Bills: There are two competing proposals, one from the Senate and the other from the House. The two Senate bills are far more sweeping than the House bills.
SB293 and SB294 (sponsored by Sen. Greg Albittron, R. Atmore) would establish an official state lottery, which would offer games approved by the Education Lottery and Gaming Commission, an organization created by SB294.
If approved, SB 293 and SB 294 would allow casino-style gaming and sports wagering operated only at sites in Jefferson County, Mobile County, Macon County, Green County, Jackson County or DeKalb County, and on lands held in trust for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians pursuant to a compact.
By contrast, the two House bills—HB 501 and HB 502 (sponsored by Rep. Chip Brown, R. Hollinger’s Island) would allow for lottery ticket sales, but does not include any of the other gambling expansion provisions in SB 293 and SB 294.
Status: The Senate Tourism Committee approved SB 293/294 on March 9, 2022. The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee approved HB 501/502 on March 17, 2022. However, the sponsors of both competing measures have said they do not expect a floor vote on their bills during this legislative session. (AL.com, Mar. 29, 2022).
Number of Licenses: Casino licenses would be limited to five (5) in the state, plus two (2) satellite casinos, under SB 293 and SB 294.
Likely Operators: All 5 licenses will be on land owned by the Poarch Creek Band of Indians, pursuant to a compact with the tribe.
College Betting: Permitted with no in-state exclusion.
Constitutional Amendment?: Yes, it would be required. To put a legislatively referred constitutional amendment before voters, a 60 percent vote is required in both the Alabama State Senate and the Alabama House of Representatives. (Source: Ballotpedia).
Mobile Component: Yes, with a tethering requirement - through a licensed casino.
Regulatory Oversight: Alabama Education and Lottery Commission (a new agency that would be created by the proposed legislation).
Tax and Licensing Fees: 20% tax on net gambling revenue from casinos and sports betting. The bill also requires casino operators to negotiate a licensing fee with the commission upon its approval for licensing
2022 Legislative Session End Date: April 7, 2022
“The [Senate] plan is similar to one that passed the Senate last year but did not have enough support for a vote in the House of Representatives.” (AL.com, Mar. 9, 2022).
HB 501 and HB 502 “serve as the House response to a more comprehensive proposal sponsored by Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, and reflects House Republicans’ long-sought goal of passing a lottery without reference to gambling.” (Montgomery Advertiser, Mar. 17, 2022).
“One factor contributing to the lack of support is the upcoming election cycle. In some districts, incumbents might fear a backlash from anti-gaming voters.” (Gambling.com, Mar. 31, 2022).
“No lottery or gambling measure has made it out of the Legislature since 1999, due to the cold war between dog tracks and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, as well as divisions within the majority Republican caucus.” (Montgomery Advertiser, Mar. 17).
Bills: Arkansas voters originally approved a constitutional amendment to legalize sports betting in 2018. On February 22, 2022, the Arkansas Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee approved the Arkansas Racing Commission’s proposal to allow the state’s casinos to begin accepting mobile bets from persons physically located within Arkansas.
Number of Licenses: Each of the state’s three (3) retail casinos can partner with up to two (2) online sportsbooks each, allowing for a total of six (6) online sportsbooks.
Mobile Component: Yes, with a tethering requirement to one of Arkansas’ (3) casinos.
Expected Launch Date: March 2022
Taxes and Fees: Arkansas uses a graduated tax rate, equal to 13% for the first $150 million in gaming revenue and 20% on gaming revenue above $150 million.
Regulatory Oversight: Arkansas Racing Commission
Miscellaneous Notes: The mobile sports betting regulations require that sportsbook operators partner with Arkansas’ three retail casinos, and the retail location must receive at least 51% of revenue from the partnership. This unprecedented provision has drawn sharp criticism from national operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM, who have stated that they will likely stay out of the Arkansas market for this reason.
Bills: SR 135 and SB 142 propose an amendment to the Georgia Constitution to authorize sports betting as a lottery game under the supervision of the Georgia Lottery. Both bills were approved by the Georgia Senate on March 5, 2021, but they stalled in the House of Representatives and never received a vote. SR 135 and SB 142 carried over to this year’s legislative session. The current legislative session is for two years (2021-2022).
Status: On March 29, 2022, the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee proposed and approved an amendment to SR 135 that would allow for sports betting “and other forms of betting and gambling,” including, but not limited to, “pari-mutuel betting and casino gambling.” The House also proposed an amendment to SB 142 with respect to online sports betting but did not provide any specifics as to either casino gambling or pari-mutuel betting. Those would require further action next year from the Legislature, as well as a local vote from residents of the county looking to build those new facilities.
Number of Licenses: A minimum of six (6) online sportsbooks under the Senate version. The House version provides for (18) mobile licenses, with nine (9) allocated to the state’s professional sports teams and the other nine licenses (9) untethered. The House version would also allow kiosks at retail locations under the supervision of the Georgia Lottery.
Mobile Component: Yes.
College Betting Ban: In-state collegiate only (Senate version); none (House version).
Licensing and Application Fees: $100K/$10K (Senate); $1,000,000/100K (House)
Official League Data: Yes
Constitutional Amendment? Yes. SR135 and SB 142 propose an amendment to the Georgia Constitution to provide for sports betting. The Georgia Legislature can put a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot upon a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers. Constitutional amendments must be approved by a majority of the electorate.
Timing: November 2022 ballot question, with a launch in 2023 if approved by the voters.
