Wyoming Online Sports Betting Bill Voted Down by Legislators

Person Browsing a Sports Betting Site on a Tablet
The Wyoming House of Representatives rejected a bill which would have legalized online sports betting in the state.

By a vote of 28-32 on the third reading during their March 9th session, the House defeated House Bill 133 based on ethical grounds. Sponsored by six representatives and two senators, the bill progressed through the House Committee last week before making it to the floor.

Could Damage People’s Lives

The House acknowledged that Wyoming online sports betting could have created a $449M market, they argued that the legalization of online sports betting could damage people’s lives. Rep. Evan Simpson of Lincoln County said that addictions will happen if the bill is passed and gambling addiction damages not only lives but also families.

Sheridan County Rep. Mark Jenings meanwhile, contended that online sports betting is a vice and it is the House’s constitutional duty to protect its constituents against vices. Sheridan referenced Section 20 of the Wyoming Constitution for his argument. Meanwhile, Fremont’s Rep. Andi Clifford said that she opposed the bill because representatives from the Eastern Shoshone Tribe were not included during the discussions.

House Bill 133

The Wyoming Gaming Commission was supposed to regulate Wyoming online sports betting. Only online gambling was to be legalized not only to bring people out of the unregulated online sports betting market but also to eliminate in-person sports wagering that involves bookkeepers in Wyoming.

House Bill 133 would have required sports betting operators to remit 10% of their online sports wagering revenues to the state. Before the bill was defeated, the legislators considered an amendment that would have directed the state’s collections to the state’s School Foundation Program instead of the General Fund. That proposal would’ve helped solve the structural deficit for education funding.

Colorado Sports Betting Sets State Record With $326M in January 2021

Colorado Casinos
Colorado sports betting continues to soar high as January 2021 figures reveal a record $326.9M worth of bets were made for the said calendar month.

The number easily tops Colorado sports betting’s previous high of $284.6M which was set in December 2020 or a 14% increase from the previous month. It also translated to a $1.1M tax revenue for Colorado which was an increase of more than 125% from the previous month.

Basketball is Top Sport

Professional Football is the top sport for betting in the United States but that isn’t the case in Colorado. According to the January figures, basketball is the driving force behind Colorado sports betting with the NBA amassing a total of $88M in total bets. College basketball was third on the list, bringing a total handle of $39M.

The NFL ranked second to the NBA with more than $75M of wagers but with Super Bowl LV concluding the league’s latest season, there will be very little pro football bets made between now and Fall. Table tennis is a surprise market in Colorado with a total of $11.8M bets made during the previous month.

Retail Betting is Picking Up

The pandemic has seen punters utilize online sports betting and that has also been the case in the Boulder State with 98% of all January 2021 wagers placed made via the internet. However, the in-person handle saw a slight increase as retail betting produced $7.5M in January bets, which was double the December figures.

The reason behind the uptick in in-person betting is the gradual lifting of restrictions and limitations that were put in place at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With these slowly getting removed, the retail sportsbooks in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek have seen an increase in sports bets taken.

Gaining on the Leaders

Sports betting has been up and running in the Boulder State for the past nine months and it has seen a total of more than $1.5 B in sports bets placed. The tremendous growth since inception has seen Colorado sports betting gain on the leaders in the industry.

New Jersey continues to break records month after month and is the top sports betting state in the U.S. The Garden State raked in a massive $958M in January. Nevada is also gaining on New Jersey but is still in second place. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania and Illinois are ranked 3rd and 4th, respectively.

Lawmakers Make New Push to Legalize Sports Betting in Florida

Odds Board and Money
Republican Rep. Chip LaMarca and Democratic Rep. Anika Omphroy are teaming up to push separate drafts that would legalize sports betting in Florida.

LaMarca will take charge of two bills that will implement the overall policy (HB1317) and set up the requirements for licensing (HB1321). Meanwhile, Omphroy will sponsor the legislation that will establish the tax structure surrounding the sports bets (HB1319).

This isn’t the first time that legislators are seeking to legalize Florida sports betting. But while previous attempts have not succeeded, lawmakers are looking for ways to augment the state’s revenues which have been ravaged by the ongoing pandemic.

