Legal Betting – Kiosks in Ohio, Missouri Sports Betting Bill

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Legal betting is spreading throughout the U.S.

Key Points

– Two states are working to enact legal betting by the end of this year.

– The politics of legal betting is evident around the country as states attempt to push legislation through their governments.

Legal Betting Is Coming to a State Near You

As legislative sessions are taking place across the United States, here is a glimpse of what’s happening in the sports betting industry. Some states are dealing with issues, while others are cruising along and enjoying the ride.

Problems in Ohio Need to Be Sorted Out  

Bettors and small business entities were awaiting the biggest universal sports betting launch in 2023, which occurred in Ohio. However, the Buckeye State’s market highlighted many flaws across the board. 

According to the Ohio Lottery, which oversees the operation, 772 Type-C locations with kiosks had drawbacks in the first report. Intralot handles the kiosks. Intralot is a transaction processing system. Intralot experienced many delays that hurt the total handle numbers for these small entities.

By the end of January, only 275 of the kiosks were available. That’s a terrible sign because thousands were projected to be available to the public. Through the first month of operation, the total handle only registered an amount of $850,336 in wagers.

In contrast, the kiosks’ handle should account for only a fraction of what the mobile sports betting numbers should be. On a weekly basis, consumers can only bet a total of $700 a week on these machines. Despite the online sports betting numbers being projected to post great results, the commission has another issue to deal with.

In recent betting reports, problem gambling has been on the rise. The Dayton Daily News reported that the referral and resource phone line received 1,492 calls a month. This concern has popped up not only in Ohio but also in other jurisdictions. Sports betting is becoming very common in the United States. 

Is There Enough Support for Legal Betting in Georgia?

Advocates of legal betting in Georgia have a couple of bills on the docket. Problem gambling is one of the primary focuses in the state. The House Higher Education Committee initiated a hearing for HB 380 to legalize sports betting. SB 57, a bill concerning horse racing, didn’t garner much support.

On the other end, SR 140 and SB 172 would enable constitutional amendments, which would give all the say to voters in the next election cycle. There are some differences between HB 380 and SB 57 as passed through the Senate Committee Economic Development and Tourism on Monday.

Rep. Marcus Wiedower shared some of the changes that were enacted on HB 380. The measure tax rate based on adjusted revenue increased from 15 to 20 percent. The bookmakers that receive approved licenses in the Peach State will also be subject to paying taxes on promotional deductions and credits.

Nevertheless, SB 57’s major difference is easy to spot as it would include fixed-odds wagering on horse racing. However, lawmakers have stated that not including the horse racing initiative is fine, as it should not play a monumental role in the sports betting effort.

SR 140 and SB 172 would require extra effort to pass through both the Senate and House chambers in the state. The two measures face tough roadblocks because there are more steps in the process. 

To put the measure on the ballot in 2024, two-thirds of the members in the Georgia Congress must vote in favor. There are two other bills aimed at legal betting without amending the state constitution, (mentioned above), but they don’t include the same amount of responsible gambling measures.

Can Missouri Pass a Sports Betting Bill This Year?

There is a lot of pressure on Missouri to pass legal betting during the 2023 legislative session. Neighboring Kansas has found success with legalized sports betting. Bookmakers in the Sunflower State accounted for $14.5 million in Super Bowl bets placed on the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles.

The State Senate chamber in the Show-Me State was the first to initiate talks in the state on Wednesday. The casinos and professional sports franchises are in favor of allowing both online and brick-and-mortar sports betting in Missouri.

Representatives from the casinos and professional franchises spoke against a second bill that would allow video lottery terminals to exist in the state. Ellinger Bell’s legal memo claims that SB 1 is unconstitutional. According to Bell, the Lottery Revenue Share diverts funds that are not administrative expenses away from education.

According to SB 1, the writing in the initiative refers to video lottery terminals as “gray machines”. These types of slot machines are found in casinos, gas stations, convenience stores, laundromats, bars, and other establishments across the state. The state does not license or tax these slots.

Sen. Denny Hoskins’ bill seeks to bring VLTs into a licensed framework, but Missouri law already requires that all lottery proceeds be earmarked for education. Under the senator’s bill, all the proceeds would lead to fewer administrative expenses. The expenses would be split between the operators and the retailers. The provisions in the bill would direct some of the generated revenue toward the state veteran fund.