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This Week In US Sports Betting February 19 To February 25

The year is still fresh but already sports betting legislative action is moving forward in several states. In New Jersey where legal sports betting is already well established, there is a new online sportsbook from the Golden Nugget. Last week was a busy one for sports betting news.

The Golden Nugget takes its sports betting brand online

The Golden Nugget’s online casino is the frontrunner in the New Jersey market, and now the casino has launched its assault on the online sports betting market.

The sports betting technology behind the Golden Nugget’s book is provided by SBTech, and first impressions are that they have done a good job.

A wide selection of games are offered with the sole exception of the NBA. Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta is also the owner of the NBA franchise the Houston Rockets. The New Jersey regulator has decided that it would be a conflict of interest if the Nugget took bets on the NBA.

Nevertheless the site is worth checking out. Special promotions including “Golden Lines” that offer odds boosts on selected bets, “Parlay Boost” which gives parlay bettors better odds, and “Match Tracker” which provides excellent information for in-game bets.

More states get closer to legal sports betting

Sports betting legislation has moved out of committee in both legislative chambers in Iowa. The state legislators will soon get to vote for bills that will legalize online sports betting and live sports betting at the state’s 19 licensed casinos.

A low tax rate of 6.75% should mean that odds will be competitive, but as the bill stands, bettors looking to wager online will first have to register at a bricks and mortar casino.

Low tax rates are not something we associate with Illinois, and Governor J.B. Pritzker is making no exception for sports betting. He has included sports betting revenues totaling $217 million in the state budget from sports betting in FY 2020.

The majority of the money will come from offering 20 sports betting licenses at $10 million each. Extortionate maybe, but the strategy has worked in Pennsylvania. Illinois’ proposed tax rate of 20 percent is at least lower than the 36 percent in Pennsylvania.

In his statement Pritzker has high hopes for sports betting revenues:

“Based on estimates from Oxford Economics, Illinois could generate between $384 million and $680 million in gross sports wagering revenues per year under full implementation. At the proposed 20 percent tax rate, this would generate tax revenues of between $77 million and $136 million per year.”

So far the plans aren’t backed up by a specific bill. The Governor must now lobby behind the scenes to get Illinios politicians behind the plan.

And what to look for this week

Legal progress on challenging the DOJ’s new opinion on the Wire Act could become more of an issue this week. We still await a response from the DOJ to the letter sent by New Jersey and Pennsylvania’s Attorney Generals.

On the legislative front, Kentucky has a house vote scheduled, Missouri has a committee hearing and Connecticut has a public hearing.

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