US Sports Betting Legalisation Update

Published 19 Mar 2019, 3:41 p.m.

We’ve mentioned on several occasions that, in terms of gambling legalisation, particularly regarding sports betting, US will be the most active jurisdiction in the upcoming period. It’s March and we’ve had quite a few important events in the past several months. 

We’ve covered US gambling news on few occasions now, with the new DOJ opinion on the Wire Act being the most important even so far. The DOJ didn’t stand by the original decision to give operators 90 days to implement the new opinion, or rather the actions that derive from its content, but it extended the deadline and now US operators need to implement DOJ opinion by mid-June

This time we bring you news regarding sports betting and its regulations from four US states. Let’s see what has been going on in America and how close/far these states are from introducing sports betting. The states in question are Tennessee, Connecticut, Maryland and Ohio.

Tennessee Governor Might Be Changing His Attitude Towards Sports Betting

Tennessee is one of the states where there is an ongoing attempt to introduce sports betting. There is one issue with that, namely, the state’s Governor – Bill Lee was initially a strong opponent to sports betting legalisation, although some have claimed that he pretty much changed his attitude towards sports betting and will be more inclined to embrace it. 

The initial proposal is no being reworked and there have been suggestions that some of the ideas that have been put forward by the Governor’s office will be included in the bill. Apparently, even if the Governor is against the bill in general, if there is a general consensus among lawmakers, he’d be more inclined to accept a solution that will at least address some of his concerns. 

Opposition To The Sports Betting Bill In Connecticut 

While it appears that things are looking positive for sports betting legalisation in Tennessee, the situation is quite different in Connecticut. Namely, it appeared that the sports betting bill in this state will be passed lightly, but it seems that there is a lot of opposition. The bill was submitted to the Public Safety and Security committee and it was met with a lot of resistance. 

The issue was discussed for seven hours and an interesting group of participants gathered, including representatives of the NBA, as well as potential operators, local Indian tribes and more. Those in favour of betting legalisation argued that people could still place wagers on the black market and it would definitely be better for the state to allow them to bet legally. 

Maryland Legalisation Postponed For Next Year

More bad news for sports betting legalisation proponents are coming from Maryland. It has been announced that a bill that would’ve permitted it, won’t be discussed during this legislative season. This means that Maryland residents definitely won’t be able to place sports betting wagers in the next two years. 

The President of the State Senate explicitly stated that the bill will have to wait at least for another year. 

New Ohio Sports Betting Bill Submitted

A bill that replaces the previous place-holder bill in the attempt to legalise sports betting and other forms of gambling in Ohio is already in procedure. According to the provisions of the bill, all activities will be controlled by the state’s Casino Control Commission and all potential operators would have to file for a certificate before being permitted to offer their services. Operators will be required to pay $10,000 for a fee.