Sports betting is on the ballot for a few states

  • Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota will have residents vote on potential legal sports betting markets through their November ballots.
  • No specifics regarding what a legal sports wagering market will entail for any of the states have been set as they need to see a majority vote before proposals on an industry can be drawn up.
  • Come early November, LA, MD, & SD will all see if the 2021 sessions will have them ironing out a structure for a legalized sportsbook market within their states once votes are tallied.

BALTIMORELouisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota will have the legalization of sports betting put on their November ballots for voters to weigh in on the issue.

Each state passed bills in their 2020 legislative sessions that chose to allow residents to decide on whether or not they would like to launch sports wagering industries in their states.

While what will be seen on the ballots will be somewhat different in terminology, the idea behind each is still the same. No market structures have been drawn up because that will be something that will be decided with the 2021 session by lawmakers should constituents vote in favor of a sports betting industry.

What’s On The Ballots?

November is a big month for the nation as voting for the 2020 Presidential Election will be taking place but states will also be having their own topics and categories that residents will find on their ballots, three of which will include sports betting.

Lawmakers of Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota are all letting potential sportsbook legalizations be up to the people of the state. While voting on the topic will be helpful in final decisions on what residents want, there are no details yet for what these industries will provide.

The reason why real specifics are not known for any of the three states is that they’d be putting the cart before the horse.

If the majority vote was not in favor of gambling on sporting events, then a lot of time would have been wasted to iron out the details on something that would never take place. Therefore, rather than weigh down constituents with tons of details to decide on for the industry, states are making it simple.

Do they or do they not want to see legal sports betting in their towns?

Maryland would likely see their State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission as the regulator for sports betting, putting them in charge of handing out licenses when it got to that point. Outside of that, there is no real idea of how it would all work, be it mobile, retail, or both.

Maryland was leaning towards having casinos and racetracks offer sportsbooks in their state. There were also provisions for state-wide mobile sportsbooks but those provisions were all stripped out right before the 2020 session ended.

South Dakota have made their vote to only allow the town of Deadwood to be able to offer sportsbooks should the people vote in favor of the idea. Deadwood is gaming central in South Dakota, making a sports betting expansion an easy one. The town has been providing gambling services in the state for years.

The one caveat is that tribal casinos in the state are allowed to offer whatever is in Deadwood which would expand sportsbooks outside of the traditional gambling town.

Louisiana would have their votes be taken on a parish-to-parish basis as they did with Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in 2018. All 64 parishes will be given the choice to decide on sportsbooks for their towns like they did for DFS. The vote for that in 2018 saw 47 parishes make DFS legal, with 15 opting out.

The same could be seen come November 3 at 10 p.m. when all votes have been counted for sportsbooks.

November Outlook

Legal sports betting could very well be added to the economy of three states, making the list of legalized markets nationwide that much bigger.

Maryland is the one state of the three that has the most open idea of a potential sports wagering industry in terms of locations. Louisiana has it set as parish-to-parish instead of statewide or a particular set of areas within the state and South Dakota is strictly based in Deadwood and possibly tribal casinos.

Either way, by the beginning of November, residents in all three of these states will be able to vote on a legal sports betting market and will have an answer as to whether or not they will be seeing one come 2021.

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