Latest updates on state bills for sports betting & online gambling

Many states around the country are moving fast and introducing new bills to legalize sports betting and online gambling. This is a dream come true for many many players out there that are playing on offshore websites because it adds protection.

There are currently four states with legalized online gambling and/or sports betting but at least another dozen states, with supportive legislators at the helm, are fighting to pass these bills.

It’s just a matter of time when all US states have legalized sports betting and online gambling.

Connecticut

Sports betting wants Connecticut and it won’t back off without a fight...

Several senators are backing Bill No. 17 that would legalize, in person or through the Internet sports betting, in the state. The Bill begins by saying the following: 

That the general statutes be amended to permit operators of casino gaming facilities in the state or on Indian lands to conduct sports wagering in person or through the Internet

And the purpose of the bill is:

To provide for additional revenues and jobs from the operation of sports wagering, Internet gambling and Internet Keno; enhance the revenue to the state from agreements between the state and federally recognized Indian tribes in Connecticut; ensure that Connecticut's gaming and tourism industries remain competitive with those in surrounding states; and ensure age and physical location verification for participation in Internet gaming

What the Connecticut senators are saying is the state will generate more tax revenue. This will keep the state competitive with surrounding states that have or will be legalizing sports betting and/or online gambling.

The General Assembly’s Public Safety and Security Committee held a public hearing on February 26th, 2019 to push the bill forward.

Executives, lottery officials, and even former athletes attended the meeting hoping to get a piece of the pie. The early projections is that the bill could bring in as much as $150 million in revenue annually to the state.Enter your text here...

Illinois

New Jersey did it, Pennsylvania did it and a host of other states are working on it so wouldn’t Illinois be the next state to legalize sports betting and online gambling…well, it’s happening!

Governor J.B. Pritzker is hoping that sports betting is going to help his state financially but that means a bill needs to be pushed through to legalize the market.

The Governor is definitely “betting” on sports betting getting legalized in the state because he stated that the industry could generate $200 million which would help with the $3.2 billion hole in next year’s state budget.

Again, this all needs to be put into a bill which is what the Governor needs the lawmakers to work on in 2019.

And it may not be cheap for the operators to open up an operation in the state as the governor is recommending a $10 million license fee...WOW!

More to come…

New York

New York has been hot for quite a while on legalizing sports betting and online gambling. Its main reason should be that its neighboring state New Jersey is taking players that could be paying taxes in NY instead of NJ.

Democratic New York assembly member, Gary Pretlow, introduced Bill A6113 on February 28, 2019. The legislation would also allow for sports betting at the stadiums which.

Here’s a summary of what the Bill says:

Relates to regulation of sports betting and mobile sports wagering; implements a tax equivalent to eight and one-half percent of sports wagering gross revenue; requires reporting; provides for civil penalties for violations.

A few things have to fall in to place before mobile betting can become a reality. For starters, the Governor (Cuomo) backing off his earlier statement about the NY constitution would have to be amended for mobile betting to get legalized.

Pretlow stated that he believes Governor Cuomo had revised his opinion on the matter. The Governor has yet to confirm his new stance.

There are no doubts that NY could see an uplift in its tax revenue from legalizing in-person and mobile sports betting. In January, $385 million in bets were made in New Jersey where $305 million were through a mobile platform.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts wasn’t really one of the contenders to legalize sports betting or any form of online/mobile gambling but that has changed in the last few weeks.

Governor Charlie Baker is pushing in-person and mobile sports betting forward fast by drafting his own legislation to get all of this legalized very soon.

Early estimates from the Baker administration tells us sports betting could be a very lucrative market for the state. It could generate as much as $35 million in tax revenues in Fiscal Year 2020.

The license for operators is expected to cost $1 million and they would be taxed 12.5% while players will be expected to pay a 10% tax rate on winnings.

The players will have to be at least 21 years old to place any bets and only professional sports are going to be legal to bet on. This means that bets cannot be made on college sports, high school sports, Esports, and amateur sports.

Michigan

Next state on the list of states to legalize sports betting and online gambling is our very own “Pure Michigan”.

Michigan introduced two Bills in 2018, Bill 4926 and Bill 4927, that had bipartisan support in the house and the senate making it all the way to former Governor Snyder who vetoed the bill.

Governor Snyder said the following in his veto letter:

I am concerned that the bills will encourage gambling by making it much easier to do so. I do not think it is appropriate to sign legislation that will effectively result in more gambling, with a reasonable chance that the state could lose revenue that could be helpful in dealing with social service issues that are ordinarily attendant to increased gambling behavior.

But with a new governor at the helm, legislators are confident that online gambling could become legalized in Michigan in 2019

That’s why House Bill 4311 and Senate Bill 186 were introduced on March 7, 2019 to make Michigan the next state to legalize online gambling. Both bills are set to be reviewed by the House Committee on Regulatory Reform next week on Tuesday March 12th.

It will be a gamble on new Michigan Governor Whitmer whether she supports online gambling or not. Her stance is quite ambiguous in this matter so it will be up to the legislators to convince the Democratic governor to sign the legislation when and if it reaches her desk.

Oshtemo House Representative Brandt Iden who introduced Bill 4311 has said that he has had some positive conversations with the governor’s policy staff so 2019 could be the golden year for online gambling in Michigan.

Recap

Several states are pushing sports betting and online gambling legislation forward so it has become a race for who becomes the fifth state to have the industry legalized.

All five states presented in the article seem to have bipartisan support but sometimes that’s not enough to get them over the finish line.

Another state that’s already legalized sports betting and is on the cusp of legalizing online gambling is West Virginia which we dedicated an article for as they already have one foot over the finish line with the state legalizing sports betting in 2018 and just now working on online gambling.

There is no doubt that 2019 is going to be a very interesting year for sports betting and online gambling so the question is, which state is next to legalize the industry?