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.
Vermont bill could allow extension of credit to bettors
H 484, the third sports betting bill to be introduced in Vermont this year, is widely believed be the first of its kind in that it would allow the state to write rules for licensees to extend credit to sports bettors. It is the norm for bettors to be required to use cash for an in-person sports betting transaction, though with the proliferation of mobile sports betting, patrons in some locations may effectively play on credit as some mobile accounts can be funded via credit card. But this could allow a sportsbook to directly extend credit to a bettor.
The single line in the bill, “the extension of credit to patrons by licensees,” is under the broader heading of Powers and Duties of Board of Liquor and Lottery, which would be the regulatory body.
The bill would also legalize state-wide mobile sports betting, and allows for in-person sports betting at kiosks placed in a “sports wagering lounge.” Vermont does not have an existing casino structure. Though the bill does not specifically describe where a sportsbook may be located, it does require that a book be in same location as the licensee’s server and “backroom” operations.
According to the bill, the initial license fee would be $100,000, and taxation would be on a sliding scale:
(2) if the gross revenue is between $50,000.00 and $134,000.00, $1,750.00 plus four-and-one-half percent of the gross revenue in excess of $50,000.00; and (3) if the gross revenue is greater than $134,000.00, $5,530.00 plus six and-three-quarters percent of the gross revenue in excess of $134,000.00.
It would be legal for Vermonters to bet on college and professional sporting events, with the exception of Vermont college teams or collegiate events taking place in Vermont. The other two Vermont bills, one each in the House and Senate, call for the creation of a sports betting study committee.
North Carolina gets in on the action
North Carolina became the latest state to dip its toe into legalizing sports betting when Senator Jim Davis (R-District 50) filed SB 154 on Wednesday, the latest in a recent slew of sports betting bills across the country that would give local tribes sports betting exclusivity. Lawmakers in Washington, Minnesota and Arizona have also filed tribal-only sports betting bills.
The two-page North Carolina bill appears to be little more than a placeholder, as it defines Class III gaming and where that can take place, but does not address infrastructure, tax rate, or name a regulatory body. The bill would legalize sports betting on college and professional sports.
There hasn't appeared to be much of an appetite for statewide sports betting in NC so far, but a bill filed this week would get the Cherokee casinos into the game.https://t.co/YGVgPIN2dn
— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) February 28, 2019
Virginia session ends without legal sports betting
Virginia’s lawmakers approached the short 2019 legislative session with enthusiasm and a tall task — legalizing sports betting in a state with no gaming infrastructure. Ten bills that included sports betting in their language were filed in Virginia, but only one made it to an 11th-hour vote in the Senate, and none were voted on in both chambers of the general assembly.
Bills in the assembly ranged from an internet/mobile only option to stand-alone sportsbooks to more wide-reaching proposals that included the building of casinos in specific locations. The Senate did pass SB 1126, which would allow for casino gaming, including sports betting, throughout the state, on the final night of the session. The bill would allow for sports betting on professional and college teams, and specifies that casinos could only be built in communities with an unemployment rate that is 4 percent higher than the state-wide average, in which 40 percent of the assessed value of all real estate situated in the locality is exempt from local property taxation, and additional specific considerations.
Virginia was hoping to become the second jurisdiction in its region to legalize sports betting. Washington D.C. did so last December.
More of the most interesting, important stories
JUNE LAUNCH?: Pennsylvania’s Parx Casino is aiming for a June launch of mobile sports betting. [PennBets]
ARM TWISTING: NY lawmaker will try to get Governor Cuomo to embrace sports betting. [QueensChronicle]
— John Brennan (@BergenBrennan) February 27, 2019
JUST SAY NO: The Nevada Gaming Control Board rejected Major League Baseball’s request to ban betting on spring training. [AP]
‘SLIPPERY SLOPE’: William Hill’s Joe Asher says Pennsylvania’s ban on betting on spring training games sets a bad precedent. [Philly.com]
ESPN: The ‘Worldwide Leader’ will debut its first sports gambling show this Month. [TheWrap]
A QUESTION OF INTEGRITY: Will the new relationship between sports and betting dull past transgressions? [BostonHerald]
BETTING ON SPORTS BETTING: Sports betting key to Churchill Downs’ Illinois casino deal. [DailyHerald]
GOLF AND GAMBLING: The PGA Tour changed its rules to allow gambling companies to become official partners. [PGATour]
ICYMI on Sports Handle and US Bets
In the wider world of sports
HI, JOHNNY: After splitting with the CFL, controversial QB Manziel may turn up in AAF. [WashPost]
LUCKY 13? Bryce Harper’s 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies seems unreal. Not because of the money, but because it’s so loooong. [WSJ]
HOME SWEET HOME? Not so much, but the Raiders and City of Oakland have reportedly made a deal for one more year. [MercuryNews]
— bill hofheimer (@bhofheimer_espn) February 28, 2019
FIX BASEBALL: Instead of putting a minimum on the number of batters a pitcher faces, how about limited number of pitchers per team? 
KRAFT UPDATE: Robert Kraft likely won’t go to trial over solicitation charges. A bigger concern is likely the possibility of videos being made public. [SI]