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Volume 26 No. 25

Gambling

A Louisiana state House panel yesterday "killed a bill to legalize sports betting" after it was "loaded with amendments that even caused the state's casino representatives to abandon it," according to a front-page piece by Greg Hilburn of the Monroe NEWS-STAR. It would now take "extraordinary measures" for Senate Bill 153 to be "revived before the session ends on June 6." Louisiana State Sen. Danny Martiny said that he brought the bill, which won full Senate approval last month, to keep the state "competitive with its neighbors like Mississippi where sports betting at casinos has been legalized." Among the amendments was one "allowing sports betting at 2,800 video poker locations." Martiny's original bill would have only "authorized sports betting at Louisiana's 15 riverboat casinos, the land-based casino in New Orleans and four racetracks" (Monroe NEWS-STAR, 5/29). In Baton Rouge, Mark Ballard notes supporters of sports betting legislation technically "still have a shot." But State Rep. Joseph Marino, who was handling the legislation in the House, said that he "doesn't think that's very likely." Marino: "I've read the room. I don't see any light left at the end of the tunnel. We're out of time." Ballard notes this is the "second year in a row that Martiny's efforts to bring sports betting to Louisiana has failed" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 5/29).

POTENTIAL OPENING: In Boston, Andy Rosen writes the debate over sports betting in Massachusetts "could provide an opening for the state lottery to bring some of its games online, a longtime goal of the agency that desperately wants to modernize its products." There "may be an opportunity for the Massachusetts State Lottery to run some digital sports offerings if the state legalizes gambling on athletic contests." State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg described the lottery having a potential role in sports betting as an "intriguing idea." But she said that her "main goal is to make sure the lottery can compete in whatever landscape emerges from the deliberations on gambling expansion" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/29).

DIFFERING VIEWS: The AP's Philip Marcelo noted during hearings on legalizing sports betting in Massachusetts yesterday, DraftKings said that it "wants the state to allow it and other online operators to offer sports bets outright." But the state's three casinos said that they "prefer lawmakers to require online operators to partner with an established casino to get into the sports wagering business." They also "want the number of sports betting licenses limited to five or seven operators" (AP, 5/28).