South Dakota Special-Interest Group Wants Sports Betting Initiative

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.

The Analyst: Good Marketing Combo: Sports Teams, Sportsbooks

The post The Analyst: Good Marketing Combo: Sports Teams, Sportsbooks appeared first on SportsHandle.

It was not that long ago here in the United States that the idea of professional sports teams partnering with casinos, sportsbooks or online betting sites would seem as likely as seeing a dog and cat dancing the Merengue together. Part of the reason was the federal ban on sports wagering and of course the fear by the sports leagues that relationships with gaming houses would somehow taint their sport and cast a shady image on them. But wow, what a difference a Supreme Court ruling can make.

Though it was years in the making and purely a by-product of the nationwide acceptance of gaming as an everyday form of recreation that the pall and image of gambling being a back room, mob run shady operation was lifted. That lift of the social stigma fostered a change of image for gambling and probably as much as the facts of law inspired the Supreme Court to recognize and overturn the federal ban on sports wagering.

While the Court’s ruling returned certain state’s rights of self-determination, it also helped tip national acceptance of wagering as a legitimate business and made it very possible for professional sports teams and gambling houses to engage in various types of marketing relationships.

Please click here to read the remainder of the column at Gaming Today.

Congressional Hearing on Sports Betting Slated For Sept. 27

The post Congressional Hearing on Sports Betting Slated For Sept. 27 appeared first on SportsHandle.

The Congressional hearing on sports betting, which was postponed in late June, is back on the docket.

Staff for the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday confirmed that the hearing “Post-PASPA: An Examination of Sports Betting in America” is slated for 10 a.m. ET on Sept. 27 before the U.S. House of Representatives House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.  News of the hearing was first reported by ESPN’s David Purdum.

A full list of parties testifying is not immediately available. The American Gaming Association confirmed that Sara Slane Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, will be testifying on behalf of the gaming industry.  “Legal, regulated sports betting will enable increased transparency and enhance protections for consumers and betting and game integrity,” Slane said. “We look forward to discussing the U.S. gaming industry’s core principles for legalized sports betting with the Judiciary Committee at next week’s hearing.”


Read more Congressional Hearing on Sports Betting Slated For Sept. 27 on SportsHandle.

AGA to Schumer: Sports Betting Doesn’t Need Federal Oversight

The post AGA to Schumer: Sports Betting Doesn’t Need Federal Oversight appeared first on SportsHandle.

“Additional federal engagement is not warranted at this time.”

Those words close the first paragraph of the American Gaming Association‘s latest volley in the discussion about the creation of federal sports betting regulation. The AGA, a national trade group, has been on the front lines in working with stakeholders to streamline the legislative process as sports betting becomes legal in more and more states.

On Thursday, it released a letter sent to Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer (New York), in response to Schumer’s call for a federal framework that would, among other things, require sportsbooks to use “official” league data and would allow the professional sports leagues a voice in determining what kinds of bets could be placed. The letter is intended as a reply to Schumer’s staff, which requested additional information from the AGA following an Aug. 2 meeting.

Read more of AGA to Schumer: Sports Betting Doesn’t Need Federal Oversight  on SportsHandle.

Kentucky Lawmakers Begin Education on Sports Betting

Kentucky lawmakers on Thursday got a primer on sports betting when staff members presented a detailed look at sports betting to the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue.

The presentation likely created more questions than answers, but it was a significant step for the Kentucky lawmakers who are pushing for legal sports betting. Kentucky’s state legislature is not currently in session, but interim joint committees keep the legislative process moving through the summer months. By opening the sports betting discussion on a formal level, the interim committee can help the standing committees it supports in both chambers to hit the ground running when the new legislative session begins in January. Senate Appropriations and Revenue chairman Christian McDaniel (R-District 23) requested the presentation to give committee members and overview of the sports betting issue.

The presentation lasted about a half hour and included:

  • An explanation of what the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was;
  • A primer on the and the Supreme Court case Murphy vs. NCAA;
  • The possibility of a federal framework;
  • A brief look at how Nevada manages sports betting, it’s tax structure and revenue;
  • A look at the “integrity fee” or royalty that the professional sports leagues have been lobbying for;
  • Whether or not the Kentucky constitution allows for sports betting and possible ways to make sports betting legal (i.e. is a constitutional amendment required?); and
  • Who would oversee sports betting in the Bluegrass State.

KY Sports Betting Working Group Has Been Laying the Groundwork for Legal KY Sports Betting.

