State of the Union: A look back at the week that was in North America

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Legal wagering, HHR ban bill combined in Minnesota

On Friday (10 May) Minnesota state representative Zack Stephenson combined his legal wagering and historic horse racing bills. The house ways and means committee moved the bill, now HF 5274, to the house floor. Should it pass, legal digital wagering would be allowed, but HHR machines would be prohibited.

Speaker Hortman told reporters today that odds of getting sports betting done in these dwindling #mnleg days are going up again — currently at 60-40, she said. Cited productive talks. Said HHR ban would need to be part of any deal.

— Torey Van Oot (@toreyvanoot) May 9, 2024

Combining the bills does not solve any of the issues that have held up sports betting legalisation. The state’s two racetracks, who want a slice of the wagering pie, remain opposed. Meanwhile, the state’s 11 tribes won’t sign off on a bill that includes them. The legislation session is set to adjourn 20 May.

Thanks, Caitlin. WBNA handle already up

The week before the WNBA season is set to tip off, Las Vegas bookmakers are already experiencing the Caitlin Clark effect. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, SuperBook has posted eight Clark prop bets and has her ranked third as an MVP possibility. Clark was drafted by the Indiana Fever, which plays at Las Vegas on 2 July. That game has been moved to the T-Mobile Arena to accommodate a spike in fan interest.

“We have a lot more tickets on the title odds than we ever did at this point in prior seasons,” SuperBook oddsmaker Jeff Sherman told the Review-Journal. “We have tickets on every team. The Aces and Liberty are leading the way, but there’s a lot of interest throughout on all the teams. I can tell already that it’s got a heightened interest due to her effect.”

Previously, sportsbooks reported record handle for the NCAA women’s basketball championship and two games prior. Clark’s Iowa team lost to South Carolina in the title game.

Alabama gambling expansion hopes dead

Alabama’s legislative session closed on Thursday (9 May) night and with it the hopes for any kind of gambling expansion in the state. A house bill that started as a massive expansion that would have allowed digital and retail sports betting, 10 Class III casinos and a lottery, was stripped down in the senate. Even a conference committee couldn’t come up with a compromise to please everyone. The conference bill passed the house, but failed in the senate.

Had a bill passed, the decision to legalise would have been sent to the voters. The last time that happened was in 1999, and voters did not pass legal lottery. Additionally, Alabama is one of five states that does not have a lottery. Three of its four border states offer some form of legal wagering.

New York’s Addabbo not ready to fold ’em

New York state senator Joe Addabbo has been a gambling champion for many years. He was instrumental in the legalisation of digital sports betting. This year, he tried to drum up interest in online casino, but didn’t get any traction. But earlier this week Addabbo filed a legal online poker bill. SB 9226 would allow for 10 licences good for 10 years and costing $10m. The tax rate would be 15%. The bill is in the senate racing, gaming, and wagering committee, but no hearing date has been set.

Mass Gaming mulling new golf market

On Thursday (9 May) the Massachusetts Gaming Commission held over discussion about allowing betting on the Tomorrow Golf League. Among the founders are Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. The PGA Tour is a partner.

The league is set to start play in January. BetMGM asked that the market be made available for legal wagering. The MGC was stumped as to whether to consider adding TGL to its sports wagering menu or if it should fall under esports. Additionally, the agency has not yet promulgated rules for esports.

Top @PGATOUR players. Six teams. One league. We are TGL presented by @SoFi.

Launching January 2025 on @espn.

Who’s your team? pic.twitter.com/dPG1rH5cKM

— TGL (@TGL) May 7, 2024

The new league will feature match play and combines some virtual play with live golf. Players will hit off natural surfaces from tee to green, but into a video screen. Once the ball is within 50 feet of the hole, players will move onto the 3,800sq ft Green Zone, a rotating green that can simulate different conditions.

NC lawmakers move to educate minors on gambling

On Monday (6 May) a North Carolina lawmaker dropped a bill that would mandate gambling education in middle and high schools. If it passes, classes about “the addictive potential”, “cost” and “consequences” of gambling addiction would be required, starting in the 2024-25 school year. The bill is assigned to the house appropriations committee.

The new bill comes shortly after house and senate bills that would ban college-player prop bets dropped. The bills would also limit in-person wagering beginning eight hours before an event starts through to its completion. In addition, it would prohibit bets at sportsbooks at or adjacent to where the game is being played.

Trackside sportsbook in the works

On Tuesday (7 May) Caesars Entertainment and New Jersey’s Monmouth Park celebrated the groundbreaking of a trackside sportsbook set to open in 2025. The 16,000sq ft space will have indoor and outdoor viewing areas, a restaurant, wall-to-wall flat-screen, televisions and 25 self-service betting kiosks.

Previously, Monmouth Park was the site of the first legal sports bet placed in New Jersey.

caesars entertainment will open its sportsbook at monmouth park in 2025. the venue will feature wall-to-wall flat-screen tvs and odds boards.

renderings courtesy of caesars entertainment

In other news…

Shohei Ohtani’s ex-interpreter hasn’t been arraigned for illegal wagering yet, but Lionsgate is planning a movie about him. According to Variety, the company is developing a TV series about Ippei Mizuhara’s betting scandal.

The Detroit Free Press reported on Tuesday (7 May) that the Lions re-signed safety CJ Moore, who was suspended for violating the NFL’s gambling policy last year. Previously, Moore was among five players who the NFL reinstated on 18 April. Moore signed a one-year deal.

The National Indian Gaming Commission has not yet replaced chairman Sequoyah Simermeyer but, on Monday (6 May), announced the reappointment of vice-chair Jeannie Hovland and the appointment of associate general counsel Sharon M Avery.

Rush Street Interactive plans to expand its offered sports betting markets after signing a deal this week with in InFront Bettor. The Swiss company will also make its extensive sports streaming and data feeds available to RSI. In addition, the company has an exclusive deal for the official data feed from umpire’s chairs for International Tennis Federation events.

The American Gaming Association announced that the PGA of America became the latest professional sports league to join the “Have a Game Plan, Bet Responsibly” campaign. The public service campaign promotes setting a budget, playing with regulated operators, keeping betting social and understanding odds.

ICYMI on iGB

NCAA proposed ban on college prop bets isn’t black and white

Ex-MGM executive Scott Sibella gets probation in money-laundering case

Former Ohtani interpreter Mizuhara to plead in illegal wagering case

Operators to DC council: We favour open, competitive market

DraftKings to acquire SportsIQ analytics

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