US gambling regulation: updates from Maine, Connecticut and South Dakota

US States Gambling

As sports betting spreads across the US, there have been movements – some good, some bad – in three states. These are South Dakota, Connecticut and Maine.

If you’re an affiliate looking to broaden your reach, it’s a case of good, okay and bad. Here are where they each stand at the time of writing.

South Dakota 

On Tuesday, the State Senate passed a proposal that has now been moved forward to the House. Should the next proverbial hurdle be cleared, voters will be able to decide whether or not the vertical should be legalised. This would take place in a ballot this November.

An attempt to pass a similar bill was made last year, but failed to pass the House phase. This was due to opposition from Governor Kristi Noem.

Since a change to the State Constitution would be needed, it would have to pass through a general election. If all goes to plan, already-regulated tribal casinos will also be allowed to offer this vertical.

Connecticut 

On Tuesday, a hearing took place in Connecticut to legalise sports betting. This is the state’s second attempt in as many years to move forward in this respect.

Two hours into that meeting, Rep. Russ Morin joked that he felt like he was in the film Groundhog Day. That was echoed by Rodney Butler – chairman of the Mashantucket Pequots, one of the state’s two tribes. He was frustrated at the lack of progress.

But the two disagreed on whether or not tribal casinos should have exclusive sports betting access. Morin believes that commercial operators should be allowed to offer the vertical too, saying the following.

“I don’t understand why, when there could be a great benefit to all players involved, why we can’t come up with something where we’ll all part of it.”

He also stated that he was “tired” of “listening over and over again to the same questions and the same dialogue”.

As reported in the Hartford Courant, there are further frictions over the bill. Sen. Cathy Olsen introduced one bill, which would give tribes exclusive rights for sports betting. However, Rep. Joe Verrengia wants to introduce a competing legislation. This would allow betting at tribal casinos, off-track betting sites and certain lottery outlets in Connecticut. Meanwhile, commercial brands would be able to offer online gambling.

Still a long way to go, then.

Maine 

Maine is more straightforward than the other two. And not for a good reason, if you were looking to expand here.

Gov. Janet Hill‘s veto on sports betting has been upheld by the House, following a vote.

Sen. Louis Luchini, a Democrat who was the primary sponsor of bill L.D. 553, expressed his disappointment at the decision. He argued that regulated casinos here had an “influence”, while also saying the below.

“This was a chance for us to actually do something that we know is coming, to get ahead of the train and do this. I just hope we are not the last state to do this.”