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Gambling Developments in the States, 2010

Gambling Developments in the States, 2010

The current wave of gambling expansion gathered momentum in 2009 as national economic and state fiscal conditions have deteriorated throughout the year. State legislators faced pressing budget gaps, increases in demand for state services and extended forecasts of anemic tax revenue performance. 

While gambling revenue has recently followed the same path as most other state revenue sources during this recession—declining since the summer of 2008—states continue to consider the expansion of gambling as a possible way to fund government operations. Currently, 48 states have some sort of legal gambling activity, only Hawaii and Utah do not have any form of legalized gambling.  To date there have been over 20 measures introduced and debated. 

The following table provides brief descriptions of selected gambling proposals and developments in the states:

Gambling Developments in the States, 2010

State

Bill Numbers

Gambling

Alabama

SB 333, Beason

Failed: Currently, non-electronic bingo games are legal in the state. However, there are numerous electronic bingo parlors operating within the state. A measure was introduced to define bingo and electronic bingo. Within Alabama slot machines are illegal and if the measure passed to define electronic bingo, there would have been a referendum to be voted on to determine if expanded gaming should be legalized. 

Alaska

Development

The pull tab lottery game grand prize of $500,000 set to be conducted on May 31, 2010 will be postponed due to a decreased ticket sales and the lack of covering the prizes and the charitable contribution of $50,000 to a local non-profit. 

Arkansas

Development

Enacted: The state lottery will place ticket vending machines throughout the state at high volume retail stores in order to keep revenue targets for scholarships. 

Arizona

HB 2195, Weiers

Enacted: Allows the charitable organizations to sell instant-games issued by the state lottery. The state can keep up to 15 percent of all ticket sales. 

Connecticut

HB 5236, Hewett

Pending: a bill to expand simulcast betting to include live racing and gaming events.   

Colorado

SB 215, Romer

 

SCR 4, Romer



 

SB 192, Kopp
 

Court ruling

Pending: After failed proposals for keno and a racino, a new proposal is requiring the state lottery to increase sales by $100 million a year through video lottery terminals. 

Failed: A measure to allow keno, which is expected to raise up to $100 million over 10 years for higher education. If approved by the legislature, the measure would go to voters in the fall. Update: the bill to allow keno in the state has expanded to included video lottery machines and electronic gaming devices at the horse and dog racing tracks in Colorado.   

Failed: A measure to create a capital restoration fund and redirect limited gambling funds to that fund from the historical preservation fund. 

Enacted: The Colorado Supreme Court refused to hear a case about poker. The refusal upheld a ruling that identified poker as a gambling activity and not a game solely based on skill. 

Connecticut

Development  

The governor proposed introducing keno in her state of the state speech. She estimates keno will raise $60 million a year.

Delaware

HB 310, Schwartzkopf


 

Development

Enacted: The governor signed into law on Jan. 28 a measure that was introduced on Jan. 15th to add table games (poker, blackjack and craps) to Delaware's gambling options. This was in response to Pennsylvania legalizing table games on Jan. 7. 

Enacted: The U.S Supreme Court denied hearing a court case to allow the state to allow betting on all sporting events. The denial, will in effect only allow sports betting on three NFL games in a pari-mutuel wagering system every game day.  

Florida

SB 622, Jones

Enacted: The new compact with the Seminole Indians will legalize certain table games (blackjack, chemin de fer and baccarat) at five tribal casino sites for five years and give the tribe the rights to operate Class III slot machines at all seven casinos for 20 years. The state will receive $150 million in the first two years, $233 million the third and fourth, and $234 million in the fifth for a total of roughly $1 billion. The tribe will pay 10 percent of net revenues for the last three years, which is projected to bring in $102 million. Gambling revenues are to be used for education. The pari-mutuel and card room industry was against the expanded tribal gaming, but were able to expand their own hours of operation and poker betting limits and will receive tax breaks.  

Georgia

HR 1784, Gordon and HR 1177, Geisinger 

Failed: A proposal by lawmakers would have given cities and counties the authority to either approve horse racing, dog racing, casinos or any combination of the three options. The Georgia Lottery would have overseen all gambling operations. The measure would have had to receive state wide voter approval and then be approved by a local referendum in the town where the gambling establishment was to be located.  

 

Hawaii

HB 2251, Karamatsu

Failed:Legislators proposed two measures to legalize one casino gambling location. By the February 2010 legislative deadline both measures had failed.

