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Latest political developments on online gambling in the U.S.

Smartphone roulette
(© Aliaksandr Marko – stock.adobe.com)

Maryland and Connecticut both passed online betting bills and other States are on the verge of doing the same. Interesting developments are expected in the U.S. betting market.

Voters-backed sports betting bill in MD explained

The knots of online betting on casino platforms seem to have been untied: Maryland sports betting bill passed after being backed by voters at the ballot box in November and is heading to Gov. Larry Hogan.

The final bill sets up two classes of licenses. Class A licenses are reserved to Maryland’s six casinos as well as three professional sports teams and the Maryland Jockey Club. Class B licenses, on the other hand, will be up for a competitive bid among other businesses.

Both Class A and Class B license holders can apply for mobile licenses, partnering with one online sports wagering operator.

Senators were pushing to launch sports betting in MD in time for the 2021 football season, enabling the emergency bill provision. They also requested early access to the licenses for entities with a meaningful partnership with minorities and women.

The State tax on sports betting revenues will be at 15%, projecting an impact between $17 and $19 million annually for the 2022-2026 fiscal years. The bill requires that at least $10 million from tax revenues will go toward K-12 education, while another $3 million will go toward historically Black colleges and universities in Maryland.

A portion of Class A license fees will be sent to the “Small, Minority-Owned and Woman Owned Business Sports Wagering Assistant Fund”, to help those businesses succeed in the industry.

Sports betting legalized in Connecticut

But it doesn’t end here: Connecticut’s Senate passed online betting bill to allow Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, the Connecticut Lottery Corp. and up to 15 licensed facilities to have in-person and online betting on sports events and fantasy sports.

The tribes and the lottery will have to make monthly payments to the State’s General Fund, amounting to between 13,75% and 20% of their gross revenues.
They will also have to pay an annual fee, the money from which will go towards problem gambling programs.

Both Senator Tony Hwang and Senator Cathy Osten expressed their concern on gambling addiction. The bill requires that the apps used to place bets on a phone have to be made less addictive as possible and there won’t be betting on State college sports.

More states to plan similar sports betting bills

2020 has been a rough year for the whole Globe. The pandemic has left most States with huge deficits and some new tax income, perhaps from sports betting, could be tempting to many of them, especially the ones with a tourism-based economy.

Florida is among those States. Gambling there is permitted in tribal-operated casinos and some other structures but is subject to various limitations. This is probably going to change as soon as the new bill on gambling is passed.

The new bill will allow on-site sports betting as well as an expansion of casino gaming, probably permitting roulettes and craps which were, up until this point, prohibited in the State of Florida.

Online sports betting was also in the talks. As things stand at the moment, individuals can use offshore and out-of-state betting platforms without breaking the law, which only means that the State of Florida cannot enforce any payment over the revenues of these platforms.

This is a problem every State must face and there aren’t a lot of solutions. However, it was made clear during the discussions that lawmakers weren’t ready to reconsider online sports betting. Collaborations with the well-established online operators who are already active in dozens of other States will probably fall back into the wish list.

How will the U.S. market react?

These events will open new opportunities for both operators who wants to join the U.S. market and the existing companies who can extend their market share.

The popular support for the legalization of sports betting is overwhelming. People seem to love sport unconditionally and they do not bet solely in the hope of making some cash: there are risk- and thrill-seeking individuals who can’t wait to bet some money on their favorite games.

People are also likely to share their passion with others, leading to more and more users approaching the sport.

Technology has changed our lives forever. We all live with our phone in our pocket and it’s the easiest thing in the world to get access to tons of apps in every given moment, including online betting apps. Betting on their favorite team while watching its game might be a relaxing way to spend some time off for many people.

In short, the U.S. betting market is likely to get bigger and more profitable.

As more and more States are legalizing sports betting, both in-person and online, companies from the United States and other countries will be trying to get their share of the market.

This will not only create new opportunities for people to enjoy their love for sport. Legalizing sports betting on online gambling sites will allow States to get a good amount of profit from tax income, instead of losing it all by prohibiting certain activities. The new bills might be a chance for all of the small business owners who will be able to react quickly and adapt themselves to grow bigger through betting revenues.

Mark Pilarski, founder of well-known CasinoSenpai.com, said: “Even though affiliates will have to apply for costly licenses depending on which state they are targeting, the U.S. market will still be incredibly lucrative for the companies managing to take a decent chunk of market share.”

The new regulations will open windows for everyone involved in gambling, from the bigger companies to the smaller affiliates. Giving a new service such as sports betting will result in more profits to be invested in their business and will make the market grow bigger and bigger.


Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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