Legal Report: The Calm Before The Storm

A quick look across this great nation shows us things are relatively quiet in the legal sense regarding sports betting the US. Like school children across the land,  lawmakers around the country have mostly taken off for the summer. This is the first time this year that basically nothing is happening with any states as far as legalization. So most of what has or will pass for the summer is on the books as we will have to wait toward closer to September for anything else to really get cranking up again. 

While laws hitting the books and state legalization may have slowed till closer to football season there is still a decent amount going on in the world of sports betting. Let's bounce around the industry real quick and take a look at happenings around the world of sports betting.

Las Vegas From The Comfort Of Your Living Room

New York, New York

Those hoping to end the legislative session with a bang in the Empire State will be slightly disappointed. Lawmakers were unable to tack online betting onto existing New York sports betting law. So for this year, the state will only offer retail betting. The good news is still that New York sports betting is on the way, but it will be offering an antiquated product that will prevent it from reaching its full potential. Hopefully, this is a temporary issue and going forward the state will be able to realize what they are missing. However, it is New York and there are plenty of politicians involved so you never know. 

Pennsylvania Mobile Options

Residents of The Keystone State have recently seen their options for mobile betting triple as two new players have entered the game offering sports wagering. Parx Casino launched there mobile platform Monday and was quickly followed by Bet Rivers Sportsbook. These two join the SugarHouse Sportsbook in Philadelphia as casinos offering PA residents online access. These are good signs from a state that was a little slow out of the gate to offer mobile options. Mobile is the future of betting and always good to see states appearing to realize this. 

The Maine Squeeze

As covered last week, Maine was able to push thru a last-minute bill to legalize in the state. The bill is a good one that will allow both retail and mobile wagering. The solid layout shows blemishes only with its prohibition on betting on Maine collegiate action and an increased tax rate for those betting with mobile. Assuming Gov. Janet Mills signs the bill into law as expected then Maine will become the 7th state to legalize sports wagering this year in the US. 

Using Multiple Offshore Sportsbooks

Mega Merger

And not really in the legalization department but this will have ramifications across the entire industry nonetheless. Carl Icahn found his merger partner(and made a ton of money along the way). Caesars Entertainment has agreed to merge with Eldorado Resorts in a deal valued at just over $17 billion. The combined portfolio will include approximately 60 properties in 16 states. Combined, Caesars and Eldorado will represent the largest gambling company in the US. The combined entity Is set to use Caesar's name for branding and the Eldorado headquarters going forward. 

Both companies appear to have a huge appetite for sports betting and this merger will show across the entire US sports betting industry. Personally, I'm never really a fan of mergers that leave fewer competitors. Less competition will equal a watered down product for the punter. The sale is set to close sometime in early 2020 assuming it receives all regulatory approvals.