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.
Count In South Carolina
Last last week, South Carolina became the fifth state in which a sports betting bill was filed ahead of the 2019 session. On Dec. 12, two bills were filed, one to amend the state constitution to allow sports betting and a second to create a “Gambling Study Committee.” South Carolina does not have any casinos — commercial or tribal — and gaming is illegal in the state. The bills are the first to be filed in South Carolina, which makes it unlikely that lawmakers will be able to untangle the complex issue of sports betting in the coming session.
According to USBets, another stumbling block may be politics. Though gambling is illegal in the state, where politicians fall on the issue is clearly along partisan lines, with Democrats for and Republicans against. In addition, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who reportedly plans to ask the U.S. Attorney General to make online casino gaming illegal, calls South Carolina home.
Neither of South Carolina’s border states have made any real move to legalize, though politicians and key business owners in North Carolina are ready to get the conversation going.
RI Senator Promising Mobile Bill
Just weeks after two Rhode Island casinos launched sports betting, Rhode Island Senate President Dominick Ruggerio told the WPRI on Wednesday that he’ll file internet gaming legislation in 2019.
“We have sports betting now,” he told WPRI. “I don’t see why we can’t have mobile sports betting. It’s a matter of convenience.”
Rhode Island is the only New England state with legal sports betting, though it’s likely that Connecticut and Massachusetts will seriously discuss the issue, if not pass sports betting laws in 2019. Should Rhode Island legalize internet/mobile sports betting, it will be the only state in the region, and one of only a handful, including, New Jersey and Pennsylvania (legal, but not yet launched), to allow sports bettors to make a wager from a device wherever they may go within the state.
AGA Has New Chief
The American Gaming Association announced earlier this week that former Business Roundtable Vice President Bill Miller was named its next president and CEO. The appointment is effective Jan. 14 of next year.
“I am honored to join a team with a well-earned reputation for advancing the casino gaming industry’s legislative and communications priorities and addressing the issues that matter most to its members,” Miller said in an AGA press release. “Much to the AGA’s credit, this is a remarkable time for gaming in America. The industry is growing, acceptance of gaming as mainstream entertainment has never been higher and the opportunities to continue to advance gaming’s agenda are abundant. I am eager to help lead the industry in this next era.”
A seven-member panel, led by Tim Wilmott, CEO of Penn National Gaming and Chairman of the AGA Board of Directors, led the nationwide search for a new president. Miller brings senior-level experience leading business groups and trade associations.
ICYMI At Sports Handle
More of the Most Interesting, Important Stories
DOWN TO THE WIRE: Michigan Senate passes online casino bill, awaits governor’s signature [MI Bets]
BEALE STREET BETTING? Two county commissioners want to bring sports betting to Memphis’ famous strip. [Fox13 Memphis]
WHEELING, DEALING: NBA, FanDuel expand partnership to include sports betting [Chalk]
PRICING: SugarHouse Casino walks the line on its sports betting pricing [PennBets]
$1 MILLION MAN: Winner of DraftKings’ Fantasy Football World Championship pledged half his winnings to charity. [RotoGrinders]
A LOT OF PULL: A publication ranked “The American Sports Gambler” No.1 on its list of Most Influential People in Sports [SBJ]
DON’T FORGET NORTH DAKOTA: Two representatives are crafting legislation and the governor isn’t opposed. [Bismark Tribune]
LATEST PRO PARTNERSHIPS: The NBA and NFL partner with a Louisiana casino. [USBets]
In the Wider World of Sports
WOW, REALLY?: Urban Meyer will retire from football after a scandal, so he can teach a class on character and leadership. [SBNation]
THAT’S WEIRD: Strangest sports stories, tweets and social media moments of 2018. [SI]
I WANT TO BE LIKE … STEPHEN: LeBron James’ evolution into Stephen Curry nearly complete. [WSJ]
SIGN ME UP: Winners and losers from college football’s early signing day. [USAToday]