Weekly News – 03/16/2021


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March 16th, 2021 Weekly Report

Now that daylight savings is sweeping the nation, it’s time to look into this week in legal sports betting news. Some states are making moves toward legalizing sports betting in the coming months. And, others are making moves to expand sports betting in their states. Keep reading to find out what is happening in legal sports betting news!

If you want to find our more on some major topics not covered in this article you can check out the rest of VegasInsider with our exclusive bet365 bonus codeBetMGM bonus code or PointsBet promo code for example!



In November 2020, the voters of South Dakota approved a referendum to legalize sports betting in the state. A few days ago, the state House passed SB 44 with a 58-8 margin. That meant that the legislation would be sent to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.

The bill would legalize South Dakota sports betting. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is expected to sign the bill into law because the people of South Dakota approved the referendum by 59%. However, the sports betting legislation has been criticized for being too restrictive.

As of right now, only casinos in Deadwood would be able to participate. However, the eleven tribal casinos in South Dakota would also be able to offer South Dakota sports betting. Under federal law, activities that are allowed in a state’s commercial casinos must also be offered by tribal casinos.

In addition, SB 44 also has been worded in a way that could allow for mobile sports betting in the state. Only licensed gambling establishments will be able to offer sports wagering and they must be approved by the city of Deadwood’s commission.

Once the commission authorizes an operator or route operator to offer sports wagering, they must install and maintain specific equipment. This equipment needs to have been approved by the commission to make sure that the wagers placed are only taken at a licensed gaming establishment that has been approved.

However, for South Dakota mobile sports betting, casinos would just need to keep their mobile sports betting servers in their Deadwood casinos. Hypothetically, the operator would then be able to accept wagers from throughout the state.

However, there is one additional piece of SB 44 that could hurt the launch of sports betting in the state. As of right now, interested sports bettors would need to register in person with an operator or route operator at the licensed gaming establishment that would be located in Deadwood.

This means that some South Dakotans would be forced to drive six hours to get to Deadwood to register. This in person registration requirement could mean that the state will continue to lose sports betting revenue to neighboring state Iowa. Iowa is a state that allows users to sign up for sports betting using their mobile devices.

The legislation for South Dakota sports betting allows most of the types of bets that you would expect. Plus, betting on high school sports is not allowed, as with all other states with legal sports betting. There is also no betting on minor league sports or placing wagers on college sports games for colleges in the state of South Dakota. In addition, no prop bets are allowed on the performance of an individual college athlete.


There has been some positive momentum when it comes to Arizona sports betting. Not long ago, the state House of Arizona voted 48-12 to pass HB 2772. HB 2772 is the frontrunner when it comes to Arizona sports betting legislation as it moves to the Arizona state Senate. It would then have to be signed into law by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.

Last month, Arizona’s Senate Appropriations Committee merged the sports betting proposal with SB 1794, which is a bill that would allow historic horse racing. However, the bill is unlikely to pass, though it still needs a full chamber vote.

The state of Arizona is poised to generate revenue of up to $42 million in taxes for the state, according to estimates. The House has been able to offer a more direct road in the state than the state Senate. Not only does their legislation legalize daily fantasy sports, but it also allows for Arizona sports betting.

In the legislation, ten licenses tied to professional sports organizations would be given as well as ten licenses given to Arizona’s gaming tribes. There was some opposition voiced around the data privacy in committees, but not enough to warrant worry. Some other opponents were restaurant and sports bar operators who do not want to miss out on sports betting revenue chances.

These sports betting bills for Arizona were pieces that would be necessary to enable a new gaming compact that could be decided between the tribes and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. Some questions have been brought up during hearings on the bills surrounding whether the pieces of legislation have support from the tribes. At multiple points in the process, various tribal leaders have voiced their support for the bills.

Some in the state Senate have raised questions as to whether the historic horse racing practice would violate a prior gaming agreement with the tribes from 2002. Following the sports betting bill being passed in the Senate Commerce Committee with a vote of 6-3, the HHR bill was able to pass 5-4 through the Appropriations Committee.

The state Senate has the option to approve the bill without the HHR provisions to try to earn back tribal as well as broader political backing. As the House legislation is en route to the state Senate, it could be the easiest choice when it comes to legalizing Arizona sports betting in 2021.


Recently, Kansas sports betting saw some promising forward momentum. The Kansas state Senate voted 26-12 to approve a substitute bill for SB 84. SB 84 seeks to expand the Kansas state lottery to allow for Kansas sports betting. The legislation is now on the way to the Kansas state House.

Early on in 2020, the Kansas state Senate approved a similar piece of sports betting legislation. However, it was unable to enact the legislation last year due to other pressing needs. As we enter the legislative session in the state of Kansas for the year 2021, it is looking likely that the state will legalize Kansas sports betting.

The same proponents of the Kansas sports betting bill from 2020 seem to have carried over into 2021. The Kansas sports betting legislation would allow each one of the state’s four casinos to open a retail sportsbook. The casinos would also be able to partner with up to three mobile sports betting operators.

In addition, sporting facilities would be able to partner with the casinos for an online sports betting arena. These sporting facilities include Sporting Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Park as well as Kansas Speedway.

In a departure from some other states’ sports betting laws, Kansas would allow betting on in-state college events in addition to college sporting events that take place in Kansas. However, greyhound races are not included. And, elementary through high school sporting events are also not allowed.

In person bets would be taxed at a rate of 5.5%. Meanwhile, online bets would be taxed at a rate of 8%. Plus, there is a provision that mandates that 2% of the revenue from lottery gaming facility needs to be directed to help combat problem gambling and addictions through a grant fund.

As of this writing, a large portion of the casino partner slots are still available. Sports betting operators that are widely popular like FanDuel, DraftKings, as well as BetMGM have come out in support of the state Senate bill.

The Hollywood Casino, which is adjacent to the Kansas Speedway, is operated by Penn National Gaming. That means that Barstool Sports may have an opportunity in Kansas, especially after their work with NASCAR.

The Kansas Star Casino is operated by Boyd Gaming. The Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel allows access to sports betting operator PointsBet in Kansas. Plus, the legislation has stipulations that would allow for gaming tribes to be able to renegotiate their existing gaming pacts in order to allow for sports betting.


As you can see, there is a lot of movement in the legal sports betting world at the moment. States like Kansas, Arizona, as well as South Dakota are all looking into their options when it comes to sports betting. Legal sports betting has gained a lot of new support over the past year in the United States.

Even if your state does not yet allow for legal sports betting, that does not mean the option will not be explored soon. Make sure to look into the status of legal sports betting in your state if you are unsure. Until then, keep coming back every week to see the latest sports betting news from around the country.

Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert. You can learn more about our author's expertise.