Movement Towards Legal Sports Betting in Georgia and Massachusetts

The race for the next state to legalize sports betting is on and we have news from two candidates – Georgia and Massachusetts. And while legislators are working towards opening new markets in these states, sportsbooks are seeing increased action in existing markets elsewhere.

The ScoreMetrics Lab is here with the latest developments on legal sports betting in the US.

Georgia Senate Committee passes betting bill

A major step towards legalization was taken in Georgia at the end of June when the Senate Special Judiciary Committee passed a bill for mobile sports betting.

Legal sports betting has been discussed in the Senate ever since the overturning of PASPA in May 2018, but this time around it seems that there is political will to drive the bill through. With major budget cuts on the horizon due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state would be happy to find new revenue streams. Legal sports betting could contribute an estimated $60 million to the state annually.

If passed to legislation, the bill would allow a full mobile sports betting market for bettors. The bill still has to go through a full vote in the Senate, where both chambers need to vote in favor of it with a two thirds majority. After that, Governor Brian Kemp needs to approve voting for the bill, and finally Georgia voters will have to vote in favor of the bill, again with a two thirds majority.

While there are still obstacles on the way, the bill is moving towards the right direction in Georgia. And if it passes, expect all of the major mobile sportsbooks to enter the market as fast as possible.

Massachusetts bill gets scrapped – still hope for 2020

There was hope at the end of July for a fast-tracked sports betting bill in Massachusetts, but bettors in the state will have to wait for a few more months to see whether or not they will be able to wager legally in the state in 2020.

The sports-crazy state would seem like a very lively market, and with Rhode Island and New Hampshire offering mobile sports betting right next door, the legislators in Massachusetts have interest in moving forward with a sports betting bill.

The July discussions ended in differences of opinion related to some of the key aspects of the bill, and a compromise could not be found after multiple amendment efforts in the senate.

There were major disagreements over how much sportsbooks should pay the state in terms of an integrity fee and in taxes. Some also called for more operators to be allowed in the state than originally planned, and for racetracks to be allowed to offer mobile sports betting as well.

While this was a small setback, legislators in the state have expressed their willingness to keep the discussion going in the coming weeks and months, and a legal sports betting market in Massachusetts in 2020 still seems like a possibility.

Mobile betting drives up Indiana revenues

Legal sports betting markets were growing at a rapid pace before the COVID-19 pandemic halted a lot of the action for a while. But in states where mobile betting options are available, things are looking up again, and Indiana is no exception.

The Hoosier state reported a $37.3 million handle in May and $29.8 for June. May was a big bump up from April, where the handle was at $26.3 million.

And while the June number dipped from the previous month, it’s important to remember that none of the US major leagues had resumed during these reported periods.

For comparison, the February 2020 handle in Indiana was at $187 million and the number was expected to be over $200 million for the summer months if things were normal.

With leagues now back in action, we will surely start looking at those types of figures soon in the Indiana Gaming Commission reports.

Legal sports betting is growing fast

2020 has been a big year for legal sports betting in the US. For some of the latest developments, have a look at our recent articles:

How Legal Sports Betting Has Grown in the Past Two Years

BetMGM, DraftKings and Circa Sports Making Moves in Colorado

William Hill Takes Over Caesars Sportsbook Operations

Sportsbooks Reopen in Las Vegas

Giannis Antetokounmpo Protects Greek Freak Trademark for Gambling Use

The Sports Trader: How Soaring DraftKings Stock Means Sports Trading is About to Explode

Four Sports Investing Trends for 2020

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