State Lawmakers Across The Country Are Tackling Sports Issues

Odds are good something will happen.



State lawmakers around the country are back to work and for a number of them, sports gambling is a major issue. Lawmakers in New York will immediately tackle the question of whether the state should get sports gambling up and running with the knowledge that downstate New Yorkers can just cross a bridge or go through a tunnel and find a sportsbook at the New Jersey Meadowlands just across the way from the New York Giants and Jets stadium. Connecticut, which has some residents in Fairfield County that live close enough to the Meadowlands sportsbook, is also in the same boat as New York and state lawmakers could craft a bill legalizing a sportsbook in the state. Connecticut’s eastern neighbor Rhode Island has a sportsbook up and going. Michigan representatives could also take up legislation. Nevada has had legalized sports gambling since 1949. In 2018, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Mississippi, West Virginia and New Mexico allowed sportsbooks to open in casinos in their states. Washington, DC has no casinos but sports betting may start in the District in 2019.

Sports betting policy is not limited just to state governments. Congress may want to put all sports gambling under a federal umbrella and impose laws limiting state powers on sports gambling. Of course that is what uncorked sports gambling in the first place. In 1992, Congress allowed sports gambling in Nevada with some limited form of sports gambling in Delaware, Montana and Oregon. The Supreme Court overruled the federal law in a case involving New Jersey. One other state needs to be watched. Utah lawmakers are considering legislation that could shield Salt Lake City from financial debt if the local Olympic bid committee lands the 2030 Winter Olympics. The International Olympic Committee requires host groups to pick up the debt that the event brings. Someone in Utah will pay.