Said LaMarca on Thursday:

“Right now, Floridians are sending millions of dollars out of the state every year, mostly overseas to foreign countries, because Florida has failed to bring legal sports wagering to our state. We have an opportunity to keep that money here in Florida. Allowing online and retail sports betting to operate legally translates into millions in revenue. That’s money from Floridians that should be invested in Florida.”

HB1317

According to the proposal, legal Florida sports betting licenses will be limited to tribal properties, casinos, pari-mutuel facilities, and professional sports venues. The license would allow those entities to set up sports betting via website and app, enabling customers to wager on games online. Betting kiosks where sports bets can be placed via touchscreen game stations are also mentioned in the bills.

Only persons aged 21 or older are allowed to place bets on Florida sports. Betting on the NFL and other professional sports will be permitted, as well as for college athletics. However, the bill specifically prohibits betting action on high school games. If passed, the Florida sports betting bill will provide prop bets on player statistics as well as parlays and other bets that combined multiple bets into one.

Sports and Tourism Destination

The NBA finished its 2020 season using a bubble format at Disney World in Orlando. Then this year’s Super Bowl was also played in Tampa Bay, with the home town Buccaneers upsetting the defending champions Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl LV.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been pushing for the Sunshine State to become a top sports and tourism destination in the United States. To do so, visitors would need entertainment choices, and sports betting could be one of those. Having a well-connected sports betting industry will help the state achieve that.

North Dakota House Wants Voters to Decide Fate of Internet Gambling

Closeup of Man Making Sports Bets on His Phone

Highly conservative North Dakota is showing signs of relaxing its anti-gambling stand.

On Tuesday, the North Dakota House endorsed a pair of bipartisan resolutions and companion bills that will pave the way for legal internet gambling to operate in the state. The proposals will now move forward to the senate and if approved by both chambers, the measures could appear on the November 2022 ballot for voters to decide.

Rep. Kasper Pushing Since 2005

Although no income estimates were discussed by the proponents of the measure, supporters believe that state-sanctioned online poker and sports betting would create massive revenues for the state’s charitable causes, including its compulsive gambling treatment program.

Fargo Republican Rep. Jim Kasper has been pushing for internet poker in the Legislature since 2005 but has been unsuccessful with the Senate always killing his initiatives. Had Kasper’s early proposals succeeded, North Dakota would have been the first state to legalize online poker. Currently, a total of six U.S. states allow internet poker.

Rejecting Online Gambling Exclusively on Tribal Land

The Republican controlled House also rejected on Tuesday a proposal the Democrats that would have allowed the state’s five Native American Tribes to negotiate an agreement with the Governor to allow online poker and sports betting on Tribal land.

Under that measure, online gambling would only be operated by the five tribes, utilizing servers within the reservations. That proposal was not supported by the majority of the House members. The House also killed on Tuesday a bill that would have allowed betting on previously recorded horse races.

Taking Advantage of Supreme Court’s 2018 Decision

North Dakota is one of a dozen states that are trying to take advantage of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to repeal the 1992 Professional Sports and Amateur Act in 2018, which opened the door for the legalization of sports betting in the United States.

Once opposed to gambling, North Dakota voters and legislators have altered their beliefs over the years. Voters firmly approved a state lottery in 2002 after rejecting three lottery measures in the previous 12 years. Along with bingo, blackjack , pull-tab tickets and other charitable games, it has become a multi-million annual industry for the state.

Alabama Gambling Bill Expected to be Debated in Senate This Week

Alabama State Seal With a Casino Background

Alabama Gambling Bill Expected to be Debated in Senate This Week

Republican senator Del Marsh expects that the senate will debate on his Alabama gambling bill next week. The discussion is aimed at pushing casino gaming and sports betting before the voters for the first time in 22 years.

The senate debate, which is expected to happen on Tuesday, is the bill’s first major test.

Said Marsh:

“I do believe we will have a bill that will get out of the Senate this week. Then we’ll just work it in the House.”

Establishment of Lottery and Casino Games

The bill, which was filed by Sen. Del Marsh earlier this month, would allow Alabamians to vote on he establishment of a lottery and the expansion of gaming in the state. It proposes the establishment of an education lottery that would generate revenues for scholarships. A gaming trust fund is also to be created to receive gaming funds and commissions and regulate gaming activities within Alabama.

