Mobile Sports Bets Booming In Some States As Others Shy Away


Mobile Sports Bets Booming In Some States As Others Shy Away

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Mobile Sports Bets Booming In Some States As Others Shy Away
Mobile Sports Bets Booming In Some States As Others Shy Away

The odds are high in Ohio during March Madness, and not just to host the first round of the men's NCAA basketball regional tournament.

For the first time, Ohio sports fans can legally bet on the popular contest with the click of a mobile app or by walking into a booth at a bar, restaurant or grocery store.

Kansas, Massachusetts and Maryland are the latest additions to the online sports betting scene since the NCAA tournament was last announced. A total of 33 states and the District of Columbia offer at least some sports betting, each seeking equity in a multibillion-dollar business that has grown rapidly since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed it five years ago.

When sports betting started in January, Ohio started booming. In its first month, Ohio gamblers gambled more than $1.1 billion, generating more than $20 million in state tax revenue. That's nearly three times the revenue predicted by lawmakers in the first six months of operation. But no one would blame them for missing the point.

"They had no idea how big a market we would have on day one," said Jessica Franks, director of communications for the Ohio Casino Control Board.

While some states started with limited sports betting and gradually added mobile apps, Ohio started off more aggressively by introducing more mobile options and retail. Republican Governor Mike Dwayne has now proposed doubling the tax rate on sports betting.

New York began accepting sports betting in 2019, but limited the market to four physical casinos in the state. In the year The opportunity will increase in January 2022 when the state begins to allow mobile and computer sports betting. In the first month, more than $1.6 billion was placed in online sports betting, compared to just $15 million in casino sports betting. .

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New York levies a 51% tax on mobile sports betting revenue, the highest of any state, and most of that revenue goes to education. Budget officials originally projected that mobile sports betting would generate $357 million in state tax revenue for the 2023 fiscal year, which ends March 31. In February, mobile sports betting generated $661 million in tax revenue for education.

State Sen. Joseph Adabo Jr., chairman of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gambling and Betting, which debated sports betting, said he was surprised by the results.

"There is definitely interest in betting on mobile sports," Adabo said.

New York and Ohio have large populations and many professional sports teams, which helps generate interest in sports betting.

Arkansas, a very small state with no major league sports teams, launched sports betting in casinos in July 2019. Nearly $3 billion was wagered on this year's Super Bowl, more than three times what mobile betting allowed a year ago, according to state data. .

State officials hope people from neighboring states will cross into Arkansas to bet on March Madness.

"We'd be surprised if March doesn't set a new monthly record for sports betting in the state," said Scott Hardin, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

Other states have also exceeded their sports betting revenue estimates.

Indiana's sports betting tax is more than $31 million for the 2022 fiscal year, far more than the $12 million lawmakers expected to pass in 2019.

But not every state collects as much money as expected from sports betting.

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Montana's law, which only allows online sports betting in bars and casinos, generated $79 million in wagers last fiscal year and $4.8 billion in state tax revenue, analysts said. The actual result is about half that, from $2.4 billion in state tax revenue to $45 million in sports betting.

Connecticut received less than $20 million in sports betting tax revenue in the first 16 months after betting started in October 2021. Legislative analysts project $21 billion in the first fiscal year.

Nationally legalized sports betting has generated more than $3 billion in state and federal taxes since the 2018 Supreme Court decision, according to the American Gaming Association, the industry's largest lobbying organization. About three-quarters of the income one would expect from a fully mature market is over.

The Sports Betting Debate “Should This Be Considered? "How do we do it in a way that best serves our constituents?" said Casey Clark, the association's senior vice president.

Sports betting opportunities are expanding to different states this year.

Legislation to legalize sports betting passed the Kentucky House and passed the Senate on Wednesday, but it still faces major hurdles. Similar bills have died in the Senate before, and this year's version needs a three-fifths vote to pass.

Fans are taking another step into sports betting in Minnesota and many other states.

Efforts to legalize sports betting in Missouri have stalled in the Senate over amending regulations for in-store slot machine-style games.

The sports betting bills in Georgia have stalled on whether constitutional amendments are needed, how to spend tax revenue and whether sports betting is compatible with legalizing casinos and horse racing.

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The three most populous states, California, Texas and Florida, currently have no online sports betting. Florida's Seminole Tribe, which received special state rights to make sports bets, shut down its online application in December 2021 after a federal court ruled it violated a law requiring people to live in the tribe when placing bets.

After the most expensive vote in American history, California voters last November rejected a pair of sports bets backed by Native Americans and the gambling industry. Perhaps Followers will try again, though it's unclear when that will happen.


Lib from Jefferson City, Mo. Associated Press writer Jeff Amy reports in Atlanta. Tom Davis in Indianapolis; Andrew DeMillon in Little Rock, Ark.; Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee, Florida; Susan Hay in Hartford, Connecticut; Amy Beth Hanson in Helena, Mont. Steve Karnowski St. Paul, Minnesota; Mason Kahn in Albany, New York; Holly Ramer in Concord, NH; Bruce Schreiner in Frankfort, Ky. and Julie Carr Smith of Columbus, Ohio contributed to this report.


This story corrects that sports betting generates about three-quarters of what is expected from a fully mature market.

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