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Sports betting battles coming to the US

25 August 2022

We're talking about sports betting news in two of the biggest states in America, both of which are worth potential billions of dollars in annual revenue. Plus, gambling news from Massachusetts and Kansas, and a look at a new slot machine.

The November elections are closing in faster that it seems, and California sports betting is in the cross hairs. There will be at least two competing ballot measures (California Proposition 26 vs 27) put before voters, both of which seek to legalize and regulate the activity. But that’s about the only thing they have in common. One measure would allow online betting, while the other would be strictly retail. Some say one measure would give Tribes a monopoly on California sports betting, and the other would hurt local tax revenues. One measure is estimated to bring the state $3 billion in revenue annually, while the other would generate less than $400 million. It’s all quite confusing. With two initiatives on the November ballot, both wanting to regulate and profit from California sports betting, the fighting and political ads will continue for the next few months. State card rooms believe that allowing the Tribes to manage the activity will put them out of business.

The battle over Florida sports betting got some new life recently, as the Biden administration took the unprecedented step of encouraging an appeals court to reinstate their agreement with the Seminole Tribe. Things in Florida have been quiet on this issue since a District Judge put an end to that agreement back in November of last year. There was a brief filed by the Department of the Interior last week which defended the White House decision to allow the Florida sports betting agreement, supporting the gaming compact in place between the state and the tribe. That agreement was signed in April of last year and would remain in effect for the next 30 years. The compact allows Florida sports betting to be placed from anywhere in the state via online and mobile devices, so long as those bets get processed on Tribal land. The US Department of Justice says the compact reflect a “permissible hybrid”.