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6 More States May Legalize Sports Betting in 2020

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Sep/01/2020

According to Sports Handle, these six states are currently considering the legalization of sports betting in 2020: Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Louisiana, Maryland and South Dakota.


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New York already permits legalized sports betting in its land-based casinos, however, these are out of reach from most of the major population centers in the state. Lawmakers are looking into allowing mobile wagering, something that is currently unavailable.

Mobile sports betting has a shot in the Empire State, though obstacles still stand in the way. Governor Andrew Cuomo has stated that an amendment to the Constitution would be required.

Additionally there are concerns over a proposed 0.20% of the handle going to the sports leagues.

From Sports Handle:

Sen. Joseph Addabbo told Sports Handle via e-mail that right now, lawmakers are sitting on a revenue package that sports betting will be a part of as they wait for figures from a federal stimulus bill that is “stalled” in Albany. Addabbo is confident that he “has the votes” and says the measure should pass the House, as well. It appears that the New York session ends on Aug. 31, though as with any state, it could be extended or a special session could be called in the fall.

In Ohio, where the legislators meet all year, the issue pertains to which regulatory body will oversee sports betting.

Ballot initiatives will appear November 3 in Louisiana, Maryland and South Dakota.

Louisianans, meanwhile, will vote parish by parish — as they did for daily fantasy two years ago.

The Maryland referendum contains the language:

"Do you favor the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland to authorize sports and event betting for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education?"

Sports betting is now legal in neighboring Washington, DC with $1.2 million in revenue reported over the last two months since launching.  Assuming those numbers hold true, that would be far off from the target of $92 million in revenue over the next four years.

Meanwhile, Virginia anticipates taking its first sports bets in early 2021.

Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall said that the regulations “need to be published in the Virginia Register in October, so we could begin to accept applications at that point. I imagine the first licenses could be issued in January or early February.”

In Virginia, Hall and his staff aren’t only crafting regulations for sports betting, but they’re also on a parallel track sorting out regulations and licensing for in-person casino gaming, as the legislature also authorized the building of five physical casinos — all of which may integrate legal sports betting — throughout the state.

In addition, the law allows for professional sports venues that have headquarters, training facilities, or stadiums in Virginia to offer sports betting. To date, that means both Washington’s to-be-renamed NFL team, whose headquarters are in Ashburn, and MLS DC United, which since 2019 has practiced at a facility in Springfield, could offer sports betting platforms.

The law requires a minimum of four and a maximum of 12 mobile platforms.

Those placing bets in the commonwealth will not be able to wager on local schools.  Virginia is home to some of the nation's most successful college football and basketball programs.

In South Dakota, voters will determine if Deadwood-area casinos can add sports betting to their list of gaming options.

As for Massachusetts, that state's legislative calendar runs year round. While the House passed a sports gambling bill that included a 15% tax on gross gaming revenue, the Senate is unlikely to accept certain provisions appearing in the House measure.

Additional fall sessions could make room for discussions involving legalized sports betting.

Currently two New England states - Rhode Island and New Hampshire - offer legalized sports gambling.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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