US Gambling Spread

The spread of legalized sports gambling continues to rumble across the nation since the US Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting in the US.  You can now legally bet on sports in various forms in 8 of the states located in this country (Nevada, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Jersey, Deleware, Rhode Island, Mississippi, and New Mexico). And while 8 may not seem like an overly large number the potential for more seems realistic. New states, with new levels of legislation, pop up almost weekly. It will be interesting to see how many states are able to join the party before the end of 2019. With plenty to cover across various states, let's take a quick look around a few states at various levels of legalization.

New To The Party

The Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn could get more interesting with a little extra riding on the outcome as Alabama became the 37th state to introduce some form of gambling legislation. A quick glance at a few key points of the bill includes creating the Alabama Sports Wagering Commission, taxing gross revenue at a rate of 10%, allowance for 7 licenses at any facility where pari-mutuel wagering is authorized, and pricing the application fee for a license at $100k. 


Sports Betting Slang


While I'd love to see wagers with fans yelling Roll Tide and War Eagle I have a hard time believing this bill stands much of a chance initially. The state does not appear to have much desire and those that oppose seem to come out in full force versus those that don't care one way or another enough to vote. Alabama has hit several roadblocks legalizing daily fantasy sports and have to imagine widespread sports betting will hit plenty of the same.  

Hawkeye Nation

Iowa is moving a step closer as the bills on the House and Senate floor begin to look similar. The bill advanced thru the Ways and Means subcommittee by a 2-0-1 vote and is heading to the Senate. The House and Senate bills are similar in that they ban in-game wagering on collegiate games and are looking for a 6,75% tax on gross gaming revenue. 


Types of Sports Betting Odds


Iowa looks to have a much better shot compared to someone like Alabama above as Iowa already has 19 commercial casinos so the "shock factor" of gambling is relatively low. Plus, the Senate is pushing using a portion of the funds to give back to the community. This is money from organization earmarked for various charitable causes. Have seen numbers adding .75% which would bring the overall tax rate to 7.5%. 

Revenue Misses?

Have seen a few reports regarding low revenue reports from various states that currently offer sports betting. Some have been further off than others but many have missed the mark by rather wide margins. Different states have different reasons why but I personally think a lot has to do with unrealistic expectations initially. While increased exposure, mobile betting, and higher handles will increase the numbers for the states hopefully they are willing to attempt to expand the product as opposed to seeking higher tax percentages. Would hate to see a knee jerk reaction result in an even more expensive product for punters.

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