Last Updated Jul 26, 2021, 2:02 PM

Weekly News - 07/19/2021

THIS WEEK IN SPORTS BETTING

Best US Sportsbooks · Weekly Update

July 19th, 2021 Weekly Report

This week in legal sports betting, we are still seeing movement ahead of the Fall sports seasons. Arizona sports betting moved another step forward once again. Plus, Maryland sports betting was also in the news. And, Louisiana sports betting released some hopeful news. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about sports betting from this past week.

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

CONTENTS

ARIZONA SPORTS BETTING MOVES ALONG

On Friday, there was a virtual public comment meeting hosted by the Arizona Department of Gaming. The meeting was about where the licenses would go for Arizona sports betting. The discussion will now inform how applicants will be considered qualified and if there are enough licenses available for qualified operators.

Right now, there are twenty Arizona sports betting licenses available for both mobile sportsbooks and retail sportsbooks. This is also counting the ten licenses that are available for Arizona gaming tribes and Arizona professional sports teams. This is another step forward for Arizona sports betting, which has an official launch date set for this Fall, on September 9th. The rules now just need to be finalized.

If the Arizona Department of Gaming receives more than 10 applications from professional sports teams or if they receive 10 tribal applications or more, the guidelines will be used to determine who will receive the licenses. The ADG hopes to make these decisions as quickly as they can while still being diligent. There are nineteen guidelines that the Arizona Department of Gaming will be keeping in mind.

These guidelines include things like competency, financial stability, as well as their track record from their time in operation. Companies that are located in the Grand Canyon state and/or have their headquarters located there will receive preferential treatment as they will be bringing more jobs to the state’s economy.

There will be a similar set of Arizona Department of Gaming guidelines used for limited event wagering operators if more than ten qualified applications come in. Licensees for limited event wagering will be able to offer retail sports betting.

It has been said that a few of the guidelines are different from what was outlined in the original negotiations between the state and tribal gaming operators. The worry is that these guidelines may be more subjective than the merit and experienced type guidelines that had been previously outlined. As of now, there are twenty two tribal gaming operators in the state of Arizona. Sixteen of these tribal gaming operators run Arizona’s 24 “Las Vegas style” gaming facilities.

Back in April, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed Arizona sports betting bill HB 2772 into law along with an updated tribal compact. Sports betting regulators have pushed the process forward for the hopeful Fall launch of Arizona sports betting. In June, the Arizona Department of Gaming released their initial draft of the prospective sports betting rules for the state.

These rules have since been updated with the tax rate and license fees expected. These are:

  • An 8% tax rate on retail bets
  • A 10% tax rate on mobile bets
  • An $850,000 initial license fee

On July 7th, a second public comment session took place. The newly updated draft of the rules outlined that licensees are only able to use one sports betting system, however they can offer up to two platforms.

After Governor Ducey signed the bill into law, sports betting partnerships have been popping up in the state in order to hop into the burgeoning Arizona sports betting market. In addition, the state of Arizona is also looking to outline rules for daily fantasy sports in the state.

The FanDuel Sportsbook has partnered with the Arizona professional sports team the Phoenix Suns. The DraftKings Sportsbook has partnered with the PGA Tour Waste Management Open. And, The Caesars Sportsbook has partnered with the Arizona professional sports team the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Plus, Bally’s Corp has partnered with the Arizona professional sports team the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. This marks the first sports betting partnership with a female professional sports team. In addition, WynnBet has partnered with the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

MARYLAND SPORTS BETTING MAKES FURTHER MOVES

A set of regulations for Maryland sports betting was approved by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission a few days ago. The commission had to comb through a 228-page packet of these proposed Maryland sports betting rules. Each chapter was approved unanimously by the commissioners, with only small changes made.

Back in November 2020, Maryland voters approved Maryland sports betting at the ballot box. Legislators have been working since this past spring to launch MD sports betting. They are optimistic for a launch this Fall, in 2021. The bill was signed into law by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan back in May. The state is still hopeful that some regulators and operators will be able to launch by this coming Fall.

The regulations will be reviewed by the Maryland General Assembly Joint Committee for an Executive, Administrative, and Legislative Review next. Then, the regulations will see themselves published in the Maryland Register. This will launch the 30-day public comment period. However, according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, an exact date for this to occur has not yet been determined.

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission approved the regulations being processed as both emergency as well as non-emergency regulations. Plus, the MLGCA also voted to give their staff the authority to make changes that would be “non-substantive” but necessary for the Maryland Register publication. As of this writing, the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission still needs to publish the guidelines for application submission.

What we do know is that the Maryland sports betting market will offer up to 40 retail licenses. These will be split between Class A as well as Class B types of licenses. And, 60 mobile licenses will be potentially offered.

The ten Class A licenses would include Maryland Casinos and Maryland horse tracks as well as currently operating Maryland professional sports franchises. There is also language to address any future professional sports teams that may pop up in the state.

The thirty Class B licenses would include seven named entities. This includes the Maryland State Fairgrounds. Maryland will impose a 15% tax rate on any sports betting revenue.

However, the four tiers will have differing fees when it comes to both applications as well as license bonds. After five years, the renewal fees will be based on percentages from the preceding three year average annual gross of sports betting revenues. This will not include the 15% in taxes, however.

Here are the initial fees that have been outlined:

  • Class A, Tier 1: $2 million application fee plus a $6 million license bond
  • Class A, Tier 2: $1 million application fee plus a $3 million license bond
  • Class B, Tier 1: $250,000 application fee plus a $750,000 license bond
  • Class B, Tier 2: $50,000 application fee plus a $75,000 license bond

There will also be 60 mobile licenses offered. Retail licensees will still be able to apply for these licenses. However, mobile licensees will only be able to use one online sports betting operator. But, operators will be able to partner up with more than one licensee.

Sports bettors will be able to register accounts online or in-person, at a licensed retail location. The fees for mobile licenses include a $500,000 application fee plus a $1.5 million initial license bond.

Online sports betting operators will be required to put up a $1.5 million performance bond. There will be a built-in review for Maryland sports betting as well.

In December 2025, the commission will be reviewing the operation from the previous four years. Annual reports will be required from licensees during this time. One of the reasons for these reports is to make sure that operators are making Maryland’s goals for diverse participation in the industry that must be met. In addition, the commission will also be looking into whether the Maryland sports betting market requires more licenses to be offered during the review.

LOUISIANA SPORTS BETTING STILL ON TRACK FOR FALL LAUNCH

Many have been worried that the Louisiana sports betting launch has gone off the rails. But the Director for the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office Gaming Division has stated his confidence in meeting a Fall launch. Doubts had come up because there is no current Gaming Control Board chair at the moment.

The Director pointed to the fact that in the past they have been able to operate three times without this chairman. He also pointed to the fact that the vice chairman is able to memorialize the decisions that are made by the board.

As of right now, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board is working on the regulations for Louisiana sports betting. The hope for the board is still to launch Louisiana sports betting some time in the Fall, but no exact date has been announced. Legislators hoped for a Fall 2021 launch when they passed the legislation, hoping to capitalize on the coming sports seasons.

The Director also sought to assuage doubts by talking about the fact that there are weekly meetings to work on the rules for the Louisiana sports betting model and launch. These doubts arose partly because the Gaming Control Board Chair, Mike Noel, resigned on June 9th.

Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert.

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