Jumping into April, there are several gaming deadlines to keep an eye on. Below, you can find four gaming issues the staff at PlayUSA will be watching this month.
As the month progresses, follow along as we update you on issues ranging from online poker to sports betting.
Kentucky’s expansion of gaming
Kentucky lawmakers have failed several times to pass a new gaming bill. However, a gambling package that would expand gambling in the state has cleared multiple hurdles this year and is inches away from passing.
One bill, HB 606, would legalize Kentucky online poker, daily fantasy sports, and KY sports betting.
House Bill 609 would create a problem gambling fund, while a final bill would adjust pari-mutuel tax rates. Lawmakers have until April 14 to decide each bill’s fate.
Tribal gaming in Maine
In Maine, a bill remains in play that would give control of mobile sports betting to local tribes instead of the state’s two commercial casinos.
The bill has the support of Gov. Janet Mills and was passed out of a Judiciary Committee on March 17.
Both Penn National Gaming and Churchill Downs (the state’s commercial casino operators) have strongly opposed the bill even though they would have access to retail wagering at their OTB locations.
Maine’s legislative session ends on April 20.
Kansas sports betting
A bill seeking to legalize Kansas sports betting is on hiatus for at least three weeks. The state Senate failed to discuss the bill before it adjourned for a three-week veto break.
Senate Bill 84 would legalize retail and mobile sports betting at the state’s four casinos. Each property would be allowed to receive three skins (websites).
The bill includes a flat 10% tax on mobile and retail sports betting revenue. Additionally, casinos could partner with up to 50 retailers.
Finally time for Massachusetts gaming?
Since the fall of PASPA, 30 states and the District of Columbia have expanded gambling to include sports betting. Four of those states happen to be immediate neighbors of Massachusetts.
- New Hampshire
- New York
- Rhode Island
A still-active bill would expand gambling in the Commonwealth by legalizing sports betting and daily fantasy sports. The bill, H3993, recently received the support of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
Although no immediate action has been taken, one potential hurdle is Senate President Karen E. Spilka. A decade ago, Spilka opposed a law that legalized casino gaming. Experts anticipate similar pushback should a bill make it to the Senate.
Massachusetts’ legislative session ends July 31.