Analysis

AGA praises ballot boosts across six states

Bill Miller, President and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA), praised the votes in favor of legalizing sports betting in Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota and expand casino gaming in Colorado, Nebraska and Virginia.

Sports betting achieved a clean sweep in Maryland, South Dakota and Louisiana as voters approved measures that would permit state legislators to regulate sports betting.

Casinos will also benefit from new expansion measures that will allow them to add new games and patrons to wager larger amounts.

Nebraska will allow games of chance to take place at the state’s racetracks and in Virginia voters were in favor of new casinos being established at four locations in the state.

In Colorado the approval of Amendment 77 removes the $100 limit on a single bet and allows casinos to offer new products such as baccarat, keno and the big six wheel.

Wedge Index boost

The votes will also have a dramatic impact on the gaming-friendliness of each state on the Wedge Index. Just by adding sports betting, each state will receive an extra 15 points at least.

In a statement published by the AGA, Miller commented: “As a result of successful ballot measures in six gaming states, more Americans will have access to much needed job opportunities, dedicated tax revenue, and safe, regulated entertainment options closer to home. 

“Some form of legal gaming is currently authorized in 44 states, and more than 45% of American adults – 115 million – live in states with legal, regulated sports betting and the safeguards these markets provide.”

In Maryland 66% of the voters said they were in favor of regulated sports betting, a move that was supported by Governor Larry Hogan. South Dakota approved the proposals by 59% to 41% and in Louisiana a large majority of the state’s parishes voted for sports betting with only a handful against.

 The details of the regulations will be ironed out over the next 12 months.

Pandemic recovery measures

“Our industry has a long history of working successfully with federal and state governments that span party lines, and we look forward to our continued collaboration with champions in Washington, DC to shape a favorable policy environment for gaming,” Miller added.

“There remains an urgent need to address the national economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To effectively recover, our industry needs critical relief that aids employee retention and rehiring, provides liability protections for responsible operators, supports tribal nations, and jump starts the travel and tourism industry.

“And we’ll continue to work with leaders in this Congress and the Trump administration to advance these immediate priorities.”

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Jake Pollard

Jake Pollard is an experienced journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and betting industry for many years. He has written for the leading media outlets as well as operators and suppliers in the igaming space. His current areas of focus are wide-ranging and include regulatory developments in the US, emerging markets in South America and how European countries are adapting to a decade of igaming regulation.

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