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Gambling in the USA

Louisiana Legislature quickly moving gambling changes sought by industry

George Miller

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Louisiana Legislature quickly moving gambling changes sought by industry
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Louisiana lawmakers have yet to come across a new gambling proposal they haven’t liked during the first two weeks of the 2018 legislative session. All 11 pieces of gambling legislation that have come up in House and Senate committees have been approved.

More could be in the works: Proposals on sports betting, fantasy sports and internet gambling haven’t been brought up for a vote yet.

The session is shaping up to be a historic one for Louisiana’s gambling industry. Lawmakers have filed more than three dozen proposals to change regulations and legalize new forms of gambling. It will likely see the largest number gambling laws approved since 1993 when Louisiana first authorized riverboat casinos.

Here are the bills that have advanced so far:  

Moving riverboat casinos on land

A Senate committee has advanced a bill that would allow Louisiana’s 15 riverboat casinos to officially move on land as long as they end up 1,200 feet from their existing locations.

Casino operators would have to have to make a case to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board that the move would promote economic development. The casinos also would no longer need an operating paddle wheel, under Senate Bill 316, which Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Lake Charles, is proposing.

Restrictions on the riverboat casino gambling space would change as well. Currently, they are limited to 30,000 square feet. The limitation would change to the number of machines or gambling seats in a casino, with a cap of 2,635. 

Casino operators said the proposal wouldn’t necessarily increase the number of machines and seats at some casinos, but it will allow them to purchase larger, more modern machines that take up more space.

Also under the bill, riverboats would also be allowed to hold four gambling tournaments per year. 

Capping taxes paid on freebies

Starting in July 2020, casinos, video poker operators and racetracks wouldn’t necessarily have to pay taxes on all of the vouchers, free chips and other giveaways they offer to lure people to their facilities, under proposed legislation. A Senate committee moved Senate Bill 320 forward this week. 

Currently, casinos have to pay taxes on such incentives. The proposal would allow operators to appeal to the Gaming Control Board to only pay taxes on a “baseline” value of its giveaways. Any revenue the casinos make over and above this baseline would not be subjected to taxes. Casinos could also ask the board to lower their baselines, thereby decreasing their tax burden.

Johns, who also authored this bill, said it is supposed to help Louisiana compete with Mississippi casinos, which don’t have to pay taxes on vouchers and other giveaways. 

Relaxing video poker rules

A Senate committee approved two bills that lower costs for video poker operators, particularly those that operate at truck stops.

Senate Bill 184, sponsored by Sen. Danny Martiny, R-Kenner, would allow a wider variety of video poker displays and more poker hands to be on the screen at one time.

Truck stops also would no longer have sell a certain amount of fuel every month to keep the video poker machines they already have if they have been open for at least 10 years. Parking restrictions for truck stops would also be relaxed, and all video poker operators would no longer have to keep a restaurant open for 12 hours per day. 

Senate Bill 230, sponsored by Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, proposes the same restaurant and parking regulations at truck stop poker outlets as Martiny’s, though it doesn’t address the fuel or machine display regulations. It’s considered a “placeholder” in case Martiny’s bill doesn’t get approved. 

 

Source: nola.com

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Gambling in the USA

Delaware igaming industry performs well in January

Niji Ng

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Delaware igaming industry performs well in January
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The Delaware Lottery’s financial results have shown that igaming performed robustly on the financial front in January 2019, by posting a 57.9 per cent increase in revenues year-on-year.

Revenue rose to $279,541 (£217,970/€247,999), showing a 11.2 per cent month-on-month from December last year.

Players wagered $7.4m across the state’s three licensed igaming sites in January 2019, which represented a 65.5 per cent year-on-year advance, but a 27.7 per cent fall from the $10.3m staked in December 2018. Players won a total of $7.2m during the month.

Video lottery accounted for $190,223.44 of total monthly revenue, a 68.0 per cent share, followed by table games, which contributed a further $66,982.14. Poker rake and fees, on the other hand, contributed just $22,335.51.

Player registrations also grew significantly in January, up 117.3 per cent to 578.

The majority of revenue was generated by Dover Downs, which saw its more than double from $48,215.61 in the prior year to $139,816.37, with 233 players registering to play over the month.

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Gambling in the USA

New Hampshire challenges US Department of Justice over online gambling

Niji Ng

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New Hampshire challenges US Department of Justice over online gambling
Photo Source: bingoresourceguide.com
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New Hampshire and the company that supports the state’s iLottery system have sued the U.S. Department of Justice over a legal opinion that could put an end to online gambling and state-run lotteries.

The Justice department issued a legal opinion in November that re-interpreted the federal Wire Act of 1961 to ban interstate wagering. The department had been maintaining that online gambling within states that does not involve sporting events would not violate federal law, but in the November opinion, the officials said the law applies to any form of gambling that crosses state lines.

The New Hampshire Lottery Commission filed a lawsuit in federal court citing that the opinion subjects its employees to prosecution, creates uncertainty about whether it should cease operations and could cost the state more than $90 million a year.

Only a small portion of that total comes from the “iLottery” platform the state launched in September and is expected to bring in $4 to $6 million in the fiscal year that starts in July. But the broadest interpretation of the opinion would prohibit all lottery-related activities that use the internet, Attorney General Gordon MacDonald argued in the complaint. That includes transmission of data to backup servers set up in other states.

“Today New Hampshire is taking action to protect public education,” Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement. “The opinion by DOJ puts millions of dollars of school funding at risk, and we have a responsibility to stand up for our students.”

“There is no indication in the plain language of (the Wire Act), its structure, its purpose, or its legislative history of an unmistakable Congressional intent to outlaw state-conducted lottery activity,” MacDonald wrote. “If Congress wishes to criminalise the interstate transmissions required to operate state-conducted lotteries, it must do so in clear, unmistakable language. Congress has not done that in the Wire Act. ”

NeoPollard Interactive, which offers support for New Hampshire’s iLottery hardware and software, has also filed a suit.

The company’s attorney, Matthew McGill, called the justice department’s opinion a “lawless act.”

“This opinion would subject to felony prosecution conduct that two court of appeals, including the First Circuit, have said is lawful,” he said in a statement. “This is an outrageous and dangerous usurpation of authority.”

The Department of Justice declined to comment.

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Gambling in the USA

Minnesota mulls legalising tribal sports betting

Niji Ng

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Minnesota mulls legalising tribal sports betting
Photo Source: sportshandle.com
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Minnesota is planning to formulate a new bill for legalising sports betting at tribal casinos in the state.

The new bill, named the new Safe and Regulated Sports Gambling Act of 2019, was introduced by Representative Pat Garofalo. It proposes plans to form the Minnesota Sports Wagering Commission, an authority that will have the powers to regulate the state’s sports betting market.

The bill would allow in-person sports wagering at casinos runs by recognised tribes in Minnesota, while consumers would also be able to place bets via mobile and other electronic devices on-site. The bill stipulates that any mobile app to block access to consumers if they are more than 20ft away from a tribal property.

Consumers can bet on all sports and events authorised by the Commission, including US collegiate sports, but wagering on virtual events would not be permitted.

According to the proposal, the new commission will sanction two types of licenses: a sports pool licence and a mobile and electronic sports pool licence, with casinos permitted to apply for both types of licences. The bill does not set out the cost for either licence.

The bill would also enable casinos to enter into agreements with third parties to manage or operate an on-site sports pool, a mobile and electronic sports pool, or both.

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