Which states are being actively tracked for online poker and casino legislation by Online Poker Report?
Below is a look at the states we’re tracking right now. This list will update as events warrant. You can find a more-complete legislative tracker here.
Last updated Nov. 19.
Momentum: Treading water
The lowdown: The Connecticut legislature adjourned for 2018 without resolving any gaming issues. Yet, the state remains on this list…
The US Supreme Court decision to allow state-regulated sports betting sparked some chatter in the capital. Gov. Dannel Malloy said he wanted to call lawmakers into a special spring session to revisit that issue.
It looked like online gambling could be part of that session, maybe used as a bargaining chip to garner tribal support. That never materialized. As expected, any gaming bills will struggle to pass until the East Windsor situation is sorted out.
Connecticut will likely try again in 2018.
Momentum: Slightly up
The lowdown: Illinois burst onto the scene as a contender to legalize online gambling in 2017, when the Senate passed a bill with ease. The House didn’t vote on the legislation, and slim hopes of something happening quickly came and went.
The conversation shifted to sports betting in 2018, and the omnibus route appeared as the most direct path for Illinois to pursue expansion in the short term.
Days before adjournment, Rep. Robert Rita rekindled a dormant casino bill, filing an amendment that spawned two hearings in the Gaming House Subcommittee. The changes include placeholders to legalize online gambling, daily fantasy sports and sports betting in one fell swoop. No provisions, just placeholders.
During the hearings, Rita indicated that all three of those articles require more work than can be done before adjournment. The amendment did set the stage for the next round of discussions, though.
A lack of chatter about online gambling during an October expansion hearing figures to bode well for its chances in 2019.
Momentum: Treading water
The lowdown: An over-arching gaming bill that appears to allow for online gambling surfaced this year. The bill’s focus, however, is daily fantasy sports. A hearing was held on the bill in February, but it’s been largely crickets since then.
The gaming commission in Massachusetts remains one of the most up-to-speed organizations when it comes to new forms of gaming. The latest example: It’s now preparing for the possibility of sports betting.
That being said, all gaming efforts took a small step backward this fall with the resignation of the top regulator, Stephen Crosby. We’ll check in again in 2019.
The lowdown: It took until the very last day of the session, but Michigan online gambling finally made some progress in the legislature. The House passed a bill from Rep. Brandt Iden, sending it along to the Senate.
“When we come back in the fall,” Iden said, “this is going to be at the top of the agenda. Michigan should be at the forefront of that.”
Rep. Iden is looking to make good on his word, following a narrow reelection in the November midterms. During a national policy summit, he indicated plans to push a bill through before the end of the year. His optimism is somewhat cooled by the fact that just 12 legislative days remain in 2018 at the time of his proclamation.
Sports betting is also included in the bill as written, but it’s not clear if that will stick in the final version.
Momentum: Mostly dead
Assm. Clyde Vanel was the primary voice of optimism in his, predicting support to snowball. Sure enough, Assm. Gary Pretlow signed almost 60 co-sponsors onto his standalone bill. Pretlow asked Speaker Carl Heastie to help push the bill to a vote before the session ended, but there was never a real sense of progress.
Sen. John Bonacic’s bill came back to life, too, reported favorably out of the Finance Committee. It didn’t advance through Rules before adjournment, however.
NY online gambling is dead for 2018.