It also seeks to limit gaming to five locations: a new site in Jackson or Dekalb counties, Birmingham Race Course, Victoryland in Shorter, Greenetrack in Eutaw, and Mobile Greyhound Park. The locations would be allowed to conduct “casino-style games” including slot machines and table games. Sports wagering could also be allowed in the five locations, subject to a compact, on land held in trust for the Poarch Bank of Creek Indians.

Sen. Marsh’s Focus on Gambling Bill

Marsh stepped down as president pro tem of the senate to focus on legislation, particularly the Alabama gambling bill. In order for Marsh’s proposal to pass, it needs to be approved by a three-fifths majority of each chamber of the Alabama legislature and then by a majority of voters in a statewide ballot.

Alabama is just one of five states in the U.S. that does not operate a state lottery. Alabamians last voted on gambling in 1999 when they rejected a proposal by then Gov. Don Siegelman. Since then, gambling bills have come up short due to a conservative opposition to gambling and a turf war on which entities could operate casino games or electronic bingo machines.

North Dakota Legislative Committee Endorses Sports Betting Resolution

Closeup of Man Making Sports Bets on His Phone

A House Committee endorsed a resolution on Wednesday that would allow North Dakotans to vote if legal sports betting should be allowed in the state.

The bipartisan resolution was given a “do-pass” recommendation and will now head to the Full House for consideration. If it is approved by both chambers, the North Dakota sports betting bill could appear in the 2022 ballot. A bill that will set the rules for the operation of gambling in the state will be forwarded to the Full House by the legislative committee without an endorsement.

Said the sponsor of the resolution, West Fargo Republican Rep Michael Howe:

“The only way to legalize this is to put this to a vote of the people of North Dakota. I feel the majority of North Dakotans want this.”

Change of Position

North Dakota lawmakers and voters were once hostile to expanding gambling in the state. However, they’ve had a change in position since the United States Supreme Court repealed the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018. In recent years, the Peace Garden State has allowed more games of chance. However, a North Dakota sports betting bill was rejected in the Legislature two years ago.

The matter could also be put to a vote by North Dakotans themselves using an initiated measure. The state’s constitution gives it citizens the right to bypass the Legislature and place a constitutional amendment directly in on the ballot.

Generate Revenues

Supporters of legal North Dakota sports betting say that the measure would generate revenues for the state and its charitable causes, including its compulsive gambling treatment program. On the other hand, those opposed to the proposal, including GOP Bismarck Rep. Larry Klemin who is the chairman of the judiciary committee, worry that expanding gambling in the state would cause more gambling addiction problems in the state.

A spokesman for Gov. Doug Burgum said on Wednesday that the governor will not stand in the way of any attempt to legalize North Dakota sports betting but added that he won’t advocate it either.

Ho-Chunk Ready To Build Three Casinos After Nebraska Approval

Split Image of Four Casino Games
With Nebraska voters solidly approving Las Vegas-style gambling at the state’s horse tracks during Tuesday’s election, Ho-Chunk Inc. says it is ready to spend $300M to build three casinos at horse tracks in South Sioux City, Omaha, and Lincoln.

Ho-Chunk, which bought Atokad Park at South Sioux City in 2016, joined forces with the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protection Association to collect enough signatures to place the measures in the ballot of Tuesday’s US Elections. They were successful this time around, after failing to do so two years ago. The horsemen’s group will partner with WarHorse in managing the proposed Nebraska casinos.

Said Mike Newin, CEO and GM of Horseman’s Park Lincoln Race track:

“The casinos are going to employ over 4600 people, but we can’t turn a slot machine on or take a sports wager of playing a blackjack game until the gaming commission is established and regulations are ready to go.”

Finalizing the details and passing the legislation will take some time. But that’s just formality. Getting the approval was the biggest hurdle. And it passed that with flying colors.

65% Approval

65% of voters said YES to three ballot initiatives that would amend Nebraska’s constitution to allow casinos as the state’s six licensed horse tracks, with some the revenues to be collected from the casinos going to property tax relief and local governments.

Proponents of the measures have long argued that Nebraskans cross the state border to gamble at casinos in Iowa and other nearby states, and spend over $500M in doing so. By allowing Nebraska casinos at the state’s race tracks, that revenue can be captured and its benefits enjoyed by the state.

But Gov. Pete Ricketts, former Nebraska Football team coach Tom Osborne, and other opponents of the initiative warned that the approval of Nebraska casinos would lead to more bankruptcies, crime, and other social ills that are associated with gambling addiction.

