The seeds of sports betting growth have spread. Many of them landed on fertile ground. Recent legislative action in states near Pennsylvania provides further proof that sports betting should continue to grow throughout the region.
In Ohio, Legal Sports Report noted that a senate committee on gaming heard testimonies from six parties last Wednesday in support of sports betting. The committee also reviewed some written testimony, which included one opponent.
Ohio’s sports betting bill – SB 176 – is expected to provide a free-market bidding approach to an estimated 40 licenses. The licenses are expected to be split evenly between established sportsbook operators and other locations (such as sports bars) that are able to outsource the bookmaking operations to other entities.
The committee did not take action on the bill Wednesday. However, they hope to pass the legislation by the end of June. That would almost certainly bring sports betting options to Ohio in time for college football and NFL betting.
Maryland’s sports betting bill passed earlier this month
In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill earlier this week that provides the framework for sports betting. The Baltimore Sun reported that the new bill grants in-person licenses to the state’s six casinos, the Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course thoroughbred racing tracks, and the stadiums for Maryland’s major professional teams (the Baltimore Orioles, the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Football Team).
Furthermore, up to 30 additional in-person betting licenses will be available for off-track betting facilities, the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium and large bingo halls. Those licenses will carry a cheaper price tag for businesses that have less than 25 employees and under $3 million in sales.
The new legislation will also provide for up to 60 licenses for mobile sports betting apps, which are known as “skins.”
New York’s state budget provides for sports betting in 2022
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed budget legislation in April that includes a plan to allow sports betting in the 2022 fiscal year. It would bring sports betting to the Empire State for Super Bowl LVI in 2022.
The New York plan will select two online platform providers for sports betting, with the bidding process open throughout 2021. In addition to a $25 million fee for the sports betting providers, the plan should generate tax revenues of up to 13%.
Connecticut approved a sports betting bill in May
A little further north, Connecticut passed sports betting legislation on May 27. Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill that should allow for wagers before the NFL season begins.
According to the Hartford Courant, Connecticut’s legislation puts the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes (who oversee that state’s existing casinos) as key players in sports betting as well.
The bill will enable in-person and online betting in conjunction with the tribe’s existing casinos. It also will allow the Connecticut Lottery Corp. to operate 15 sports betting locations across the state.
Sports wagering will be taxed at a 13.75% rate, generating a healthy amount of revenue for Connecticut. Like many states, Connecticut is still recovering from the economic devastation created by the coronavirus pandemic.
California voters can vote on sports betting in November
Way west of PA, California represents the gold standard for sports betting growth. With the largest state population in the country (39 million) the legalization of sports betting in California and New York would continue some significant momentum for nationwide gaming.
California citizens have collected enough signatures in a petition to put sports betting on the state’s voting ballot in November. The ballot measure would amend California’s constitution to legalize in-person sports betting at tribal gaming casinos and state-licensed racetracks.
At the moment, the proposed amendment does not address online sports betting. Certainly, some discussions will be held about the contentious issue of offering online sports betting between now and November.
How does this all affect Pennsylvania?
But what does sports betting growth in other states mean for Pennsylvania?
With more states in the region moving toward sports betting, it will undoubtedly steal some business from the Keystone State. However, the expansion of sports betting also produces positive effects. New products and offerings that become popular in other places will certainly find their way here.
Regional expansion provides Pennsylvanians with greater accessibility to sports betting when traveling. Furthermore, a greater number of nationwide players can also create bigger promotions and larger pools, especially as far as daily fantasy sports are considered.
The seeds have spread and things are growing.
Welcome, sports betting neighbors.
Lead image via Dreamstime.