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 the world (and industry) of legal U.S. sports betting. You may have missed them, and they are worth reading.
VA Senate, House move amended sports betting bills
Virginia lawmakers in both chambers both moved sports betting measures forward on Friday.
Two days after committees on both sides of the legislature advanced legislation, the Senate approved SB 384 by a 24-13 vote.. The bill allows betting on collegiate as well as pro sports, and has beefed up consumer protections and exclusion requirements. The bill also requires the licensure of a minimum of six and maximum of 10 sports betting platforms. The bill still contains an “official league data” mandate and a 15% tax rate on gross sports betting revenue.
On the House side, HB 896 is nearly identical to the Senate version, though it calls for a 20% tax rate on gross gaming revenue and sets the minimum number of platforms at four and the maximum at 12. The bill was engrossed on the House side, meaning the changes have been incorporated, but the full House hasn’t voted on it yet.
On balance, it appears lawmakers have been negotiating and working stakeholder suggestions into their bills, and the next phase will require that they come to a consensus on the tax rate and number of mobile licenses that could be issued.
Both bills would also make it legal for the Virginia Lottery to sell tickets over the internet. Lawmakers have about a month to work out their differences, as the Virginia legislature adjourns March 8.
Mass lawmakers get extension
A key legislative deadline passed in Massachusetts last week, but lawmakers got an extension to consider a package of sports betting bills until Feb. 28. Bay State lawmakers filed about a dozen sports betting related bills in January 2019, and despite informational hearings in the Joint Economic Development and Emerging Technologies last May, and plenty of public discussion, none of the bills have moved forward.
According to Representative Michael Soter in a radio interview with WEEI Radio the committee has been exploring three key issues: 1. consumer protections; 2. how to best manage legal betting on college sports while protecting athletes; and 3. how to best integrate sports betting into Lottery operations.
Last year Massachusetts lawmakers appeared poised to make the state a first mover in the region, but since then New Hampshire has legalized DraftKings Sportsbook went live there, and Maine lawmakers are in the process of overriding a veto from their governor to legalize. Rhode Island was the first New England state to legalize sports betting in June 2018. Home to daily fantasy and sports betting giant DraftKings, Massachusetts is now bookended by states with legal sports betting. Despite Governor Charlie urging last year to legalize, the legislature seems almost paralyzed by the issues.
Despite the extension, the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies had no hearings scheduled as of Feb. 8.
More of the top stories of the week
NEW: 2019 sports betting numbers are in. Bettors nationwide legally wagered $13 billion in the first full calendar year since the Supreme Court invalidated PASPA, close to double the nearly $6.6 billion handle in 2018. pic.twitter.com/5X8fxm079P
— American Gaming Association (@AmericanGaming) February 5, 2020
New Jersey sportsbooks report $4,280,000 loss on Super Bowl. Handle was $54.2 million. h/t @AaronKatersky
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) February 4, 2020
Pennsylvania Super Bowl figures:
Handle $30.7M…. lost $3.3M…
— Alfonso Straffon 🇨🇷🇺🇸🇲🇽 (@astraffon) February 4, 2020
NJ sportsbooks got whacked… not so in Nevada.
Nevada sportsbooks posted a big win on Super Bowl betting with a 12.1% hold on $154.7 million handle, winning nearly $18.8 million.
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) February 4, 2020
VALUATION MATTERS: On SPAC Diamond Eagle, set to take DK and SB-Tech public: parabolic run-up And S-4 filing raise valuation concerns [Seeking Alpha]
FROM THE TOP ROPE: After Senate narrowly approves, Maine legislature set to fully override Governor’s veto of its 2019 sports betting bill [SH]
NORTHWEST: Legalization taking shape in Washington state. Here’s where things stand. [Seattle Times]
RETAILERS CUT IN: Kansas House chairman offers alternative sports wagering bill [CJ Online]
TRIFECTA: Kentucky Governor: ‘The Time Is Now’ for legal sports betting [SH]
NO MA’AM: Redskins ‘Humbly’ ask Maryland for sportsbook At FedEx Field, casinos uninterested in idea [US Bets]
APPEAL: State of DFS In New York just got even murkier [SH]
WARM EMBRACE: Betting could be ‘X’ factor for new pro football league [AP]
Sports Betting News, breaking now in @sbjsbd: @NASCAR lands its first authorized sportsbook provider, @PNGamingInc. Free-to-play pick’em contest in every state starts at Daytona 500. Lots to break down, incl. in-race betting on @barstoolsports branded app.https://t.co/O8MmMGc7LO pic.twitter.com/Rj7sTr7KGg
— Bill King (@Bill_KingSBJ) February 7, 2020
Our paper—The Sham of Integrity Fees in Sports Betting—just went to print with the NYU Journal of Law and Business (@NYUJLB).
Many thanks to my excellent coauthor, John Holden (@Johnsportslaw).
Here is a link to the finished article: https://t.co/RAFH0Cnnji
— Mike Schuster (@Prof_Schuster) February 5, 2020
RULES COMMITTEE: MLB considering rule change to allow Detroit casino and Tigers owner to take bets on Tigers, with certain restrictions [ESPN]
BREAKING: Pete Rose asks MLB for reinstatement, cites no punishment for Astros players for electronic signs-stealing. "There cannot be one set of rules for Mr. Rose and another for everyone else," Rose's 20-page petition to Manfred says. https://t.co/9CRCHBXkUy
— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) February 5, 2020