When I say legal review, we're talking about the legality of sports betting expansion in the US and not the slew of lawsuits still popping up from the Kentucky Derby controversy. So, another week has flown by and we welcome you to another round of legal sports betting expansion. The party has grown in recent weeks as both Montana and Indiana have officially put laws on the books that legalize sports betting. A few more states in Colorado, Iowa, and Tennessee have bills signed and sitting on their respective governor's desks. Who will join the party and make themselves the third state to legalize sports betting in 2019? After a slow start to the year of actually having states legalize it appears things are picking up.
The Great State of Montana
Gov. Steve Bullock signed in one of two bills presented to his desk officially adding Montana to the lists of states that offer legalized sports wagering. The state represents the first new state to turn a bill to law this year. The Governor did veto the 2nd bill, which would have allowed Kiosks in licensed bars (booo!!). In his veto letter, the governor wanted to approach the rollout conservatively and did not rule out adding things in the future as the state became more familiar with the process. The current bill that was signed gives the state lottery sole control over the operation. The lottery intends to initially use the supplier Intalot to develop its gaming offering and product.
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While not perfect in its release it's at least nice to see the Gov. open to the possibility of expansion down the road. And again, not a perfect product or near as inclusive as what is offered in New Jersey, but the Gov. also signed on to allow the state to offer some forms of mobile betting. Good to see that someone is at least seeing the memo that mobile betting is key to a good rollout.
Here Come The Hoosiers
Indiana has also officially added its name to the growing lists of states that offer sports wagering as Gov. Eric Holcomb signed H 1015 into law. The bill goes into effect on July 1st so my guess is things will be moving pretty quickly to get ready for release. They are the 2nd state to legalize in 2019 as the first few months moved slower than expected.
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The initial framework looks better than most states as it looks like they will have both mobile and retail betting. Casinos will have to pony up a $100k licensure fee and the state will tax revenue at 9.5% for the states cut.
Why New York, Why?
My rant for the week is directed at the great state of New York. I cannot comprehend how or why every bill they look to be working toward for legalization continues to include an integrity fee of some sort to the leagues. They are literally looking for ways to pump more money into some of the richest people in America. It really makes no sense, especially from a state as left-leaning overall as New York. Come on guys, figure this out. The consumer doesn't need a more expensive product so you can pump money to owners.