Last Updated Jul 27, 2021, 13:11 PM

Weekly News - 04/29/2021

THIS WEEK IN LEGAL SPORTS BETTING — NEW YORK, NEW YORK!

Best US Sportsbooks · Weekly Update

April 29th, 2021 Weekly Report

New York, New York! Things are starting to shape up in the Empire State for New York sports betting. World-famous sportsbooks like bet365 may have a chance to go online in New York after massive success amongst New Jersey sportsbooks. Likewise, North Carolina is heating up and hoping to finalize the landscape soon. Let's get into it!

CONTENTS

NORTH CAROLINA GETS CLOSER TO SPORTS BETTING BILL

North Carolina has been dipping its toes into the world of legal sports betting, and slowly but surely is inching towards a fully legal landscape. In 2019, tribal casinos got their chance at in-person sports betting, which is now live in a few locations across the state. Now, there are bills making their way through the NC Legislature, namely SB 688.

SB 688 has sponsorship on both sides of the aisle, meaning both a Republican and a Democrat have put their names on the bill. The provisions of the bill include an 8% revenue share with the Education Lottery Commission and provide for 10 to 12 sports betting licenses. This is a seemingly small number, but North Carolina doesn’t have the largest market for gambling, and all the casinos in the state are tribally-run.

This is an important caveat: the tribes, namely the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, will want to make sure they are protecting gambling as a historical source of revenue. Tribal casinos will of course be eligible to apply for one of the previously-mentioned sports betting licenses, allowing for online play as well as retail operations.

License requirements and fees are laid out in SB 688 but aren’t set in stone. At the moment, the bill is being reviewed by the Committee on Rules and Operations, and is expected to be finalized soon.

CALIFORNIA STILL IN EARLY STAGES, GOVERNOR RECALL MAY ACCELERATE PROCESS

The most populous state in the union is ever-slowly inching its way toward betting legislation, but nothing is certain. However, one development might allow for sports betting to get on a ballot initiative this November: the potential recall of Governor Gavin Newsom. It’s a bad day for Newsom, as there’s now enough support for a recall to force a vote to remove the governor from office.

Rewind to 2020, when a coalition of 18 California tribes gathered to initiate the California Sports Wagering and Unlawful Gambling Act in order to protect gambling revenue for the tribes. This same year, ACA 16, a bill attempting to legalize sports betting in California, died in committee. These competing efforts to legalize betting continue to this day, with the tribes’ initiative expected to be the first to snag approval – likely by mid-July 2021.

It’s anticipated that California-based sports teams will push for legal California sports betting at their venues, while tribes will argue that they should corner the market on any form of legalized betting. The most likely result is that the two will be given equal access to a set number of sports betting licenses, which may actually become available sooner rather than later. If lawmakers are able to fit sports betting legislation onto a ballot initiative to recall or keep Gavin Newsom as governor, we may see sports betting come to the Golden State by the end of the year.

MISSOURI SENATE BILL GETS PUSHED TO REFERENDUM

There are a few hopeful bills looking to legalize some form of sports betting in the Show-Me State. The bills include Senate Bills 18 and 98, the former of which has been held up by committee for some time now and isn’t expected to move forward. When a bill is attempting to become law in the U.S., it typically follows a set pathway: the bill is written, sponsored by a lawmaker, proposed in the House or Senate, and sent to committee for approval. That last step is a critical one, and bills often “die” in committee: the likely fate of SB 18.

SB 98, another of Senator Denny Hoskins’ pushes for sports betting, had some momentum until recently. It was expected to make its way through without hiccups but has now been pushed back a bit further in the timeline.

SB 98 was gaining increasing traction in the MO General Assembly until a recent amendment won a 17-15 vote. Senator Mike Moon’s amendment would force SB 98 to a referendum-- the voters would decide the fate of the bill in November 2022. However, there are other sports betting laws drafted and ready for consideration in the General Assembly, including Senator Caleb Rowden’s SB 256, which has decent support on both sides of the aisle.

Another bill might make it through the Assembly more quickly, or SB 98 could be the bill that ends up being voted into law by the Missouri public. Any bill that does finally make it through the Assembly will have to be on a referendum vote, so 2023 is going to be the earliest possible date that we see Missouri sportsbooks start to go live.

NEW YORK MAY HAVE MORE PLATFORM ACCESS THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT

New York is also getting closer to having legal sports betting, but the process is arduous and complicated. The process is so complicated, in fact, that a new question-and-answer document reveals that New York sports bettors may get more access to platforms than previously thought.

A brief history: the 2022 fiscal budget for New York was released earlier this year, and included funds for pushing forward with mobile sports betting legislation. This was a major win for sports bettors until they found out just how limited the scope was going to be, with a potential cap on licenses set at four. Compare that to any number of states with legalized, competitive sports betting markets and it’s clear to see why bettors were disappointed.

However, a recent clarification was made in a question and answer document released by the NY Gaming Commission, indicating that the market might be a bit more open than was previously believed. The document shows that a "platform provider" can be defined as multiple companies operating under one license bid. In this case, multiple operators could share one license, then each one could offer their own skin.

For example, under the new rule clarification, BetMGMUnibet, and DraftKings could share one license but each have their own platforms, thereby turning one license into three "skins". In this case, there may be more options for New York sports bettors: we’ll see how things shake out by 2022 when the new budget takes effect.

Written by Chris Altman, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert.

Chris Altman is a traveling writer and content expert with almost a decade of experience. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening, tinkering, and occasionally writes short stories about dogs and space. On a good day, you’ll find him slung over a laptop keyboard in whatever establishment has the best chicken wings.

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