislative Agenda and Missouri May Consider a Payout to the Professional Leagues


Read more Missouri Lawmakers Will Continue Push for Sports Betting on SportsHandle.

Michigan Could Become First State to Pay Leagues Sports Betting ‘Integrity Fee’

So far the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and PGA Tour are 0-for-7 in persuading state lawmakers to mandate payment of an off-the-top “integrity fee” or “royalty,” putting a percentage of legal sports bets into league coffers.

Now, a key lawmaker in Michigan sponsoring a bill that would legalize sports betting and iGaming in the state could give a win to the leagues.

According to a report from Reuters, following a U.S. Sports Betting Policy Summit in Washington D.C. this week, Michigan state representative Brandt Iden (R-District 61) changed his mind on the fees after “spending significant time with the leagues.”


Examining Answers to Key Sports Betting Questions in Illinois

After hearing from a bevy of sports betting professionals, major professional leagues, players’ associations, and those opposed to sports betting, Illinois lawmakers continue slow and steady on their approach to legal sports wagering. While the state legislature has been considering different types of gaming for more than a decade, it has been slow to act. And it appears things will be no different when it comes to sports betting.

Illinois currently has 10 casinos and three active racetracks, and there has been discussion in the state legislature about approving additional venues, particularly in the city of Chicago. But politics and procedural questions have long slowed the process. Representative Bob Rita (D-District 28) organized and held two hearings on sports betting, the most recent in the state capitol of Springfield on Oct. 17. In the final analysis, the hearing may have provided more questions than answers:

  • What will the tax rate be?;
  • What will the mobile/internet component look like?;
  • Will there be any kind of payout to the professional leagues? The players’ associations?;
  • Where will the state’s cut of sports betting revenue go?; and
  • Whose bill will make it to a vote?

Sports Betting Hearings Left IL Lawmakers With More Questions Than Answers, So Don’t Expect a Bill to Be Filed Until 2019. 

Rita said last week that he doesn’t expect sports betting to come before the Illinois general assembly until the new session begins in late January. The state does have a two-week “veto session” around Thanksgiving, but it’s highly unlikely that any legislation will be far enough through the pipeline to be considered at that point. There’s multiple sports betting bills floating around the general assembly, some to do with sports betting, others to do with daily fantasy sports and still others to do with iGaming. But none, according to Rita, address all the relevant issues, and none have made it to a full vote.


Read more Examining Answers to Key Sports Betting Questions in Illinois on SportsHandle.

KY Lawmakers Closing In On Sports Betting Bill to Pass in ’19, Hone In On Final Key Issues

Expect Kentucky to among the first movers on sports betting when the state legislature goes back into the session in January. On Friday, state lawmakers heard from a bevy of sports betting and gaming professionals during a hearing before the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations. It was the second such meeting before an interim joint committee ahead of Kentucky’s 2019 session.

“I think you definitely will see one if not multiple bills in Kentucky,” said Global Market Advisors’ Director of Government Affairs Brendan Bussman. “There is definitely a will within some of the active members there who want to bring this up, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t.”

Though the hearing was comprehensive and there were plenty of questions from legislators, it’s unlikely that much will happen in the next month ahead of mid-term elections. That said, a sports betting bill was pre-filed earlier this year, a second is in the works, according to a source, and there could be more to come.


Read more KY Lawmakers Closing In On Sports Betting Bill to Pass in ’19, Hone In On Final Key Issues on SportsHandle.

‘Pro Football Handle’: NFL Week 6 Breakdown, KC-NE, LAR-DEN, Big Total to Look Under

The post ‘Pro Football Handle’: NFL Week 6 Breakdown, KC-NE, LAR-DEN, Big Total to Look Under appeared first on SportsHandle.

On The Pro Football Handle, Las Vegas-based sports talk voice Matt Perrault and veteran bookmaker Robert Walker of USBookmaking dive into select NFL games, line movements and bookmaker liabilities, plus greater sports betting topics and stories that may have nothing to do with football. Walker has seen it all behind the counter and Perrault the same from behind the microphone, so they’ll have you prepared for anything.

It’s already NFL Week 6! This week the guys have spent some time soaking up the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) floor, some new sports betting products and also a borderline contentious panel that included an MLB and a gaming association executive.

On the gridiron, some home dogs for your consideration,  first international game of the season. And scoring is up 10 percent over last year with another total in the 60s (!!) in the marquee matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs at Foxboro to face the New England Patriots. Giddy up!

Spotify fans go here to listen.  Time codes for the episode follow below. Your feedback is welcome at @sports_handle.

1:18: The show’s on the road from G2E and the MLB is at the to sell its “integrity fee” or rather by rebranding it as a “royalty.” Sports Handle Editor in Chief Brett Smiley jumps on to discuss public perception of the integrity fee/royalty debate.

9:36: The future of retail and mobile wagering and Nevada’s archaic in-person sign up requirement.

19:40: Philadelphia Eagles -3 at N.Y.Giants — Opened -3 Philly, now at -3 even money. Why move the price not the line?

24:33: L.A. Chargers -1 at Cleveland Browns — Home dogs historically do well or at least have “sharp” bettor backing. Chargers are slight favorites or about a pick ‘em game.

28:03: Seattle Seahawks -3 vs Oakland Raiders (London) — How do international games impact bookmaking? Both teams are desperate and it’s a neutral field.

30:43: Jacksonville Jaguars -3 at Dallas Cowboys — The Jags are a juggernaut, but QB Blake Bortles is a singular (and key) fatal flaw.  

