Sports gambling could come to local casinos

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 22, 2018

And faster than we thought.

Pennsylvania, which is a little bit different market than its neighbors, has thus far put the public emphasis on getting this right rather than getting it first.

The outpatient benefits are required to be as robust as physical outpatient treatment in states that have moved their programs into private managed care plans because of parity laws, she told Bloomberg Law in an email.

Here's an end-of-week look at where things stand in Pennsylvania, and the Mid-Atlantic region as a whole.

And that's without legal sports betting just a click or call away.

Two of Pennsylvania's neighbors, meanwhile, have been all about the timeline. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is asking the Legislature to come back into session, now that the Supreme Court has ruled, to enact a sports-betting measure.

MI already has fairly wide-ranging language in state law for the Detroit casinos, so sports wagering there might be able to move forward without new legislation, a spokeswoman said.

Wiliam Hill will create one set of odds that will be used at all three of the state's casinos.

With Monday's decision, every state can now choose to pass legislation that would legalize sports betting.

"There will be no prolonged fight", state Senate President Stephen Sweeney said this week. It's hard and unusual to get highly paid players in the most popular sports to lose on objective, but the same can not be said for the lower levels of less popular sports like pro tennis, for instance, or many college sports.

There is a simple way for the sanctioning body to add wagering to its infrastructure - it could just draw from one of the most popular forms of sports gambling in the world.

The federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 barred state-authorized sports gambling, with some exceptions. I'm pro-choice on the issue - opposed to it personally, but I believe that if people choose to spend their own money that way, government shouldn't ban it.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Carlo Santarelli, an analyst with Deutsche Bank Securities in NY, predicted last week that by 2023 there will be 13 states with active sports betting industries. But the decision created a lot of other questions. They're the gamblers who are more likely to use their cell phones and tablets and can bet anywhere at the drop of a hat.

"If they allow sports gambling in IN before they do IL, I can see a lot of Illinoisans just jumping the border, placing bets", Harris said.

Each book decides what games and types of bets it will offer, from typical point spread winners and over/unders on total points, to futures bets on championship teams or winners of events like the Masters or Wimbledon. The act of betting and consumption of the game are complimentary activities.

The Pennsylvania law leaves that possibility open, and most believe you can nearly certainly expect it here at some point.

Harris says he wants to lawmakers to approve rules before neighboring states, including Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa. Then there are the Indian tribes and casinos - think they might want in? Would people be allowed to place bets online?

How big a market is this?

Sports bettors wagered $4.9 billion in 2017, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

The $249 million in house winnings, meanwhile, was just 2.2 percent of their revenue pie. This large figure (almost five times the combined revenues of Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA and NHL; 14 times the movie industry's domestic ticket sales) is a guess and might be much less than the actual sum that Americans wager on sports. A limited infrastructure exists to stop people from falling through the cracks, and once they find themselves in need of treatment, health-care options that are paid for by insurance are sorely lagging, according to professionals in the field of problem gambling. It's a rate that some experts say is unrealistic, especially compared to Nevada's 6.75 percent and New Jersey's planned 8 percent and West Virginia's 10 percent.

Not much, if Nevada is any indication. The casinos' profit might average about $70 million a year, translating into only about $24 million in state tax revenue. Thinking about it now, this could drive something like the Olympics.

"The sports better will stay for long weekends, even weeks sometimes, depending on the sporting event", Lesniak said, citing the NCAA basketball tournament, National Football League playoffs and World Cup soccer tournament as examples.

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