Regulatory Report: 26 gambling-related bills in progress in U.S. legislatures during October and November

December 10, 2023 5:16 PM
  • Debra Jobes — Gaming Division Lead, Regology
December 10, 2023 5:16 PM
  • Debra Jobes — Gaming Division Lead, Regology

The Regology Regulatory Report is a monthly roundup analyzing gambling legislation in the US.

As we count down the number of days left in 2023, the state legislatures are wrapping up the year and thinking about 2024. Regology is now monitoring the legislative calendars being published for upcoming sessions in the new year and planning to integrate these into our compliance and regulatory platform.

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The remaining four states that have continued with regular sessions until the end of the year are New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. During the months of October and November 2023, a total number of 26 gambling-related bills went through various stages of the lawmaking process.

Hot Topic of the Month: Criminal Penalties and Fantasy Sports Bills Prefiled in Florida for 2024

The deadline for submitting drafts of general bills, memorials, and joint resolutions, including requests for companion bills has now ended on November 17, 2023. The 126th Regular Session of the Florida State Legislature will convene for the 2024 session, beginning January 9 and ending March 8, 2024. This year’s session will last for 60 days; however, there is an Initiative to extend the length of legislative sessions from 60 to 300 days (Initiative #22-11) that may appear on the ballot in Florida as an initiated constitutional amendment on November 5, 2024.

During the last 60 days, there were two  important bills prefiled for the 2024 legislative session:

Criminal Penalties: This Act amending FLCL Chapter 849 enhances criminal penalties for specified violations of prohibitions on “keeping a gambling or gaming operation; knowingly renting a premises for gaming; creating a rebuttable presumption relating to the knowledge of gaming activities in certain circumstances; permitting minors and persons under guardianship to gamble; and gambling on billiards and pool tables. There are also revisions for specified lottery offenses and amending violations involving printing lottery tickets. New sections prohibit acts relating to gambling and gaming advertising and provide for reclassification of certain offenses for which there is no penalty specified for a second or subsequent violation. Criminal penalties are created for various offenses involving slot machines when a penalty is not otherwise specified; when a person is a manager and not an owner, and making technical changes concerning certain bookmaking offenses.” [HB 189 (10/17/2023) Introduced (11/2/2023) Referred to Regulatory Reform & Economic Development Committee]

Fantasy Sports: FLCL Section 849.0932 would be created whereby the term ‘fantasy sports’ includes “simulation sports games, and means a contest in which a participant pays an entry fee and manages a fantasy or simulation sports team composed of athletes from a professional sports organization with the opportunity to win a cash prize.”

There are certain requirements for ‘fantasy sports’ that must be met such as predetermined prizes and awards disclosed before entry; and outcomes that reflect the skill level of the participants and determined by “statistical results of the performance of more than one individual.” The winning outcome; however, can’t be based on the score, point spread, or performance of a team or combination of teams; the single performance of an individual in a single event or a pari-mutuel event; a game of poker or other card game; or the performance of participants in collegiate, high school, or youth sporting events. The final requirement includes casino graphics that may not be displayed or depicted. Sections FLCL 775.082 – 775.083 would be amended to state that a violation of these requirements is punishable by committing a first degree misdemeanor and fine of $1,000 instituted by the Attorney General.

Gaming Bills on the Move

Win, Lose, or Draw: Recently Passed Legislation

Casino: California – Key Employees – Legislation repeals provisions relating to key employees working at different gambling establishments with provisions to waive the requirement for a deposit and investigation performed by the department at the time of application. A new owner license, valid for 2 years, will be established that allows for a person or entity to be endorsed on the license certificate of multiple gambling enterprises. The bill would authorize a person with a work permit issued by the commission to act as a gambling enterprise employee, or serve as an independent agent, and entitle the holder of the work permit to work for any gambling enterprise for which the commission issues work permits as a gambling enterprise employee after proper notification to the department. [AB 1271 (10/4/2023) Became Law] 

Sports League Raffles: California – Existing statutory law allows major league sports raffles to be conducted at home games by eligible organizations for the purpose of directly supporting beneficial or charitable purposes in California. The existing law requires that 50% of the gross receipts generated from the sale of raffle tickets be used for beneficial or charitable purposes, with the other 50% paid to the winner. The winners of the prizes are determined by a manual draw. This amendment seeks to permanently extend the operation of these provisions beyond January 1, 2024. It also clarifies the definition of an eligible organization and the requirements for conducting a raffle. The amendment specifies that an eligible organization is a private, nonprofit organization affiliated with a major league sports team or a private, nonprofit organization affiliated with certain professional sports associations. The organization must be qualified to conduct business in California, have a 501(c)(3) exemption, and is exempt from tax in California pursuant to certain sections of the Revenue and Taxation Code.” [SB 650 (10/7/2023) Became Law] 

Tax: Massachusetts – General Law Chapter 63, Section 38- Determination of Net Income Derived from Business Carried on within the Commonwealth – This section is amended to clarify when income is sourced to Massachusetts. The new language now states that, “a business deriving receipts from operating a gaming establishment or otherwise deriving receipts from conducting a wagering business or activity, income-producing activity shall be considered to be performed in the commonwealth to the extent that the location of wagering transactions or activities that generated the receipts is in the commonwealth” [HB 4104 (10/4/2023) Became Law] 

