States Could Accelerate Sports Betting Expansion Due To Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic "could lead to a quicker expansion of sports betting and internet gambling in the U.S. as states deal with huge budget deficits and look for new tax revenue wherever they can find it," according to Wayne Parry of the AP. Chris Krafcik, Managing Dir at research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, said the virus "will accelerate the expansion of sports betting and online casinos in the next 12 to 24 months." With many state budgets "now resembling smoking craters" due to a largely idled economy, even a "small revenue boost is better than none." At present, 18 U.S. states and DC "offer sports betting, and four offer internet gambling, which can include online casino games, slots and poker." Virginia and Tennessee have "approved sports betting but have yet to launch." Krafcik said that Louisiana, Massachusetts and Ohio are "realistic candidates to legalize sports betting this year." Louisiana is "close to approving a November referendum on sports betting, and Ohio's Legislature is moving forward this week with a bill that could authorize sports betting, including mobile betting" (AP, 5/29).