States eye sports bet­ting, wres­tle with reg­u­la­tory de­tails

The Standard Journal - - NATIONAL SPORTS - By Wayne Parry

Nu­mer­ous U.S. states are con­sid­er­ing jump­ing on the le­gal sports bet­ting band­wagon, even as they strug­gle with the de­tails of reg­u­lat­ing it.

How much to tax it, and how to reg­u­late mo­bile bet­ting on phones are emerg­ing as thorny is­sues for states.

So far, seven states of­fer le­gal sports bet­ting: Nevada, New Jer­sey, Delaware, West Vir­ginia, Mis­sis­sippi, Penn­syl­va­nia and Rhode Is­land.

And al­though New Mex­ico has not passed a sports bet­ting law, the Santa Ana Star Casino and Ho­tel started tak­ing sports bets last month through a tribal gam­bling com­pact.

At a sports bet­ting con­fer­ence on Nov. 27 in New York, state rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Min­nesota, New York and Ohio dis­cussed their states’ in­ter­est in such bets. They’re also in­ter­ested in mak­ing sure play­ers are pro­tected, taxes are ad­e­quate but not puni­tive and that mo­bile gam­bling is widely ac­ces­si­ble.

Pa­trick Garo­falo, a Min­nesota state rep­re­sen­ta­tive, said the bet­ting pub­lic knows ex­actly what it wants, and it’s up to states and gam­bling com­pa­nies to give it to them.

“The Amer­i­can sports fan has made a de­ci­sion: they want to be able to bet on their fa­vorite sports teams from their home,” he said. “They want to do it from their couch.”

New Jer­sey won a U.S. Supreme Court case in May clear­ing the way for all 50 states to of­fer le­gal sports bet­ting should they so choose. David Re­buck, di­rec­tor of New Jer­sey’s Di­vi­sion of Gam­ing En­force­ment, pre­dicted at least 12 states will move “very ag­gres­sively” to le­gal­ize sports bet­ting in early 2019.

New York, one of the largest po­ten­tial mar­kets, has yet to pass sports bet­ting leg­is­la­tion, but hasn’t given up.

“In New York, sports bet­ting is on its back with its feet and

/ AP-Wayne Parry

A gam­bler plac­ing a sports bet at Re­sorts Casino in At­lantic City, N.J. Nu­mer­ous U.S. states are con­sid­er­ing join­ing the seven that cur­rently of­fer le­gal sports bet­ting.

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