Likelihood of Passage: Moderate. Despite voter polls in Georgia in favor of legalized sports betting, there remains strong anti-gambling sentiment in the statehouse, which led to the current constitutional amendment proposal. However, lawmakers are trying to join sports betting, casino gambling and pari-mutuel betting as part of the same proposed constitutional amendment, making their prospects for success much more challenging.
Legislative Session End Date: April 4, 2022
“The broadened allowance of all gaming [under the House amendment] could make the measure’s passage in the Senate a tall order. The Senate earlier this year failed to advance legislation allowing horse racing in the state.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mar. 28, 2022).
“If the [House] proposal becomes law, the Legislature will be able to approve further gambling expansions [such as casino gambling and pari-mutuel betting] with a simple majority and local voter approval rather than the two-thirds majority required for a constitutional amendment.” (Georgia Recorder, Mar. 28, 2022).
“The full House and Senate must pass both bills before they adjourn [on] April, or else sports betting won’t come to Georgia until at least 2025.” (Action Network, Mar. 28, 2022).
“Some Georgia lawmakers typically attempt to expand gambling every year in the General Assembly, but none have been successful since voters approved the lottery in 1992.” (Associated Press, March 16, 2022).
“Supporters have said sports betting could bring anywhere from $30 million to $100 million in revenue to the state.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mar. 6, 2021).
Bill: HB 1815, sponsored by Rep. John Mizuno, proposes a staggering 55% tax rate, which would be the highest in the country. Hawaii is one of just two states without any major gambling entity of any kind, including a lottery, so it will be an uphill battle.
Likely Operators: Operators would be chosen through a competitive bidding process, with no cap or limit on the number of “qualified and suitable sports betting providers.” The key selection criteria are “knowledge and expertise” with respect to “United States regulated gaming and lottery operations,” “interactive digital media and entertainment,” and “Internet technology,” making clear that U.S. market experience is a prerequisite.
Regulatory Oversight: HB 1815 would create an online sports wagering corporation housed under the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism.
Taxes and Licensing Fees: Licensing fees for operators would be levied, but the initial draft of the bill leaves the amount blank. The proposed bill is meant to be a “copycat” of New York’s law, but with a higher tax rate of 55%. The bill appears to be poorly drafted as it unclear whether the bettors themselves or the operators would be subject to the 55% tax. Rep. Mizuno, however, has publicly stated that the bill will tax operators, not bettors.
Legislative Session End Date: May 5, 2022
“Hawaii is one of two states in the nation — the other being Utah — that offers zero opportunities for any sort of legalized gaming, including lotteries.” (SportsHandle, Jan. 24, 2022)
Bill: SB 84 would authorize the Kansas Lottery to enter into contracts with “one or more gaming facility managers” to sports betting in-person at their respective facilities and over the internet through websites and mobile device applications from up to three (3) licensed interactive sports betting platforms approved by the Kansas Lottery. The term “lottery gaming facility managers” refers to the state-licensed casinos in each of the four lottery gaming zones in Kansas (northeast, southeast, southwest and south central).
Status: The House of Representatives approved an amended SB 84 by a 63-49 vote on April 1, 2022. SB 84 was immediately sent to the Senate for consideration, but the Senate adjourned on April 1 without considering the bill. The Senate will reconvene on April 25.
Operators: Kansas has four (4) casinos which operate under the state lottery.
Boot Hill Casino and Resort (Dodge City)
Kansas Star Casino (Mulvane)
Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway (Kansas City)
Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel
Mobile Component: Yes, up to three (3) interactive sports wagering platform per lottery gaming facility manager. That opens up the possibility for up to 12 mobile sportsbooks.
College Betting: Permitted with no in-state exclusion.
Tax Rate: 10% (retail sports betting); 10% (online sports betting). The proposed tax rate represents compromise between the House and the Senate, as the prior House version proposed a 14% tax rate for retail sports betting and a 20% tax for online sports betting. By contrast, the Senate bill approved last year proposed a tax of 5.5% for retail sports betting and an 8% tax for online sports betting. A joint conference committee of House and Senate representatives reached a consensus towards the middle range of the proposed tax rates, ultimately agreeing to a 10% tax across the board on all sports betting revenues.
Participation by Pro Sports Teams: Under SB 84, any professional sports team located in Kansas may enter into a marketing agreement with a lottery gaming facility manager for the purpose of marketing sports wagering at the “primary facility” of such professional sports team. These marketing agreements would allow for the placement of kiosks at the team’s “primary facility” and would enable patrons to access the interactive sports wagering platforms utilized by the team’s marketing partner at its primary facility.
Kiosks for Lottery Retailers: SB 84 would allow each casino to partner with up to 50 retailers to provide sports betting through kiosks.
Tribal Participation Limited to Retail: Federally recognized tribes would be able to compact with the state to offer in-person betting on Indian lands, but not online wagering.
Regulatory Oversight: Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.
Problem Gambling: SB 84 would earmark 2% of state tax collections plus an additional $100,000 to a problem gambling and addictions fund to address problem gambling issues.
Launch Date: Regulations must be adopted on or before January 1, 2023.
Legislative Session End Date: May 20, 2022
“Reaching passage in the House proved difficult. A late amendment added by House representatives allocates 80% of sports wagering tax revenue to a fund dedicated to attracting professional sports teams to Kansas. That aspect of the bill, which hadn’t been publicly discussed prior to Friday, nearly thwarted the bill’s chances of making it out of the House.” (SportsHandle, April 1, 2022).