Ready to Move Forward

Ho-Chunk Inc, which is the economic entity of the Winnebago Tribe, revealed that they have already formed a new group called WarHorse Gaming LLC, which will manage the proposed casinos. According to Ho-Chunk CEO Lance Morgan, WarHorse was just formed this week.

If all goes well, Morgan said that construction will commence next spring. The tracks in Lincoln and Omaha already have facilities and could start gaming after six months. On the other hand, Morgan estimates that it would take around nine months to build a Nebraska casino is Atokad, which only has a race track right now.

Additional live racing dates will be added at the race tracks as part of the expanded gambling plan. In recent years, Ho-Chunk held just one date of live racing at Atokad which is the minimum to retain a state license. However, with the expected boom in gambling which will be brought about by the Nebraska casinos, they are expanding the schedule.

Legal Sports Betting Gets Approval in Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota

Sports Betting Graphic and Man Holding Fan of Money
Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota moved one step closer to joining the legal sports betting market in the United States after voters said yes during Tuesday’s elections.

As part of the 2020 USA Elections, prop measures to legalize sports betting were on the ballots of Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota. All three states voted favorably to allow legal sports betting in their jurisdiction. However, the regulatory frameworks on how sports betting will be conducted will still have to be formulated and that will take a while.

A Landslide in Three States

Louisiana residents voted on the prop by each individual parish. The results were in favor of the legalization of sports betting with 55 out of 64 parishes voting in the affirmative. The vote was expected because Louisiana’s neighbors Mississippi and Arkansas have legalized sports betting in 2018 and 2019, respectively. With Texas still not permitting legal sports betting, Louisiana can now take away some of the market.

In Maryland, the voting was done statewide and the vote was an overwhelming YES from all 24 districts of Maryland. The outcome of the vote should be good news for The Washington Football Team who are staying in Maryland. Team owner Dan Snyder has publicly stated that he wants to offer sports betting in the new NFL stadium that he is planning to build.

,Out in South Dakota, the voting was focused to the city limits of Deadwood only and the tribal casinos. As was with the case of Maryland, the vote was strongly for the YES with the prop passed by a 216,673 to 153,611 margin. That means that sports fans visiting Deadwood will soon be able to bet on sports at casinos like the Silverado-Franklin Historic Hotel & Gaming Complex and Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort.

U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 Decision

The landscape of United States sports betting has changed drastically since the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 2018 decision to repeal the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. That law stood for 26 years and limited sports betting primarily to the state of Nevada.

Since the ruling, legal sports betting has operated in 19 states and the District of Columbia. North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington have recently passed legislation to legalize sports betting and are gearing up to launch their respective sports betting markets.

On the other hand, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Ohio, and Vermont have active bills that are pending legislative approval. Once Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota get up and running, more than half of the states in the U.S. will have legal sports betting.

US Casino Companies Ask Congress for Financial Help

The land-based gambling industry in the United States is in trouble. As the new coronavirus spreads around the country, more casinos are being forced to close down. As a result, several major US casino companies are now asking Congress for emergency aid.L’Auberge Casino

These companies are facing a very difficult road. It may be months before they’re able to open their doors to the public again. Today, we’re going to look at which states have forced casinos to close and how this industry is handling the new regulations.

Gambling Industry Continues to Be Hit With Tough Regulations

As of now, more than 5,300 individuals in the United States have tested positive for Covid-19. This virus is showing a unique ability to spread and containment efforts around the country are proving ineffective. As more cases are revealed, states are introducing tougher regulations.

One industry that’s being severely affected is the land-based gambling industry. In many states, lawmakers have forced all casinos to shut their doors. This includes Mississippi, New York, and New Jersey.

Obviously, this is costing these casinos a huge amount of money every single day. The troubling thing is that gaming companies have no clue when their venues will be able to open again. Unless infection rates begin to plummet, it’s unlikely they will be able to accept patrons.

Based on the current trend, that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon. The lack of proper testing protocols in the country has contributed to a huge number of cases going unreported. No one really knows how many people in the US currently have Covid-19.

It’s an unprecedented time for US casino companies. Some are now going to the government in search of emergency relief.

US Casino Companies Request Help From Congress

In many parts of the country, the land-based gambling industry is hugely important. Las Vegas, for example, relies considerably on its gambling revenue. In this city, tourism is at an all-time low and most major casino-resorts have already closed their doors.