A nine-member “working group” of Kentucky legislators has been meeting through the summer to build a consensus on sports betting. The group has met twice and has reached two key decisions: Kentucky should tax net revenue, not handle, and the group does not endorse the integrity fee that the professional leagues have been lobbying for.

It’s unlikely that the bill that the working group files will include the fee. No state that has legalized sports betting since PASPA was struck down includes a royalty, and the only state that seems to be seriously discussing such a fee is New York.

See what State Senator Julian Carroll thinks about the bill by visiting SportsHandle using the link below:


Schumer Joins Hatch in Pushing for Federal Sports Betting Framework

After being a lone voice this summer pushing for a federal framework on sports betting, Utah senator Orrin Hatch got some company on Wednesday when New York Democrat Chuck Schumer released a memo outlining his thoughts on legalized sports betting.

First released to ESPN, Schumer said that he wants to see sportsbooks across the nation using only official league data and to allow the professional sports leagues a voice in deciding what types of bets should be allowed.

Schumer’s ideas could be a boon to the pro sports leagues, which have been lobbying for a royalty or integrity fee across the country this year. While no state that currently has legalized sports betting is paying the pro leagues, New York state lawmakers are pushing for an integrity fee should the Empire State legalize sports betting. It’s possible that if Schumer’s idea takes hold on a federal level, a royalty could be included, which would be a key change for the six states (including three that are already taking bets) that have legal sports betting.

Legislators Have Been Pushing for an Integrity Fee Should NY Sports Betting Become Legal. 

In Albany, New York State Senator John Bonacic (R-District 42) and Representative Gary Pretlow (D-District 89) have put forth legislation that would pay the pro leagues 1/5 of 1 percent of the handle. This number is significantly lower than the 1 percent the pro leagues had been lobbying for, but a windfall nonetheless.

New York sports betting

Under Schumer’s plan, the professional leagues would stand to gain even without an integrity fee. Requiring sportsbooks to use only official league data would force operators to pay the leagues for the data. The memo all but panders to the professional leagues. The NFL, in particular, has voiced support for a federal framework, which would make oversight simpler – one law to work with vs. different laws or regulations in every sports betting state.

But Schumer is already getting pushback. The American Gaming Association, which released a statement mirroring its comments after Hatch made a plea for Congress to entertain sports betting last Friday. In both statements, the organization refers to federal oversight of sports betting as “an abject failure,” and points to the “thriving illegal market” that blossomed after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was passed in 1972. That law was struck down by the Supreme Court on May 14, paving the way for states to determine if they want to have sports betting.

See what else the AGA had to say by visiting SportsHandle using the link below:

Need for Federal Sports Betting Law Just a Vanity Project for Hatch

The post Need for Federal Sports Betting Law Just a Vanity Project for Hatch appeared first on SportsHandle.

Why is one of the architects of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act taking point on sports betting in Congress? After all, PASPA was deemed unconstitutional just three months ago, and it seems highly unlikely that Congress will get a second shot at prohibiting sports betting.

The simple answer is that the upcoming mid-term elections have created something of a void. Senators and representatives don’t want any part of controversial legislation when their names are on the ballot. But Orrin Hatch, the conservative Utah senator who helped author PASPA, isn’t on the ballot. He’s retiring. And as his swan song, he clearly wants another federal mandate on sports betting.

Just days after the Supreme Court overturned PASPA in May, Hatch promised new legislation to help protect the integrity of the game. Yet in the ensuing months, as six states have legalized sports betting and three (Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi) already have sportsbooks up and running, there has been no new bill.

Conservative Senator Opposes Sports Betting, But Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi Are Already Accepting Sports Bets. 

It seemed odd that last week, in the middle of a Senate session that had nothing to do with sports betting, that Hatch made his plea and again promised legislation that would “kick-start” the federal discussion on sports betting. Let’s be real here – Hatch is opposed to sports betting and he wants his legacy to be a last-minute law banning it again.

It’s highly unlikely that Hatch will get what he wants. There is little time left on the Congressional calendar before his term expires in January. In fact, without breaking down every little detail, there are only 35 legislative days between Labor Day weekend and the mid-term elections on Nov. 6. And while I don’t know much about how quickly Congress moves, that hardly seems like ample time before a series of lame-duck sessions after the elections. Or maybe it’s the lame-duck sessions Hatch is counting on?

To read the rest of this article, visit SportsHandle using the link below:

Study: Climate May Be Right for Sports Betting in Kentucky

Is the timing finally right for sports betting in Kentucky?

