Regulatory Report: 128 gambling-related bills in progress in U.S. legislatures during March

April 24, 2024 7:40 PM
  • Debra Jobes — Gaming Division Lead, Regology
April 24, 2024 7:40 PM
  • Debra Jobes — Gaming Division Lead, Regology

U.S. state legislative activity of newly introduced bills is decreasing due to cross over deadlines that have passed, or in the case with California (5/24/2024), are coming up in the near future. There are currently 29 states (58%) still active and 2 states (4%) in recess (Kansas and Nebraska). For the month of March 2024, there were a total number of 128 gambling-related bills that went through various stages of the lawmaking process.1 The states with the highest legislative activity for the month are Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida.

Story continues below

This report will review some of the most important laws that were recently passed for the month of March in Colorado, Maine, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Out of the many bills that are still in the legislative process, this report will also highlight some of the legislation that passed the body of origin and are now with the second body.

Gaming Bills on the Move2

Win, Lose, or Draw: Legislation that Became Law


Maine – An Act to amend Maine Revised Statutes (8 MRSA §§ 1001 – 1006, 1020) authorizing the transition from a central site monitoring system before the expiration of a third-party contract and implementing a facility-based monitoring system for slot machines. [LD 2070 (SP 871) (3/19/2024) Became Law].

Charitable Organizations: 

Maine – An Act to amend the Maine Revised Statutes (17 MRSA, Chapter 68 §1835-A, sub-§5) to require registration for games of chance to specify the location where the organization operates the game. This amended section also allows an agriculture society to determine the number of registrants permitted to operate a game of chance during the annual fair and may operate the registered game of chance for the duration of the annual fair or special event. This Act also amended §1842 giving the Maine Gambling Control Unit authority to impose fines of not more than $100 per violation of this chapter or a rule with a right to a hearing, and an option to execute a consent agreement to resolve the issue. [LD 2117 (SP 913) (3/28/2024) Became Law].

Tennessee – This Act amends Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 3, Chapter 17 related to charitable gaming. The amended chapter establishes a five-day period after the effective date during which a nonprofit organization may apply to operate a charitable gaming event during the annual period beginning July 1, 2023, until June 30, 2024. [HB 1651 (3/21/2024) Became Law].

West Virginia – In recognition of the need for charitable and public service organizations to have a practicable way of raising funds by means of the internet, this Act amends the Code of West Virginia, 1931, to grant the privilege of holding online raffles to those organizations as provided in this Act. The Act also authorizes certain entities to conduct online raffles without obtaining a license based upon the value of items raffled and cumulative annual gross sales and identifies who may hold a license and what system license holders must use to ensure patrons are located in the State of West Virginia. Furthermore, the Tax Commissioner is granted the authority to review and grant licenses, set license fees and create a special revenue fund. Limitations are outlined for awards on prizes, compensation payable to an operator of an online raffle, expenses payable from the proceeds of online raffle revenue. [SB 751 (3/27/2024) Became Law].

Horse Racing (Pari Mutuel): Wyoming – The Act outlines the rulemaking requirements for the Wyoming Gaming Commission with an additional stipulation for the rules to include internal controls for pari-mutuel wagering, including procedures for system integrity, security, operations, and accounting. Specific definitions for various roles and positions related to horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering are provided for persons now required to undergo fingerprinting and a criminal history background check to be performed. [SF 0125 (3/21/2024) Became Law].


Colorado – This Act repeals Colorado Revised Statutes, 44-40-112, which requires the director to submit audit and annual reports to the governor, legislative audit committee, and the joint budget committees for approval. [SB 24-135 (3/22/2024) Became Law].

Virginia – The Freedom of Information Act amends and reenacts § 2.2-3705.3 of the Code of Virginia, relating to exemptions for a complainant’s personal contact information. Specifically, information relating to investigations of applicants for licenses and permits may be submitted to the Virginia Lottery and the Virginia Racing Commission. In addition, information relating to studies and investigations of lottery agents or vendors will be open to inspection and copying upon completion of the study or investigation. [HB 1412 (3/8/2024) Became Law].