“The decision to include the amendment [sending 80% of the state’s tax revenue generated from sports betting to a fund designed to attract professional sports teams to come to Kansas] comes mere days after Kansas City Chiefs President Mark Donovan floated the possibility of moving from Missouri to Kansas. (Id.)
SB 84 “has the support of the casino and racetrack lobbies, Major League Soccer’s Sporting KC (the only professional sports team in the state), and the local convenience store lobby.” (SportsHandle, Mar. 22, 2022).
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly is also supportive of legalizing sports betting, telling reporters in late March 2022 that “I do think we ought to have sports betting here in the State of Kansas. (Legal Sports Report, Apr. 1, 2022).
The interstate rivalry between Kansas and Missouri will likely push sports betting across the finish line in both states, each state seeks to launch before the other.
“The Kansas Lottery has estimated that sports wagering could generate annual revenue to the state of $10 million by fiscal year 2025. (See Fiscal Note).
Bill: HB 606, introduced by Rep. Adam Koenig on Feb. 28, 2022, is the fourth attempt in the last four years by Representative Koenig (the chair of the Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations Committee) to legalize sports betting. However, HB 606 may have a better chance than past years’ efforts for several reasons: (1) recent public polling in Kentucky heavily favors the legalization of sports betting; (2) six out of the seven states bordering Kentucky have approved sports betting; (3) the threshold for bill passage in Kentucky drops from 60% to a simple majority in even-numbered years; and (4) the previous year’s passage of a historic horse racing bill no longer complicates the issue.
Status: On Mar. 18, 2022, the Kentucky House of Representatives approved HB 606 by a 58-30 vote. This is the first time that a sports betting bill has been passed by either chamber of the Kentucky Legislature. HB 606 advanced to the Senate Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations Committee, where it received its second reading on Mar. 30. If approved, HB 606 would advance to the Senate floor for a vote.
Licensing Fees: $500,000 initial application and licensing fee, with a $50,000 annual renewal fee.
Regulatory Oversight: Kentucky Horse Racing Commission
Legislative Session End Date: April 14, 2022
Notable Opposition: The main opposition to the bill comes from religious organizations, such as The Family Foundation, and their supporters among Kentucky lawmakers. The Family Foundation has persistently lobbied against gambling legislation in recent years.
“The passage of the sports betting bill marks the first time in more than three tries that Rep. Adam Koenig has been able to get his legislation through at least one chamber in Kentucky.” (SportsHandle, Mar. 18, 2022).
HB 606 faces a much tougher road in the Kentucky Senate, with Senate President Robert Stivers telling media outlets that sports betting “creates no energy with me” and expressing his belief that there isn’t much support for it in the Senate. “I think it’s much ado about nothing basically.” (Spectrum News, Mar. 18, 2022).
Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, a supporter of HB 606, has described the bill as a “longshot” to pass due to “an awful lot of anti-betting sentiment” in the Senate. (Saturday Down South, Mar. 28, 2022).
Senator Thayer said he plans to give Rep. Koenig and other proponents of HB 606 a 10-day veto recess period to sway recalcitrant Senate colleagues in the hope of bringing it a floor vote in the final days of session. (Twitter, Mar. 29, 2022).
“Rep. Koenig estimates that sports betting will generate at least $22.5 million in state tax revenue each year.” (Thoroughbred Daily News, Mar. 19, 2022).
HB 606 would also authorize daily fantasy sports contests and online poker.
Bill: Maine lawmakers narrowly advanced a last-minute amendment to LD 585 that would give Maine’s Native American tribes exclusive control over mobile sports wagering and authorize harness racing tracks, off-track betting facilities, and the Oxford Casino to conduct in-person sports betting.
Status: On March 16, 2022, the Maine Legislature’s Judiciary Committee voted 8-6 to approve a bill of tribal sovereignty reforms negotiated between the administration of Maine Governor Janet Mills and Maine’s four Indian tribes. The bill’s prospects for passage are uncertain when it reaches the full Legislature in the coming weeks, as the Judiciary Committee’s recommendation comes with four minority reports, three amended versions, and an ought-not-to-pass recommendation. (PressHerald.com, Mar. 17, 2022).
Mobile Component: The amended bill creates four digital licenses for the state’s federally recognized Indian tribes: (1) the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians; (2) the Penobscot Nation; (3) the Mi’kmaq Tribe; and (4) the Passamaquoddy Tribe.
Departure from Prior Legislative Proposals: During the 2021 legislative session, the House of Representatives passed a markedly different sports betting bill, LD 1352, which would have granted mobile sports betting licenses to the state’s commercial racetracks, off-track betting facilities, slot machine facilities or casinos, federally recognized Indian tribes, and other qualified gaming entities. That bill, however, stalled in the Senate.
Legislative Session End Date: April 20, 2022
“The proposal currently faces opposition from online sportsbooks, including heavyweight operators DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM. Jon Mandel of the Sports Betting Alliance—a coalition of gambling interests, including operators—stated last month the group opposed the initiative because it would limit ‘the number of companies that can engage’ in the Maine market.” (Yogonet.com, Mar. 17, 2022).
“Rep. Christopher Babbidge, D-Kennebunk, joined Republicans on the committee in opposing the governor’s bill. His minority report would amend the proposal to increase the amount of funding going into the state’s General Fund from 6.5 percent of gross sports wagering receipts to 25 percent.” (PressHerald.com, Mar. 17, 2022).
“Rep. Jennifer Poirier, R-Skowhegan, moved a minority report that would remove the bill’s gaming provision and incorporate a mobile gaming bill, L.D. 1352, that has already been approved by the Legislature. The tribes oppose that bill, however, saying their communities would not benefit.” (Id.)