According to a study by the law firm Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP, it may well be. At Wednesday’s meeting of the Kentucky sports betting working group, lawmakers will hear that the firm’s study concludes that Kentucky is “a state that is in need of supplementary funding for the budget and the pension fund – could be friendlier to a casino or sports wagering bill, especially in light of the general public approval of sports wagering.”

That’s likely just what lawmakers want to hear. Beginning earlier this summer, a nine-member working group has been meeting with the idea of coming to a consensus on sports betting ahead of the next legislative session. Former Kentucky governor Julian Carroll, now a state senator, has been spearheading the effort and pre-filed a bill in June he hopes will be the foundation for future legislation.

Kentucky’s Politics Have Changed — and the State Has a Deficit — Potentially Making It More Receptive to Legal Sports Betting.

U.S. Sports Betting in 2018: Timeline of State and Sportsbook Developments

The post U.S. Sports Betting in 2018: Timeline of State and Sportsbook Developments appeared first on SportsHandle.
This has been a historic year for legal sports betting in the United States as the long-awaited Supreme Court decision in Murphy v NCAA erased a 26-year-long federal ban on full-fledged sports wagering outside Nevada.
A whole heck of a lot has happened in the first half of 2018 and there’s sure to scores of dominoes yet to fall.
Now that we’re halfway through ’18, so let’s take stock of the key developments that have already occurred. This is not meant to be completely comprehensive but a quick look at most of the many highlights.

Legal Sports Betting in the US in the First Half of 2018: Sportsbooks and States and So Much Happening in Just Six Months

January 5: Scientific Games completes its acquisition of NYX. “NYX ideally positions us to capitalize on the growing online gaming and online sports betting markets,” said Kevin Sheehan, Scientific Games’ President and Chief Executive Officer.
January 9: The first piece of U.S. legislation containing the phrase “integrity fee” emerges in House Bill 1325 in Indiana, introduced by Representative Alan Morrison. The bill didn’t advance past the committee stage.
January 24: NBA Executive Vice President and Assistant General Counsel Dan Spillane testifies at a hearing on sports betting before a New York State senate committee. “We believe it is reasonable for operators to pay each league 1 percent of the total amount bet on its games” he said.
February 4: With Nick Foles under center and the guts to call the play “Philly Special,” the Eagles upset the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII. Many Las Vegas bookmakers took a beating due with the 4.5-point underdog Eagles taking a lot of action, plus a ton of player and scoring props going over.
Record $158.6 Million Nevada Sportsbooks Betting Handle on Super Bowl LII Between Eagles and Patriots Results in Very Narrow Profit for the House
“We don’t usually lose Super Bowls,” Wynn Las Vegas sportsbook director Johnny Avello said. “Once in a while. The last couple have been tough. Maybe the Patriots won’t be there next year.”
February 17 : At the NBA All-Star Weekend, Commissioner Adam Silver was asked a question about sports betting and the so-called integrity fee. “This notion that as the intellectual property creators that we should receive a 1 percent fee seems very fair to me,” Silver says of levying a fee on potential operators. “Call it integrity fee, call it a royalty to the league.”
March 2: West Virginia passes the first new law of 2018 to legalize sports wagering.
March 3 through remainder of first half of 2018: Hearings and studies on sports wagering occurred in numerous states, including Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Rhode Island and others.
March 30: Shareholders of Pinnacle Entertainment approve a merger with Penn National Gaming. Pinnacle owns 16 casinos in nine states, many of them likely to have the ability to offer sports betting by the end of 2020.
[Also See: Odds Shift in Race for Operator Dominance in Legal U.S. Sports Betting Market]
April 2: On April 2 at a hearing in Connecticut, the leagues appear to officially lower the bar for their ask from 1 percent to 0.25 percent. “This fee is lower than we originally asked for,” says Morgan Sword, Senior Vice President League Economics and Operations at Major League Baseball. “In spirit of compromise, we are willing to accept a 0.25% fee.”
April 4: The PGA Tour publicly aligns itself with the NBA and MLB on sports betting regulation.
April 19: ESPN Chalk reports that MLB and the NBA begin looking to end their respective ownership stakes in DraftKings and FanDuel, in a move believed to be tied to their desire to not have a hand directly in the bookmaking side of sports betting.
April 24: The National Indian Gaming Association adopts a resolution in support of legalized sports wagering — under certain circumstances and rules.
April 24: Former Mets and Yankees pitcher AL and and former Celtics forward Cedric Maxwell appear in Connecticut capital Hartford, to lobby lawmakers for sports betting legislation favorable to the financial interests of their respective former leagues.
May 4: The Vegas Golden Knights just keep on winning and threaten to put a large dent into Las Vegas sportsbooks.

