USATSI_11911025-2 Betting roundup

States legalize betting for more than revenue; More states set to legalize, regulate in 2019

While state legislators may not be expecting a lot of money to come in from legalizing sports betting, they still see the benefits in regulating a black market and bringing in extra revenue.

“I keep telling them this is not like a craps table or a slot machine,” said Mark Sickles, a Democratic state lawmaker in Virginia who has sponsored a bill that would place a 15 percent tax on sports betting in the state. “My main purpose is to take something that’s currently being done illegally and get some tax revenue from it.”

Revenue from legalized pot makes up just a small portion of state revenue, even in the states with the most mature markets — about 2 percent in Colorado and a little over 1 percent in Washington, according to a May report from Moody’s Investors Service. That’s still a far larger portion of revenue than even the most optimistic projections for sports betting.

Legal Sports Report compiled a list of states most likely to legalize sports betting in 2019.

Congress will go back into session this week and state legislatures throughout the country will follow shortly thereafter.

When they do, legal sports betting will slot into the the legislative agenda for many. Which states look ready to give sports betting a try? Which ones might surprise?

Rhode Island bettors placed $683,000 in bets during the first week of legalized sports betting in the state.

The casino became the first in New England to accept bets on professional sports Nov. 26, so the figures only encompass five days of betting.

The casino paid nearly $610,000 on winning bets. That leaves about $73,000 in revenue. The state gets 51 percent, after commissions and operating expenses are subtracted.

West Virginia saw the openings of two new sportsbooks and the first mobile sports betting app in the state.

Friday marked the openings of two physical sportsbooks in the state – those at Mardi Gras and the Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack in Wheeling. This comes one day after the state’s first sports betting and mobile app launched Thursday, allowing any gamblers anywhere within state lines to place wagers from their cellphones.

The concurrent advances in the burgeoning field arrived, coincidentally or not, around two big events for the state: a bowl game and a legislative session.

Althaus cut the ribbon about six hours before kickoff at the Camping World Bowl game, in Orlando, Florida, between West Virginia University and Syracuse.

“We definitely wanted to (start with a) bang and go live on a day like today, with the West Virginia game, and a lot of excitement with the college bowl playoffs, and a lot of other bowl games, the last week of the NFL leading into the playoffs, and March Madness right around the corner,” he said.


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Each Friday, we’ll comb through as many articles, tweets and podcasts as we can find related to the world of sports betting and daily fantasy sports, and publish the good stuff here. 

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