Maryland, S.Dakota, Louisiana & Nebraska – Vote “YES”

Voters in Nebraska, Louisiana and Maryland and South Dakota have emphatically spoken. Voters in all 4 states have chosen to vote in the states’ own respective form of sports betting.

All 4 models are different and each will face their own hurdles in getting sports betting up-and-running. It remains to be seen how quickly the four states can set regulations, approve operators and take their first bets, however, they have already taken the first step with Tuesday’s vote.

It is worthwhile to note that it took the State of Tennessee about 16 months to launch its online-only sports betting model on November 1. On the other hand, Colorado launched their legal online sports betting industry in less than six months, launching on May 1 2020 after being voted in by Colorado state residents in November last year in a similar referendum.

Maryland

Maryland voters comprehensively approved sports wagering, in an issue that appeared on the ballot under the heading of “Question 2.” The State Tax proceeds will primarily go to fund education in Maryland, similar to the revenue raised by the state’s six casinos.

Legal Sports Betting passed the vote in Maryland by a 2-1 margin.

The sports betting referendum was a simple yes-or-no vote and the question carried no specifics about what sports wagering would look like or any proposed tax rate. The State legislature will hammer out the details when it convenes for the lawmaking session beginning in January.

Online sports betting is widely expected to be included in Maryland following the involvement of FanDuel and DraftKings in funding the advertising of the ‘Yes’ campaign over recent weeks.

Louisiana

For the second time in the past 2 years, Louisiana’s residents have voted for a form of sports betting. Following the successful vote for Daily Fantasy Sports in 2018, this November, 56 of the 64 Louisiana parishes voted to allow land-based sports wagering at the state’s existing race tracks and casinos.

The details will need to be thrashed out by the state’s lawmakers on how it is implemented and the tax rate applied.

Online sports betting has not yet been allowed for and it appears at this stage that the state’s first legal sports wagers may not be placed until 2022.

Nebraska

The residents of the State of Nebraska have stood up at the voting booth and chosen to adopt the state’s gaming expansion legislation. That expansion includes ‘all games of chance’ as worded in the referendum, widely interpretated to include sports betting and potentially, online sports wagering. Lawmakers will need to put the states’ gaming model into practice. According to Brendan Bussman, a former Nebraskan and renown gaming industry analyst;

“Sports betting has been going on in the state illegally for decades. Now, it is about putting together the infrastructure to maximize the opportunity to the best of its ability for the state. The devil will be in the details now on how it rolls out as the initiative process is the wrong path to craft gaming policy and throws it over to the Legislature and Executive Branch on how it is implemented and to get it right.” Bussman said.

South Dakota

South Dakota voters have given sports betting the green light at the state’s historic gaming town, Deadwood. It is widely believed that refers to land-based tribal casinos in Deadwood, but room has been made in the referendum proposal to adopt sports wagering outside of Deadwood. Whether that applies to online sports betting has yet to be determined, however, with the pandemic still ongoing, mobile sports betting is a definite possibility for South Dakota as lawmakers meet in January 2021 to debate and potentially include it in the legislation.

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