Louisiana, Connecticut, California, and Maryland

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The states of Louisiana, Connecticut, California, and Maryland have seen some important sports betting updates recently as the vertical takes the US by storm. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Sports betting on the way

The states of Louisiana, Connecticut, California, and Maryland are all in different stages in regard to legal sports betting.

Louisiana’s first sportsbook will open at Paragon Casino in Marksville this Wednesday courtesy of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe. The group has partnered with Betfred Sports for the offering, which will begin allowing bets at 3pm local time.

Louisiana’s first sportsbook will open at Paragon Casino in Marksville this Wednesday

In contrast, Connecticut will miss its scheduled launch date for online betting this Thursday. A Department of Consumer Protection spokesperson has confirmed that a “delay in publication” of tribal gaming compacts means the launch cannot go ahead as planned.

Elsewhere, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and other operators are backing an initiative in California with the aim of bringing mobile betting to the state. On Tuesday, the three companies adapted their ballot initiative to address tribal concerns.

Finally, in Maryland, the gaming regulator has released public comments on its proposed sports betting rules, prompting question marks over an official league data mandate.

All systems go in Louisiana

Louisiana residents voted to approve sports betting in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes last year. In August this year, it looked like the state might launch in time for the NFL season after the gaming regulator unanimously approved an emergency revision to regulations. However, disruptions caused by Hurricane Ida meant this wasn’t to be.

betting kiosks, video screens, a restaurant, bar, and VIP areas

Now, Louisiana is finally on track to begin offering sports betting on Wednesday. Paragon Casino’s sportsbook offering, named The Draft Room, will feature betting kiosks, video screens, a restaurant, bar, and VIP areas for private booking.

Plenty of other commercial casinos plan to join the market once they receive approval from the Louisiana State Police Gaming Enforcement Division. In addition to Betfred Sports, WynnBet and Rush Street Interactive have secured market access in the state. Meanwhile, DraftKings and FanDuel both already offer daily fantasy sports.

Connecticut to wait a little longer

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont made history on September 30 by placing the state’s first legal sports wager at Mohegan Sun Casino. Sports fans are now eagerly awaiting the launch of online wagering in the state, but they will have to wait a little longer than the original October 7 date slated for its rollout.

According to the Department of Consumer Protection, a 12-day delay to the publishing of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s compact has caused officials to push back the go-live date. However, a spokesperson has confirmed that bettors shouldn’t have to wait too long to place their first online wagers. “No date has been set but we do not anticipate it to be a lengthy delay,” they commented.

In Connecticut, FanDuel has formed a sports betting partnership with the Mohegan Sun Casino, while DraftKings has teamed up with Foxwoods Resorts Casino. Sports betting law also permits the Connecticut Lottery to operate 15 retail sports betting locations, plus one online gaming skin.

Operators appease tribes in California

With a population of more than 39 million, California is one of the most highly coveted states yet to introduce legal sports wagering. In a bid to push the state towards legalization, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Bally’s Corporation, Fanatics, Penn National, and WynnBet have filed the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act. If it receives enough signatures, the betting proposal will head to the November 2022 ballot for a public vote.

 tribal organizations are exempt from any betting tax requirements

The operators re-filed that initiative on Tuesday with the aim of getting the state’s tribes on side. In their amendments to the proposal, they have clarified that only platform providers will pay taxes for sports betting. Classed as operators, the state’s tribal organizations are exempt from any betting tax requirements.

A spokesperson for the initiative has affirmed that the changes clear up any ambiguity in regards to the licensing system. Any operator hoping to enter the market will need to partner with a tribal organization to do so. The Act will also work in tandem with another tribal initiative that has already received approval for the mid-term ballot.

Maryland official data debate

Maryland is within touching distance of launching legal sports betting. Governor Larry Hogan signed sports betting into law in May, and the state gaming regulator now just needs to finalize its wagering rules before the market can begin. During the public comment period for those regulations, however, stakeholders took issue with an official league data mandate.

Although the state’s gaming law does not include such a mandate, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency has proposed that operators must use official league data to settle tier one wagers on the outcome of a match or game. Operators hoping to enter the market have requested that the regulator either remove or at least modify the data requirement.

FanDuel has urged the Maryland regulator to follow the example of other jurisdictions by restricting the use of official league data to tier two wagers. This category only includes bets placed while the game is live, in contrast to tier one wagers, which include pre-game bets.

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