Regulatory Report: 102 gambling-related bills in progress in U.S. legislatures May

June 9, 2024 8:05 AM
  • Debra Jobes — Gaming Division Lead, Regology
June 9, 2024 8:05 AM
  • Debra Jobes — Gaming Division Lead, Regology

The number of gambling-related bills going through the various stages of the lawmaking process has been reduced to a total of 102 with only 12 (24%) US state legislatures currently in session. 1 The states with the highest legislative activity for the month of May 2024 are New York (19), New Jersey (13), California (12), Louisiana (11), and New Hampshire (6).

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Gaming Bills on the Move2

Win, Lose, or Draw: Legislation that Became Law

Out of the many bills our system processed during the month of May, this report will review some of the most important laws that were recently passed in Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. The following topic categories are applied to these certain jurisdictions.

Louisiana – An Act to amend and reenact La. Rev. Stat. § 27:244(D)(1) related to gaming. It specifically focuses on the land-based casino operating contract to conduct gaming operations. The law extends certain provisions, specifically Paragraphs (A)(11) and (12) from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2025. [SB 277 (5/28/2024) Became Law].

Maryland – HB1192 is an Act that makes alterations to the circumstances under which the State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission is required to disqualify an applicant from holding a video lottery employee license. It also modifies the definition of “value” in relation to crimes involving theft to include the face value of a chip designated for use in table games. The act pertains to the licensing of video lottery employees and the theft of table game chips. [HB 1192 (5/9/2024) Became Law].

Coin Operated Machines:
Georgia – HB 353 is an Act to amend the Georgia Lottery for Education Act related to administrative procedures and actions regarding bona fide coin-operated amusement machines. The Act also addresses provisions regarding the shortfall reserves maintained within the Lottery for Education Account, late fees, multiyear licenses, noncash redemption, auctions, regulatory guidance letters, exceptions for certain organizations, quarterly reports, and the division of revenue from Class B machines. The law also establishes rules for the issuance of federal 1099 tax forms and provides for related matters. [HB 353 (5/6/2024) Became Law].

Dog/Horse Racing:
Connecticut – SB 132 is an Act concerning dog racing that repeals and substitutes certain sections of the general statutes related to the regulation of off-track betting facilities, tracks, stables, and frontons. It grants the commissioner the authority to adopt regulations governing the operation of the off-track betting system and facilities, including the regulation of betting, to ensure the integrity and security of the conduct of meetings and the broadcast of racing events. The new law also outlines the fines and suspension of licenses for violations of these regulations. It further addresses the maintenance of books and records, the removal of employees or officials, exemptions from licensing requirements, and the operation of dog racing and jai alai events. The document also discusses the imposition of taxes on wagering and the distribution of funds to municipalities. [SB 132 (5/9/2024) Became Law].

Oklahoma – House Bill 3693 relates to amusements and sports, specifically the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission. The bill amends certain sections of the Oklahoma Statutes related to the Commission. It modifies the appointment procedure for members of the Commission, establishes eligibility criteria for appointment, and outlines the term of office for Commission members. Additionally, the bill prohibits the Commission from expending certain funds when other funds are available. [HB 3693 (5/30/2024) Became Law].

House Bill 2965 is an Act relating to horse racing that amends certain provisions of the Oklahoma Horse Racing Act. The key provisions of HB 2965 include movement of starting gates; televised races and requirements; application and licensing process: and revocation of organization licenses. [HB 2965 (5/13/2024) Became Law].

Maryland – HB1524 is an Act that addresses various aspects of horse racing and aims to support and develop the industry in the state. The key provisions authorize alteration of racing facilities; require notice to local governments; allow the State Racing Commission to issue a license to hold a race meeting and award racing days to a nonprofit organization; authorizes the transfer of the Preakness Stakes to another track in the state during the reconstruction of Pimlico Race Course; and increases the amount of debt that the Maryland Stadium Authority may issue for certain purposes related to racing facilities. The new law also alters the requirements of certain agreements for membership of the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority, distribution and authorized uses of funds. Furthermore, the Act exempts certain horse racing licensees from paying an application fee for a sports wagering facility license and amends various tax provisions related to horse racing, including the distribution of sales and use tax revenue and property tax exemptions. [HB 1524 (5/9/2024) Became Law].

Minnesota – SF 2219 is a bill that relates to horse racing in Minnesota. It prohibits the conduct of historical horse racing and other activities at licensed racetracks. The bill amends various sections of Minnesota Statutes, including definitions of advance deposit wagering, horse racing, historical horse racing, and pari-mutuel betting. It also establishes limitations on rulemaking and other authority of the commission, and prohibits licensed racetracks from conducting historical horse racing, slot machines, video games of chance, or other gambling devices. [SF 2219 (5/24/2024) Became Law].

