Last Updated Jul 26, 2021, 19:48 PM

Weekly News - 12/22/2020

THE WEEK IN LEGAL SPORTS BETTING - COULD NEW YORK SPORTS BETTING BE NEXT?

Best US Sportsbooks · Weekly Update

December 22nd, 2020 Weekly Report

As 2020 nears its end, many states are looking to make legal sports betting moves for 2021. There is no time like the present to prepare for the coming year and your sports betting needs. So, keep reading to learn all about the latest legal sports betting news.

CONTENTS

STATES LOOKING TO MAKE MOVES: IS LEGAL SPORTS BETTING COMING TO NY?

New Yorkers rejoice! NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has hinted that sports betting could be on the way. As of this writing, the state of New York already allows sports betting at physical casinos. However, New York does not allow statewide online betting. But that could change!

The Governor threw out sports betting as a possible way to bring in new funds to the state as NY faces a scarcity of funds in its budget for the coming year. During a televised briefing to talk about the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo was quoted as saying, “Are there other ways to get revenue? How about marijuana? How about sports betting?”

Now, this is just a first very tentative step towards legalizing sports betting statewide. But, this comes as a reversal considering the governor has previously stated his opposition to the legalization of New York online sports betting. This is because Cuomo felt the measure would necessitate a constitutional amendment. This casual mention is the first indication that Governor Cuomo has changed his views.

There were two scenarios that Cuomo presented: 1) Finalizing a state budget in the next few days, or 2) delaying until the spring when the state might find out if it will be receiving federal funds from the government to assist with its revenue issues. Cuomo indicated that he prefers that second option.

As of this writing, the state of New York is over $50 billion in debt. This includes both state and local governments, according to Governor Cuomo back in October. With the uncertainty of possible relief from a stimulus package from the federal government, the state needs to look elsewhere for funds. And, it just might be what forced Cuomo to take another look at sports betting as an option.

Despite the fact that more than a few lawmakers support the online sports betting industry, NY has not seen many strides towards legal online sports betting. Governor Cuomo has been the biggest obstacle towards the expansion of the industry in the state.

Now that the window is open, lawmakers are ready to pounce on the opportunity. Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. believes that the first quarter of next year would be the most opportune time to get legislation moving. He indicated that it was highly unlikely to get in motion before 2021, but could not imagine it would wait until April 2021 either.

NEXT MOVES FOR MARYLAND SPORTS BETTING

Back in November 2020, the people of Maryland voted to approve sports betting in the state via a referendum. In this coming year, the legislature will need to take the issue up to finalize the finer points needed to enact the activity. That being said, legal Maryland sports betting could be available to residents as soon as this coming NFL season.

And, now it has been announced that Barstool Sportsbook is making moves to enter the Maryland sports betting market. Recently, parent company Penn National Gaming announced its acquisition of the Hollywood Casino Perryville operations. This was for a whopping $31.1 million.

Now, it is expected that Penn will be launching a Barstool Sportsbook product both onsite at the casino as well as online. However, the transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is not expected to close until mid-2021.

LOUISIANA SPORTS BETTING - WHERE IT STANDS

In addition to Maryland, Louisiana was another state where voters approved sports betting in a November vote. So, many of the best online sportsbook operators have their eyes on that ripe market as Louisiana Sports Betting should soon go live.

Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc (GLPI) has announced the sale of the operations of the Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge in Louisiana to Casino Queen. You may know that Casino Queen is partnered with DraftKings Sportsbooks in the Illinois online sports betting market. So, many believe this acquisition indicates a potential move for DraftKings into the Louisiana online sports betting marketplace.

KENTUCKY FACES MASSIVE SETBACKS IN THE ROAD TO LEGAL SPORTS BETTING

Many thought the state of Kentucky was a shoe in to legalize sports betting statewide this year. However, it now appears that residents may have to wait until as far away as the year 2022 before they see that dream become a reality. The state legislature may not be able to give sports betting another chance before then.

Representative Adam Koenig intends to submit another sports betting bill in the Kentucky legislature in the year 2021. This is after his failed efforts from this year. However, a Supreme Court ruling that was recently made now jeopardizes Kentucky’s gaming industry as it currently stands. So, that would obviously need to be addressed as the priority.

Though the state of Kentucky does not yet have traditional casinos, it does have something close. The historical horse racing machines that are legal in the state greatly resemble traditional slot machines. The difference is they use math that is derived from previously run horse races to figure out the winning lines.

The state receives a huge boon to its tax revenue through historical horse racing contributions statewide. However, back in September, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued a ruling that the HHR system that is used by Exacta does not exactly meet the definition required for parimutuel wagering.

Many are unaware that in odd numbered years, the Kentucky legislature meets for only thirty days. So, for an issue as integral to the state as seeing historic horse racing on the proper side of the law, legal sports betting will most likely be put on the back burner.

The conservative state has not been overly welcoming when it comes to legal gaming and betting. That makes it extremely unlikely that Kentuckians would move to keep the legalization of historic horse racing machines and vote to approve sports betting in the same year. Plus, odd-numbered years also require a larger number of yes votes for approval, with a three-fifths majority needed to get it out of the House.

However, there is hope that if one gaming expansion is approved, it might make a second expansion even more palatable for the future. So, fingers crossed for Kentucky sports betting!

Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert. You can learn more about our author's expertise.

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