NJ Legislators Introduce Bill to Classify Esports as Internet Gaming, Expand Esports Gambling Opportunities

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

After Reaching Last-Minute Deal, Massachusetts House and Senate Pass Retail and Online Sports Betting Bill

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.

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Kansas Enacts “Compromise” Sports Betting Law Designed to Lure Professional Sports Teams

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

Arkansas Online Sports Betting Delayed Until at Least March 2022

As we reported previously, in December 2021, the Arkansas Racing Commission voted to amend the state’s casino gaming rules to allow online/mobile sports betting throughout the state. The amended rules take effect immediately upon approval by the Arkansas Legislative Council, which was planning to consider the rules at its January 28 meeting. Earlier this week, however, the Commission asked the Council hold off on considering the amended rules until its next meeting, scheduled for March 18, 2022.

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