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 lawmakers betting on three bills
Montana lawmakers are on their way to legalizing sports betting in a way that no other state has — or has even considered. Rather than choosing exactly where and how sports betting would be legal, state lawmakers are moving three bills through the state legislature with the intention of sending all three to the governor for approval. The result could be three separate betting kiosks in every location, leaving the decision of where to place a bet to the consumer.
HB 475, a bill that would legalize parimutuel sports betting through the board of horse racing, easily passed its third reading on the House floor Thursday, 87-9, and is now headed to the Senate. Also in the House, HB 725, was unanimously voted out of the House Business and Labor Affairs Committee and onto the full House floor earlier this week. This is a “lottery” bill, and on Friday, it passed its second reading, 90-10. It must pass one more vote before being sent to the Senate. In the Senate, SB 330, under which the Department of Justice would be the regulator and includes a mobile component, is scheduled for a hearing before the Finance and Claims Committee on Friday.
“The idea was ‘Let’s support everybody’s bill and let the bettor make the choice’,” Representative Ryan Lynch (D-District 76), sponsor of HB 725 said. “If they all pass, they all have different regulators. … The point of pushing all three is that something gets through. The governor could sign them all or veto them all or let them become law without him signing.
“The footprint of all of them aren’t very big, they are just a box in the corner of a bar.”
All three bills would allow for sports betting kiosks to be placed in licensed facilities, including restaurants and bars, and none would allow for the building of casinos in the state. The prevailing notion in Montana is that all the sponsors — and in some cases stakeholders — are supporting all the bills, in the hope that at least one of them becomes law.
The state legislation is up against a transmittal deadline in the next week, as bills going from one chamber to another must be transmitted by April 8. The session ends on May 1, and the Montana legislature won’t meet against until 2021.
More the most interesting, important stories
— 106.7 The Fan (@1067theFan) March 27, 2019
BET HERE: Ted Leonsis announced that the Green Turtle at Washington’s Capital One Arena will be the city’s first sportsbook. [WUSA9]
MORE DC DRAMA: Mayor Muriel Bowser is trying to redirect sports betting revenue into the general fund. [WAMU]
PAY TO PLAY: Iowa lawmaker proposes a three percent tax on handle to be paid by bettors. [USBets]
IT’S OFF IN ND: The North Dakota Senate killed a sports betting bill, 38-7, Monday. [SacBee]
INDIAN GAMING: A North Carolina bill that would permit sports betting at tribal casinos is headed for a senate committee vote. [AP]
DÉJÀ VU: Advantage player cracks online casinos again, this time for over $500K [NJOG]
TWIN RIVER EXPANSION: The Rhode Island casino owner is buying Delaware Downs Hotel and Casino. [ProvidenceJournal]
TEAMING UP: The NHL and William Hill on Thursday announced a partnership. [Reuters]
NO LOVE LOST: Watch this scene from the American Gaming Association sports betting conference, with DK’s Jason Robins on the right and WH’s Joe Asher at center
— Hilary Russ (@HilaryRuss) March 28, 2019
In the wider world of sports
NO DAYS ON THE JOB: The Patriots hired Greg Schiano as their DC, but he resigned before starting. [CBS]
Feb. 6: Greg Schiano is named Patriots DC
Mar. 8: Patriots trade for Michael Bennett
Mar. 9: Comments from Bennett's past bashing Schiano resurface
Mar. 28: Greg Schiano steps down as DC
Hard to imagine these two things aren't connected in someway…
— KJ Doyle (@KJDoyleGBS) March 28, 2019
GUILTY: Former Yale women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith pled guilty in the college admissions scandal. [ESPN]
UP, UP, UP: Ratings for the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament second highest since ’91. [AwfulAnnouncing]
PAY TO PLAY, PART II: A Connecticut Senator is gearing up to find a way to pay college athletes. [SI]