Second Sports Betting Initiative Qualifies for 2022 Ballot in California

[NOTE: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated California has “certified” the second sports betting initiative discussed herein. We have since updated the post to reflect that the second initiative merely secured enough signatures to qualify for the ballot and will officially be certified once the signatures are verified by the California Secretary of State]

On May 3, 2022, the backers of a second sports betting initiative announced they have secured the requisite number of signatures to qualify for the November 2022 ballot in California. As we reported in September 2021, the state previously certified an initiative proposed by 18 of the state’s federally-recognized Indian Tribes, which would allow for legalized retail, but not online, sports betting at the state’s tribal casinos and licensed racetracks (the Tribal Initiative). Two other initiatives were proposed — one by a group of California cities (the Cities Initiative) and another by a group of leading commercial online betting platform operators (the Operator Initiative). But only one — the Operator Initiative — secured the requisite number of signatures by the April 26 deadline. Assuming the signatures are verified by the California Secretary of State on or before June 30, the Operator Initiative will be “certified” (i.e., listed on the ballot). continue reading

Maine Legislature Passes Retail and Online Sports Betting Bill

On Tuesday, April 19, 2022, Maine’s state legislature passed L.D. 585 that will legalize retail and online sports betting throughout the state once signed by Governor Janet Mills. If enacted, the bill would give the state’s four federally-recognized Indian tribes the exclusive ability to offer mobile sports betting and the state’s non-tribal gaming facilities the exclusive ability to offer retail sports betting. The bill imposes a 10% tax on adjusted gross sports wagering receipts. continue reading

Arkansas Legalizes Online Sports Betting as State’s Joint Budget Committee Approves Amended Rules

On February 22, 2022, the Arkansas Joint Budget Committee (Committee) legalized mobile/online sports betting in the state of Arkansas by approving the proposed amendments to the state’s casino gaming rules. As we reported previously, on December 30, 2021, the Arkansas Racing Commission (Commission) voted to amend the state’s casino gaming rules to allow online/mobile sports betting throughout the state. Shortly thereafter, the Commission asked Arkansas Legislative Council to hold off on approving the amended rules. However, as shown by the Committee’s approval today, the Arkansas legislature was eager to move forward with the launch of online sports betting. continue reading

Maryland Inches Towards Launch of Legalized Retail Sports Betting

On November 18, 2021, Maryland’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) approved five casinos for sports wagering facility licenses allowing casinos partnered with third-party operators to provide retail sports betting. The licenses were awarded to the Hollywood Casino in Perryville (partnering with Barstool), the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore (Caesars), the Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover (FanDuel), the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill (BetMGM), and the Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin (TwinSpires). The Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Commission (Commission) expects to officially issue the licenses within 30-45 days, during which time it will conduct a detailed review of each licensee. John Martin, the Commission’s director, commented that with the approval of the licenses on November 18th, if “all goes well, that would mean a launch date somewhere around the first of the [new] year.” Larry Hogan, Maryland’s Governor reiterated the state’s commitment to issuing these licenses within this timeline, tweeting, “[o]ur administration will continue to work to get sports betting up and running in Maryland as quickly as possible.” continue reading