Regulatory Report: 492 gambling-related bills considered in U.S. legislatures in 2024 through April

May 9, 2024 6:43 PM
  • Debra Jobes — Gaming Division Lead, Regology
May 9, 2024 6:43 PM
  • Debra Jobes — Gaming Division Lead, Regology

For the months of January through April 2024, there were a total number of 492 gambling-related bills that went through various stages of the lawmaking process.1 The graphic referenced below in Figure 1 shows the total number of US gambling bills since the beginning of 2024, grouped by bill status in each column. The number of bills per month are grouped into color block units within each column. As illustrated in the first column, the majority of bills remain at the “introduced” status (346 or 70%). This is largely due to the complicated legislative process of being put on the calendar to be read multiple times, referral to various committees where it is revised, and finally put to a vote to determine if it is allowed to pass the body of origin. The second column of the chart above shows a small number of bills (52 or 11%) that were passed in the first chamber and “crossed over” to the second chamber. At this point in time, there are (30 or 6%) bills still waiting to be passed by the second chamber. In the last two columns, there are (64 or 13%) bills sent for signature or became law.

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Figure 1

When an analysis is made of by month / column in Figure 1, it appears there are several trends to notice. The month of January is usually when most states start a new session or “carryover” bills from the prior session to the next year. It is also the time of year when new bills are introduced, as evidenced by the decreasing number of bills introduced in February, March, and April in Column 1. Also of note, in the month of March and April, there is a lower percentage of bills introduced, but the percentage of bills passed by both chambers, sent for signature or became law rises in the other columns. This trend may be due to possible “crossover” deadlines that may be approaching in the months of March and April in some states. This deadline puts pressure on legislators to push bills to the next chamber or risk having the bill declared “dead” for failure to move past the body of origin.

Figure 2

The graph in Figure 2 shows the total number of US gambling-related bills (Figure 1, Column 1) introduced in from January through April 2024. Each slice of the pie chart represents the percentage of bills divided by topics (“categories”) defined in our system. The largest percentage of bills introduced during this time were from the general gambling, wagering, and lottery categories. More narrowly defined categories such as racing, which includes parimutuel horse and dog racing are trending as well as changes in state criminal laws under the penalties and sanctions category. One trend that can be noted is the combination of casino, licensing, and sports bills occupy a similar percentage of the bills as states expand sports betting options to on-site kiosks at sports arenas, retail outlets, and other non-traditional venues such as grocery stores in Ohio.

Gaming Bills on the Move2

The report below will review some of the most important laws that were recently passed for the month of April 2024 in Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and Virginia.

Win, Lose, or Draw: Legislation that Became Law


Virginia – SB628 amends and reenacts sections of the Code of Virginia related to casino gaming and eligible host cities. It outlines the criteria for determining eligible host cities and the process for selecting a preferred casino gaming operator. The bill also establishes the requirement for a local referendum to be held before granting a license to operate a gaming operation in an eligible host city. It provides specific conditions and factors that must be considered in the selection process, such as the potential benefit and revenues of the proposed casino gaming establishment, the financial health of the proposer, security plans, and the economic development value of the establishment. The document also mentions the possibility of preferred consideration for Virginia Indian tribes recognized by federal law. [SB 628 (4/17/2024) Became Law].

HB525 is an Act that amends and reenacts § 58.1-4123 of the Code of Virginia, specifically relating to casino gaming and limits on required local referendums. The key provisions of the document include the requirement of a local referendum before granting an initial license for a gaming operation in an eligible host city, the process for petitioning the court for a referendum, the publication of notice for the election, the conduct of the election, the counting and certification of the ballots, and the consequences of a failed referendum. Additionally, the document stipulates that a subsequent local referendum may be required if a license has not been granted within five years of the initial election, and that a governing body of an eligible host city that holds a failed referendum is prohibited from holding another referendum on the same question for a period of three years. [HB 525 (4/2/2024) Became Law].

