sports betting gambling ballot 2020
Legal Developments

Where Sports Betting And Gambling Are On The November Ballot

Gambling measures from sports betting to casinos are on the ballot in five states. These range from legalizing sports betting and raising bet limits to approving gambling expansion at racetracks. Five Virginia cities will also have a chance to approve or reject casinos after the state passed a law authorizing casinos and sports betting.

Here’s a look at the gambling referendums on the November ballot across the country.

Sports Betting in Louisiana

In November, Louisianans will cast their votes on legalizing sports betting on a parish-by-parish basis. If Louisiana voters approve, legislators will return in 2021 to craft rules and set the tax rate.

The Louisiana Sports Betting Parish Measures (2020) is described by Ballotpedia as follows:

A “yes” vote supports allowing sports betting, subject to legislative regulation and taxation, within each parish in which this question is approved.

A “no” vote opposes allowing sports betting within each parish in which this question is approved, thereby continuing to prohibit sports betting within that parish.

A similar effort in 2018 saw daily fantasy approved in 47 of the state’s 64 parishes.

Minor Changes on the Ballot in Colorado

There are two gambling-related ballot measures in Colorado this year. A supermajority of 55% is required to pass either of these constitutional amendment proposals.

Colorado Amendment 77 would permit casinos in the state to take bets of any size. It would also allow the casinos to deal any game without limitation.

Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek are the state’s three casino towns. If Amendment 77 passes, these municipalities would be permitted to hold a local referendum to approve the expansion. The earliest the bet limit could be removed is May 1, 2021.

The combined population of these three towns is about 2,100, and they are entirely reliant on casinos. If state voters pass the amendment next month, its passage at the local level is a near-lock.

Colorado Amendment C applies to charitable gaming. If approved by voters, it would permit charities registered for three or more years to offer bingo games and raffles to raise funds. The law currently requires five years of operation.

Amendment C  would also permit paying workers that manage charitable gaming an amount per hour no higher than minimum wage. Today, those workers must volunteer their time.

Sports Betting in Maryland

The big issue on the ballot in Maryland in November is sports betting.

Sports betting is Question 2, but it’s not a constitutional amendment. Rather, the state constitution requires all commercial gambling expansion to be approved by voters.

The details of the measure are vague. It merely gives the state lottery and gaming regulators the ability to create regulations for sports betting. State officials will work out the types of bets, mobile availability, and whether amateur sports like college and The Olympics are permitted if permission is granted on election day by state residents.

Nebraska Casino Games Expansion

There are three related constitutional amendments on the Nebraska ballot next month. All cover the addition of casino games to the state’s racetracks. Commercial gambling outside of keno is illegal in Nebraska, even though it is surrounded by states where casino gambling is permitted.

Nebraska Initiative 429 is the critical measure that creates the regulation of these racinos. Initiative 429 must pass for the other two to take effect.

The measure permits all casino games, including slot machines, video poker, blackjack, craps, and other table games. The tax rate on these games is 20%.

Nebraska Initiative 430 establishes the Nebraska Gaming Commission and limits casino access to patrons at least 21 years old.

Nebraska Initiative 431 allocates the 20% tax revenue. Of that, 70% goes towards lowering property taxes. Municipalities with casinos would get 25%. The state general fund and problem gambling services would each receive 2.5% of the gaming tax.

South Dakota Might Add Sports Betting

South Dakota Constitutional Amendment B would permit the state legislature to pass a bill that would allow sports betting in Deadwood, the only city in South Dakota with commercial gaming. If the amendment passes, the 2021 South Dakota Legislature will draw up regulations. The proposal’s language leaves the door open for lawmakers to legalize mobile sports betting in the state.

Casino Referendums in Virginia

The Virginia Legislature passed a full gambling expansion package that includes casinos in five cities. It is up to each municipality to approve it through a referendum. The municipalities where casino expansion is under consideration are Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, Richmond, and Portsmouth. Each development would require a minimum investment of $200 million. The tax rate would be 27%.

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