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.
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.
The fifth smallest state in the nation by population, South Dakota doesn’t want to be left out of the sports betting game. Known for Mount Rushmore and the scenic Black Hills, South Dakota has more than 30 commercial and tribal casinos, and if the Deadwood Gaming Association gets its way, sports betting will be on the menu by 2021. The association is working on a ballot measure and is going to ask state lawmakers to put it on the 2020 ballot.
South Dakota has had legal gaming since 1989 and 22 of the state’s casinos are located in Deadwood. Gaming is only legal in Deadwood and at tribal casinos, though the video lottery is legal across the state.
“We want to keep Deadwood a competitive gaming destination,” Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association told Sports Handle. “A few years ago (2014), we put in craps and roulette for just that reason.”
Rodman said the goal would be to have legal sports betting in South Dakota beginning on July 1, 2021. His group has already submitted the ballot initiative to the state legislature’s research council and it is now being considered by the state attorney general’s office. Rodman said that so far, state lawmakers support the idea, as long as sports betting is limited to Deadwood and tribal locations.
Read more South Dakota Special-Interest Group Wants Sports Betting Initiative on SportsHandle.
North Carolina lawmakers haven’t officially broached the subject of legal sports betting, but that doesn’t mean ideas and conversations about the topic aren’t circulating around the state.
“This is an issue that’s on people’s minds, but I don’t know where our caucus stands, particularly the new members. I expect that the proper role for the state will be discussed as we enter the new session next year,” North Carolina senator Phil Berger told the Charlotte Observer in an email.
Several North Carolina lawmakers introduced legislation in 2018 to legalize daily fantasy sports, but none got to a vote. In neighboring South Carolina, at least one sports betting bill was filed in the state legislature, but did not reach a vote. Lawmakers, there, though, are enthusiastic about the possibility of legalizing sports betting.
Read more Expect North Carolina Lawmakers to Talk Sports Betting in ’19 on SportsHandle.
The post Virginia Sports Betting Bill Filed Ahead of 2019 Session appeared first on SportsHandle.
Virginia on Tuesday became the latest state to make an earnest move toward legalizing sports betting in 2019 when Delegate Mark Sickles (D-District 43) prefiled HB 1638 ahead of the opening of the legislative session on Jan. 9, 2019. The bill, which will be referred to committee for discussion, calls for a 15 percent tax rate on sports betting adjusted gross revenue, and a $250,000 licensing fee. There is no mention of a “royalty” or “integrity fee” to be paid to the professional sports leagues.
Lawmakers in Tennessee and Kentucky have also prefiled bills ahead of their sessions and several other states, including Michigan, Maryland and Massachusetts have publicly discussed sports betting recently.
Since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May, seven states states outside of Nevada have either legalized or seen its authorized licensees begin accepting sports bets. Although Virginia is very much not a gaming state as casinos are prohibited by law, apparently sports betting may be on the table.
Read more Virginia Sports Betting Bill Filed Ahead of 2019 Session on SportsHandle.
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.”
A Washington Post poll conducted in Sept. 2017 showed that 55% of respondents approved of legalizing sports betting with only 33% disapproving — the highest level of support ever record by the Roper Center public opinion archive.
Now a brand new Post poll surveying Maryland registered voters found numbers in line with the national figures — 53 percent are in favor of legal sports wagering on professional sports, against 37 percent opposed (10 percent had no opinion).
Unfortunately for those Marylanders approving and also desiring to make legal sports bets, they’ll probably be waiting more than two years to do so within Maryland borders.
The Maryland state constitution requires that any gambling expansion must go to the voters via ballot referendum. In March, the House of Delegates passed a bill 124-14 that would have put the matter on the Nov. 6 ballot, however the bill failed to make it out of committee in the Senate before the legislative session ended.
As proponents at the time advised, now the next opportunity to get it on the ballot won’t come until Nov. 2020, unless lawmakers have the motivation and find a way to bypass the state constitution. Unlikely.
Read more Poll: Most Maryland Voters Want Sports Betting, Will Have to Wait on SportsHandle.
One day after the mid-term elections, Tennessee state Representative Rick Staples (D-District 15) filed the state’s first piece of sports betting legislation ahead of the 2019 session, which begins Jan. 8. The bill, HB 0001, while an initial effort, covers many of the key points needed for meaningful legislation.
The “Tennessee Sports Gaming Act,” filed on Nov. 7, calls for legal sports betting “only in jurisdictions that approve sports betting by local option election.” This language seems to infer that legal sports betting would be brought to Tennessee voters and could potentially be approved on a county-by-county basis. In a similar situation in Louisiana, voters in some parishes approved daily fantasy sports, while voters in other did not.
The Tennessee bill calls for a 10 percent tax on a licensee’s adjusted gross income. Nevada’s 6.75 tax on gross sports betting revenue is the lowest of all states with legal sports betting while new sports betting jurisdictions in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island impose rates of 34 percent or higher. The bill would set the licensing fee at $7,500.
Read more TN Lawmaker Files Sports Betting Bill Ahead of 2019 Session on SportsHandle.
Kentucky Senator Julian Carroll (D-District 7) refiled an updated version of his sports betting bill on Friday. The bill, which would create the independent Kentucky Gaming Commission, calls for a 25 percent tax on net sports betting revenue as well as allowing the Kentucky Lottery Association and existing horse racing associations to be granted licenses. Any other interested venues may also apply.
The tax rate applies to commercial sportsbooks and vendors, but not the Lottery Association’s license. And the bill would give all the regulatory power, including, it appears, determining what types of events could be bet on and whether mobile/online wagering is permitted, to the new Kentucky Gaming Commission. Unsurprisingly, there is no mention of any sort of fee or royalty benefiting professional sports leagues.
Kentucky lawmakers and stakeholders have had a busy few months studying sports betting, and it’s likely the state will be among the first to seriously consider legalizing sports betting in 2019. Carroll’s bill is likely just one of several that will be filed and considered when the state legislature goes back into session. Carroll, a former Kentucky governor, is a member of the state’s “working group” on sports betting.
Read more Updated KY Sports Betting Bill: 25 Percent Tax, Creation of Kentucky Gaming Commission, No Integrity Fee on SportsHandle.
Tuesday’s election results and a recent New York State Supreme Court ruling are both likely to impact the ability of state residents to soon enter a full-fledged, regulated sports wagering market, according to a New York legislator and a prominent local gaming attorney.
New Yorkers have a “better than 50 percent chance” to be able to legally bet on sports in 2019, Democratic Assemblyman Member J. Gary Pretlow (89th District), told Sports Handle this week, despite the recent court decision that ruled part of the legislation legalizing Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) was unconstitutional and would require voter approval in a statewide referendum.
Pretlow is the state lawmaker sponsoring a bill to legalize sports betting in the Empire State, and plans to bring it up again in the state’s next legislative session in January.
Read more How November Elections And A Court Ruling Will Impact Legal New York Sports Betting on SportsHandle.