Charitable Organizations:
New Hampshire – HB1203 prohibits the charging of rent to charities by charitable gaming facilities. The bill specifically addresses the ownership and rental of equipment used in games of chance conducted by charitable organizations. It states that if a charitable organization operates games of chance itself, it must either own the equipment absolutely or use it without payment or compensation. Additionally, the bill prohibits game operator employers from charging rent for the use of facilities by charitable organizations. It also outlines requirements for service agreements between game operator employers and charitable organizations, ensuring that the organizations do not sustain any loss from games of chance and receive a minimum percentage of the gross revenues. [HB 1203 (4/17/2024) Became Law].

Nebraska – The bill relates to various laws and regulations in Nebraska, including provisions on lotteries and raffles, tobacco and nicotine delivery products, the State Lottery Act, the Nebraska Liquor Control Act, the Tobacco Products Tax Act, and public records. Key provisions relating to the Nebraska Lottery and Raffle Act are amendments to the proper operation of lotteries and raffles, regulating marketing schemes, licensure of nonprofit organizations, and methods of play for lotteries and raffles. The bill applies to lotteries and raffles with gross proceeds greater than $15,000 or raffles with gross proceeds greater than $5,000. [LB 1204 (4/2/2024) Became Law].

Virginia – SB397 amends and reenacts various sections of the Code of Virginia to introduce regulations for charitable gaming permits and electronic gaming, including requirements for the use of receipts for specific purposes, the disclosure of membership lists, and the establishment of fees for processing applications. The bill also defines electronic and mechanical equipment used in charitable gaming and prescribes conditions for the conduct of bingo, raffles, and Texas Hold’em poker tournaments. Additionally, it mandates the posting of signs with toll-free telephone numbers for Gamblers Anonymous and an illegal gaming tip line in establishments where gaming activities take place. The document also outlines the powers and duties of the Commission, including jurisdiction and supervision over horse racing, the regulation of simulcast horse racing, and the control of advance deposit account wagering. [SB 397 (4/5/2024) Became Law].

College/University Relationships:
Kentucky – The Act allows student-athletes to receive compensation for the use of their name, image, or likeness through agreements with third parties, as long as the compensation is consistent with prevailing market rates. The act prohibits giving or promising compensation to current or prospective student-athletes to recruit or induce them to enroll. It also prohibits giving or promising compensation to student-athletes enrolled or prospective student-athletes who have entered into an enrollment contract for the purpose of recruiting or inducing them to enroll at another postsecondary educational institution, regardless of the institution’s location. The act further prohibits institutions, associations, or affiliated organizations from giving or promising compensation for the use of an athlete’s name, image, or likeness, directing compensation to be given, or negotiating any part of a name, image, and likeness agreement on behalf of a prospective student-athlete. Additionally, student-athletes are prohibited from entering into name, image, and likeness agreements to receive compensation related to sports betting, controlled substances, substances forbidden by the athlete’s intercollegiate athletic association, adult entertainment, or products or services that would be illegal for the student-athlete to possess or receive. The provisions of the act apply to name, image, and likeness agreement activities only to the extent that an intercollegiate athletic association may lawfully regulate or restrict a student-athlete’s agreements to receive compensation. [SB 285 (4/16/2024) Became Law].

Mississippi – This bill establishes the Mississippi Intercollegiate Athletics Compensation and Publicity Rights Act, the Uniform Athlete Agents Act, and certain contracting rights for minors to enter into name, image, or likeness contracts. It amends various sections of the Mississippi Code of 1972 to revise definitions, authorize actions related to student-athletes and their publicity rights, set limitations on student-athletes’ participation in publicity rights activities, and prohibit certain endorsements or promotions involving prohibited brands or products. The bill also establishes limitations on athlete agent compensation, requires disclosure of agreements and terms, and provides regulations for the use of student-athletes’ publicity rights. Additionally, it grants authority to postsecondary educational institutions to control the use of their marks or logos and determine student-athletes’ apparel or gear. The document does not mention specific penalties for non-compliance or violations. [SB 2417 (4/18/2024) Became Law].

