Massachusetts, Vermont, And Kentucky Sports Betting Updates

Written By Giovanni Shorter on April 17, 2023
Legal Sports Betting Update

There have been some advancements in the U.S. legal sports betting industry across several markets. Vermont’s sports betting bill has seen advancement in the Senate. In Massachusetts, lawmakers are working to deal with unauthorized in-state college betting violations. Also, Kentucky officials aim to have sportsbooks launch in time for the 2023 NFL Season.

Here we will take a look at three recent happenings in the legal sports betting industry.

Vermont Moves One Step Closer To Sports Betting

Vermont lawmakers are pushing H 127 which would bring both online and retail sportsbooks to residents. When we interviewed bill sponsor House Rep. Matt Birong earlier in the year, he spoke on how he felt optimistic about this measure.

“I would say this is the best chance it’s had,” said Birong at the time.

It appears that optimism was warranted as the measure made it out of the House and is advancing through the Senate committee. The Vermont Senate Economic Development, Housing, and General Affairs Committee pushed the bill forward on April 12. Committee members advanced the measure with a 4-1 vote.

Next stop, H 127 heads to the Finance Committee. If the bill advances out of this committee then it will reach the Senate floor for a vote. This is a major step for the potential sports betting market in Vermont. Vermont is the only state in the New England area that has no form of regulated betting. It borders three markets (New York, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts) that have betting options.

This could finally be the measure that brings sports betting to the Green Mountain State.

Massachusetts Cracks Down On Violations

Over in Massachusetts, lawmakers held a hearing on the matter of unauthorized in-state sports bets being placed. All three of the active retail sportsbooks in Massachusetts accepted wagers on in-state college games despite this being against regulations.

Incidents from the Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, the MGM Springfield, and the Plainridge Park Casino were discussed. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is conferring with its legal team for the next steps to take on the issue.

Encore Boston Harbor in particular was questioned for its second set of violations. The local operator accepted wagers on Boston College on February 2 and this violation was reported. Them, despite twice-daily audits of blacklisted events, similar wagers were accepted on February 12 and February 19 involving Boston College.

A reported glitch in the system is what led to this violation. Testimony from Rob Lekites was heard during the hearing. Lekites is an official for GAN, the technology provider for the WynnBET sportsbook at Encore. GAN is backed by Genius Sports and is in charge of the tech that would stop sportsbooks from accepting these illegal wagers.

Per Lekites’ testimony, while Boston College was included in the excluded teams list, “Boston College Eagles Women” was uploaded and not added to the exclusion list.

The MGC is expected to meet again to determine how to move forward with these violations.

Kentucky Launch Window Confirmed?

Kentucky lawmakers have a target launch window for the sports betting market. Gov. Andy Beshear publicly declared that he wants locals to be able to wager in time for the upcoming NFL season. This is also in line with previous statements from Sen. Damon Thayer who is aiming for a fall launch.

“I would really like to have it ahead of that first NFL game, knowing that that is a big starting date for people said Beshear.

With a push from so many lawmakers looking for sports betting to be live by kick-off, lawmakers will be surely working to push for this window. It will be a stretch, however, as the regulations process can take several months to get down right.

Locals will have to wait and see if Gov. Beshear’s added motivation helps push the market to fruition in time.

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Giovanni Shorter

Giovanni Shorter is a sports enthusiast and writer with a passion for the legal and industry side of the sports betting market. Giovanni got his education from Florida State University where he honed his writing style writing narratives and short stories. He has spent his professional career covering sports and entertainment through articles and blogs and continues to look at the industry from multiple angles.

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