Weekly News – 05/28/2021
THIS WEEK IN SPORTS BETTING
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May 28th, 2021 Weekly Report
Legal sports betting news has been especially busy this week, with spring bringing some big moves.
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- Sports Betting Signed in Florida
- Maryland Moving Forward
- Louisiana may Happen in July
- Canada Bill on the Move
DESANTIS SIGNS SPORTS BETTING PACKAGE INTO LAW IN FLORIDA
We reported earlier that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was poised to sign a sweeping package for sports betting in the state. That has come to pass, and now Florida bettors can likely expect to be able to place mobile bets by October 15th of 2021, pending approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior.
In 1988, the Department of the Interior was given oversight capacity over gambling conducted by federally-recognized tribes. This act was called the Indian Gaming Regulation Act, and protects gambling as a source of revenue for tribes all across the country. The previously mentioned bills make changes to these “compacts”, which are agreements between state governments and tribal authorities to offer gambling on reservations and tribal lands.
As a result of IGRA, the U.S. Department of the Interior must review the changes to the tribal compacts in this sports betting package and approve them by publishing the changes in the so-called “Federal Register”. Until this happens, sports betting won’t be officially on the books in the Sunshine State, but it’s expected to happen in short order, as other states with similar agreements have seen. Arizona, for example, had changes to their tribal compacts approved in about a month: we hope for a similar timeline in FL.
MARYLAND’S SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS SPORTS BETTING BILL MOVING FORWARD
In Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan seems to be feeling the clock ticking, and is signing in a host of bills, likely attempting to cement his legacy before he is term-limited in November 2022.
One such bill is HB 940, one of the most specific pieces of sports betting legislation we’ve seen come to pass in the U.S. In the text of the bill are provisions for making the sports betting industry more accessible to women and minorities, among the first of their kind in this country.
Among the allocations of HB 940, which will become law on June 1st pending any changes from the governor’s office, are the following:
- An available 60 online licenses, one of the largest markets we’ve seen in the U.S. so far
- Hiring goals for operators to meet in order to make the market more diverse and inclusive
- Grants for minority owned, women owned sports betting brands
If everything goes smoothly from here (which is expected), eligible bettors in Maryland should be able to access one of up to 60 operators by the time the first NFL game of the season kicks off. This is one of the most unique sports betting packages on the market, so the Maryland launch will definitely be one to watch.
LOUISIANA SPORTS BETTING MAY HAPPEN AS EARLY AS JULY
Now that Louisiana has a sports betting package that has the legs to pass, all signs point to a potential launch on a temporary basis in July 2021. HB 697 authorizes the LA Lottery to conduct legal sports wagering, and the House-sponsored bill passed the Louisiana Senate last week. That’s one of three bills constituting the sports wagering package in the Pelican State ready to be signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards (D).
There’s also SB 247, which sets up regulatory requirements and license applications, while SB 142 will decide who benefits from the tax revenue of sports betting in the state. Interestingly, a provision built into the license requirement bill will also allow for temporary licenses to start being issued in July of 2021. This means that users in Louisiana should expect to be able to bet on the NFL season if not some mid-season baseball, provided everything goes according to plan.
What’s next? Governor John Bel Edwards has more than once indicated that he’s got a favorable attitude towards legal sports betting in the state. However, not every parish voted on the 2020 referendum to legalize the practice, so it will only be available in 55 Louisiana parishes should all three bills get signed into law. That’s expected to happen, but we’ll keep you updated on any relevant changes.
CANADA’S SINGLE-WAGER BILL ON THE MOVE
In Canada, sports bettors are only able to access parlay bets, which if you aren’t aware are bets which require the bettor to wager on the outcome of multiple events. All wagers in a parlay must clear as a win in order for the parlay bet to pay out. However, there is a bill in the Canadian legislature that’s attempting to legalize single event betting, called C-218.
It appears that Canada’s bill might just have the ability to pass. Sponsored by Kevin Waugh MP, a former sports journalist, the bill will decriminalize single-wager betting and likely open up the market to a number of operators whom are already live in the U.S. (DraftKings, for example, has an exclusive partnership with the NFL to offer bets in Canada.)
After passing through the House of Commons, C-218 appears to be making a successful run through the Canadian Senate. Much like bills in the U.S., a bill in Canada must pass through both chambers of the legislature by a process of being read, then referred to committee, then approved by a majority of the members of each chamber. C-218 has made it past the reading phase and is now being considered by the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade, and Commerce.
Like any bill, C-218 could “die” in committee if it isn’t considered, or miss a deadline before the session takes a recess in late June. We’re hoping that C-218 can make it in time: that makes only about a month for the bill to get final approval and become the law of the land.
After Senate approval, the House of Commons has one more opportunity to approve amendments to the bill, after which it must receive what’s called “Royal Assent” from the Governor General of Canada. That’s essentially as good as a U.S. governor signing a bill into law. Time will tell, but citizens are hopeful that the ban on single wagers could soon come to an end.
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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