Wisconsin – An Act to create an additional exception to the Wisconsin Statutes §565.30(3)(a)(3) that allows the holder of a winning lottery ticket or lottery share to claim a prize within 180 days after the drawing or other selection in which the prize is won. An exception is now made for a multijurisdictional lottery, secondary or subsequent chance drawings, or games that may have a shorter claim period prescribed in the features and procedures for the secondary or subsequent chance drawing or game.  [SB 616 (3/22/2024) Became Law].

Responsible Gaming: 

West Virginia – The Responsible Gaming and Research and Industry Development Act, aims to promote responsible gaming and support research in the gaming industry in West Virginia. The act grants West Virginia University permission to analyze transactional data and metrics related to gaming operations conducted in the state for research purposes. The data provided by the West Virginia Lottery to the university is anonymized and exempt from public inspection and copying under the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act. Additionally, the Act requires West Virginia University to develop new programs or expand existing ones to foster innovation in gaming technology development and prepare students for careers in gaming, racing, hospitality management, entertainment, and other amenities associated with gaming operations. Furthermore, the State Lottery Commission is mandated to prepare an annual report on the impact of various forms of gambling on players and the state’s economy.  [HB 5668 (3/9/2024) Became Law].

Sports Wagering: 

Maine – An Act to amend the Maine Revised Statutes (8 MRSA §§ 1206 – 1207) regarding sports wagering licensing fees and terms of licenses. For an initial or renewed facility sports wagering license issued prior to September 1, 2024, the fee will  remain $4000 and is valid for 4 years. However, those licenses issued after this date are now $1000 and only valid for one year. For an initial or renewed mobile sports wagering license issued before September 1, 2024, the fee remains $200,000 and is valid for four years. Those licenses issued after the September 1, 2024 date will change to $50,000 and only be valid for one year. Subsequently, supplier and management services licenses issued after September 1, 2024 will be lowered from $40,000 to $10,000 with terms decreased to one year. [LD 2117 (SP 913) (3/28/2024) Became Law].

West Virginia – The bill amends and reenacts certain sections of the Code of West Virginia, specifically §29-22D-4 and §29-22D-15, relating to banning certain persons from sport wagering activities. The bill directs the Lottery Commission to propose a rule for legislative approval that specifies the reasons for which patrons of sports gaming may be banned from engaging in sports betting. The rule is required to include a non-inclusive list of reasons for banning patrons, such as prior convictions, violations of commission orders, or posing a threat to the safety of patrons or participants in a sporting event. The rule must also establish a procedure for lodging complaints against patrons and for investigating those complaints. Until the rule is promulgated, the Commission or an operator may ban individuals from certain areas of a gaming facility conducting sports wagering or the grounds of a licensed gaming facility. [HB 4700 (3/9/2024) Became Law].

Heading to the Goal: Cross-Over Bills

Charitable Organizations:

Louisiana – This proposed law amends and reenacts Louisiana Rev. Stat. 4:715(A)(2)(b) to provide for an increase in compensation for charitable gaming workers from $15 to $20 per hour and from $90 to $100 per session for any employee. [HB 309 (3/26/2024) Passed Body of Origin (3/27/2024) Second Read; Referred to Judiciary Committee].

Games of Chance: 

New Hampshire – HB 1223 would create local options for games of chance in municipalities. The bill requires applicants seeking to operate games of chance in a municipality to first obtain approval from the town or city. The approval process involves placing the question of allowing games of chance on the ballot during an annual town meeting or regular municipal election. If a majority of voters approve, games of chance may be operated within the town or city. The bill also allows municipalities to rescind their approval for game operations under certain circumstances. Unincorporated places can also allow games of chance by majority vote of the county delegation. The bill also provides provisions for municipalities to pass ordinances allowing a specified number of charitable gaming events per year. [HB 1223 (3/28/2024) Passed Body of Origin (4/18/2024) Hearing].


