Bet On Sports Anytime, Anywhere With Sportsbet – Odds are displayed on the sports book table at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on May 14, 2018. John Locher/AP File
On a recent sweltering afternoon in Las Vegas, the action at the Mandalay Bay sportsbook seemed cool — there was baseball and horse racing, but the NFL preseason had just begun and the NBA preseason was a few weeks away.
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Javi Sulaiman and Emily Force, who were visiting from Los Angeles, won $100 on a Cubs game earlier in the day and made another bet, which they refused to disclose out of superstition.
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Sulaiman, 43, said he was a «small bookie» in Milwaukee in his early 20s, a business that mostly involved friends, and recalled that he and his friends carpooled as a college student in San Diego. across the border to Tijuana, Mexico, bet on baseball and drive back and attend classes the next day.
Such cross-border travel may not be necessary in some parts of the United States in the near future. After the Supreme Court in May struck down a 1992 law that prohibited states from legalizing sports gambling, several states have already legalized it, and others are considering it.
If Massachusetts legalizes sports betting – and a lawmaker there has said that it should be explored – Force, 32, a native of the state, said she would support the movement. «I feel like it’s safer if it’s legal,» she said.
The American Gaming Association, a gambling trade group, has estimated that there is a $150 billion illegal sports betting market in the US, which legalization advocates point to as proof that sports betting is already happening.
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Several state officials and some experts say that even if states do not see new tax collections after legalizing sports betting, it is worth reducing the illegal market not only to increase tax revenue, but also to protect bettors in case of a dispute.
But the nature of sports betting in the US probably varies by state. Some legislators want to emphasize mobile gambling, while others take a more wait-and-see approach.
Some states, such as Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, have opted for relatively high taxes, while lawmakers in two other states are considering controversial «integrity fees» paid to sports leagues to monitor unusual betting activity. And MGM, the big casino owner and operator, recently announced a «historic» deal with the NBA to provide data to bettors.
«I think most people thought it would be maybe 20 states that would come up with legislation, and it would immediately be passed in more states,» said Jennifer Roberts, a law professor and associate director at the University of Nevada. Department of the University of International Center for Gaming Regulation.
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«But I think it’s a little slower in some jurisdictions,» she added. Roberts estimates that about 20 to 30 states could legalize sports betting within five to ten years.
If high taxes or other barriers force foreign companies to offer better leverage or tariffs, «people will not go from the illegal market to the legal market,» said Sarah Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association.
A 6-3 Supreme Court ruling in May that struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which did not prohibit sports gambling nationwide, but said states could not allow it, opened the door for states to allow betting nationwide.
Below is a look at the actions states have taken since the ruling, detailing which states have moved quickly to allow sports laws, which are exploring the issue, and which are staying on the sidelines for now.
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Nevada has long been the only state in the country where gamblers could legally bet on sports. The country was grandfathered in when the law on the protection of professional and amateur sports was adopted.
Delaware was the first to accept sports betting after the decision of the Supreme Court of May 14, allowing it to take place in all three of the state’s casinos starting June 5. Governor John Carney, a Democrat, placed a $10 bet on the Philadelphia Phillies to beat Chicago. Cubs that day and he won, Delawareonline.com reported.
New Jersey, which filed a lawsuit overturning the federal law, was the second state to accept betting after the Supreme Court decision. Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, signed the sports betting law into law June 13, and said it could generate $13 million in tax revenue in its first year. The next day he made the first official bet at Monmouth Park, betting $20 on Germany to win the World Cup (hard luck in that tournament) and an identical amount on the New Jersey Devils winning the next year’s Stanley Cup . Fixed).
Pennsylvania passed a bill for sports gambling in October 2017 pending a ruling from the Supreme Court, but betting has yet to take off in the state.
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On Aug. 17, the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course near Harrisburg became the first casino to petition to offer sports betting, a gaming control spokesman said. But it looks like sports betting won’t be accepted there before the NFL regular season begins. The next meetings of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will be held on September 12 and October 3.
Pennsylvania has a relatively high sports gambling tax of 34 percent of operator revenue plus a 2 percent tax that applies to local subsidies to counties, plus a one-time $10 million fee. Penn National Gaming Inc. a spokesman said the company still has concerns about the tax rate, but «the best way to do that is to share our experience» with the legislature.
West Virginia passed a bill allowing sports gambling, and Gov. Jim Geiss, a Republican, signed it into law in March. The West Virginia Lottery expects bets to be accepted in casinos around September 1, before the start of the NFL season. All five casinos in the state plan to offer sports betting, bringing about $5.5 million in the first year, said Danielle E. Boyd, the lottery’s general counsel.
From right, Thomas Welsh, 72, sits in front of television monitors showing sports games after placing bets at Dover Downs Casino in Dover, Delaware June 5, 2018. Mark McKella/Getty Images file
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Mississippi changed the law to allow sports betting in 2017, and at the end of June gambling regulators determined that it would be legal July 22, said Allen Godfrey, executive director of the gaming commission. But because the casino must apply for a permit and take action, no bets were accepted on July 22.
The Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi announced on Twitter last month that its sports book will open on August 1. Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica also announced that its sports books will be open from August 1. Other casinos in the state have announced that they will open sports books soon.
In June, Rhode Island passed a budget allowing sports betting at Twin River Casino’s existing Lincoln property and the Tiverton location that will open later this year. Sports betting is expected to start on October 1; the legislation expects to bring in about $23 million in fiscal year 2019.
In 2013, a bill from New York passed that bet sports in the state four casinos if the federal law changed, which it did. But bets are still not accepted, pending the adoption of rules by the New York Gaming Commission. And the state has yet to vote to expand sports betting to all casinos, racetracks and off-track betting across the state.
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Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, a Democrat up for re-election, plans to reintroduce a bill to legalize sports betting in the next legislative session, which begins in January, said Kaitesi Munro, his legislative analyst.
Since the Supreme Court’s decision, many other states have proposed bills to legalize sports betting, but none have yet become law.
A bill that would legalize and regulate Internet gambling instead of legalizing sports betting has passed the Michigan House of Representatives, but still needs approval in the Senate.
Republican representative Brand Eden plans to introduce a bill this fall that would take the next step and legalize sports betting, possibly including college sports. But it is unclear whether the bill will pass, and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has no comment.
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The constitution of the nation’s largest country by population prohibits sports gambling, but Democrat Adam Gray has introduced a measure to change that. A constitutional amendment proposed in July 2017 would authorize state legislators to authorize sports gambling. The proposal is currently in committee; it would have to be passed by the state legislature and then approved by voters.
Connecticut passed a bill in 2017 that called on the state Department of Consumer Protection to begin drafting regulations in case sports betting is allowed under federal and state law.
The state legislature should take the next step and legalize sports betting, according to state Department of Consumer Affairs spokeswoman Laura Rae Anderson.
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