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.
Montana first to the finish
Montana Governor Steve Bullock made the state the first to legalize sports betting in 2019 on Friday, when he signed HB 725, the lottery bill. Bullock still has SB 330, a bill that would have the attorney general as regulator, on his desk. Both bills call for sports betting to be offered through kiosks in approved locations, and should he sign both, patrons could potentially choose between side-by-side kiosks and be able to compare odds.
SB 330 was transmitted to Bullock on April 29, and he has 10 days to sign or veto. It would become law at 10 days if he takes no action. HB 725 was transmitted on April 25, and Bullock took eight days to sign it.
BREAKING: With the governor's signature, Montana just became the 12th jurisdiction to legalize sports betting since #PASPA was overturned nearly one year ago. https://t.co/PkSveUHklN pic.twitter.com/xA7vhX0YU1
— American Gaming Assn (@AmerGamingAssn) May 3, 2019
Lawmakers in Indiana, Iowa and Tennessee have all passed sports betting bills and are waiting for action from their respective governors. It is likely that Colorado will do the same before the general assembly adjourns at midnight tonight. It appears that Tennessee Governor Bill Lee will allow the state’s interactive-only bill to become law without his signature.
State of Rhode Island sued over legal sports betting
A group of Republicans has sued the state of Rhode Island over the legality of sports betting. The suit says that sports betting should be shut down until Rhode Islanders can vote on whether or not to legalize, according to the Providence Journal. The state General Assembly voted to legalize sports betting at bricks-and-mortar facilities last summer, and via the internet and mobile apps in March.
The suit, filed on behalf of Republican Providence mayoral candidate Daniel Harrop, former Republican state party chairman Brandon Bell and attorney Joseph Larisa Jr. claims the state constitution requires that voters to decide about any sort of gaming expansion. According to the Journal, the suit calls for an injunction on sports betting, which would shut down the sportsbooks at the Twin River and Tiverton casinos. The Rhode Island Lottery regulates sports betting in Rhode Island, and the state gets a 51 percent cut of revenue.
According to the lawsuit, “Unlike table games (and video lotteries in Tiverton), sports betting was never approved by Rhode Island voters,” the suit says. “Sports betting appeared nowhere in the 2012 or 2016 ballot questions expanding the types of gambling to be conducted at the casinos. … As a matter of law and logic, Rhode Island voters could not and did not knowingly approve a new type of gambling — sports betting — that was neither referenced in the questions nor handbooks.”
Rhode Island is currently the only New England state with legal sports betting.
More the most interesting, important stories
LOOSENING UP: NCAA lifts its ban on placing events in locations with legal gambling. [AP]
MOBILE CONUNDRUM: It’s going to be a long slog to seamless mobile sports betting. [CNBC]
CRIMINAL INTENT? SEC investigating sports betting fund operator. [ReviewJournal]
STILL BICKERING: CT lawmakers continue to argue as sports betting bills languish. [Courant]
GUMMING UP WORKS: And Kansas lawmakers are also too busy arguing to pass anything. [KCUR]
OHIO LOTTERY BILL: A new bill in the Ohio House calls for the lottery to be regulator. [Cleveland.com]
What do you think is the hardest sport to bet on?💰
— B/R Betting (@br_betting) May 2, 2019
BROWNS BUCKS: Hype around the Browns and Baker Mayfield are driving business. [Cleveland.com]
NEW FACE AT VSiN: Ex-CBS CEO Dan Mason joins Las Vegas-based network. [CDCGaming]
ICYMI on Sports Handle
The sportsbooks need to shut this down. Once leagues get a taste of this easy revenue they will become addicted. Within 3 years the fee will probably be 2-3% of turnover.
— Steve (@Get_A_Warrant) May 3, 2019
In the wider world of sports
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) May 3, 2019
KIDS BOOKS: Jeopardy! champ James Holzhauer says he gets his knowledge from kids’ books. [WSJ]
RAIDER READY?: A look at if the city of Las Vegas really is ready for another pro team. [GazetteJournal]
FILM DEBUT: Yes, that was ESPN’s Matthew Berry you saw in the Avengers movie. [TheBigLead]
POST-DRAFT POWER RANKINGS: Patriots still No. 1 after draft. [SI]
RIP ESPN the Magazine. ESPN will shut down the print version of the magazine this September. The money-losing publication launched in March 1998. SBJ's story: https://t.co/YD9TVwDZqH
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) April 30, 2019