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

Will Maryland Sports Betting Referendum Gain Public Support?

Maryland lawmakers earlier this week rushed through a bare-bones sports betting referendum bill that didn’t include any framework for how legal sports wagering would work in the state — a matter that both chambers had debated before the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the country. Was that the right move? Stakeholders are split on it..

Both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly — the Senate vote was unanimous — approved SB 4, which was stripped clean of everything from the tax rate to problem gaming funds to where sports betting could take place. It seems the General Assembly was in a sprint to make sure the referendum would get on the November 2020 ballot.

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Colorado Shows Progress In Meeting May Sports Betting Goal Despite Coronavirus Concerns

Colorado moved closer Thursday to launching legalized sports betting in time for a May 1 target despite overarching concerns from the spread of the coronavirus.

The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission approved more than a dozen sports betting licenses Thursday at a meeting complicated by the continued spread of COVID-19. While the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Division Of Gaming remains open for business, the office is closed to the public until mid-April. With several attendees unable to take part in person, Thursday’s meeting was held via video conference.

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The Day March Madness Died: What’s A Sportsbook To Do Without Sports?

Read earlier installments here from the Sportsbook Consigliere (@sportsbkconsig), who’s been working in sportsbooks for over 20 years. Various roles, various places, making numbers, taking bets and everything else in between.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a column, but you know the saying “there is no time like the present?” These are clearly unprecedented times. I know I have never seen anything like it in my life, and I don’t think I am alone. The coronavirus pandemic has taken over every part of our lives in a week.

We are scared, anxious, unsure, etc, and frankly have no idea what is coming next. The reality is here. We are staying home and not leaving for pretty much anything except essential jobs or food. Here in Las Vegas, the casinos closed. They never closed before. Ever. For the next 30 days, they have been ordered closed by the governor. “Stay home for Nevada,” he said.

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Lawyers, Props, And Money: The Oral History Of The First DraftKings Sports Betting Championship

Thursday, March 19 was the scheduled start date of the four-day 2020 DraftKings Sports Betting Spring Championship. It was to have a $1.5 million guaranteed prize pool, with wagering built around March Madness and a variety of NBA games.

But there is no March Madness. There are no NBA games. So there is no Sports Betting Spring Championship.

For now, the 2019 DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship remains the only legal U.S. sports betting competition of its kind. Held in Jersey City last Jan. 11-13, with the NFL Divisional Round playoffs as its centerpiece and NBA, NHL, NCAA, soccer, golf, and more surrounding the four football games, DK got innovative with a competition to see which sports bettor could build the biggest bankroll.

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NJ Online Casinos Stay Open For Business, While Almost Everything Else Closes

Many of those who enjoy gambling in the U.S. are seeing their state’s casinos close due to the coronavirus — Nevada’s now included. Same goes for New Jersey, where Gov. Phil Murphy has ordered all of the Atlantic City casinos closed indefinitely.

The Meadowlands Racetrack and Freehold Raceway also have closed, while Monmouth Park has pushed back its May 2 opening date for thoroughbred racing for at least several weeks.

Amid the global health emergency, with scores of Americans now hunkered at home “social distancing” and also working from home, internet consumption has surged and will test network capacity. Netflix, Disney+ and other streaming services are spiking worldwide, and video game usage is up 75% amid the outbreak.

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