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, highlighting some fresh news and rounding up key stories in the world (and industry) of legal U.S. sports betting. You may have missed them, and they are worth reading.
Missouri bill with data mandate heads to House floor
A Missouri sports betting bill that appeared to have died in committee earlier this week was resurrected Thursday when the Rules Committee voted, 5-2, to send HB 2088 to the House floor for consideration. On Tuesday, the bill failed to get a recommendation out of the Rules-Legislative Oversight Committee, but was then voted “to consider” by the Rules Standing Committee. But according to a staffer, one lawmaker changed his vote, allowing the bill to get another look.
The bill, from Representative Dan Shaul, is one of at least six floating around Jefferson City. Shaul’s, which is largely a video lottery bill with sports betting tacked on to the end, includes a “data mandate” as well as a $50,000 annual administrative fee to the state. Two Senate bills include an integrity fee. No state that has legal sports betting has passed a law that includes a payout to the professional sports leagues, and only three — Tennessee, Illinois and Michigan — have enacted laws that mandate the use of “official league data.”
The bill would allow for sports betting in a “designated entertainment district,” on a gambling boat or over the internet. Mobile platforms must be tethered to physical locations. The tax rate on gross revenue would be 9%.
In a surprise move that is likely Republicans flexing their might in Kentucky, 11 amendments were filed on Tuesday to HB 137, the sports wagering measure that’s been on the House floor since January. Bill sponsor Adam Koenig was caught off guard by the filings, which span everything from increasing the number of sites that could host sports betting to increasing the contribution to problem gaming. But the key amendments would raise taxes from the 9.75% for retail and 14.25% for mobile sports betting to as much as 29.25% and 42.25%, respectively. The amendments would also raise taxes on daily fantasy and online poker, both of which are included in the original bill.
The amendments will surely serve to slow down the progress of HB 137, if not outright kill it, but sources speculate that the amendments are just a roadblock thrown by Republicans after Democratic Governor Andy Beshear last week tried to light a fire under lawmakers to legalize sports betting. Koenig, a Republican, said earlier this month that the House has enough votes to approve sports betting, but not enough Republican votes.
Both Koenig and Beshear have plenty of time to lobby for their bill. Kentucky’s General Assembly adjourns April 15.
To the north!
Two far north states stuck their toes in the sports betting pool earlier this week, when the South Dakota Senate passed a referendum bill, while a bill to legalize mobile sports betting only in Wyoming was filed.
In South Dakota, Senate Joint Resolution 501 passed the Senate, 24-10, on Tuesday, and will now move on to the House for approval. The referendum mirrors one last year backed by the Deadwood Gaming Association. It would allow for retail sports betting in Deadwood only. The one paragraph constitutional amendment simply adds “wagering on sporting events” to the current section of the constitution that allows for gaming in Deadwood.
The bill was introduced on Jan. 30. The legislature is set to adjourn on March 30.
Meanwhile, in Wyoming, an online-only bill that allows for betting on professional sports only was filed Wednesday. The bill prohibits prop bets on all college sports and wagering on Wyoming college teams or college events held within the state of Wyoming. HB 225 calls for a 16% tax on gross gaming revenue, a $20,000 fee for potential operators for an application and one year of a license, and a $10,000 renewal fee, and sets the minimum age for sports betting at 18.
More of the most important (or interesting) news
‘Sports betting is happening today and Georgia is getting no money from it.’ Atlanta Braves CEO Derek Schiller addressing state lawmakers who don’t think there is money for Georgia to make. #APCSports #gapol pic.twitter.com/O86ldHuC2F
— Rahul Bali (@rahulbali) February 13, 2020
LOOK WHO’S TALKING: Atlanta pro sports executives pitched legislation to legalize sports betting [Savannah]
LEGISLATURE SHRUGS: MGM Springfield bets on legalization of sports betting for growth in 2020 [MassLive]
I WILL TURN THIS CAR AROUND: Legislation filed to repeal Illinois sports betting law [US Bets]
IMPASSE: Connecticut tribes stick to exclusivity claim at forum on sports-betting legislation [The Day]
IT WOULD HELP: Looking at chances of Mississippi allowing state-wide mobile wagering [Sun Herald]
YOU’RE HIRED: Casinos put workers on the books in race to launch Illinois sports betting [Sun Times]
LEANING IN: All-in on gambling: XFL embracing betting from the get-go [Chalk]
MARKET ACCESS: Kindred Group locks arms with Caesars Entertainment [Kindred]
CHARLIE HUSTLE: Pete Rose’s Plea to be unbanned from baseball is right from the Trump playbook [NY Mag]
NEW DEAL: PointsBet becomes “authorized gaming operator” of NBA [Presser]
COACH: Former Huskers football coach Tom Osborne opposes legal sports gambling in Nebraska [247Sports]
NO MOBILE FOR YOU: Washington House says ‘yes’ to tribal-only sports betting bill without statewide mobile [SH]
SPORTS MEDIA: William Hill strikes deal to become official sportsbook provider for CBS Sports [SH]
Tweets of note
Is my math failing me to infer from the $DEAC share price of ~$18 that @DraftKings market cap is currently ranging between $5.4 – $6.0 billion based on the number of shares that could remain outstanding per the S-4? Where does that leave @FanDuel and its parent $FLTR?
A friend? pic.twitter.com/lQb088GgX2
— Alfonso Straffon 🇨🇷🇺🇸🇲🇽 (@astraffon) February 13, 2020
One of the real concerns about the way some states are approaching sports gambling is their willingness of to extend sports league monopolies into new markets. Granting sports leagues new ownership rights over game data is the 2020 lobbyist #’s version of “stadium subsidies.”
— Marc Edelman (@MarcEdelman) February 10, 2020
Who's winning U.S. online sports betting right now? In this @EilersKrejcik chart, we show 4Q19 market share—by brand and in revenue terms—across all operational states (ex. NV). FanDuel (live in 4 states) led the way, followed by DraftKings (4 states). Note: * = EKG estimate. pic.twitter.com/1Bk052Ywtl
— Chris Krafcik (@CKrafcik) February 12, 2020
Legislator tells me votes are in place to get sports betting bill passed in KY House of Representatives, but Republican leadership is reluctant to move on it for political reasons in an election year. "They don't want to give (Gov.) Andy Beshear a win."
— Tim Sullivan (@TimSullivan714) February 10, 2020
This Valentine’s Day as you awkwardly grunt and sweat your way through uninspired, routine intercourse with a partner you haven’t loved for years, remember, someday soon one of you will die
— Nihilist Arby's (@nihilist_arbys) February 14, 2020