Matthew Waters and the team at Legal Sports Report highlight some of the key US sports betting issues to look out for in the week ahead.
Sports betting launches in Illinois and Michigan: Both Illinois and Michigan’s retail launches popped up quickly before March Madness. Both launches were confirmed on Friday. Illinois’ launch will come first at the BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Des Plaines. Then, on Wednesday, at least MGM Grand Detroit will launch sports betting pending final regulatory approval on Tuesday. Both books have the potential to bring in major business for their casinos in the first month of operations considering the betting interest for March Madness, especially if other launches in their respective states are delayed. The two become the 15th and 16th US states with active legal sports betting.
Montana installations begin Monday: Likely to become the 17th state with active sports betting, Montana begins its terminal installations around the state Monday. The Montana Lottery Commission approved bet types and sports last month, which was the final step in the approval process. Sports Bet Montana actually launched in December with more than 100 sales agents being licensed since then. But while terminal installations start on Monday, there’s no actual start date listed for sports betting in the state. That will come once sales agents are trained following the installation.
Washington sports betting bill has a Thursday deadline: Washington’s tribal-only sports betting bill must be signed by Gov. Jay Inslee Thursday before the legislative session ends. ESHB 2638 passed the Senate late Thursday night with amendments, so it needs to be re-approved by the House. Inslee’s signature on the bill would enact the law immediately due to an emergency clause, but it’s that same clause that could bring the bill into the courts. Maverick Gaming CEO Eric Persson said he will, “of course,” sue if the bill passes with an emergency clause, which lets it skip a voter referendum this fall.