Several New Fantasy Sports And Sports Betting Legalization Efforts Pop Up

Written By Steve Ruddock on February 24, 2017 - Last Updated on June 27, 2018
michigan parlay sports betting

Two new states, Vermont and Minnesota, introduced daily fantasy sports legislation this week. And a DFS bill in Kentucky cleared its first hurdle, passing committee and moving on to the full House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, Michigan introduced a second sports betting bill and Pennsylvania made it official, with the introduction of its own sports wagering bill.

Michigan’s new bill is interesting as it would only allow the state’s casinos to accept parlay wagers.

Here’s a look at all the latest legislative updates on the DFS and sports betting fronts.

DFS legislation update

Minnesota and Vermont introduced DFS legislation this week. Neither bill was exceptional, as both bills would legalize and regulate paid-entry fantasy sports contests within the state.

Despite its sparse population, Vermont would be a nice victory for the DFS industry as the legal status of DFS in Vermont is in question.

With Minnesota (bill here) and Vermont (bill here) adding their names to the ledger, the number of states with active DFS legislation stands at 22:

  1. Alabama
  2. Connecticut
  3. Florida
  4. Georgia
  5. Hawaii
  6. Illinois
  7. Indiana
  8. Iowa
  9. Kentucky
  10. Minnesota
  11. Mississippi
  12. Missouri
  13. Montana
  14. Nebraska
  15. New Jersey
  16. New Hampshire
  17. Oregon
  18. Pennsylvania
  19. Tennessee
  20. Texas
  21. Vermont
  22. Washington

Legal Sports Report’s legislative tracker has up-to-the-minute updates on all DFS legislation.

Progress in Kentucky

In addition to the new bills, there was some progress made in Kentucky.

Kentucky’s DFS bill passed a committee this week and is now heading to the House of Representatives.

Texas and Florida are critical states

The legality of DFS in Texas and Florida is at best unresolved (DraftKings is still operating in Texas but FanDuel has pulled out). With the two states boasting about 15 percent of the nation’s population (combined, they have about 47 million residents) these are important pieces the DFS industry would love to see moved into the expressly legal column.

Legal Sports Report’s Dustin Gouker explained just how the high stakes are in Texas for DFS in this column.

Sports betting legislation update

The number of states actively fighting to repeal PASPA, or pre-committing to legalizing sports betting should federal laws change stands at seven:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Maryland
  3. Michigan
  4. New Jersey
  5. New York
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. South Carolina

Pennsylvania sports betting bill drops

With the introduction of H 519, Pennsylvania made it official: The state will take a swing at legalizing sports betting.

The Pennsylvania bill isn’t a direct challenge to federal law. Rather it would legalize sports betting in the Keystone State if the legal landscape at the federal level were to change.

Michigan: One lawmaker and two sports betting efforts

Michigan state Rep. Robert Kosowski introduced his second sports betting bill of the year this week, although the latest effort is much smaller in scope.

Kosowski’s first bill would legalize sports betting through a voter referendum. But his new bill, HB 4261, would simply allow the state’s casinos to accept parlay wagers.

MLB open to Las Vegas team

Two weeks back, we reported on MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s comments to Yahoo regarding sports betting, where the Commissioner said:

“There is this buzz out there in terms of people feeling that there may be an opportunity here for additional legalized sports betting. From the perspective of our sport, we are reexamining our stance on gambling. It’s a conversation that’s ongoing with the owners.”

This week Manfred further fueled speculation by telling the media that the league was open to a Las Vegas team, something many observers believe to be a tacit approval of legal sports betting.

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

“Las Vegas could be a viable market for us,” Manfred said during his Cactus League news conference in Phoenix. “… I don’t think that the presence of legalized gambling in Las Vegas should necessarily disqualify that market as a potential major league city.”

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Steve Ruddock

Steve Ruddock is a veteran of the gambling industry, having been a longtime contributor to numerous publications both online and off centered on the regulated US online gambling industry. Steve is based in Massachusetts.

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