Now the Big Daddy:

May 14: The United States Supreme Court issues its decision in Murphy v NCAA, ruling 7-2 on states rights principles that PASPA is unconstitutional. Justice Samuel Alito writes for the majority:

The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is  not ours to make. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to  do so, each State is free to act on its own. Our job is to interpret the law Congress has  enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA is not.

May 14:  Utah Senator Orrin Hatch — one PASPA’s co-authors — announces his intention to introduce a bill regulating sports wagering. “We need to ensure there are some federal standards in place to ensure that state regulatory frameworks aren’t a race to the bottom” his office says in a statement.
May 14: No longer an open secret, DraftKings announces its intention to move into the sports betting market.

“Our mission has always been to bring fans closer to the sports they love and now, thanks to the wisdom of the Supreme Court, DraftKings will be able to harness our proven technology to provide our customers with innovative online sports betting products,” says Jason Robins, CEO and co-founder of DraftKings. “This ruling gives us the ability to further diversify our product offerings and build on our unique capacity to drive fan engagement.”

May 18: NIGA says in a statement that “Each Tribal Nation must determine for themselves what the risks and benefits are and decide accordingly.  NIGA will continue to serve as an information gathering and information sharing resource for our Member Tribes.”
[Also See: The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and Sports Betting]
May 21, the NFL announces its “core principles” for sports wagering, which made no mention of a fee or royalty, signaling a public break in strategy for monetization of sports wagering. There are rumors that the NFL is pursuing a strategy through Congress, for a new bill with not-yet-known concessions, or possibly carving a pathway through modification of the Wire Act.
May 22: DraftKings erects this billboard in New Jersey:

May 23: Paddy Power Betfair announces its acquisition of FanDuel.
May 23: States push to keep federal regulation out of sports betting.
May 25: The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association sues the sports leagues for $139 million for acting in bad faith in blocking the racetrack from offering sports betting in 2014.
May 29: MGM Resorts International makes a bet in New York with the purchase of Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway.
May 30: By now, all of the leagues have released statements and intentions regarding sports betting.
June 5: The Post-PASPA sports betting era begins in Delaware — the first state to offer full-fledged wagering outside Nevada. Three state-licensed operators draw a combined $322,135 in bets on Day 1. Governor Jay Carney’s $10 bet on the Phillies — the first in the state — is a winner.
June 7: New Jersey’s legislature unanimously passes its bill to legalize sports wagering in the Garden State. Governor Phil Murphy signs it into law on June 11.
June 8: Paddy Power Betfair lands a pair of deals to become the sports betting operator for online, mobile and retail sports betting for Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey and and Tioga Downs in New York.
June 12: Mississippi’s Band of Choctaw Indians announce their intention to move forward with sports betting in time for football season, possibly making it the first tribe to do so.
June 14: New Jersey sports betting begins at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, and shortly after at The Borgata in Atlantic City.

June 15: Pirates president Frank Coonelly tells the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) in a letter that “revenue collected from sports wagering should be allocated to the maintenance and upkeep of PNC Park…”
June 15: The NFL submits a letter to the PGCB in which it agrees with every casino operator that the state’s mammoth licensure fee ($10 million) and tax rate on revenue (36 percent) is prohibitively high and will keep people in the black market.
June 16: DraftKings and Resorts Casino in Atlantic City announce they will partner up for sports betting.
June 19: ESPN learns that the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on sports betting on or about June 29, when the NFL would testify. It is later postponed.
June 20: New York State’s legislative session closes with a dud. No sports betting bill gets passed.
June 21: The West Virginia Lottery Commission sets forth its sports betting regulations, and expects that operators will be ready to go by September 1 at the latest.
June 21: Mississippi, which previously legalized sports betting, rolls out its regulations and believes its casinos will be ready to go by football season.
new mississippi sports betting rules allow betting on ms college games
June 22: Rhode Island legalizes sports wagering. Per the law, the state will get a whopping 51 percent cut.
June 26: FanDuel scores a deal to manage sports betting operations at the The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia.
June 29: USA Today reports that it NCAA won’t seek an “integrity fee” or royalty from sports betting. It also tells its member schools regarding sports betting that “they will need to look at their own values and decide” how to proceed.

And on and on and on.  Stay tuned for what will be an eventful football season and remainder of 2018.

The post U.S. Sports Betting in 2018: Timeline of State and Sportsbook Developments appeared first on SportsHandle.