Illinois

Development


 

SB 3812, Jacobs M


HB 5110, Black

HB 5975, Burns


Development

Last year video gaming devices were legalized at truck stops, bars, fraternal and veterans clubs where county commissioners approved. Each establishment is allowed to have up to five video gaming machines. Video gambling is estimated to generate $300 million a year in gaming revenue.    

Pending: This bill would penalize cities that ban video gambling operations by withholding capital improvement and infrastructure funds or by requiring the city to pay a fine to the state for not allowing video gambling.  

Pending: A proposal to grant one more riverboat gambling license to the City of Danville. 

Pending: A proposal to create racinos and allow electronic gaming devices to be installed at the state’s horse racing tracks.   

After 10 years of legal cases, the 10th and final casino license will be filled by the Des Plaines Casino, expected to begin construction in mid-April. The hotel casino will have 1,150 slot machines and 250 table games. Gambling tax revenues from the casino are expected to be $10 million a year.  

Indiana

SB 318, Rogers

Failed: A proposal to expand gambling to land-based casinos.

Iowa

SB 2323


SB 2129, Kibbie

Development

Development

Failed: Governor and lawmakers proposed expanding casino gambling to four locations within the state. The measure was estimated to generate $25 million a year. 

Failed: A proposal to legalize sports betting at the state’s racinos and casinos.

Failed: Casino proponents proposed eliminating greyhound racing.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission toured a proposed $120 million casino resort in Lyon County, Iowa. If the commission grants a license to the county, construction on the site could begin as early as June 1, 2010. The casino would have up to 1,000 slots and feature a hotel and a golf course. It is estimated that 81 percent of the total gambling revenue would come from South Dakota and Nebraska patrons. A public meeting is scheduled for May 4, 2010 and the commission is slated to make a decision by May 13, 2010.     

Kansas

SB 401


 

Development  

Failed: This measure would allow the Wichita Greyhound Park to become a racino by adding up to 2,200 electronic gambling machines. The measure would need voter approval from Sedgwik County residents in the fall of 2010. 

A developer pulled out of a proposed casino project and asked for its $25 million license fee back, after lawmakers already incorporated the funds into the state budget. The casino, which is owned by the state lottery, located 20 miles south of Wichita filed for a 60-day extension at the request of the developer. The governor denied the extension. The 2007 gambling expansion law allowed the two greyhound tracks and four sites around the state to have casino gambling with slots and table games. The casino at the Kansas City Raceway is slated to be completed in 2012. The Boot Hill casino in Dodge City opened in early 2010.  

Kentucky

SB 2, Clark, P

Failed: The governor and lawmakers proposed legalizing slot machines at race tracks.

Louisiana

SB 611, Dorsey

Pending: A bill that would create a tax district to fund an economic development project next to the Hollywood Casino in Baton Rouge. 

Maine

Initiative 5

Failed: Legislation to allow a casino in Oxford County was postponed indefinitely by the legislature, however an initiative to allow the casino will go before statewide voters in November.     

Maryland

SB 795, Pugh


HB 663, Riley

 

SB 1035, Muse

SB 1002, Muse

Failed: A proposal to allow table games at locations with video lottery terminals, which are currently at the state’s racetracks.

Failed: The governor proposed legalizing slot machines to generate $250 million in annual revenue. A legislator stated that without the legalization of racinos, the harness racing industry in the state would end. 

Failed: A proposal to create a poker parlor at Prince George’s racetrack. 

Failed: A proposal to legalize instant racing at the state’s 13 simulcast facilities. 

Massachusetts

HB 4591, Dempsey

Pending: A bill was introduced April 5, 2010, to legalize casino gambling within the commonwealth. The bill would grant two casino licenses and allow the state’s two horse racing tracks to have up to 750 slot machines each. The measure is expected to generate an estimated $1.1 billion of revenue for the state. The Mohegan tribe of Connecticut is planning to build a casino in western Massachusetts if legislation is passed and approved by Massachusetts voters. The Mohegan tribe owns and operates one of the two casinos in Connecticut. Update: The Senate will wait to vote on the measure until after Memorial Day.    

Michigan

Development

Due to the constitutional convention happening in the state there is a movement to expand casino gambling to seven locations including the airport. The proposal will need 380,126 signatures by July 5, 2010 to be considered as a ballot measure. 

Minnesota

HB 2810, Hackbarth

Pending: A proposal allowing slot machines at racetracks is expected to generate an estimated $125 million a year. 

