In recent years, New Jersey lawmakers and gaming authorities have taken steps to establish the state as a major hub for the Esports industry in the United States. In 2021, the legislature amended New Jersey’s sports betting law to recognize Esports tournaments approved by the Division of Gaming Enforcement (“DGE”) as a type of “sporting event” upon which licensed sportsbooks can accept wagers. The 2021 amendment allowed the state’s retail and online/mobile sportsbooks to bring Esports wagering into the fold of their established sports betting operations. Earlier this year, the DGE also approved Esports Entertainment Group’s Esports-only online/mobile betting platform, Vie, which operates as an online/mobile sportsbook partner of Bally’s Atlantic City. continue reading
On Monday, August 1, 2022, the Massachusetts House and Senate reached a last-minute deal to legalize retail and online sports betting throughout the state. The bill, which Governor Charlie Baker is expected to sign in the coming weeks, would give Massachusetts’ existing casinos, racetrack and simulcast betting facilities the ability to conduct retail and online sports betting operations. As discussed further below, the state’s gaming establishments would also be permitted to partner with third-party online betting platforms, so long as those platforms have been appropriately licensed and approved by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (the Commission). The bill further imposes a 15% tax on adjusted gross wagering receipts for in-person sports betting operations and a 20% tax on adjusted gross wagering receipts for online/mobile sports betting operations.
Notably, the bill imposes a ban on wagering involving in-state college teams, except when they are playing in tournaments.
On May 12, 2022, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed S.B. 84 legalizing retail and online sports betting throughout the state. The newly-enacted law represents a compromise between the “single operator” and “free market” frameworks adopted in many other states; it gives the Kansas State Lottery (the Lottery) exclusive ownership and control of retail and online sports betting, but provides that the state’s four commercial casinos shall conduct sports betting operations on the Lottery’s behalf.
In addition to legalizing sports betting, the new law is designed to further the state’s efforts to secure a professional sports franchise, allocating a significant percentage of net betting revenue to a fund established for that very purpose. continue reading
[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