Maryland – The proposed bill would authorize the State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission to issue licenses to qualified applicants in order to conduct or participate in internet gaming operations in the State. The law would authorize the Governor, on recommendation of the Commission, to enter into multijurisdictional internet gaming agreements. There are also provisions that payments to  former video lottery facility employees may not be subtracted from the calculation of certain benefits. The Video Lottery Facility Employee Displacement Fund would also be established as a special, nonlapsing fund. This Act would be submitted to a referendum of qualified voters of the State. [HB 1319 (3/16/2024) Passed Body of Origin (3/21/2024) Hearing].


Louisiana – An Act to amend and reenact Louisiana Rev. Stat. 4:177 and proposes to change the amount of the breeder award from 10% of the winner’s share of the purse of each race won to 10% of the total purse of each race earned by accredited Louisiana bred horses. [SB 99 (3/18/2024) Passed Body of Origin (3/20/2024) First Read; Referred to Commerce Committee].

New Hampshire – HB1525 is a bill that relates to historic horse racing game operator employer licensing. The bill changes the eligibility requirements for licensing of historic horse racing facilities. It allows game operator employers who are licensed after July 1, 2024, and whose applications were received by the lottery commission prior to October 18, 2023, to sell pari-mutuel pools on historic horse races within the enclosure of the licensed facility. The bill also specifies that approved applications and granted licenses cannot be transferred or sold. [SB 1525 (3/7/2024) Passed Body of Origin (3/27/2024) Hearing].

New Hampshire – A bill relating to historic horse racing licensing, the establishment of games of chance for the benefit of the host community, and charitable gaming dates for municipalities and charitable organizations. The bill includes several provisions, such as the elimination of rules related to the sale of pari-mutuel pools, changes to licensing requirements, and the prohibition of the sale or transfer of licenses. It also extends the moratorium on the issuance of new licenses. Additionally, the bill establishes provisions for the operation of games of chance for the benefit of the host community and requires licensed gaming facilities to give game dates available to charitable organizations before giving them to municipalities. [SB 472-FN (3/7/2024) Passed Body of Origin (4/17/2024) House Executive Session].

New Hampshire – This bill seeks to license and regulate advance deposit wagering on horse racing that is not currently subject to regulation. A new program for charitable third-party financial intermediaries would be created. The intermediaries would apply with the Lottery Commission to receive funds from advance deposit wagering activities for the purposes of issuing grants to charitable organizations that do not participate in charitable gaming. All funds collected from advance deposit wagering would be transferred to intermediaries, with no net impact on state revenue or expenditures. [SB 432-FN (3/7/2024) Passed Body of Origin (4/17/2024) House Executive Session].

Sports Wagering:

Louisiana – This bill defines a “prohibited player” as someone who is prohibited from placing a wager on a sports event based on various factors, including existing laws, self-restriction or self-exclusion programs, and other jurisdictional rules or policies. It is unlawful for a prohibited player to personally wager on a sports event or for a person or entity to facilitate or place a sports wager on behalf of a prohibited player. Violations of this law can result in fines, imprisonment, or both, with penalties increasing for subsequent convictions. However, licensed businesses or sports wagering operators that have taken commercially reasonable methods to prevent prohibited players from placing wagers may be exempt from penalties. [SB 50 (3/18/2024) Passed Body of Origin (3/20/2024) First Read; Referred to Administration of Criminal Justice Committee].

Maryland – This bill would require, rather than authorizing, certain sports wagering licensees and sports wagering operators that advertise in the State to contract with independent evaluators for the evaluation of sports wagering content. The independent evaluators will assess and rate various aspects, including sports wagering content, sports wagering experts, sports wagering influencers, and content partners. The Act would repeal and reenact Section 9-1E-17(d) of the Annotated Code of Maryland to make this requirement mandatory for licensees and operators. [SB 1066 (3/14/2024) Passed Body of Origin (3/28/2024) Hearing].

Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs): 

Maryland – This bill is proposed for the purpose of requiring the Maryland Aviation Administration, in consultation with the State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission, to conduct a study on the feasibility of granting a video lottery operation license for a video lottery facility in Baltimore–Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. [HB 1252 (3/18/2024) Passed Body of Origin (3/26/2024) Hearing].

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