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.
Major League Baseball is following in the footsteps of the NBA and NHL, and on Tuesday announced a partnership with MGM, which now becomes baseball’s official gaming and entertainment partner. MGM already has similar deals with the NBA and NHL, and now will have access to official data and sponsorship rights from three of the four U.S. professional sports leagues.
The deal gives MGM non-exclusive rights to the MLB’s official stats, but the company will have exclusive rights to some of the league’s advanced stats.
“We are pleased to partner with MGM Resorts International, a clear industry leader in the sports gaming area, to work together on bringing innovative experiences to baseball fans and MGM customers,” said baseball commissioner Robert Manfred in an press release. “Our partnership with MGM will help us navigate this evolving space responsibly, and we look forward to the fan engagement opportunities ahead.”
MLB Falls Into Line With NBA, NHL in Naming MGM Its ‘Official Partner’ in a Non-Exclusive Deal
Read more MGM Adds MLB to Its List of ‘Official Partners’ on SportsHandle.
MGM and Caesars are among the members of a new not-for-profit that will monitor integrity in sports betting. The organization, the Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association, will bring together key gaming stakeholders, including state and tribal regulatory bodies, federal, state and tribal law enforcement, in an effort to uncover and prevent fraud and other illegal activities related to sports betting and sporting events.
The group is modeled after the Europe Sport Security Association which monitors sports betting and sports events for fraud. 888Sport, PaddyPower/BetFair and William Hill are among ESSA’s members. According to SportTechie.com, ESSA was involved in the creation of SWIMA and the two organizations plan to work together to monitor integrity.
Read more MGM, Caesars Among Founding Members of Sports Betting Integrity Monitoring Group on SportsHandle.
Five months after legalizing sports betting and nearly 60 days after the projected opening date, a group of lawmakers and a corporate executive placed the ceremonial first sports bet at Rhode Island’s Twin River Sportsbook on Monday. In so doing, Rhode Island became the sixth non-Nevada state post-PASPA to open up for legal sports betting, and the first in New England.
Rhode Island Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, House Speaker Nicholas Matiello and Twin River Worldwide Holdings Chairman John Taylor Jr. placed the first bets after making remarks.
The sportsbook officially opened at 3 p.m. local time with an opening ceremony — in time for Monday Night Football. Rhode Island has only two casinos, Twin River and Tiverton, both owned by the same company. The Tiverton sportsbook is scheduled to open in December.
Rhode Island Becomes First in New England to Offer Sports Betting as Twin River Casino Hotel Opens Sportsbook
Read more They’re Off: Rhode Island Becomes First New England State to Take Legal Sports Bets 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.
Mississippi sportsbooks saw a slight rise in handle in October, up to $32.8 million against $31.8 million in September. The Gulf Coast-area sportsbooks continued to account for more than half of handle across the state, writing $21.8 million in wagers. And football remains king, accounting for $22.5 million of the total handle.
Like both New Jersey and Delaware, Mississippi’s hold, or win percentage, dropped significantly from September to October. During the first full month of football, the Magnolia State had a whopping 17.3 percent win percentage, but that plummeted to 3.59 percent in October. New Jersey’s October hold fell to 4.4 percent and Delaware’s fell to 3.5 percent.
For comparison, in Mississippi, the hold was 10 percent in August and Nevada traditionally has a 5 to 7 percent hold, so while 3.5 percent looks low, it’s not as alarming in context or as if the sportsbooks overall landed in the red.
Read more Mississippi Sports Bettors Crush It in Football, Causing Drop in Taxable Revenue on SportsHandle.
In October, Delaware’s total sports betting handle dropped almost $2 million, from $16,830,010 in September to $14,738,223, according to the latest report from the Delaware Lottery. But that $14.7 million September handle is the second biggest since the First State became the first state outside Nevada to offer full-fledged, legal sports betting in June.
Previously the state offered parlay wagering on NFL contests only, an offering that was “grandfathered” in under the 1992 federal law ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in May. That law had banned full-fledged sports betting outside Nevada.
Delaware Park, located less than an hour from Philadelphia, remained the busiest sportsbook. Bettors placing $10.6 million in wagers there, compared to the $2.2 million handle at Dover Downs and $1.9 million at Harrington Raceway.
Read more Delaware Sees Slight Dip in Betting Handle for Octoberon SportsHandle.