“Several versions and stand-alone amendments are circulating in the legislature, though only the original version is on file with the legislature. It’s unclear which version will ultimately advance, and it remains possible that sports betting could become a casualty of so many different interests.” (Action Network, Mar. 17, 2022)
Bills: There are two primary bills under consideration:
H3993 sponsored by Rep. Dan Cahill and overwhelmingly approved last year by the Massachusetts House of Representatives on a near-unanimous 156-3 vote.
S269, sponsored by Massachusetts state senator Eric Lesser, who the co-chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.
Status: Both bills were referred to the Senate Ways and Means (Budget) Committee in July 2021, where they have yet to move. However, there is strong public and bipartisan support for the legalization of sports betting in Massachusetts. At least 60% of Massachusetts state senators said they would support a sports betting bill, according to a March 2022 survey conducted by State House News Service. In addition, Governor Charlie Baker has repeatedly expressed a willingness to sign a sports betting bill into law.
Licensing Categories: Both bills propose three categories of sports betting licenses:
Category 1 License: This classification would permit licensed gaming establishments, such as state-licensed casinos, to offer sports wagering in person and over the internet through three (3) individually branded mobile applications.
Category 2 License: This classification would permit establishments that conduct live horse or greyhound racing (or that are authorized to conduct simulcast wagering on horse or greyhound racing) to offer sports wagering in person and over the internet through one (1) individually branded mobile application.
Category 3 License: This classification would permit online sports betting through free-standing mobile applications that are not tied or tethered to a particular gaming establishment, racetrack, or simulcast facility.
Mobile Component: Yes.
Number of Skins: Category 1 licensees would get (3) mobile skins per casino, whereas Category 2 licensees would receive only (1) mobile skin per track or simulcast facility. Under H3993, there would be no cap on the number of Category 3 ‘mobile-only’ licenses, whereas S269 would cap the number at six (6) mobile licensees. Crucially, Category 3 mobile licensees would not be tethered to any land-based gaming facilities.
College Betting: S269 bans wagering on all collegiate sporting events (even those conducted outside of Massachusetts). H3993 only bans individual player proposition bets.
Tax Rates: H3993 (12.5% for retail; 15% for online; plus an additional 1% of adjusted gross receipts from wagering on sporting events that take place at Massachusetts sports venues; S269 (20% for Category 1 and 2 licensees; 25% for Category 3 licensees).
Licensing Fees: H3993 ($5M licensing fee million for all 3 categories; 5-year license; renewal fee of $5M); S269 ($2.5M licensing fee for Category 1; $1.5M for Category 2; and $7.5M for Category 3; 5-years; renewal fees of $1M, $500K, and $3M, respectively).
Official League Data: H3993 requires the use of official league data for in-game wagers.
Competitive Bidding for Data Supplier Licenses: S269 proposes a competitive bidding process for “data supplier licenses,” giving the Massachusetts Gaming Commission the discretion to issue “one or more” licenses to “sell data, player, and team statistics.” This would be the first RFP process in the United States for sports betting data suppliers. The application fee for a data supplier license would be $1 million. If selected, the initial license fee would be $5 million (valid for five years), with a renewal fee of $2 million.
Problem Gambling: H3993 proposes that a $1 million annual fee be assessed against each Category 3 licensee and earmarked for public health programs dedicated to addressing compulsive gambling or other related addictions. S269 proposes that five percent (5%) of state tax collections from operator sports betting revenues be earmarked to social service and public health programs addressing compulsive sports gambling.
Possible Advertising Restrictions: The Massachusetts Gaming Commission recently examined several proposals to limit the amount of gambling advertising in the state. The five (5) commissioners showed an interest in exploring regulations that could help protect problem gamblers, people younger than 21 years old and demographic groups found to be particularly at risk of experiencing gambling-related problems in Massachusetts, including men and people in lower-income groups. (WBUR.org, Mar. 16, 2022). One proposal that caught the attention of multiple commissioners was a prohibition against gambling operators on television, radio, the internet, mobile applications, social media, other electronic communications, billboards, outdoor advertising, or in print publications unless at least 85% percent of the likely audience is “reasonable expected” to be 21 years of age or older based on audience composition data. (WBUR.org, Mar. 16, 2022).
Legislative Session End Date: July 31, 2022 (with informal session 8/1/22 to 1/2/23)
“House Speaker Ron Mariano and Sen. Walter Timilty each pointed to Senate President Karen Spilka when asked what explains the holdup of legislation to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts.” (WDH.com, Mar. 3, 2022).
“Mariano said he is willing to negotiate with the Senate on the details of a sports betting bill but suggested that Spilka and Senate leadership [are] being stubborn and . . . not as willing to engage.” (WDH.com, Mar. 3, 2022).
“Spilka, who opposed a 2010 casino law before supporting a different version in 2011, said a year ago that she wanted to see ‘what kind of bill we end up with’ before staking out a position on the topic. Since the House passed its bill nearly unanimously [last year], she has regularly suggested that there may not be a majority of senators in favor of legal wagering and that the Senate may not have the bandwidth to tackle it this session.” (WDH.com, Mar. 3, 2022).
“Spilka did not rule out as Senate vote on sports betting this session, but said she’d like to have ‘some sort of consensus’ among Senate Democrats before that happens.” (MassLive, Mar. 3, 2022).
“Once we have consensus, the intention is to do that very fast. If we’re able to have a consensus, the intention is to bring it to the floor and debate it on the floor and let the senators decide,” Spilka said. (MassLive, Mar. 28, 2022).
