A Few States Move Closer to Launching Legal Sports Betting

There are a handful of states that have already legalized sports betting within their borders. Yet, that is only half the battle in terms of an in-state bettor’s ability to place an actual wager on a game. Once the proper legislation is passed, states need to move through the regulatory process.

Most of the states that are farther along in the regulatory process have circled Sept. 9 on the calendar as a prospective launch date. This day also happens to mark the start of the 2021 NFL season.

In the state of Washington, the wait is almost over. Recently, the Washington State Gaming Commission released the sports betting rules that will govern the industry. This process now moves into the public comment phase.

This phase is viewed as one of the final steps before actual sports betting begins. There may be a few final tweaks to the actual rules but this is more of a formality than anything else. The target date to review the final draft of the rules is July 28. Once approved, the actual launch can take place 31 days later.

Washington law allows legal sports betting through retail sportsbooks located in tribal casinos. Online mobile betting through sportsbook apps was not included in the legislation. There are 29 tribal casinos located in Washington with as many as 15 expressing an interest in adding sports betting to their lineup of gaming options.

Louisiana is moving forward with its plans to offer legal sports betting in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes. The regulatory process calls for 20 retail sportsbook licenses covering 16 land-based casinos and four-horse tracks. If there are any leftover licenses, video poker establishments in parishes with legal sports betting will get a chance to apply.

Mobile sports betting will be available in the state along with sports betting kiosks tied to the Louisiana Lottery. Gov. John Bel Edwards is expected to sign off on the new legislation and regulatory rules to keep the state on track for an early September launch.

The Connecticut Lottery is in the process of choosing three in-state sportsbook operators. DraftKings has already gotten the nod in connection with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. They own and operate Foxwoods Resorts.

Kambi is the second approved operator through a partnership with the Mohegan Indian Tribe, who runs the Mohegan Sun casino and resort in the state. Kambi is an international B2B provider of sports betting services.

The third approved operator is expected to be named by the end of June. There were a total of 15 applicants with the lottery whittling that list down to five.

Arizona has already set its target date for launch as Sept. 9. The process is moving forward as planned with the public review phase of the regulatory rules underway. The Arizona Department of Gaming is seeking comment on the total number of sportsbook skins, license fees, the tax rate on legal sports betting revenue, and the actual allocation of licenses.

Both tribal casinos and professional sports venues are eligible to receive a sport betting license. They will be permitted to operate both retail and online sportsbooks.

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