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.
MD lawmaker ‘disappointed’ sports betting isn’t moving
At a hearing before the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday, Delegate Jason Buckle lamented the slow-moving nature of government as the committee continued to educate itself on sports betting.
“We’ve worked collectively as a committee to move sports betting forward,” he said. “We are extremely disappointed that we continue to fall behind our neighboring states.”
Wednesday’s meeting including hearing time for three Maryland sports betting bills, all of which got support from DraftKings, and, for the most part, local casinos and horse racetracks. Maryland lawmakers have been trying to find a way around putting sports betting on the 2020 ballot, and legalize it sooner, but the hearing provided no clarity on that issue.
Some Maryland lawmakers looking for path to legalize sports betting that doesn't require a constitutional amendment. Here's a look at one such idea. https://t.co/5MnLOPb3kP
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) February 11, 2019
Representatives from the Maryland State Fair asked that one of the bills be amended to include half-mile racetracks, so that the fairgrounds track and OTB could be included among the facilities that could host sports betting, and one casino group wants to limit mobile sports betting to licensed casinos, rather than allow “stand-alone” mobile.
“We support mobile sports betting, but only through licensed casinos,” said a representative from Maryland Live! Casino during testimony. “That allows the casinos to have in-casino specials, and if they can bring people in two, three, four times a year, it will increase revenue.”
It appears unlikely that Maryland will legalize sports betting in 2019, as there are only six weeks left in the session, and none of the four sports betting bills has even gotten to a committee vote. On the Senate side, SB 470, which would put legalizing sports betting to the voters in 2020, is set for a hearing before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee on March 13.
In February, the session closed in neighboring Virginia with no action, leaving West Virginia as the only state in the region that has launched sports betting. Washington, D.C. legalized sports betting in December and is aiming for a summertime launch.
“It is remarkable to me that D.C., which is not known for moving quickly, was able to get from 0-60 so to speak, and they will potentially be taking (Maryland) customers away,” Buckle said.
Maryland’s legislative session ends on April 18.
Sports betting bill filed in Georgia
The Peach State became the latest to entertain sports betting when HB 570 was filed earlier this week. The bill would legalize mobile sports betting and would allow for up to 10 interactive sports betting operators throughout the state. In-person registration would not be required. According to the text of the bill, the state constitution must be amended to legalize sports betting, and a referendum would be placed on the 2020 ballot.
HB 570 would allow consumers to bet on college and professional sports, and the Georgia Lottery Corporation would be the regulatory body.
In terms of the financial details, the bill calls for a tax rate of 10 percent of adjusted gross revenue, and a $20,000 sports betting license application fee and a $10,000 renewal fee.
SD lawmakers vote down referendum
South Dakota lawmakers voted down a measure that would have put a referendum on the 2020 ballot to let voters decide for or against legalizing sports betting in the tourist hub of Deadwood. The House State Affairs Committee voted against the proposal, 7-3, on Monday. It had already been passed by the Senate. The proposal initially came at the request of the Deadwood Gaming Association, which according to the Associated Press, said it will now likely attempt to gather the necessary number of signatures to get the proposal onto the ballot, rather than go through the state legislature.
Legislative analysis from Sports Handle and US Bets
More of the most interesting, important stories
It’s official- MGM Resorts International has announced the formation of an official partnership with the #RedSox. Partnership includes the MGM Resorts logo appearing on the Green Monster at Fenway Park. MGM Springfield will now host Winter Weekend.
— Guerin Austin (@guerinaustin) March 8, 2019
GAME BACK ON: Legislation for online sports betting, casino filed in Michigan [MI Bets]
FROM THE STRIP TO THE MOTHERSHIP: An inside look at ESPN’s ‘Daily Wager,’ which debuts Monday. [US Bets]
ALL BETS OFF: Issues with a third-party supplier have caused Delaware North to close down two West Virginia sportsbooks [MetroNews]
MLS ALL-IN: Before a game on Sunday night, league commissioner Don Garber said it’s time to embrace sports betting. [ESPN]
— DCist (@DCist) March 7, 2019
MASS LOTTERY: Massachusetts Treasurer says lottery should move online for sports betting. [Sentinel/Enterprise]
DON’T BET ON IT: New Mexico lawmakers support bill that would prohibit lottery sports games. [AP]
SUSPENDED RACES: After 21 horse deaths in 10 weeks, Santa Anita suspends racing. [NYT]
KEYSTONE: FanDuel snags Pennsylvania approval for sports betting. [PennBets]
The @FDSportsbook will open at Valley Forge Casino in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, March 13. Book will feature seven teller windows, 29 visual displays (odds screens and TVs) and seating for more than 30 customers.
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) March 8, 2019
ICYMI from Sports Handle
In the wider world of sports
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) March 4, 2019
THREE!: Villanova won an NCAA title last year on it’s 3-point shooting. The Wildcats are still hoisting the shot, but with less success. [WSJ]
LEBRON VS. MJ: Who’s better? Hard to say, but it’s sure fun arguing either side of the GOAT. [SportingNews]
CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE: Here’s why all eyes will be on Los Angeles. [LAT]