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has consistently expressed support for the legalization of sports betting, and even introduced his own bill in 2019.
At least 60% of Massachusetts senators would support the legalization of sports betting, according to a recent survey conducted by State House News Service.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey also supports legalizing sports betting, calling it “the way now.” (Casino.org, April 1, 2022).
HF778, sponsored by Rep. Zack Stephenson, would legalize retail and online sports betting and place it under the control of the state’s eleven Indian tribes.
HF167, sponsored by Reps. Zack Stephenson and John Huot, was originally introduced in 2021 as a bill dealing with sentencing hearings. However, it was recently amended to be identical to HF778. (iGamingBusiness, Mar. 17, 2022).
SF574, sponsored by Sen. Roger Chamberlain, would authorize retail-only sports betting for the state’s 11 Indian tribes and the state’s 2 licensed horse racetracks.
Status: HF778 was approved by the House Taxes Committee on Mar. 30, 2022. The bill now advances to the House Ways and Means Committee. If approved by that committee, it can receive a vote on the House floor. There has been no recent movement on SF574.
Likely Operators: Under HF778, the state’s eleven (11) Native American tribes would be the only operators allowed to offer sports wagering. By contrast, SF574 provides for three categories of license holders: (b) the state’s eleven (11) Indian tribes; (b) the state’s two licensed commercial horse racetracks; and (c) a single provider of an electronic sports wagering platform to offer esports betting through a website or mobile application.
Mobile Component: Yes. HF778 would create two “master sports betting licenses,” valid for 20 years, to organizations comprised of two or more Indian tribes. Those two master license holders would then be contract with up to eleven (11) mobile sports betting operators, i.e., one for each of the state’s Indian tribes. On the Senate side, the sponsor of SF574—Sen. Roger Chamberlain—also wants to grant mobile licenses to the state’s two horse racetracks, for a total of four mobile licenses. (PlayUSA, Mar. 2, 2022).
Regulatory Oversight: Minnesota Sports Wagering Commission, created by HF778.
Tax and Licensing Fees: HF778 would impose a 10% tax rate for mobile sports wagering, a license application fee of $6,000, a license fee of $38,250, and a license renewal fee of $8,500. By contrast, SF574 would impose a 6.75% tax on net revenue and does not differentiate as between types of wagers; it leaves licensing fees unspecified.
Problem Gambling: Forty percent (40%) of the collected state tax revenues in the current version of HF 778 is earmarked for problem and responsible gambling initiatives.
2022 Legislative Session End Date: May 23, 2022
The bills would not go into effect until Governor Tim Walz negotiates tribal compacts with the individual tribes to allow sports gambling. (The Dales Report, Mar. 17, 2022).
Sen. Roger Chamberlain, a sponsor of SB574, said that he expects the House and Senate to “pass competing bills and settle the differences in the conference committee.” (PlayUSA.com, Mar. 17, 2022).
The most significant pushback on HF778 has been the exclusion of the state’s horse racetracks and charitable gambling industry. The Senate companion bill includes the state’s horse racetracks. (LegalSportsReport.com, Mar. 16, 2022).
“The sports betting bill (HF778) enjoys the support of state tribal nations, which should help its chance of passage.” (OnlineGambling.com, Mar. 10, 2022).
Conversely, the tribes do not support SF574 because it includes the state’s horse racetracks as additional licensees. According to Legal Sports Report, the inclusion of the state’s racetracks in SF574 “might be a dealbreaker for the tribes.”
All of Minnesota’s neighboring states have at least some form of legal sports betting, whether retail or mobile or both. (SportsHandle, Mar. 31, 2022).
HB 2502 (Houx), SB 1046 (Hegeman) and SB 1061 (Luetkemeyer) are backed by a coalition that includes the state’s professional sports teams and casinos. These bills would legalize retail sports betting at each of the state’s 13 casinos. There would also be 39 online skins, including one to each of the state’s six professional sports teams and the remainder split among the six Missouri casino operators.
SB 643, sponsored by Sen. Denny Hoskins (who chairs the Senate Economic Development Committee), would also legalize retail sports betting at the state’s 13 casinos, but would grant only one (1) online skin per casino facility. Senator Hoskins’ proposal would also allow Missouri Lottery to offer retail parlay bets.
HB 2502 was approved by the House of Representatives on Mar. 24, 2022. It has since been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee and received two readings. A public hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 6, 2022.
The three Senate bills— SB643, SB 1046 and SB 1061—are still in committee, having been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee on March 9, 2022.
Number of Licenses: Each of the state’s 13 licensed casinos would be able to offer retail and online sports betting under all pending legislative proposals. HB 2502 would allow for three (3) online skins per casino facility, with a cap of six (6) per company with multiple facilities. In addition, six (6) online skins would be earmarked for Missouri’s professional sports teams. SB 643 would grant only one (1) online skin per casino.
Mobile Component: Yes, tethered to the state’s licensed casinos (except for the six (6) online skins reserved under HB 2502, SB 1046, and SB1061 for “designated sports district mobile licensees,” which are the digital sportsbook operators selected by Missouri’s professional sports teams to offer sports wagering via the Internet).
Promotional Bet Deductions: In the initial versions of HB 2502, SB 1046, and SB1061, sports betting operators would have been able to write off promotional play, such as free credits or prizes for creating accounts, in perpetuity. However, a recent amendment to HB 2502 allows for a 100% write-off in the first year only, with steps down over five years until promotional play could not be written off. (Source: SportsHandle, Mar. 2, 2022).
