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State of the Union: A look at the week that was in North America

| By Jill R. Dorson
Welcome to iGB's State of the Union, a look at the biggest North American sports betting stories we've covered over the week and briefs on others we found interesting.
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Now Donald Trump Jr is getting in on the action

Donald Trump Jr is the latest to weigh in on the Alabama legislature’s legal lottery conundrum. The Alabama house passed a stripped down gambling expansion bill on Tuesday (30 April), but the senate did not after the bill’s sponsor and conference committee member, Greg Albritton, voted against the final version.

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians, who are in Albritton’s district, would be giving up some sovereignty and the chance at a fourth casino. “We put ourselves in a state position so the state had absolutely nothing to offer PCI for a compact,” Albritton told the Alabama Daily News this week. “As (much as I want) to solve this problem for the state, I can’t harm my folks in my area for it.”

The tribe has exclusivity for gaming, but the latest version of the gambling bill included “electronic games of chance” at dog tracks and bingo halls and took away an option for a fourth Poarch Creek casino. The legislature still has three “days” left before adjourning on 14 May. That means the house and senate can meet three more times before adjournment and the bill could come up again.

Alberta up next? Or maybe Quebec?

When it comes to legalising or launching sports betting in the US, money is often the driver. It seems the same is true in Canada. While most stakeholders point to Alberta as the next Canadian market to go live with sports betting, Loto-Quebec has been asked by the province to find $1bn in savings. At about the same time, the Quebec Online Gaming Coalition released results of a Mallette economic analysis. The study shows that Ontario brought in $145m in revenue during 2022-23. This was the first fiscal year of single-event wagering.

Also according to the report, Ontario Lottery and Gaming increased profits by 31%. The coalition suggests that the report results mean that any Canadian province could benefit from implementing a model similar to Ontario’s. Quebec has a population of 8.5 million compared to Ontario’s 14.2 million.

Betway, Bet99, DraftKings, Entain (BetMGM), FanDuel, Games Global and Rush Street Interactive are all part of the coalition and all have live wagering platforms in Ontario.

No statewide mobile in Mississippi

On Monday (29 April) a bill that would have expanded legal sports betting to statewide mobile in Mississippi died in conference committee. HB 774 would have allowed up to 30 digital wagering platforms tethered to casinos. The tax rate would have been 12%. The house approved the bill in February, but it didn’t get out of the senate. Further, conference committee could not resolve the differences.

Mississippi was the third state to go live with some form of legal sports betting after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned in May 2018. Wagering is limited to in-person and on-site mobile at several locations, but there is no statewide mobile in Mississippi. Three of four Mississippi border states now offer digital betting.

That ain’t right!

North Carolina’s legal sports betting law requires consumers to pay taxes on winnings. But it does not allow them to write off losses. Governor Roy Cooper wants that to change and is asking the legislature to revisit the new law. Operators are currently entitled to write off losses.

On Thursday (2 May) North Carolina Senator Julie Mayfield also dropped SB 788, which would ban prop bets on college players and prohibit in-person wagering at any venue hosting a college event for eight hours before and during a during an event. In North Carolina, pro sports venues are permitted to have brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.

Texans: Bring on betting

A new poll shows that Texans support the idea of land-based casinos and digital sports betting. The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation, found that 56% of those surveyed support casinos and 47% support sports betting and it included 1,600 “likely” Texas voters. The only issue that those polled are slightly opposed to, is the idea of in-person sportsbooks at professional sports venues.

The poll was released just as the Texas Destination Alliance has begun to rally support. The alliance, backed by Las Vegas Sands, claims that Texans spend $5bn annually on “out of state entertainment”.

In other news…

In partnership with the Wild Rose Casino & Hotel, Sporttrade went live in Iowa on Thursday (2 May), marking the independent startup’s third US market after Colorado and New Jersey. “Sporttrade isn’t just any old sportsbook,” founder and CEO Alex Kane said. “We’re on a relentless mission to transform the way players think about sports betting. Sporttrade will be attractive for sports bettors who want a premium betting experience; higher limits, better prices and concierge care.”

On Wednesday (1 May) Sports betting creator platform SoBet announced $3.7m in seed funding from Third Kind Venture Capital. SoBet brings well-known wagering content creators under one roof and consumers pay a monthly subscription price for access to dozens of voices. Founder Cooper Lycan said the goal is to “become the one-stop shop for sports coverage, analysis, and entertainment”.

CNBC reported on Tuesday (30 April) that Dave & Buster’s is poised to begin allowing betting on its arcade games. The company will offer the opportunity to loyalty customers aged over 18 and will place a limit on how much can be bet.


US TV sports betting ads on the decline

YouGov: Bet365 gaining traction among younger bettors

Missouri pro teams submit 340,000 signatures for sports betting initiative

Penn Entertainment peddling positive attitude despite revenue decline

Alabama senate rejects lottery, electronic games of chance hours after house approves them

Multiple US states considering new betting restrictions

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