Last Updated Jul 30, 2021, 11:31 AM

Weekly News - 07/30/2021

THIS WEEK IN SPORTS BETTING

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July 30th, 2021 Weekly Report

This week in legal sports betting news, Arizona sets a timeline for sports betting to go live, the process to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts is going smoothly except for a lack of a strong Senate response regarding college bets, Louisiana chooses a Chairman of their Gaming Commission, and a big name in Texas sports says that betting there is inevitable.

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CONTENTS

ARIZONA SPORTS BETTING TO BE AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 9TH

Since April 2021, things have been happening rapidly in the world of legal sports betting in the Grand Canyon State. HB 2772 passed both chambers and was signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey that same month. Still, though, there was the issue of getting the bill’s compact changes approved by the US Department of the Interior, which took some time.

Now, nearly all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, meaning that sports betting should have an easy road in getting to live status.

August 16th will be another banner day in Arizona- it’s when the ADG (Arizona Department of Gaming) will divulge which operators were able to secure a license in the state. From there, it will be a short 3 weeks of NFL preseason, after which betting will go completely live. Sportsbooks should be live by September 9th- the first day of NFL season play.

At a tax rate of 8 percent, AZ sports wagering is going to earn a projected $11 million annually for the state. Expert opinion on the ground is that this figure might be even higher, with Arizona potentially taking the seat of the fourth largest betting market in the country. It’s going to be a great time to be in Arizona this fall, as new user promotions will be thrown around by every operator looking to bring in the crowd.

MASSACHUSETTS BETTING MAKING STRIDES, SENATE RESISTS COLLEGE BETS

Massachusetts is chugging along towards legal sports betting legislation. The current front-running bill in the legislature is H.3977. Passing the House by a massive margin, now the Senate is having their say on the bill, with mixed results.

The big issue of contention for the Senate is allowing for bets on collegiate sports. The MA Senate has been noncomittal on the issue at best, mostly hedging; for example, Senator Eric Lesser is on record saying that his colleagues “will, may, or may not take something up”.

Senate President Karen Spilka simply stated that she would “wait to see” regarding the bill, with no comment coming from her office this week. Still, the House is all for the bill including collegiate sports, with numerous representatives weighing in.

Representative Jared Parisella opined that the money was leaving Massachusetts over the New Hampshire and Rhode Island borders where betting is legal in certain forms. He said: “(...) what this does do is it brings (sports betting) out of the shadows and into the light, and makes it legal in Massachusetts.”

Rep Dan. Cahill simplified it a bit more, saying “People are allowed to have fun. And sports betting is fun.” The support is strong for a full sports betting package including collegiate bets on one side of the bicameral coin, but the MA Senate still needs convincing.

LOUISIANA CHOOSES GAMING CHAIR

June 2021 saw the passage of sports betting legislation, after 55 of the state’s 64 parishes voted “yes” on a referendum vote the previous November. Unlike many bills allowing for sports betting, SB 247 was voted in on a parish-by-parish basis. If you live in a parish that voted “no”, you won’t be able to get online with any sportsbooks; you’ll have to travel out of your parish to do so.

Developments since then have been mixed. Particularly of note was the resignation of the previously-appointed chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Board, State Police Chief of Staff Mike Noel. Noel resigned this chair position as a result of a controversy in his department, his seat to be filled by the governor-appointed Ronnie Johns. Johns, as a result, had to step down as a Louisiana senator.

There’s some caution in the legislature regarding the availability of bet. Senate President Page Cortez is on record saying that sports betting would be available “by the fall” (meaning 2021), while the current chairman of the Louisiana Control Board called Cortez’ comments “incredibly overly optimistic”.

Whether the governor-appointed Ronnie Johns (formerly Senator Johns) is correct remains to be seen. It’s likely, however, that this process of legalizing and regulating sports betting will run into overtime- look to 2022.

TEXAS SPORTS BETTING “INEVITABLE”, ACCORDING TO COWBOYS OWNER JERRY JONES

Not initially on the radar for legalizing sports betting any time soon, a major name in Texas sports has come out in support of betting in the Lone Star State.

Next door in Louisiana, the state is already moving well forward with their sports betting legislation, and is expected to be live sometime in 2022. Dallas Cowboys owner and Texas man-about-town Jerry Jones went public with his opinion this week, that sports betting in the state is “inevitable”, saying in an interview that “the handwriting’s on the wall. Gambling has been here a long time.”

As the second-most populated state behind California, legalizing sports betting in Texas could be massive business. Varsity Blues, Friday Night Lights, the Longhorns, the Texans; sports are a fundamental part of the fabric of the state, and as a result, so is sports betting. It’s just not being done legally.

Now that sports betting is almost legal right over the border in Louisiana, Texas lawmakers are certainly starting to note that they’re liable to lose a lot of money without a legal betting framework of their own. Their most recent attempts to rein in the practice failed, however, and the legislature won’t meet again until 2023

Jerry Jones has certainly noticed the value of sports betting, and is already forging partnerships between his organizations and casino properties out-of-state. Time will tell, but it’s almost a certainty that lawmakers will be pushing for legalized sports betting in 2023, especially if Louisiana really pulls in some big revenue figures.

Written by Chris Altman, our US Sports Betting Industry expert. You can learn more about our author’s expertise here.

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