Participation by Pro Sports Teams: Missouri’s six major professional teams—the St. Louis Cardinals, the Kansas City Royals, the St. Louis Blues, St. Louis City SC, Sporting Kansas City, and Kansas City Current—would be able to directly participate in online sports wagering through designated licensees. As specified in HB 2502, SB 1046, and SB 1061, each major professional sports franchise in Missouri would be able to choose a “designated sports district mobile licensee” to offer sports wagering over the Internet. Notably, the mobile operator (rather than the sports team) would be required to apply for the gaming license. In addition, these bills would create a “designated sports district” of 400 yards surrounding each pro sports venue where only the team’s designated mobile sports betting provider would be allowed to advertise. This restriction, however, does not prohibit other digital platforms from offering online sports wagering within any district. Further, the sports teams would not be allowed to have brick-and-mortar sportsbooks at their stadiums or arenas; their participation is limited solely to the online component.
Official League Data: Yes, for in-game wagers only (HB 2502, SB 1046 and SB1061).
Problem Gambling: A recent amendment to HB 2502 was added to require that sports betting operators give problem gambling organizations an annual payment of $500,000 instead of the original $250,000. (SportsHandle, Mar. 2, 2022).
Regulatory Oversight: Missouri Gaming Commission
Legislative Session End Date: May 13, 2022
For the past two years, Sen. Denny Hoskins has pushed for legislation pairing sports betting legalization with video lottery terminal (VLT) regulation. For the 2022 legislative session, Senator Hoskins has agreed to run them in separate bills, but wants them to pass together. (Source: PlayMissouri, Feb. 10, 2022).
“Many industry insiders believe that the key to legal sports betting in Missouri is to separate the issue from VLTs.” (VegasInsider.com, Mar. 19, 2022).
“Missouri casino companies would be happy to have sports betting separated from VLTs. That’s why they worked with Missouri sports teams to get their support on pushing for a standalone sports betting bill. Casinos aren’t interested in a compromise to pass sports betting at the cost of validating the existence of slot machines across the state.” (PlayMissouri, Feb. 10, 2022).
“Sen. Dan Hegeman, who chairs the committee in which Hoskins’ bill sits, also is a staunch opponent of legalizing video lottery terminals.” (PlayMissouri, Feb. 10, 2022).
“Hegeman and Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz are on the side of banning VLTs, making it likely that any attempt to combine VLTs with sports betting will doom the bill once again.” (PlayMissouri, Feb. 10, 2022).
For his part, Senator Hoskins (the sponsor of SB 643) said that he would like to see a higher tax rate on sports wagering revenue (his bill sets it at 21%, compared to 8% in the just-approved HB 2502) and a bill that “benefits Missouri taxpayers, education, and Missouri veterans homes.” (SportsHandle, Mar. 24, 2022).
The interstate rivalry between Kansas and Missouri will likely push sports betting across the finish line in both states, as each state seeks to launch before the other. (Legal Sports Report, Apr. 1, 2022) [“If Kansas gets it passed, it puts more pressure to get it done,” Missouri sports betting bill sponsor Rep. Dan Houx told LSR this week.”].
Bills: Although online sports betting launched in New York State in early January to great fanfare, several key state lawmakers have recently advanced bills to modify and/or expand the existing online sports betting framework. Specifically, the proposals would: (i) increase the number of online sports betting operators from the present nine (9) to at least sixteen (16) within two years, (ii) gradually reduce the tax rate from 51% to 25%; and (iii) place mobile kiosks at pro sports venues, racetracks, OTBs, and VLT facilities.
A8658 (Pretlow): Would increase the number of online sports betting operators from nine (9) to fourteen (14) by Jan. 1, 2023, and to at least sixteen (16) by Jan. 1, 2024, and would reduce the tax rate down to 25% when there are fifteen (15) or more online sports betting operators in the market. A one-time fee of $25 million would be charged for platform providers and $10 million for licensed operators. At least two (2) licenses would be reserved for qualified minority-owned businesses. In addition, promotional bets, such as free wagers, would be tax free.
Status: A8658 has been referred to the Assembly’s Racing and Wagering Committee, though no formal vote has been scheduled.
Status: S8471 has been referred to the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, though no formal vote has been scheduled.
A9009-B (Hochul): Would increase the number of online sports betting operators from nine (9) to sixteen (16) and establish a goal to award thirty percent (30%) of mobile sports wagering licenses to businesses owned by members of a minority group. No discussions of tax rates, licensing fees or timelines for completion.
Status: A8009-B has been referred to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, though no formal vote has been scheduled.
S8009-B (Hochul). Would increase the number of online sports betting operators from nine (9) to fourteen (14) by Jan. 1, 2023, and to at least sixteen (16) by Jan. 1, 2024, with the tax rate being “set at the same amount” that is applicable to previously licensed applicants. The tax rate is 51%. A one-time fee of $25 million would be charged for platform providers and $10 million for licensed operators.
Status: S8009-B has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee, though no formal vote has been scheduled.
A8538A (Pretlow): Would amend the definition of “affiliate” to include any professional sports stadium or arena, automobile racing facility, horse racetracks, OTB facilities and VLT facilities, and authorize such entities to enter into “affiliate agreements” with any mobile sports wagering operator or licensee to locate self-service mobile sports betting kiosks upon the premises of the affiliate.
These affiliate provisions would not take effect until at least six (6) months (plus ninety days) have elapsed after the bill is signed into law.
The bill would also allow fixed-odds horse race betting.
Status: A8658 has been referred to the Assembly’s Racing and Wagering Committee, though no formal vote has been scheduled.
