September 24, 2021
Florida Sports Betting Delays Due to New Court Filings
This past week, a new court filing issued by West Flagler Associates and the Bonita-Fort Myers Corporation threatened to delay or null the launch of sports betting in Florida.
One of several challenges that continues to be posed both in state and in federal courts, the FL sports betting package has been fraught with issues since it was signed by Governor Ron DeSantis earlier this year.
The plaintiffs in this case hope to argue that Gov. DeSantis acted ultra vires, essentially outside of the scope of his own power, when forging this agreement with the Seminole Tribe. Whether or not the legal challenge will succeed remains to be seen, as DeSantis has already filed a motion to dismiss.
As a part of the legal challenge, fantasy sports may also be at risk in the Sunshine State. That same amended compact should make provisions for fantasy sports in FL, though the practice operates in a bit of a “gray area” at the moment. Any way we look at the situation, appeals are sure to come, so we do not expect betting to go live in Florida until matters are resolved by the courts.
Caesars Announces Partnership with LSU
Now that self-promotion and participating in betting are becoming more readily available for collegiate athletic organizations, numerous well-known operators are partnering with big-name schools. One such deal is between Caesars and Louisiana State University, who will participate to offer sports betting and sponsorship- including paying into a few scholarships from the revenue.
Twenty licenses are available for Louisiana sports betting, eight of which have already been applied for by well-known interests in the sports betting industry as partnered with local casinos. Those operators include:
Caesars has made a sweeping deal across Louisiana, as it will also get naming rights for the New Orleans Superdome (now Caesars Superdome), expand its casino properties in the state, and continue to offer online sports betting as soon as the license process is finalized.
There is a set timeline, but the date has already been pushed back once. October 1st will be the first day that eligible Louisiana-area sports bettors can place online wagers, barring any other setbacks.
Connecticut Sports Betting to Launch in Weeks
In May 2021, Governor Ned Lamont signed a piece of legislation that would allow for three sports betting licenses, both for retail and in-person betting, to be offered in Connecticut. Those licenses have been divided between the CT Lottery, the Mashantucket-Pequot Tribe, and the Mohegan Tribe, whom will go live with PlaySugarHouse, DraftKings, and FanDuel respectively.
October 7th is the proposed launch date for the three operators to go live with online sports betting, and it looks like they’re on track to do so. The betting package has surmounted three milestones that amended tribal compacts and sports betting programs must do:
The wheels are mostly set in motion for betting to go live the first week of October, as expected. However, as we’ve seen in other states, plans to go live with sports betting are often delayed or challenged, so until the 7th rolls around, nothing is set in stone. CT lawmakers and the interested parties previously mentioned are eager to get in on NFL betting action, so delays (if any) will be handled in short order.
California Racetrack Gets Approved for Sports Betting
There is a ballot referendum pending in November 2022, wherein voters will get the chance to indicate their support (or lack thereof) for a sports betting package in the Golden State. If that passes, it will be up to lawmakers to establish the framework, including tax structure and oversight committee, before we see betting go online in CA.
However, one horse racing track in the state is getting a leg up: Del Mar Fairgrounds was approved by the 22nd District Agricultural Association to offer sports betting*, with the asterisk reading *as soon as it is available in the state.
Many states are moving forward with a similar process of legalizing sports betting, or rather, anticipating legal betting: Massachusetts, for example, made a similar move earlier this year when a city council decided to allow for sports betting to happen at a local casino there (when legal).
Other states have followed suit by putting legal sports betting in the state lawbooks before the federal government overturned PASPA in 2018. It’s clear that most states are open to sports betting revenue, and as the tides turn in the US we’re seeing more states get poised for the eventual signing into law of agreed-upon sports betting legislation.
San Diego’s Del Mar Fairgrounds is among the first venues to pre-approve sports betting should it go live in the state, and it’s expected that other venues, including larger venues like SoFi Stadium (home of the LA Rams) or smaller tribal casino venues will all want a piece of the sports betting pie.
If November 2022’s vote indicates strong citizen support for sports betting, lawmakers will be up next to draft and agree upon the laws governing the practice and up to Governor Newsom to sign, as the incumbent recently dodged an attempt at a recall in summer 2021.