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

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SCOTUS sets conference Florida wagering case date

The US Supreme Court will conference 13 June to discuss West Flagler Associates (WFA), Ltd vs Deb Haaland. The case could change the course of legal sports betting in Florida. WFA earlier this year filed a writ of certiorari. The focus of the case is whether or not US Department of the Interior Secretary Haaland should have allowed the 2021 compact between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe to become “deemed approved.”

The compact allows for the Seminoles to offer retail and digital wagering throughout Florida. Bets placed anywhere in Florida that run through a tribal server are considered to have been placed on tribal lands, according to the compact. This scenario is not used anywhere else in the US. WFA argues that the compact violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which governs gaming on tribal lands.

According to the SCOTUS website, the results of the conference will be made public 17 June at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Maine retail betting still non-existent

Maine’s Gambling Control Unit (MGCU) reported handle of $239m (£188m/€221m) in the first six months of legal digital betting. DraftKings took the lion’s share – $197m – compared to Caesars Sportsbook’s $42m. The state collected $2.5m in tax revenue.

Sports betting went live in November 2023, and under the new law, the state’s four tribes can also have in-person wagering. But so far, no brick-and-mortar sportsbooks have opened. Senator Joe Baldacci said it might take a legislative fix to make that happen, according to News Center Maine. Baldacci, who represents the district containing the Hollywood Casino, criticised the MGCU. Existing retail casinos were shut out of sports betting in the new law.

“There’s no comparison, there’s no other place where you could find this kind of stagnation,” Baldacci said. “Some believe it could be intentional.”

Don’t count on NC legalising any more gambling

Gambling talk in North Carolina will likely stall out this year, Speaker of the House Tim Moore told CBS 17. Why? Bad blood from last year’s session. “I do think that the conversation last year as it related to casinos has put a shadow over the discussion about updates to the lottery with VLTs and so forth,” he said.

Republicans in 2023 accused Democrats of meeting behind closed doors, shutting the GOP and public out of the conversation. That could put an end to current discussion about legalising video lottery terminals. Those machines could bring in $1bn in state revenue. In a 2023 proposal, revenue from VLTs would have been tagged for loan forgiveness for community college students. Revenue would have also been directed to the state’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Betr gets Pennsylvania market access

Microbetting site Betr has secured market access in Pennsylvania, PlayPennsylvania reported. The company is partnered with the Cordish Companies. Betr plans to offer digital sports betting and debut its online casino product in the state.

The platform is live in Ohio and Virginia, but also has market access in Colorado, Indiana, and Kentucky. It has plans to launch its V1 updated platform in all four new states plus Ohio and Virginia. Betr is also in the sports betting application process in Maryland.

Oklahoma tornado kills horse, damages casino

An Oklahoma tornado hit the Cherokee Casino Will Rodgers Downs, killing one horse, injuring others, and damaging the casino, according to News Channel 8 Tulsa. The casino lost power and water and sustained some exterior damage. Two hundred horses were stabled at the track, and 10 of the 14 were “significantly” damaged.

In addition, the property has an RV park that sustained damage, but there were “no severe injuries”. Campers were turned over, and people’s possessions were scattered. But the park was evacuated before the tornado hit.

In other news …

TheScore Bet and Golf Canada Wednesday (29 May) announced a multi-year partnership extension. TheScore Bet will have a presence at Canada Golf events, including the RBC Canadian Open and CPKC Women’s Open. Previously, theScore Bet has created one-of-a-kind viewing experiences, like theScore BET Skyline Seats.

The SEC doesn’t seem is considering introducing injury reports for football games, but it doesn’t seem to be in too much of a hurry to discuss the NCAA’s desire for states to ban college-player prop bets. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said Monday (27 May) his conference is still discussing how to handle multiple wagering issues.

An Alberta bill clears the way for commercial operators to be licensed. The legislature 24 May ended the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannibis (AGLC) monopoly on gaming, according to Canadian Gaming Business. AGLC currently offers wagering through its PlayAlberta platform, but the province has plans to create and regulate a competitive market.

Permits have been issued that allow for the demolition of the Mirage volcano, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Contractors 20 May got a dust-control permit, which is needed for demolition. The hotel and casino are open until 17 July, when Hard Rock will shut the property down for renovation.

Multiple media reports revealed that the Pro League Network has raised $2.2m. Investors include Roger Ehrenberg, gambling investor Chris Grove, former NBA sstar Kevin Garnett. Pro League Network is a startup that offers betting on niche sports like slapfighting.

IGT Tuesday (28 May) announced that it extended its partnership with the Rhode Island Lottery for three more years. The extension lasts through 1 December 2029. The company will provide a mobile “convenience” app, kiosks, and a “retail automation tool.”

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