Status: Approved by the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee (chaired by Sen. Addabbo) by a 7-0 vote on Feb. 14, 2022.
Legislative Session End Date: June 2, 2022 (Budget deadline: March 31, 2022)
“Senator Addabbo is trying to adopt [S8471] through the state budget process. But with just two months of mobile sports betting on the books, it’s unlikely that lawmakers will have the appetite to make changes so soon. ‘I’m not sure how much traction this bill has particularly the part about the tax reduction because it doesn’t appear the Division of Budget is in favor of it at this point.” (City & State, Mar. 10, 2022).
“This is all a starting point for negotiations, it’s not a done deal. If the [Senate Finance Committee] tells me that expanding [mobile sports betting] at this point will mean a reduction in educational funds or revenue, then we don’t go forward. But if they say the potential, based on what we see, raises revenue and educational funds if we do increase the number of skins, then let’s do it.” (PokerFuse, Mar. 18, 2022).
“Expansion of online sports betting in the form of fixed-odds horse racing and NASCAR on the apps might have to turn into standalone post-budget legislation prior to session ending in June. The same goes for kiosks being placed at stadiums, arenas and racetracks. As for New York online casinos, that topic may have to become a featured item for next year’s budget. (PlayNY, Mar. 21, 2022).
“Assemblyman Gary Pretlow confirmed that online sports betting expansion [and] minority inclusion is a long shot at this point. . . ‘Yes (it’s a long shot because the Senate—and the governor, actually—is insisting on maintaining the 51% (tax rate),’ Pretlow told PlayNY on Thursday.” (PlayNY, Mar. 31, 2022).
“Local policymakers could try to move the online sports betting expansion through during the post-budget session, which runs until June 2.” (Id.).
Bill: SB688, sponsored by Sens. Jim Perry (R-Lenoir County) and Paul Lowe (D-Forsyth), would direct the North Carolina Lottery Education Fund to issue between 10 and 12 interactive sports wagering licenses. The bill would also allow in-person sports betting at professional sports facilities with at least 17,000 seats and at major PGA Tour events plus one (1) additional property owned or controlled by the owner or operator of the sports facility that is located within a one-half mile radius of the sports facility.
Status: SB688 was passed by the Senate on August 19, 2021, by a vote of 26-19. The measure now moves to the House, which may take up the bill when it reconvenes in May. Because the current North Carolina legislative session lasts for two years (2021-2022), SB688 carried over to 2022 even though the House failed to act on the bill last year.
Number of Licenses: 10-12 interactive sports wagering licenses.
Mobile Component: Yes – mobile only. The bill also provides additional mobile sports wagering licenses to federally recognized Indian tribes that conduct Class III gaming in North Carolina pursuant to a valid tribal-state compact. As a condition of receiving these mobile licenses, the Indian tribes must pay taxes and submit to regulatory oversight.
Tax Rate: 8% tax on adjusted gross revenue.
Licensing Fees: $500,000 license fee for an interactive sports wagering license (5 years).
$25,000 license fee for a service provider license (5 years).
$15,000 license fee for a sports wagering supplier license (5 years).
Participation by Pro Sports Teams: SB 688 includes a provision that would allow the owner or operator of a sports facility to establish a “place of public accommodation” (a euphemism for sports betting lounge) at the sports facility and at one (1) additional affiliated location within a half-mile radius of the facility for the purpose of accessing a sports wagering platform through mobile devices, computer terminals or similar access devices, either directly or with assistance from a person. The term “sports facility” is defined in SB 688 as either: (1) a facility that hosts professional sports with a minimum seating capacity of 17,000 people; or (2) a facility that hosts a professional golf tournament with more than 50,000 anticipated live spectators based on past attendance.
College Betting: Permitted with no in-state exclusion.
Official League Data: Yes, for in-game wagers only.
Licensing Reciprocity: A person licensed to engage in sports wagering in another state may, upon application, be licensed as an interactive sports wagering operator without further examination if, in the opinion of the Commission, that other jurisdiction’s licensing requirements are “substantially equivalent” or “exceed” the requirements of North Carolina and that person otherwise meets the requirements of the statute.
Regulatory Oversight: North Carolina Education Lottery Commission.
Cryptocurrency: The bill permits accounts to be funded using cryptocurrency.
2022 Legislative Session End Date: June 30, 2022.
Note: The 2021 legislative session continued through Mar. 11, 2022, with an option for lawmakers to reconvene on Apr. 4, 2022 and May 5, 2022. However, North Carolina lawmakers have signaled that no substantive action will be taken on SB688 until the 2022 session formally reconvenes on May 18, 2022.
North Carolina’s governor, Roy Cooper, has been clear about his support for the legalization of online sports wagering. Governor Cooper, a Democrat in his second term, recently told a podcast host from The News & Observer that “it’s time for us to step up and do it,” pointing to the technology jobs it will create and adding that “it’s here whether we like it or not.’” (Action Network, Feb. 8, 2022)
Bill: HB 3008, which was filed by Rep. Ken Luttrell in January 2022, would add retail sports betting to the games allowed at tribal casinos under the state’s tribal compacts, but at least four tribes would have to opt in to an expanded model tribal-state compact.
Status: The bill advanced to the House floor by a 28-3 vote in the Appropriations and Budget Committee on March 9, 2022.
The bill faced a March 24th crossover deadline to pass a House vote and move on to the Senate. That date came and went without any further action taken.
As a result, there will be no legal sports betting in Oklahoma until at least 2023.