Virginia – HB 1505 amends and reenacts § 23.1-408.1 of the Code of Virginia, focusing on intercollegiate athletics and compensation for student-athletes’ name, image, or likeness. It defines key terms and prohibits institutions and other entities from preventing student-athletes from earning compensation for their name, image, or likeness, obtaining professional representation, or declaring them ineligible for intercollegiate athletic competition based on compensation or representation. It also prohibits reducing or revoking athletic scholarships for the same reasons. The bill further outlines the limitations on compensation categories and the use of institutional facilities, apparel, and intellectual property. Each institution is required to develop and submit policies governing student-athlete compensation for approval. The document also addresses disclosure requirements, conflicts with existing agreements, employment status, and legal remedies for aggrieved student-athletes. It does not specify any penalties for non-compliance. [HB 1505 (4/17/2024) Became Law].

Florida – SB 804 is an Act relating to gaming licenses and permits in Florida. It would authorize the Florida Gaming Control Commission to deny, suspend, or revoke the license of any person who submits a false application for licensure. The new law requires applicants to notify the commission of certain contact information. Some of the more important amendments are made to the timeframe for permitholders to annually file an application for an operating license for a pari-mutuel facility. The deadline for application has changed from December 15 – January 4 to January 15 – February 4 with amendments due March 28. [SB 804 (4/26/2024) Became Law].

Kentucky – This Act establishes the Kentucky Horse Racing and Gaming Corporation to regulate all forms of live horse racing, pari-mutuel wagering, sports wagering, breed integrity and development, and on and after July 1, 2025, charitable gaming in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It is responsible for overseeing the safety and well-being of horses, jockeys, and drivers, implementing programs to ensure the integrity of horse racing and sports wagering, and promoting the strength and growth of the equine industry. The document also outlines the composition and responsibilities of the board of directors, procurement procedures, and ethical guidelines for directors. [SB 299 (4/26/2024) Became Law].

Maine – An Act to clarify the eligibility of off-track betting facilities to receive funding if the facility is sold or relocated. The act establishes the Fund to Stabilize Off-track Betting Facilities, which is a dedicated, non-lapsing fund. The fund provides revenues to off-track betting facilities that were licensed and in operation in the State as of December 31, 2003. The revenues deposited in the fund must be disbursed in accordance with the act, with distributions made to each off-track betting facility in equal amounts on May 30th, September 30th, and January 30th. [LD 2124 (HP1348) (4/2/2024) Became Law].

Virginia – Senate Bill 426 is an amendment to § 59.1-392 of the Code of Virginia relating to pari-mutuel wagering and historical horse racing, specifically addressing the percentage retained for distribution. The bill outlines the distribution of funds generated from pari-mutuel pools at horse racetracks and satellite facilities. It also covers the distribution of funds from wagering on simulcast horse racing transmitted from jurisdictions outside the Commonwealth and historical horse racing. The bill specifies the percentages to be retained by the licensee and distributed to various entities and further addresses the distribution of legitimate breakage from pari-mutuel pools. A fund for gambling addiction and substance abuse counseling is established with provisions for the distribution of funds generated from wagering on historical horse racing terminals. [SB 426 (4/4/2024) Became Law].

Responsible Gaming:
Maine – The Act creates a Universal Exclusion List for all forms of gambling in the state of Maine. It amends existing laws related to fantasy contests, sports wagering, and advance deposit wagering. The act establishes rules for the exclusion and removal of individuals from gambling facilities and activities. It also allows individuals to voluntarily request exclusion from gambling and provides for the interception of winnings for excluded persons. The act emphasizes the confidentiality of records and information related to voluntary exclusion. [LD 2080 (HP 1339) (4/16/2024) Became Law].


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