The State of Legalized Sports Gambling in New England in 2020 varies from state to state. This summer, lots of action has produced different scenarios in different states. But all six New England states are eying the new Holy Grail of wagering – Legalized Sports Betting and iGaming. They fall into three groups – the haves, the going to have, and the have -nots. So let’s look at all six states and see where they land.
Group #1 – Already Offers Legalized Sports Betting
The first New England state to offer legal sports betting and mobile sports betting is reaping the significant benefits. The Rhode Island lottery operates retail sportsbooks at the state’s two casinos and offers statewide mobile betting through Sportsbook Rhode Island.
There are no state laws in Rhode Island that prohibit sports betting or gambling online. However, some laws make it illegal to operate an unlicensed gambling business, including sportsbooks both online and offline.
Mobile sports betting in Rhode Island is conducted by the Rhode Island Lottery, powered by William Hill on an IGT platform.
In May of 2021, Rhode Island reported $28 million in sports bets, its tenth straight month with a betting handle of more than $20 million. More than 50 percent of the total was wagered online, while Twin River Casino continues to outpace Tiverton Casino as the Ocean State’s top retail betting location.
Rhode Island had continued to make records in monthly sports betting handle, with a slight dip in April.
Analysis by Natalie Abele
Natalie Abele of SportsBettingDime.com gave this insight into Rhode Island’s legal sports betting:
“Rhode Island is a smaller sports-betting market based on its population and lack of in-state professional teams (although Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, and Celtics are considered their own). However, it’s currently outpacing Washington, DC, which has its own pro teams, and Oregon, a much larger population and a couple of sports teams. So, Rhode Island is doing some things right, but there’s room for improvement… For example, allowing additional operators to enter the market would likely increase betting volume. In addition, more competition between sportsbooks would benefit consumers in the form of better promotions.
That said, RI sports betting revenue is also taxed at a very high rate – 51 percent of gross gaming revenue – which can lead to less attractive odds for sports bettors in the long term. So to maintain fair odds that keep bettors coming back, we’d like to see the tax rate lowered.
Rhode Island has one of the highest sports betting tax rates in the country, which fills state coffers but does not bode for a healthy, competitive market in the long run. Of course, state legislators are pleased with the $28 million in taxes collected in the first 2.5 years. But for the sake of RI sports bettors, more sportsbooks operating with a lower tax rate would be beneficial.“
By comparison, here’s what some other smaller states charge operators via taxes: Arkansas: 12.5 percent; Iowa: 6.75 percent; Mississippi: 12 percent; Washington, DC: 10 percent; West Virginia: 10 percent
New Hampshire – Legalized Sports Gambling in New England
In June 2019, New Hampshire was the second New England state to legalize sports betting and the 17th overall. New Hampshire allows 10 retail sportsbooks and 5 mobile ones to provide legalized in-person and mobile sports betting. DraftKings is the exclusive provider of the New Hampshire Lottery, which oversees all sports betting.
Sportsbook at The Brook, New Hampshire’s first sports wagering facility, opened in Seabrook. The Brook is the full gambling experience. There are casino games, poker, a racebook, a DraftKings Sportsbook, food, and drink.
The sportsbooks is a giant room with private skyboxes for each customer. There are comfortable couches and tables for food to be placed. Two televisions accompany each couch, as well as there being three massive screens upfront. You can make your wagers at the desk in the front.
The second DraftKings sportsbook is a Filotimo Casino & Restaurant, another full casino. You can play poker, roulette, as well as lottery games at the casino. The sportsbook includes wagers with a clerk and wagers at kiosks with Filotimo. You can sit down at the sports bar and restaurant to watch games after placing your wagers while enjoying food and drink.
Comparing the Ocean State and the Granite State
As in Rhode Island, revenue has recently increased substantially. In March 2021, New Hampshire generated 4.25 million U.S. dollars from sports betting, up from the previous month’s total of 1.79 million U.S. dollars. It is also up over 400% when compared to the previous March in 2020.
Related Post – Comparing Rhode Island and New Hampshire Sports Betting.
Betters must be at least 18 years old in both states, and iGaming is not legally available.
Group #2 – We Must Have Legal Sports Betting
According to Amber Hoffman of GamingToday.com, Connecticut is on track to launch online sports betting apps by September 6, 2021, according to a “tentative timeline” provided by the Connecticut Lottery.
The agreement reached in March of 2021 has been added to a now amended state pact that gave Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino exclusive gambling rights in Connecticut for almost thirty years. Here are specifics of the new agreement:
- It will allow the Connecticut Lottery, in cooperation with both tribal entities, to run sports betting,
- Under the agreement, the CT government will tax all online casino gaming, including online poker, at 18% for the first five years before increasing to 20% for the following five years.
