June 15th, 2021 Weekly Report
This week in legal sports betting, we saw a lot of motion in a lot of states as summer approaches. Massachusetts sports betting was in the news, as was Connecticut sports betting once again. Plus, we also saw some motion with our neighbors up north with Canada sports betting. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about sports betting from this past week!
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Massachusetts Sports Betting May Be on the Horizon
On Thursday, a joint committee is scheduled to meet to discuss nineteen Massachusetts sports betting bills. Finally, it looks like sports betting in the Bay state is being taken seriously. The meeting is scheduled to take place over the course of four hours, starting at 10am.
Because other neighboring states have moved forward with sports betting legalization, Massachusetts is trying hard not to get left in the dust. If it does not legalize sports betting in the state, potential revenue will be lost to border states that do have legal sports betting. For instance, Connecticut sports betting is expected to launch this Fall as well as New York sports betting a little while later.
In addition, neighboring state New Hampshire has DraftKings Sportsbook for bettors to legally place their bets. And, there is also the option to bet through the lottery mobile app in neighboring state Rhode Island.
Sports betting bills have been filed throughout the year in the Massachusetts state legislature by both the state Senate and the state House. However, both the House as well as the Senate left sports betting out of their respective budget proposals. But, as the legislature in the state runs until the end of the year, there is still time to make legal Massachusetts sports betting happen.
The meeting on Thursday will be a long one. The joint committee will be accepting submissions to give three minutes of testimony through the afternoon on Tuesday. The committee should come to at least a tacit agreement as to what sports betting could look like in the state.
A few of the bills are calling for an open mobile market, but other bills are looking to tether licenses to racetracks and casinos. Last year, the state House approved a plan that would have seen seven mobile licenses given for Massachusetts sports betting. However, the state Senate put the kibosh on that bill. But, talks are expected to work in favor of sports betting in the Bay state this time.
Canada Sports Betting Could Be Coming
Right now, the fate of Canada sports betting is in the hands of a vote. There is a bill on the floor that would end the Canadian federal prohibition on single-game sports betting. It is seeing its third reading this week.
C-218 was originally set to be heard on Thursday, however it was pushed. Proponents of the bill hope it will be passed as is, with no amendment, so that it does not have to head back to the House. If that happens, it could be put into law by the end of the month.
Ohio Sports Betting May See Its Day
There is an Ohio betting bill that is headed to the state House this week. The bill is expected to be in the House by the end of the week. The Select Committee on Gaming will be voting on a potentially amended SB 176 as soon as Thursday, which could head to the Senate floor on Wednesday.
Proponents of the bill hope to see it passed by the end of the month.As a result of recent changes to the bill, mobile licensees are now limited to two skins. Previously, another draft would have allowed each licensee unlimited skins.
Where Does Connecticut Sports Betting Stand?
This past Friday afternoon, the deadline for sportsbook partners to bid for the final Connecticut sports betting skin passed. The Connecticut State Lottery requested that five, down from the original fifteen, potential partners present their plans. Next, the Lottery asked four of those five to present their binding proposals.
On June 28th, a preliminary decision will be made and the winner will be announced to the public as soon as the contract has been negotiated as well as signed. There will only be three Connecticut sports betting skins available. The Mashantucket Pequot and the Mohegan tribes will be using DraftKings Sportsbook and Kambi as their respective partners.
It will take ten years before the bidders who lost will have another opportunity to enter the Connecticut sports betting market. Sports betting is expected to launch in the state this coming Fall. The optimistic hope is to launch in time for the beginning of the NFL season, which would be difficult but not impossible.
Washington Sports Betting Should Be Launching Soon
The Washington State Gaming Commission has approved 15 amended compacts that were renegotiated with the 15 tribes in the state. So, it looks like the state could see legal Washington sports betting by the upcoming NFL season. These fifteen compacts are now making their way to Washington state Governor Jay Inslee’s desk for his signature. They will then need to be approved at the federal level.
By as early as July 7th, we are expecting to see a sports betting rules draft. The rules could then see their approval as soon as July 28th, after a period of public comment. The rules are expected to be fast tracked in order to get Washington sports betting to the state by the end of August.
There will be three license types offered by the commission for different sizes of vendors that are not payable by the tribes. The commission will be charging a maximum of $85,000 a year for this license. The fees will see an annual review to make sure that they match up with the costs of the Commission.
Back in 2020, Washington was the first state that year to approve sports betting legislation. However, it is limited to Washington tribe-run retail sportsbooks. After ESHB 2638 passed, this meant the tribes and the state had to renegotiate the gaming compacts that already existed to include legal sports betting.
The fifteen tribes that had to renegotiate their compacts are: Colville, Cowlitz, Jamestown S’Klallam, Kalispel, Lummi, Muckleshoot, Puyallup, Shoalwater Bay, Snoqualmie, Spokane, Squaxin Island, Stillaguamish, Suquamish, Swinomish, and Tulalip. Currently, there are 22 tribes operating the state’s 29 gaming facilities.
However, Washington has yet to announce plans for mobile sports betting in the state.
Louisiana Sports Betting Could Be Here
Finally, the bills needed to make Louisiana sports betting a reality are on their way to Louisiana state Governor John Bel Edwards. The bill that lays out the tax framework for sports betting in the state was signed by the governor last week. This bill outlines that a 10% tax on retail sports betting as well as a 15% tax on mobile revenue will be paid by operators.
Last November in 2020, most Louisiana parishes voted to approve Louisiana sports betting at the ballot box.
BetMGM Comes to DC
A third sportsbook launched in the DC sports betting market last week as BetMGM was able to go live in the country’s capital. However, the app is geofenced around Nationals Park to a two-block radius. This is similar to the geofencing that William Hill has around the Capital One Arena.
In addition, BetMGM also became an authorized gaming operator of the Professional Fighters League. The BetMGM app launched in the capital this past Thursday. However, this launch is another nail in the coffin for the Lottery-run GambetDC.
BetMGM was able to launch in just under four months after it had submitted its application packet last February 12th. It is also the third mobile sportsbook app to go live in Washington DC after the launch of sports betting.
The launch is a result of a joint venture between Entain and MGM Resorts and a partnership with the MLB’s Washington Nationals. Later this year, Nationals Park will see the launch of a retail sportsbook. Now, BetMGM is arguably the most well-known sportsbook operator that has launched in the Washington DC sports betting market after its launch on Thursday.
Plus, neighbor Maryland will see Maryland sports betting going live this coming Fall. And, BetMGM is also live in neighboring state Virginia, as one of their seven legal sportsbooks. However, the brand is being held back by the lack of availability offered to the whole District.
But, the rules could be set to change soon. A DC sports betting audit and its results were due at the beginning of May. This audit and its results will help decide if the current model is working or needs to be changed. But, the audit was not completed back in May. Now, it is supposed to be completed by the end of this month.
Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert. You can learn more about our author's expertise.