Election Roundup: Sports Betting Was The Big Winner Of The Night

Off-year elections don’t typically create a lot of headlines, but if you’re a supporter of legal sports betting, Tuesday night was must-see TV. And if you tuned in, you weren’t disappointed.

Sports betting scored big wins in New Hampshire, Colorado, and Kentucky during Tuesday night’s elections, and gaming expansions were also approved in Texas, Virginia, and Indiana.

Here’s a recap of what happened in each locale.

Five New Hampshire Cities Say Yes to Sports Betting

Nine New Hampshire cities went to the ballot box to vote on sports betting on Tuesday night.

Voting was close across much of the state, and at the end of the night, sports betting scored victories in five of the nine cities, including the heavily populated (by New Hampshire standards) Manchester, which also sits just across the Massachusetts border.

Here is the full list of cities that approved sports betting:

  1. Berlin
  2. Claremont
  3. Franklin (approved sports betting during city elections held on October 1)
  4. Laconia
  5. Manchester
  6. Somersworth

A seventh city, Seabrook, is expected to vote in March.

That’s the good news. The bad news is voters in the cities of Concord, Dover, and Nashua said no to sports betting, as did voters in Rochester.

The state is still working out the logistics, but the plan is to open ten retail sportsbooks and five online/mobile sportsbooks. Contracts have been tentatively awarded to DraftKings and Intralot, with a rollout expected in early 2020.

Kentucky Gets a Pro-Gaming Governor

In the Kentucky governor’s race, Democrat Martin Beshear came out on top of Republican incumbent Matt Bevin in a very close race.

What makes this result fascinating from a gambling standpoint was an attempt by Bevin to highlight Beshear’s support for expanded gambling as a major policy difference between the two candidates.

In a recent debate, Beshear defended his support of expanded gambling  on economic grounds:

“We lose over $550 million in revenue every year to those border states just on casinos before sports betting or any of the rest. If we expand gaming, we could put that money directly to the pension system.”

Bevin doubled down on previous unsubstantiated claims about suicides in casinos:

“Every night somewhere in America somebody takes their life in a casino because they’ve wasted the last semblance of dignity and hope that they had. Families are ruined, lives are ruined. There is societal cost.”

He also called Beshear’s numbers “made up.”

“When we started these conversations a few months ago it was $200 million then it was $250 million now it’s up to $550 million. These are made up numbers,” the now-outgoing governor said.

Following his victory, it would seem that Beshear is heading to the Governor’s Mansion with a mandate to expand gambling.

Sports betting Ekes Out a Win in Colorado

The morning after, it was still too close to call, but now that the votes are counted, legal sports betting is coming to Colorado.

The result was very much in doubt this morning.

With about 75% of the vote counted, Proposition DD, authorizing Colorado’s 33 casinos to offer retail and online sports betting, was ahead by just 1% (13,000 votes) Wednesday morning. But the closeness of the vote was something of a mirage. As the Denver Post reported, most of the outstanding 180,000 votes are from counties that are expected to support the measure.

And as Betting USA reported earlier today:

Among the counties with results still rolling in is Denver County. This also bodes well as Denver County has leaned heavily in favor of Colorado sports betting with the current tally favoring sports betting by 60,239 votes versus 36,290 votes.

As the day wore on, it became evident that Colorado was going to join the ranks of sports betting states.

Where Else Was Gaming on the Ballot?

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