It’s information overload everywhere, and there’s not time enough to sleep and eat and stay fully apprised of what’s happening on this crazy blue dot of ours (two out of three ain’t bad).
Here’s the weekend Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” recapping the week’s top stories and rounding up key stories in sports betting, gaming, and the world of sports at large. You may have missed them, and they are worth reading.
Connecticut has some movement again, out of session
Connecticut lawmakers have been jawing about sports betting since the start of the 2018 legislative season, but the General Assembly adjourned in June without legalizing sports betting. Nearly two months later, a group of lawmakers has finally come together with a draft bill that would legalize online/mobile wagering, and other online gambling. The General Assembly isn’t in session right now, but a special session could be called to debate the bill. More likely, it will be introduced at the start of the 2020 session in January.
“Everybody is getting anxious about getting this over with, particularly #SportsBetting” Connecticut House Majority Leader
There is momentum to end a long stalemate over expanding gambling in the Constitution State.
— US Bets (@US_Bets) August 1, 2019
A main issue all along has been the state’s compacts with its Indian tribes, the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot, who operate the state’s two casinos. There has also been a push to add commercial casinos in Connecticut, but any new gaming would require that the pacts be revisited. According to US Bets, the draft bill would allow the tribes to jointly operate new casinos in Bridgeport and East Windsor.
The bill calls for online gaming to be taxed at 10 percent, and in-person betting at 8 percent. While the tribes are reportedly on board with the latest proposal, the Hartford Courant reports that Governor Ned LaMont may not be, meaning there’s still plenty of work to be done before a passable bill gets to a vote.
Gov. Baker: Sports betting by June 2020 in Massachusetts
Elsewhere in the Northeast, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker was one of four earlier this year that explicitly tasked his state legislative body with legalizing sports betting. So far, two of those states — Illinois and New Hampshire — have legalized. Earlier this week, speaking on a local radio show, Baker sounded frustrated that lawmakers haven’t legalized sports betting and is now pointing to summer 2020 as a deadline, of sorts.
“I certainly hope we get this done by the end of… June of 2020, but I would like to have seen it done sooner to tell you the truth. We now have states around us that have done this as well in the Northeast, so I mean this is going to be a thing, I think, pretty much everywhere, and our view was we should get on with the show.”
Baker isn’t the only one. In July, Representative Brad Hill (R-Essex 4), who filed two sports betting bills, expressed his frustration: “We’re missing a huge opportunity for revenue in this state. … Massachusetts likes to gamble, we like our sports, and I should be able, as a citizen, to go bet on a football game,” he said. “Why is this taking so long? We’re not reinventing the wheel here.”
— 2ndHalfChas (@2ndHalfChas) July 26, 2019
Legislative leaders in Massachusetts slowed the process in the spring, saying they wanted ample time to study sports betting. State lawmakers filed a dozen bills in January, and there have been two sets of hearings, but no meaningful action. DraftKings, headquartered in Boston and an employer of hundreds in the state, has been in its desire for legalization as well.
Rhode Island was the first New England state to legalize in June 2018. New Hampshire legalized sports betting with state-wide mobile earlier this summer, and is shooting to be live by early 2020, meaning Bay Staters could drive across the border to bet before Massachusetts even votes on legalizing.
More of the most important, interesting stories
SHARPS, APPARENTLY: Who is betting on preseason football? [Chalk]
HOUSE WINS: Sports bettors lost big as RI sportsbooks had best month. [Prov Journal]
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MS: Magnolia State celebrates a year of sports betting. [WLOX]
Rep. Rick Staples told @brianpempus on Thursday that the Tennessee Education Lottery is working on hiring to advance implementation of the new law and regs.
Staples said sports betting will begin by January, in time for Super Bowl LVI. https://t.co/5NfTBDjLSj
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) August 2, 2019
WE’LL MISS YOU: Ode to longtime Journal-Review gaming reporter Dave Palermo. [CDCGaming]
TUNE IN: Chicago’s NBC affiliate to dedicate four hours a week to sports betting. [ChicagoTribune]
APPETIZER: One Michigan tribe launches ‘social’ sports betting. [MIBets]
$50 MM INVESTMENT: Illinois’ Fairmount Park Horse Track adding sports betting. [PostDispatch]
BIG GROWTH: Market research shows $1.25 billion in global sports betting by ’22. [BizWire]
BET HERE: Puerto Rico’s governor signed sports betting law on Monday. [IGBNorthAmerica]
YES: Could sports betting help boost golf’s popularity? [Golf Biz]
We're incredibly proud and excited to be early investors in @FantasyLifeApp. @MatthewBerryTMR @YouFoundYasin and the team are building one of the most technically advanced and useful apps in the fantasy sports/sports betting space. https://t.co/6p4taxoFzl
— Defrag (@defrag) August 1, 2019
In the wider world of sports
HE CHANGED NFL: Ex-Cowboys executive changed the way teams scout. [WSJ]
HOF GUIDE: Everything you need to know about Pro Football HOF weekend. [CHIFF]
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) July 31, 2019
IMAGINE THAT: What Team USA would look like if the stars played. [B/R]
BE LIKE MIKE: Zion Williamson left Nike to sign with Jordan. Here’s why and how. [ESPN]
MORE QUESTIONS: Other than Greinke trade, MLB trade deadline was kind of a dud. [SI]