Likely Operators: Indian tribes that opt into an expanded model tribal-state compact. Oklahoma has 31 federally recognized Indian tribes operating 131 tribal casinos.
Mobile Component: Not Permitted. In-person only.
College Betting: Not specified in the bill.
Revenue Share Payment: 10% of net winnings, defined as “bets received less prizes paid out and federal taxes.” By contrast, under their existing compacts, the tribes pay a maximum of 6% of their slot machine gaming revenues to the state. To gain broader support from the tribal casino operators, Rep. Luttrell might need to reduce the tribes’ revenue-share obligation associated with retail sports betting below ten percent (10%) and grant tribes the option to offer online wagering. (Source: PlayUSA, Mar. 9, 2022).
Effective Date (if passed): November 1, 2022, but only if at least four (4) Indian tribes enter into the proposed model tribe-state compact and such compact is approved by the Secretary of the Interior and notice of such approval is published in the Federal Register.
Regulatory Oversight: Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission.
2022 Legislative Session End Date: May 27, 2022
Oklahoma has a historic anti-gambling stance. However, Oklahoma lawmakers are facing increasing pressure from the public and neighboring states that have passed bills. (Currently, Arkansas and Colorado offer both in-person and online sports betting, while New Mexico offers in person betting only). But there may be some pushback from the state’s Native American tribes, who want online sports betting included as well as a lower revenue share payment. (WSN, Mar. 9, 2022).
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Ken Luttrell, is a Cherokee citizen with a background in consulting and lobbying on tribal matters. That background may prove pivotal to earning support from both tribal nations and Governor Kevin Stitt.
However, it is unclear whether Governor Stitt would support the measure.
In 2020, Governor Stitt entered into gaming compacts with two tribes, the Comanche Nation and the Otoe-Missouri Tribe, that included provisions for sports betting. However, the Governor was sued by the Senate President and House Speaker, arguing that he exceeded his authority. The Oklahoma Supreme Court agreed, holding that the compacts were invalid and that any sports betting authorization must be enacted by the legislature. (The Oklahoman, Jul. 22, 2020).
Bill: H3395, filed by Democratic representatives Todd Rutherford and Lucas Atkinson in 2021, proposes an amendment to the South Carolina Constitution to allow “in certain areas of the state” the conduct of “gambling and gaming activities” on which bets are made to include “pari-mutuel betting on horse races, sports betting on professional sports, casino activities, such as card and dice games where the skill of the player is involved in the outcome, and games of chance with the use of electronic devices or gaming tables.”
South Carolina currently does not have any legal gaming.
Article XVII of the South Carolina Constitution prohibits “gambling or betting on games of chance.”
Number of Licenses: Not specified in the bill.
Mobile Component: Unclear. The bill does not indicate whether online sports betting would be legal. It states only that the new gaming activities could be conducted in “specified areas of the state,” suggesting that only retail betting would be allowed.
College Betting: None. H3395 would only allow betting on “professional sports.”
Constitutional Amendment?: Yes. H3395 specifies that the proposed constitutional amendment “must be submitted to the qualified electors at the next general election for representatives.” That would be in November 2022. To put a legislatively referred constitutional amendment before the voters, a two-thirds vote is required in each house of the South Carolina Legislature. However, if the state's voters approve the amendment, it must then go back to the legislature for a second affirmative vote. (Source: Ballotpedia).
Regulatory Oversight: Not specified in the bill.
Tax and Licensing Fees: Not specified in the bill.
2022 Legislative Session End Date: May 12, 2022
Although H3395 was introduced in January 2021, legislative sessions in South Carolina are for two years. As a result, H3395 is still an active bill.
“[H3395] has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, but no hearing date has been set.” (SportsHandle, Feb.17, 2022).
“The bill must clear two significant hurdles to legalize sports betting in South Carolina. First, it must pass into law to initiate a ballot measure that would go before voters in the next general election. Second, it must receive the approval of a majority of South Carolina voters. If it passes both tests, lawmakers will then craft additional legislation to work out the details, and that legislation must also pass into law.” (BettingUSA.com, Mar. 10, 2022).
In March 2020, sports betting was authorized by HB 2638, which gave exclusive rights to Indian tribes that entered into compacts with the state. In September 2021, sports betting went live in multiple tribal casinos after compacts were approved.
On January 11, 2022, Maverick Gaming LLC, which owns and operates 19 of 44 licensed card rooms in Washington State, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit came just one day after two bills that would authorize sports betting for card rooms, HB1674 and SB5212, were reintroduced in the legislature after identical versions failed in 2021. The bills have not moved since their introduction and are unlikely to pass.
The litigation also comes on the heels of unsuccessful lobbying efforts by Maverick and its owner, Eric Persson, to expand sports betting into card rooms. The lawsuit claims that 29 gaming compacts violate both the IGRA and equal protection guarantees of the Constitution by unlawfully granting tribal casinos a "discriminatory tribal gaming monopoly" over sports betting and other types of gambling.
The crux of the argument is: (1) the compacts favor tribal entities over non-tribal entities which prevents competition, and (2) under the IGRA, a state can only grant tribes permission to operate forms of gaming that it permits elsewhere.
The litigation is currently on pause, as D.C. District Court Judge Florence Pan granted the State a pause in the proceedings on March 21 to address Maverick's request that they be removed from the lawsuit to make it exclusively a federal issue.
Conversely, the State wants the litigation moved to federal court in the State of Washington. A Maverick victory could end the practice of tribal-state compacts granting tribal monopolies over Class III gaming activities, such as sports betting.