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 (or fashionably late) Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” recapping the week’s top US sports betting stories, highlighting some fresh news, and rounding up key stories. Also check out this week’s Wild World of Gambling at US Bets.
Top stories from around our network
Maryland sports betting bill on the move
Capping off a busy legislative week during which South Dakota lawmakers became the first of 2021 to send sports betting legislation to a governor, and legislators in two other states approved sports betting in one chamber, the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee unanimously passed an amended version of its sports betting bill. The legislation could be debated and/or voted on the House floor as early as next week.
Voters in Maryland legalized sports wagering via referendum last November, and lawmakers are now seeking to establish a framework to get it up and running. HB 940 had a hearing last week, during which potential operators asked for a higher cap on digital-only licenses (it’s currently set at 10) and there was much conversation about minority participation and how to fund problem gambling programs. The bill would allow for statewide mobile sports betting, as well as retail wagering at existing casinos and racetracks, and would set the tax rate at 15% of gross gaming revenue up to $5 million and 7.5% over that.
KS bill passes House; WY on House floor
In Kansas, the Senate quickly moved SB 84 through its Committee of the Whole and on to Final Passage, 26-12, on Wednesday. The bill, which names the Kansas Lottery as the regulator, allows for statewide mobile with three skins per operator, and sets the tax rate at 5.5% of gross gaming revenue for retail wagering and 8% for digital, moves on the House. SB 84 requires that digital sports betting platforms be tethered to existing casinos or sports franchises, including Kansas Speedway and Children’s Mercy Park, home of the MLS Sporting KC.
The amended version makes it clear that sports wagering is prohibited on any “interscholastic sports event for kindergarten or any of the grades one through 12,” among other changes. The bill also allows for tribal casinos to enter into compact negotiations with the governor to add sports betting as a Class III game.
The bill does not yet have a committee assignment in the House, but lawmakers have plenty of time before the May 15 adjournment date.
Two days later, the Wyoming House’s Committee of the Whole approved HB 133, an online-only sports betting bill. Wyoming lawmakers are so committed to NOT having retail wagering, the following amendment was added to the following to the bill:
Online sports wagering shall not include or be conducted from any physical location created by a sports wagering operator or vendor for a patron to physically visit to place a wager.
Should Wyoming lawmakers legalize, the state would be the second behind Tennessee to make online-only wagering law. The bill moves from the Committee of the Whole to House floor.
More of the most interesting, important stories
This week, @DraftKings announced a five-year deal as @UFC’s first official Sportsbook & Daily Fantasy Partner, as well as the presenting partner of a state-of-the-art Fight Clock. More details on the deal via @ESPN here: https://t.co/Gksu6WQjzM #DKSOTW
— DraftKings News (@DraftKingsNews) March 5, 2021
VIRGINIA BEACH: WynnBET gets approval to go live in VA [PRN]
REMOTE CONTROL: Dish Network users can now place sports bets on their TVs via DK [Fortune]
SPINNING WHEELS: One MA lawmaker OK with sports betting, but not at casinos [Lowell Sun]
PROBLEM GAMBLING: Conscious Gaming launches Bettor Safe campaign [SBC]
MEANWHILE: FoxBet US performance hampered by product quality [EGR]
CAUSE OF ACTION: FanDuel sued in federal court over in-game markets [US Bets]
UNDER FIRE: Gamblers think NY Gov. Cuomo about 50-50 to resign [NJOG]
AGAINST THE WIND: Arizona House sends sports betting bill to Senate [SH]