- All sports betting revenue will be taxed at 13.75%. The Connecticut Lottery will have the right to operate 15 retail onsite locations and one online sportsbook. Two of the retail locations will be located in Hartford and Bridgeport.
- Both tribes also agreed to pause the construction of their joint casino Tribal Winds proposed in East Windsor, CT, for the next ten years.
- the tribes would be able to develop a casino in Bridgeport (an enterprise neither tribe wants to undertake)
- Sportech, licensed by the state to offer off-track betting, would be licensed by the CT Lottery for sports betting in brick-and-mortar locations, not online.
As of one week in May, both House, Senate, and Governor signed off on the bill to legalize sports betting AND iGaming.
Interest In One License Booming
Recently, FanDuel and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment became partners for Connecticut sports betting market access. Additionally, Foxwoods had announced a partnership with the sports betting company DraftKings in December of 2020. Both partnerships also include iGaming and Daily Fantasy Sports.
Related Post – iGaming Will Put Connecticut On Top In New New England.
Massachusetts – Legalized Sports Gambling in New England
Massachusetts politics cautious, “get it right the first time” attitude may be stifling the legalization of sports wagering. NETG’s friend, Steve Ruddock, calls it “paralysis by analysis. “The support to legalize it is strong, but the means of getting it accomplished is still up in the air.
Massachusetts has recently gotten a big boost to its chances for sports betting in 2021. The Governor, Charlie Baker, has proposed his own bill to allow for both brick-and-mortar and online sports gambling. Just recently, this bill has finally gained approval from the House. It enables both in-person bettings at casinos and also provides up to three licenses for mobile betting services. A 12.5 percent tax would be applied to in-person bets, while mobile betting would see a 15 percent tax.
Still, the highest hurdle that the bill faces remains the Senate, which blocked an attempt by the House to pass sports betting in 2020. After the House passed an economic development package — which included legalizing sports betting — 12 months ago, the Senate eventually passed the bill, but without the sports betting component.
The state’s three casinos are chomping at the bit. It is no secret that MGM Springfield has been preparing to open a sportsbook as soon as they’re legally able to. BetMGM is one of the top sports betting sites available. They would likely partner with their Massachusetts retail location when sports betting is legalized in the state. Likewise, FOX Bet would most likely partner with the established Plainridge Park casino.
Group #3 – We Need To Investigate Adding Sports Betting
Maine’s legislature has proposed seven different bills regarding sports betting since 2019. Last year, a bill to legalize sports betting made it to the desk of Maine’s Governor Janet Mills, who vetoed it. “Sports betting can’t be marketed towards kids.” which was a big issue for the Governor.
“Rightfully so,” said State Senator Louis Luchini. In response, Luchini reintroduced a similar document last week, reworking it to address the Governor’s concerns. Those main concerns were marketing to children and punishments for illegal sites or gambling rings. Four other legislators introduced similar bills, which are expected to be merged during committee work sessions.
Luchini’s bill would also benefit Maine’s indigenous tribes. “This bill would hopefully give equity to the tribes. Hopefully, they will be able to conduct a form of gaming here in the state of Maine,” said Luchini.
No Legal Sports Betting in Maine this year.
Twenty days after the Maine House voted to enact a legal sports betting bill, the Senate adjourned for the summer while failing to act on it. This time around, the bill still needs Senate approval to get to Mills’ desk. And even if it does get there, sources say there is no guarantee that she will sign off.
According to Jill R. Dorson of SportsHandle.com,
“It would have allowed for statewide retail and mobile wagering, with no requirement for digital platforms to be tethered to casinos or other gaming venues. That would have allowed companies like Boston-based DraftKings to enter the state without having a physical presence…But on the Senate floor… it was amended to require tethering.”
Most likely, Oxford and Hollywood Bangor would expect to have companies like DraftKings partnered with them. But at this time, it may be 2022 before we see further movement.
Is “sports betting” legal in Vermont? The answer might surprise you. Yes. VT residents can legally bet real money on sports at online sportsbooks located offshore and outside Vermont and the United States jurisdiction. Unfortunately, at this time, Vermont has not yet joined the states that have legalized and launched sports betting, nor even began legislation to do so.
The Vermont Minimum Sports Betting Age is 18 years old at Offshore sites only. And there are no restrictions as to what you can’t bet on, in terms of local teams, New England college teams, etc.
Vermont does not yet offer sports betting, but lawmakers are studying the issue.
All six New England states have delved into the sports betting “pool.” Some are only testing the waters by sticking a toe in the water. Others have already done a “cannon-ball,” splashing their success all over the region. One thing is for sure, the number of states offering sports betting and gaming will continue to grow at an amazing pace over the next few years.