U.S. Sports Betting Round Up: September 2019Published October 5, 2019 by Elana K
Mobile sports betting has finally come to Indiana, a Wisconsin lawmaker is on a mission to legal sports betting in the Badger State, and even Minnesota lawmakers are exploring the possibility of legalization.
Indiana state gaming officials have announced that the state will finally allow mobile sports betting beginning October 3. As of now, there is only one operator that will offer mobile sports betting - French Lick Casino, which has partnered with Chicago-based gaming company, Rush Street Gaming. The Indiana Gaming Commission has also received two additional requests from operators who wish to offer mobile sports betting.
Sara Gonso Tait, executive director of the Indiana Gaming Commission, commented, "I think you're going to see more mobile sports wagering (platforms) from different providers in Indiana in the month of October.”
Wisconsin lawmaker Tyler Vorpagel of Plymouth is on a mission to get sports betting legalized in the Badger State. He wants to allow both land-based and mobile sports betting, even if it means amending the state’s constitution.
“It may surprise you," he said, "there’s a lot of this going on illegally on the black market.” And when betting takes place on the black market, the state loses out on tax dollars. Moreover, consumers remain unprotected, so legalizing sports betting is really a win-win situation.
However, it won’t be an easy feat. Even if the constitution would be amended, there’s still the tribes to take into account, and that could mean losing millions of dollars to pay for exclusive gaming rights.
A delegation of Minnesota lawmakers visited nearby Iowa to get a closer look at the latter’s sports betting operation and see how it might be implemented in Minnesota. The delegation was led by Rep. Pat Garofalo, who has been championing sports betting in the North Star State but faces heavy opposition.
Because Iowa is so close, Minnesotans can just head over there to place sports bets, but then Minnesota is losing out. In the first two and a half weeks of Iowa’s sports betting, sportsbooks raked in more than $8.5 million in bets, with nearly $150,000 going to taxes. Garofalo thinks that if Minnesota offers legal sports betting, that tax money can go to state coffers. As of now, his opponents have the upper hand, especially because of tribal interests that currently influence the state’s main gambling policy.