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State of the Union: NH, TN, VA and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, covers the approval of DraftKings’ New Hampshire sports betting contract, plus regulatory developments in Tennessee, Virginia, Montana and beyond. 

NH approves exclusive sports betting contract for DraftKings
The New Hampshire Executive Council has voted to approve the state lottery’s decision to award DraftKings an exclusive contract to operate sports betting in the Granite State. 

While legislation signed into law by Governor Chris Sununu in July allows for up to 10 retail sportsbook locations and five mobile offerings, it appears that DraftKings will serve as the state’s sole betting operator.

Its proposal to operate exclusively, which will see it return 50% of betting revenue to the state, was ranked as the best financial package, with the fastest implementation timeline, paving the way for a launch in January.

“We moved fast to get this done, and the deal is a win for New Hampshire,” Governor Sununu said. “We are partnering with a world-class company to provide a first-rate customer service experience. 

“With today’s vote, everyone will now be able to bet on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in time for this year’s Super Bowl.” 

Tennessee releases sports betting regulations for public comment
Tennessee has released its draft sports wagering rules, including stringent advertising regulations, for public comment.

The rules would only allow for wagers to be placed online or by remote kiosks, in accordance with the bill passed in the state’s 2019 legislative session, SB0016.

Under the regulations, operators must present all advertising materials they wish to use to the Tennessee Lottery at least 30 days before they are released.

In addition, ads must not appear on one medium “with such intensity and frequency that they represent saturation of that medium or become excessive.”

Montana Lottery approves sports betting rules
The Montana Lottery Commission has approved rules for its new sports wagering product in the state, which will be named Sports Bet Montana.

The rules will now be published in the Montana Administrative Register, which is published twice per month. The register contains all of the state’s administrative regulations as well as the state attorney general’s opinions and interpretations of those regulations.

The new regulations would allow for anonymous retail sports betting. However, all mobile bettors must sign up for an account, while retail players will still have to verify their identity before they can bet.

Virginia Representative files bill to enact 2019 casino legislation
Virginia Representative Barry Knight has pre-filed a bill ahead of the 2020 legislative session that would allow allow the state to enact the provisions of a casino bill passed in 2019.

The text of House Bill 4 is identical to SB1126, which was signed into law by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in March this year. Rather than immediately clearing the path to constructing casinos, that bill instead required a Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to carry out a study of regulatory best practice and the potential impact of gambling on Virginia communities.

This report is due to be submitted to the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology, and House Committee on General Laws, on December 1. Once this has been completed, the Virginia Lottery Board has between January 1 and June 30, 2020 to develop regulations for the vertical.

William Hill US to launch racebook in Florida with Casino Miami
William Hill US is set to launch betting on horse racing in Florida after agreeing a deal to open a new land-based facility at Casino Miami, marking the first time it will operate in the market.

Subject to regulatory approval, the racebook is scheduled to open before the end of the current year. The planned facility will feature 10 screens for fans to watch events, as well as a 30ft video wall, high-top tables and 30 race carrells.

Should William Hill US and Casino Miami secure approval for the launch, the new racebook would offer pari-mutuel simulcast betting.

IGT enters Oregon sports betting market with tribal partner
IGT has entered the Oregon market with its PlaySports technology service now powering retail sports betting at The Mill Casino.

Patrons of The Coquille Indian Tribe-owned casino in North Bend can now place a range of sports wagers over the counter or via the casino’s IGT PlaySports kiosks.

The Mill Casino joins Chinook Winds in offering retail casino betting in the state, with the Oregon Lottery the only operator able to provide mobile sports betting through its SBTech-powered app.

Fox Bet named official partner of Philadelphia 76ers
Fox Bet has become the first online sports betting brand to partner with an NBA team, agreeing a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The deal will allow for exposure on 76ers social media assets and courtside advertising space, as well as custom promotions.

The Stars Group-owned brand will also sponsor game replays posted on the 76ers Twitter account and will be the presenting partner for the 76ers radio game broadcast on sports radio station 97.5 The Fanatic (WPEN).

Kindred’s Unibet scores betting partnership with NBA
Kindred Group has agreed a deal for its Unibet brand to become an authorized sports betting operator of North America’s National Basketball Association (NBA).

Unibet will gain access to official NBA betting data and league marks across its online and mobile platforms in the US throughout the league’s current season.

In addition, Unibet will work with the NBA on a number of initiatives focused on protecting the integrity of NBA games.