Tax: New York – The regulatory bill relates to the tax on gaming revenues in certain regions and additional vendor fees for a specific track located within Oneida County. The bill proposes amendments to the racing; pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law; and tax laws. [SB 4817 (10/13/2023) Became Law] 

Video Lottery: Delaware – New legislation amends Title 29 of the Delaware Code relating to child support. It specifically focuses on expanding the Video Lottery Intercept Program to include sports lottery and table game winnings in addition to video lottery winnings. The purpose of this amendment is to allow the Division of Child Support Services to use these winnings to satisfy delinquent child support obligations. [HB-187 (10/18/2023) Became Law]

On the Clock and In-Play: Movement on Active Bills

Bingo: Wisconsin – An Act to amend 563.63 (2)(b) of the statutes; Relating to: the amount of allowable cash withdrawal from a bingo account for the purpose of paying. [SB (10/19/2023) House First Read and Referred to Committee on Rules] 

Casino: Illinois – The Illinois Gambling Act (230 ILCS 10/7) allows gambling to be conducted at a temporary facility for up to 24 months after the start. This bill will allow the licensee to request an extension for up to 30 months. [SB-0584 (12/1/2023) Sent for Signature] 

Casino: Pennsylvania – Protecting Workers from Secondhand Smoke Act – This bill would end smoking in PA casinos and other facilities that came under the exemptions of the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2008. [HB 1657 (9/5/2023) Introduced (11/15/2023) Tabled]

Lottery: Michigan – An Act to amend MCL 432.25 as it relates to multi-state lottery games that will allow winners to remain anonymous. [HB 4048 (11/2/2023) Passed Body of Origin; (11/7/2023) Referred to Senate Committee on Regulatory Affairs]

Responsible Gaming and Sports Betting: New Jersey – This bill requires public institutions of higher education to establish a gambling addiction prevention program. The program is aimed at providing students with educational materials that promote responsible gambling behavior and information on a hotline for individuals with a gambling problem. The bill also defines a “sports wagering partnership” as a partnership or contractual agreement between a sports wagering operator or intermediary and an institution of higher education, including athletic departments or booster clubs. These partnerships allow the sports wagering operator or intermediary to advertise in the institution’s stadiums and other facilities, digital and broadcast sports content, and through other means.. [A-5498 (11/20/2023) Reported out of Assembly Committee, 2nd Reading]

New Player In the Game: Recently Introduced Legislation

Bingo and Charitable Gaming: Michigan – An Act to exempt games conducted under the State Bingo Act from certain provisions of the penal code. [HB 5229 (10/25/2023) Introduced and Referred to Committee on Regulatory Reform]

Charitable Gaming: Michigan – This bill will allow veteran organizations to conduct charity games using a video charity game dispenser and allocate the proceeds from these games. [HB 5085 (10/4/2023) Introduced; Referred to Committee on Regulatory Reform]

Lottery: Michigan –  Games offered by the Bureau of State Lottery will be exempt from certain provisions of the penal code. [HB 5228 (10/25/2023) Introduced and Referred to Committee on Regulatory Reform]

Lottery: New Jersey – An Act to prohibit the internet sale of lottery tickets by the State Lottery Commission. [SB-4150 (11/30/2023) Introduced]

Lottery: Wisconsin – Eliminates the requirement for estimating the amounts of prizes and the odds of a particular lottery ticket or lottery share winning each prize when the prize or odds are dependent on the number of participants in the game or drawing. The lottery administrator may determine a shorter period, instead of 180 days, to claim a winning lottery ticket or lottery share in a multijurisdictional lottery, secondary or subsequent chance drawing or game. [Companion Bills: AB 658 (11/9/2023) Referred to Committee on Ways and Means; SB-616 (11/7/2023) Referred to Committee on Universities and Senate; and AB-658 (11/9/2023) Referred to Committee on Ways and Means]

Slot Machines: Michigan – New legislation to amend MCL 750.303 and redefine the term ‘slot machine’, with the intended purpose to close loopholes created by new gambling technologies. Amusement games where a player earns tickets and exchanges them for prizes would be considered gambling with the new definition. [HB-5227 (10/25/2023) Introduced/ Read First Time; Referred to Committee on Regulatory Reform]

Tax: Ohio – An Act to amend section 5753.021 of the Revised Code to reduce the sports gaming tax rate from 20% to 10%. [SB-190 (11/21/2023) Introduced]

Skill Games: Pennsylvania – An Act to amend 18 PACS 5513(a); (e.1); (f), with the terms ‘skill games’ or ‘skill slot machine’ added to the definition of ‘Gambling devices, Gambling’ as a first degree misdemeanor. [SB 969 (11/16/2023) Introduced]

[1] Regology database statistics filtered by jurisdiction [US federal/50 states], status [applicable bills only], and time period [October  1 – November 30, 2023].

[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.