New Hampshire – Senate Bill 472 relates to historic horse racing licensing, establishing operations of games of chance for the benefit of the host community, and charitable gaming dates for municipalities and charitable organizations. The bill eliminates rules related to the sale of pari-mutuel pools, changes licensing requirements, prohibits the sale or transfer of licenses, and extends the moratorium on the issuance of new licenses. It also establishes provisions for the operation of games of chance for the benefit of the host community. Additionally, the bill requires licensed gaming facilities to give game dates available to charitable organizations before giving game dates to municipalities. The bill includes various amendments to N.H. Rev. Stat. § 284 and 287-D. [SB 472 (5/21/2024) Became Law].

Senate Bill 363 relates to wagering on simulcast dog racing in New Hampshire. It removes the authority of the lottery commission to license simulcast dog racing and amends various sections of the N.H. Rev. Stat. § 284. It clarifies that the chapter applies only to running or harness horse racing, whether live, simulcast, or historic, and removes references to simulcast dog racing. The lottery commission is granted the powers, rights, duties, and responsibilities previously held by the racing and charitable gaming commission. The bill prohibits the use of electronic gaming devices for wagering on horse racing or simulcast dog racing, unless specifically authorized by the general court. However, it allows the lottery commission to authorize wagers on historic horse races. The bill also establishes licensing requirements for live running or harness races, historic horse races, and simulcast running or harness horse races. Violations of the provisions may result in misdemeanor or felony charges. The bill repeals several sections related to simulcast dog racing license requirements and taxation on simulcast dog racing pools. [SB 363 (5/14/2024) Became Law].

Delaware – SB 205 is an Act that amends Title 29 of the Delaware Code relating to the state lottery. The act promotes increased capital investment at Delaware casinos by restructuring the table games licensing fee reduction currently received by lottery agents to allow capital investments greater than the minimum amounts required. It also aligns time periods for both table games and video lottery calculations. The act specifies the allocation of proceeds from the operation of the video lottery and the license fees for hosting table games. It also outlines the conditions under which proceeds are returned to the state and the adjustments that can be made to the license fees based on qualified investments made by the video lottery agents. [SB 205 (5/24/2024) Became Law].

Sports Wagering:
Colorado – This Act pertains to the referral of a ballot issue related to the revenue from the sports betting tax in the state of Colorado and allows the state to keep and spend all sports betting tax revenue in excess of the twenty-nine million dollar estimated increase in state tax revenue approved by voters in 2019. The excess revenue will be used for funding water conservation and protection projects instead of refunding it to casinos. This law further defines a ‘ballot issue’ to be voted on by the registered electors of the state in the November 2024 election, seeking their approval to retain and spend the excess sports betting tax revenue for water conservation and protection projects. [HB 24-1436 (5/20/2024) Became Law].

Louisiana – Senate Bill No. 50 prohibits certain persons, referred to as ‘prohibited players,’ from wagering on sports events. A prohibited player is defined as someone who is prohibited from placing a wager on a sports event by various laws, administrative rules, or policies. The bill establishes that it is unlawful for a prohibited player to wager on a sports event personally or through another individual or proxy. It is also unlawful for a person or entity to facilitate or place a sports wager on behalf of a prohibited player. Violations of this prohibition carry penalties, including fines and imprisonment. However, persons, businesses, or entities licensed or permitted under specific chapters of the Louisiana Revised Statutes may be exempt from penalties if they have taken commercially reasonable methods to prevent prohibited players from placing wagers. [SB 50 (5/28/2024) Became Law].

University/College Athletes:
South Carolina – This Act amends the South Carolina Code regarding intercollegiate athletes’ compensation for the use of their name, image, or likeness. The amendments aim to revise definitions, authorize compensation for intercollegiate athletes, establish limitations on liability for institutions of higher learning employees, prohibit certain conduct by athletic associations and conferences, and address disclosure and contract requirements. The bill also amends the Uniform Athlete Agents Act of 2018 and provides compliance requirements for athlete agents. [HB 4957 (5/21/2024) Became Law].

1Regology database statistics filtered by jurisdiction [US federal/50 states], status [applicable bills only], and time period [May  1 – 31, 2024].

2Bills included in this category are reported “active”, even though the state legislature may have adjourned during this time period. Regology uses the official status reported by each individual state legislature according to their policies and procedures.