Multiple States Pass Gambling Resolutions on Election Day
Last week, we discussed the outcome of four referendums in Virginia that legalized casino gambling. However, Virginia wasn’t the only state voting on gambling matters. Five other states had votes on various topics. Today, we will take a look at the outcomes of gambling votes in Maryland, Nebraska, Colorado, Louisiana, and South Dakota.
Nebraska Votes to Allow Casino Gambling at Racetracks
Virginia wasn’t the only state voting on casino gambling last week. Nebraska was voting on whether to allow casino gambling at state horse racing tracks. Part of the initiative was angled to lower property taxes in the state.
Ultimately, the measure easily passed by a 2 to 1 vote. Casino gambling will now be allowed at six tracks in the state. Also, the vote allows for any future race tracks to offer casino gambling. According to various estimates, the state will receive around $65 million in tax revenue.
Colorado to Raise Max Bets at Casinos
Colorado has a max bet policy in the state that limits bets to a max of $100 for all games in a casino. Last week, citizens voted to allow casinos to raise or lower this betting limit without a future vote. In the past, any changes to gambling limits had to be approved in a vote. As part of this new referendum, cities can use the tax revenues collected from casinos to help fund community colleges.
Approximately 60 percent of Colorado voters approved the measure that will amend the state Constitution. It is unclear whether any of the 33 state casinos will actually raise limits. Currently, any poker games in the state are spread limit Hold’em with a max bet of $100 per hand. This could change in the near future.
Most of Louisiana Legalizes Sports Betting
In Louisiana, citizens were voting to legalize sports betting. Similar to Virginia, this voting was done at the Parish level. In the end, 56 Parishes approved sports betting. The others voted No, but most were rural Parishes that were expected to vote against it.
For areas that will allow sports betting, it will likely be the end of 2021 before citizens can bet. Both regulations and taxes have to be set for sports betting, and that is done at the legislative level. The end of 2021 is the most optimistic estimate for when you can expect legal sports betting in Louisiana.
Maryland and South Dakota Legalize Sports Betting
Two other states will not allow sports betting. Maryland and South Dakota both passed measures that will bring sports betting to casinos. However, both states still have regulatory matters to sort out.
In Maryland, sports betting passed by a 2 to 1 margin. Now that citizens have approved it, the state legislature will need to sort out regulations and tax rates. If the tax rate is set at 20 percent, as is the current rate for casino games, the state could see around $18.2 million in tax revenue. Tax revenue from sports betting will go to the state’s public education fund.
The vote in South Dakota was slightly closer, with 58% of voters opting for sports betting. Under the measure, the state Constitution will allow for sports betting in Deadwood, making it unlikely that we will see online sports betting.
Similar to Maryland, South Dakota’s legislature still have to hammer out the regulatory language and set tax rates. This is expected to be done by Summer, allowing Deadwood casinos to offer sportsbooks by the end of the year.
2021 should prove an interesting year, especially now that Joe Biden has won the Presidency in the United States. As such, we could see the Wire Act saga draw to a close, which should give the green light to states to continue expanding online gambling in the United States.