SportsHandle and friends deliver another round-up of the week’s big developments in US sports betting.

Will Baseball Bettors Back Off In Wake Of Astros Sign-Stealing Scandal?

Baseball is not the highest margin sport for the house. Not even close. At New Jersey sportsbooks in 2019, the house’s win percentage on baseball betting was only 3.9%, well below basketball (4.8%), football (5.3%), and all the other sports combined (5.1%). In Nevada through the first 11 months of last year, the books held 5.13% on baseball, which is higher than in New Jersey, but still trails Nevada’s numbers for basketball (5.42%), football (7%), and “other” (6.93%).

With the volume of baseball betting also in line with other sports, if public interest in wagering on MLB contests were to decline, it wouldn’t be nearly as deleterious for casinos and online sports betting operators as if the same happened with football or basketball.

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Sports Betting The Talk Of Washington State

From Olympia in the west to the Northern Quest tribal casino in the east, legal sports gambling has become a hot topic in Washington State. In the three weeks since the start of the year, tribal interests have met to negotiate their position on sports betting, Maverick Gaming, which owns a host of card rooms, held a call sharing its thoughts on the topic, and lawmakers held an informational hearing.

There are currently two bills in the House — with companion bills in the Senate — that the legislature could take action on during the 2020 session, which opened Jan. 13 and adjourns March 13. The window is short, and there’s some question as to whether or not lawmakers will be nimble enough to turn all of this conversation into a law.

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How Many Skins Is Best For Online Sports Betting States to Offer? NJ

Provides A Clue

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court vacated a 1992 federal law that severely limited sports betting, the vast majority of state legislatures have been grappling with how to react.

The first issue, of course, is whether to legalize sports betting at all. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Utah or Hawaii, for instance, given their blanket resistance to all things gambling.

If the lawmakers in a state want to go ahead, the next question is usually where do you want adults to be able to make wagers? Casinos and/or racetracks generally come to mind.

Another preliminary question: How high a tax rate would be best?

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Cuomo Leaves Mobile Sports Betting Out Of Proposed Budget For Second Straight Year

A fiscal year 2021 state budget outlined by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday slightly amended sports wagering restrictions inside upstate casinos lounges but largely left a ban on mobile sports wagering unchanged.

As expected, Cuomo did not mention mobile sports betting during an hour-long address Tuesday at the Kitty Carlisle Hart Theater at the Egg in Albany. It marked the second consecutive year that Cuomo, a three-term governor, has left mobile sports wagering out of the state budget since the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports gambling in May 2018.

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Indiana Approves Gambling on Academy Awards

On Wednesday, the Indiana Gaming Commission signed off on allowing its retail and online/mobile sportsbooks to take action on the Academy Awards, which will air on Feb. 9, 2020.

It’s the first non-sporting event approved by the IGC for wagering. Only category winners can be bet on.

The Oscars were bet on legally in New Jersey in 2019, and books in the state will do so again, but with caps on wagers, reportedly set at $1,000. It’s unclear what books in Indiana will have as a cap.

According to a report, legal books in Nevada will not be taking action this year.

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