Many companies are already suffering greatly from these casino closures. Today, several began asking for emergency aid from Congress. The American Gaming Association claims that nearly 40% of casino employees are already being affected by the coronavirus regulations.

This comprehensive package would most likely come in the form of a bailout for major casino operators. It would be similar to what the government has offered to airlines and cruise companies. Several other relief options are also being considered.

The American Gaming Association commented on the situation in an official statement this week.

“As state governments close casinos as a part of the urgent public health response to COVID-19, elected leaders should move just as urgently to support the workers and businesses who will bear the brunt of those effects,” the statement said. “Our immediate priorities are actions that provide liquidity to allow us to support employees.”  

The US gambling industry currently supports nearly 2 million individuals. Obviously, this makes it an extremely important industry for many parts of the country. We’ll need to wait and see how Congress responds to this request over the next few days.

What to Expect in the Coming Months

Even the top health experts in the country are having a difficult time predicting how this situation will play out. The future depends greatly on how individuals across the country respond to the situation. Just about everyone understands that things will get worse before they get better, though.

Many more cases are going to be announced in the coming weeks. The country’s top health expert believes we may see the infection peak around 45 days from now. During this time, it’s unlikely that casinos will be able to operate.

Some states have yet to close their casino markets. It’s still unclear how these US casino companies will respond to these new regulations.

Interestingly, we’re seeing a major increase in online gambling right now. More and more individuals are choosing to stay at home to practice social distancing. Many are choosing to make wagers online while self-isolating.

There are a huge number of fantastic US internet casinos available nowadays. Most of them are fantastic. Feel free to check some of them out and see all of the different games being offered!

It’s a tough time for US casino companies right now. Hopefully, the government is able to help out. Stay tuned for updates over the next few weeks!

Kansas Senate Passes Bill to Move Sports Betting Forward

Court Gavel
While the Kansas Senate has been back-and-forth on sports betting for the past few months, they came together on Wednesday for the first time and finally passed the bill forward. Bill SB 283 passed 23-15.

This is a major advancement for the Sunflower state, but it wasn’t done easily. The debate went on for over four hours. Hot topics of discussion were where the revenue would go, and how it would be divvied up, whether horse or greyhound racing would be included, and what amount of the revenue would be set aside for gambling addiction education.

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Senator Tom Holland attempted to get an amendment pass that would seek to replace the bill, but it failed to get support. The amendment wanted to allocate power to the state for future negotiations with sportsbook operators and casinos.

In the committee, there were no opponents of the bill. This was rare for a gambling bill in the state, according to Sen. Jeff Longbine, carrier of the bill. The Senate passed the bill through by a voice vote.

The state voted to allow both on-site casino betting and mobile betting. The state is asking to get 5.5% of on-site casino revenue and 8% of the mobile betting revenue.

Sports Betting Details Under SB 283

For sports betting revenue obtained from retail operations, operators are expected to pay a 7.5% tax. Online revenue will be taxed at 10%.

Under SB 283, there could be up to eight online sports betting operators in the state, with the casinos receiving two licenses each.

Senate President Susan Wagle got an amendment passed that will put 2% of the sports betting revenue toward addiction counseling and education. According to Wagle, 54,000 Kansans struggle with a gambling problem, and of that number, 75% struggle with other addictions as well.

Revenue Predictions

In a fiscal note from Kansas’ Director of the Budget, Larry Campbell, he details modest fiscal expectations. Campbell says he expects around $500 million in the sports betting handle. The Kansas Lottery estimates anywhere between $360-$600 million in annual handle. As detailed in the note, the number could potentially go up to $900 after five years.

What’s Next?

With the Senate passing the bill, next down the line is the House, and if passed there, it would move on to the governor.

With this bill, sports betting would be permitted in state-owned casinos. If it passes, tribal casinos will be able to apply to allow sports betting as well.

The passing of the bill will also enable the state to collect on college and professional bets that they believe are currently going on under the radar.

“It’s not a new outlet because I think we know that it’s happening, we hope that it’s a new safer outlet,” Lawrence Senator Marci Francisco said. “Why not have it controlled by the state, and then make sure for those people who are participating in that wagering that it’s non-offshore, that they know that their bets will be acknowledged.”