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.
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.
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.
Indiana on Friday became the latest state to hold a sports betting hearing, when lawmakers heard from various corners of the industry — a technology provider, the NBA, an anti-gambling group and small business owner Patrick Doerflein, who owns an app called “Burn and Bet,” referred to himself as a “hillbilly guy from Brown County” and asked legislators not to over regulate.
While the session had moments of levity, it was a very different sort of hearing in Illinois on Wednesday. Indiana state lawmakers put forth several sports betting bills in 2018 and the Gaming Commission signed on with a market analysis firm, but Hoosier State legislators on the Interim Joint Public Policy Committee still appeared to be in the early learning stages of learning about sports wagering.
One lawmaker asked if a technology professional had said “toad system” when he was referring to a “tote system,” and another asked NBA executive Dan Spillane if any states that have legalized sports betting passed a law granting the league an “integrity fee.” (None have.) This was in stark contrast to contract with gaming entities independently?”
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.
The parade of change continues in the nation’s nascent sports wagering industry with today’s announcement that Scientific Games Corporation is acquiring Las Vegas-based Don Best Sports Corporation and DBS Canada Corporation for an undisclosed purchase price.
The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
The purchase became public knowledge early Tuesday and a key Don Best executive confirmed the sale to Sports Handle, saying he would provide a company statement soon, but cannot comment further right now because of “public company sensitivities.”
Scientific Games Buys Don Best Sports, Expands Company’s Sports Betting Offerings, Particularly in the U.S.
Don Best has been a major sports wagering information provider for decades, orchestrating worldwide sports betting through its “Official International Rotation” listing games for all major U.S. sports leagues, time changes, game locations and betting numbers in a specific order or rotation.
A major collaboration between Major League Baseball (MLB) and DraftKings, the leading Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) operator, will be a part of a series of major announcements at next week’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E) convention in Las Vegas, Sports Handle has learned.
A source with knowledge of the negotiations says DraftKings will announce plans for a new, comprehensive sports wagering app that will include the ability to stream MLB games. The source says that, at first, the app would only have DFS play options available, but would soon allow full-fledged, single-game betting as well — in legal, regulated markets such as New Jersey, where the DraftKings Sportsbook was first to market in August with its online sportsbook and mobile apps.
Neither DraftKings nor MLB was available late Friday to comment on the move that would create a groundbreaking synergy between a major sports league and a sports wagering outlet.
Profits in any casino game comes from the volume of activity in the category of the wager. Sounds profound, but the principle is simple. Let’s say one person makes one bet of $100,000 on a casino game that has a 5 percent casino advantage.
With one bet, the bettor either wins or loses $100,000 conversely the casino either wins or loses $100,000. However, if 2,000 people each make a $5 wager on the same casino game for total wagers of $100,000 the likely result is that the casino will win a net of $5,000, which is the casino game’s advantage of 5 percent.
The 5 percent game advantage against the volume of 2,000 $5 bets allows that math of the game to work and provides the casino an expectation of the win that allows the casino to operate. With most casino games the casino win comes from multiple similar bets repeatedly made.
In slots and video poker games some serious players can play several hundred games in an hour. In blackjack, a fast player can play between 90 and 120 hands an hour,. But in the sports book, the number of bets a gambler can make tends to be limited to their bankroll and how many games are available to bet and often is in the form of three or four bets for a three to four-hour period. Add the challenge of standing in line to make a bet the process itself slows the betting opportunities for the gambler.
The Oregon Lottery rolled out its mobile app, which eventually will include a sports betting option, on Sept. 11 in the Apple App Store. Lottery officials said the expectation is that some sort of sports betting game should be available on the app later this fall.
The app, which allows lottery customers to check for winning numbers, is in its infancy and will ultimately have myriad options for the consumers to use. According to lottery officials, the plan is have the app available to Google and Android users some time in November, and at that the point, the lottery will begin marketing it.
The app is in its “launch” version and users should expect incremental changes as times wears on.
West Virginia’s second legal sportsbook opened on Thursday when the the FanDuel Sportsbook at the The Greenbrier Resort and Casino took its first sports bet. The Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races opened Aug. 30. The timing means the sportsbook is open in time for the second weekend of the NFL season. The Greenbrier is a unique circumstance in that is the only private membership-only casino in the U.S. Only members and resort guests can enter the casino.
The Greenbrier, one of the most storied resorts in America, has long offered casino gaming at its Casino Club, a posh, high-end gaming venue. The FanDuel Sportsbook is more of the same with club chairs and 21 large-screen televisions. According to the sportsbook’s webpage, it will offer international dining options as well as live entertainment. Patrons are required to wear coats (men) and dresses (women) in the casino after 7 p.m.
Membership to the Casino Club is available through a membership to The Greenbrier Golf and Tennis Club, which costs $1,590 annually, by purchasing a home in The Greenbrier Sporting Club, or to registered hotel guests and, in some cases, convention attendees. The Casino Club opened in 2010.