SportsHandle and friends deliver another round-up of the week’s big developments in US sports betting.
Inside Look At Three Referendums That Could Legalize Sports Betting In Maryland, Louisiana And South Dakota
On National Voter Registration Day and with the presidential election just six weeks away, it seems an apt time to take a look at legal sports betting referendums that will appear on the ballot in three states. It’s a potential windfall for sports betting, and somewhat unusual — previously, only two states had legalized sports betting via referendum — Colorado and Arkansas. Californians will have a chance to vote on sports betting, but not until 2022 via a referendum put forth by the state’s tribes.
On Nov. 3, voters in Louisiana, Maryland and South Dakota will have a chance to vote “yes” or “no” to bringing legal sports betting to their states – in some capacity. Because of COVID-19-shortened legislative sessions, voters in Louisiana and Maryland will literally be voting only on whether or not to legalize — not according to a certain framework. Lawmakers in both states simplified their ballot initiatives in haste with the idea that if voters say “yes,” they would hammer out details during the 2021 session. In South Dakota, the decision will be more narrow, as voters will decide if sports betting can be added to the menu of gaming options in the tourist hub of Deadwood only.
Full story here.
Michigan Gaming Board holds public hearing, shares revisions on mobile betting draft rules
With five minutes left in a three-hour public hearing in which only two members of the public had spoken, Michigan Gaming Control Board Deputy Director David Murley, who was facilitating the mostly silent meeting, hadn’t lost his sense of humor.
“Still time to call in and say long-time listener, first-time caller, here’s what I think about the rules,” Murley chuckled into the void. Although much of Wednesday’s board hearing resembled the classroom scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, with Murley cast as the homeroom teacher droning “Bueller?” over and over again while taking attendance, the open call for public comment was a required step in the state government’s rulemaking process.
The gaming board provided notice of the hearing last month, offering Michigan residents an opportunity to suggest changes to the draft rules for the implementation of regulated mobile sports gambling and iGaming in the Wolverine State. The hearing was held remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with interested parties invited to comment via Microsoft Teams videoconference or by phone. Concerns could also be emailed to the board by 5 p.m. Wednesday, one hour after the hearing adjourned.
From here, the final rules will be reviewed and certified by the Michigan Legislative Council’s Joint Committee on Rules, a panel consisting of five state senators and five representatives, before the anticipated launch of online wagering by late November. Lawmakers passed twin laws in December 2019 to legalize sports betting and internet gambling.
Full story here.
Illinois Gaming Board Releases First Sports Betting Revenue Reports
The Illinois Gaming Board released its first set of sports betting revenue reports Tuesday since going live in March, and the biggest takeaway was the impact of Executive Order 2020-41 in which Gov. JB Pritzker suspended the legally mandated in-person registration provision required for mobile sports wagering in June.
According to the reports, the combined handles in Illinois for March, June, and July — there were no wagers placed in April and May due to COVID-19 restrictions during which all 10 casinos across the state were shuttered and no mobile sports betting was available — totaled nearly $60 million with only Rivers Casino in Des Plaines and Argosy Casino Alton accepting wagers in that time frame.
Full story here.