33:36: Pittsburgh Steelers +2.5 at Cincinnati Bengals — The public is buying into the changes the Steelers made last week and it’s a “show me” game for Cincy to prove if they are one of the best teams in AFC.

37:17: Chicago Bears -3 at Miami Dolphins: What is Miami? At least the Bears are the better team.

39:02: Totals talk: Rarely do NFL totals exceed 60, and scoring is 10 percent higher than the 2017 season. The guys identify a good under bet.

40:53: Kansas City Chiefs +3.5 at New England Patriots — Will the Brady vs. Mahomes showdown live up to the hype? Maybe take the under…

46:11: Los Angeles Rams -7 at Denver Broncos — Broncos or pass…

Have a profitable Week 6, folks. Follow Perrault on Twitter @sportstalkmatt and Walker @robertusfsports.

Thanks for listening and see you back next week, tell a friend, sign up for our newsletter and also check out our Cover City Podcast, featuring sports bettor Eric Rosenthal.


Listen to more episodes of ‘Pro Football Handle’: NFL Week 6 Breakdown, KC-NE, LAR-DEN, Big Total to Look Under  on SportsHandle.

Top New Jersey Regulator Calls Out Pro Leagues ‘Fear Mongering’ on Sports Betting

New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director (DGE) David Rebuck on Tuesday offered his blunt assessment of the NFL’s characterization of the state of sports betting in the U.S.: “Nonsense.”

The NFL’s stance, voiced again at House of Representatives hearing on Sept. 27, was that states legalizing sports wagering are now engaging in a “regulatory race to the bottom,” which Rebuck called “fear mongering” and “nonsense.”

Rebuck’s remarks came during a Global Gaming Expo (G2E) panel in Las Vegas alongside Pennsylvania’s Susan Hensel, Director of Licensing for the state’s gaming control board, and Matthew Morgan, Director of Gaming Affairs for the Chickasaw Nation. Rebuck’s criticism focused in part on the “integrity fee” as well as Major League Baseball and NBA’s efforts at compelling lawmakers to require state-licensed sportsbooks to use “official league data” for grading wagers, which he framed as fundamentally anti-business, and a mandate that New Jersey unequivocally will not implement.


Read more Top New Jersey Regulator Calls Out Pro Leagues ‘Fear Mongering’ on Sports Betting  on SportsHandle.

Ahead of Second KY Sports Betting Hearing, Lawmakers Clear: No Payout to Pro Leagues

It was a busy summer for sports betting in Kentucky and it’s about to get even busier. Next week, the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupation will hold an extensive hearing exploring sports betting, according to co-chairman Adam Koenig. It will be the second interim joint committee meeting since Aug. 30.

On top of that, the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and PGA Tour have registered lobbyists in Kentucky, according to the latest update of the state’s registered lobbyists, dated Sept. 26. The move shows that the leagues believe that the Kentucky legislature will move on legalizing sports betting in 2019, and that they want a piece of the action, which means requiring sportsbooks to purchase “official league data,” among other things.

“I think they know there are going to be efforts and how successful we are is yet to be seen,” Koenig told Sports Handle on Tuesday.  There will likely be  “multiple bills and they want to be ready.”


Pro Sports Leagues Continue Full-Court Press on West Virginia Sports Betting Law

The post Pro Sports Leagues Continue Full-Court Press on West Virginia Sports Betting Law appeared first on SportsHandle.

What’s going on in West Virginia? Sports betting kicked off with a bang a the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races late last month, and just last week, the FanDuel Sportsbook at The Greenbrier Resort took its first bet. In between, the state’s lottery director inexplicably resigned and now the lottery’s managing general counsel, Danielle Boyd, isn’t immediately responding to inquiries.

And on Monday, acting lottery director Doug Buffington went before the Standing Joint Committee on Finance and fielded questions about the implementation the state’s sports betting law. The lottery rolled out “emergency rules” in order to allow the casinos to open their sportsbooks, but those rules were open to public comment and the lottery must address concerns. The public-comment period ended Sept. 7 and the lottery has yet to respond.

In fact, should it respond in the near future, it will do so without its long-time leader, Alan Harrick, who resigned unexpectedly and Boyd, who has reportedly been forced out of her position by the governor’s office.

Read more Pro Sports Leagues Continue Full-Court Press on West Virginia Sports Betting Law on SportsHandle.

Veteran Oddsmaker Explains ‘Integrity Monitoring’ From Sportsbook Perspective

The post Veteran Oddsmaker Explains ‘Integrity Monitoring’ From Sportsbook Perspective appeared first on SportsHandle.

This is the second of a two-part series seeking to answer, “So What the Heck Is ‘Integrity Monitoring’, Anyway?” (Read Part I here.)

Even before the United States Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May, the NBA and Major League Baseball began lobbying state legislatures for funds to finance “integrity monitoring” measures. Part of the leagues’ claim is that expanded legal wagering will create new, greater obligations for sports leagues. 

But what exactly is “integrity monitoring,” and how are bookmakers perceiving the leagues’ efforts to garner an “integrity fee?” In the first installment of this series, we spoke to Jennifer Roberts, Associate Director of the International Center for Gaming Regulation, a gaming lawyer and adjunct professor at University of Nevada Las Vegas, who teaches such courses as fundamentals of casino operations management.

Here, to get the behind-the-counter perspective, we spoke to Robert Walker, who heads up sportsbook operations for USBookmaking. Walker’s resume also includes nearly 12 years as the director of race and sportsbook operations for MGM Mirage in Las Vegas, and before that served as the race and sportsbook manager for The Stardust.


Read more Veteran Oddsmaker Explains ‘Integrity Monitoring’ From Sportsbook Perspective on SportsHandle.