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

Here’s What Stricter Sportsbook Marketing Rules Might Look Like — And the Legal Challenges They Could Face

As the sports betting industry continues its unprecedented, rapid growth in the U.S., the competition for new bettors has increased dramatically. In the past year alone, sportsbook operators have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recruitment and brand recognition efforts, flooding the internet, television, and radio airwaves with star-studded advertisements promising “free money” andcontinue 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

NY Court of Appeals Rejects Constitutional Challenge to Daily Fantasy Sports Law, Reversing Lower Court Rulings

On March 22, 2022, the New York Court of Appeals held that the historical prohibition on “gambling” in Article I, §9 of the New York Constitution does not encompass skill-based competitions like daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests, in which participants who exercise substantial influence over the outcome are awarded pre-determined fixed prizes by a neutral operator. (See White, et. al. v. Cuomo, et al., 2022 NY Slip Op. 01954 (March 22, 2022)). In so holding, the court upheld the 2016 state law explicitly authorizing and regulating DFS contests, and reversed the 2018 and 2020 lower court decisions, which held DFS contests qualify as “gambling” under the New York Constitution and could therefore only be legalized through a constitutional amendment. continue reading