Mississippi

SB 2962, Butler 

Failed: A measure to create a state lottery that would fund education and health care. 

Missouri

Development

 

HB 1994, Zerr

HB 1339, Lair

Gambling regulators would determine whether to issue the last casino license by May 1, 2010, bringing the total number of casinos in the state to 13. 

Pending: A proposal to allow game chips to be used for food and drink. 

Pending: Senators approved a bill that would expand bingo playing hours from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Currently, the hours are from 10 a.m. to midnight. A similar measure last year was vetoed by the governor. 

Nebraska

LB779, Heidemann



 

LB266, Karpisek


LR277, Karpisek

Enacted: This bill allows a new horse race track to be built as a part of an economic development complex near the Lancaster Event Center, which includes five different businesses besides the track. The project will be funded by state sales tax revenue. 

Failed: A bill would have allowed the state’s five racetracks to have slot machines. A tax on net gaming revenues would have been distributed to the tracks and the racing commission, but not to the state.   

Failed: A proposed constitutional amendment to allow city approved facilities to conduct simulcast betting on horse races in and out of the state.

New Hampshire

HB 630, Conney

SB 489, D’Allesandro

 

Development
 

Development


Development

Pending: The Senate has voted to ban live dog racing. The state currently has two greyhound tracks. 

Failed: This bill  would have created racinos at the state’s greyhound and harness racing tracks. The bill calls with 17,000 slot machines or video lottery machines and table games at a total of six locations. The bill was estimated to bring in $50 million in licensing fees and the creation of up to 4,000 permanent jobs. 

Pending: A new expanded gambling bill that would allow the state lottery commission to issue two licenses to operate up to 3,500 slot-machine per license, with the option to operate 150 table games. 

The governor, who is against the expansion of 17,000 slots at the state’s race tracks, proposed state authorized online gambling sites as an alternate revenue generator. 

Failed: A house member is proposing an amendment to the budget to allow the 6,000 state run slot machines to operate at six locations. 

New Jersey

EO 11, Governor

A1408, Prieto

A1235, Stender

Enacted: The governor issued an executive order to create a commission to study sports betting.

Failed: This bill would have granted licenses to Atlantic City casinos for online gambling.

Failed: A bill to create a racino at Meadowlands Racetrack by allowing 5,000 video lottery machines to operate. However, a firm has offered the state $600 million to install video lottery machines at the Meadowlands, with another $100 million for track operations and the promise of building up to seven off-track wagering facilities.       

New Mexico

Development

The New Mexico Gaming Control Board will decide on May 4th, 2010 whether or not a proposed racino in Raton will keep its license. The establishment and the city is having difficulty securing financing and may lose their license. 

North Carolina

Development



Development

Tribal casino and state officials are exploring expanding gambling in casinos to include live card games. On April 16, 2010, the Lumbee Tribal Council approved a contract with a casino consultant. If the tribe members do not approve of pursuing gambling activities, there would be a potential investment loss of $35 million.  

Lawmaker has proposed legalizing electronic video gaming. 

Ohio

Issue 2
 

 

Ballot measure



HJR 14, Celeste

Enacted: Voters on May 4, 2010 approved a relocation of a casino site from the arena district to the west side of Columbus. The $400 million establishment is expected to open in 2012.   

Ohio became the 42rd state to allow Powerball at the beginning of April, 2010. 

Pending: A measure would let voters decide whether or not the governor has the power to order the Ohio Lottery to operate video lottery terminals at the state’s horse race tracks.   The secretary of state certified that there are enough signatures for a measure on the November ballot.   

Due to the Passage of Issue 2, HJR 14 will become unnecessary: A measure to authorize Franklin County to be a location for one of the four casinos. 

Oklahoma

HB 2956, Wright

Pending: Prohibits minors from appearing in advertising for the state lottery. 

Pennsylvania

Development


Development

The gaming control board has allowed five casinos to operate up to 250 table games each after legislation was enacted in January. As of April, three of the casinos are operating table games. 

The Foxwoods casino project in waterfront Philadelphia, owned by the Mashantucket Pequot tribe, was put on hold when the developer, Wynn Resorts backed out of the deal. The deal was met with significant neighborhood opposition. The Pequot Tribe of Connecticut, owners and operators of Foxwoods Resort Casino are now interested in the project.    

Rhode Island

HB 7338, San Bento

SB 2101, Raptakis

Pending: Legislators proposed a bill allowing up to two new casinos.

Pending: On April 13, 2010, a gambling bill that would allow banks to take over the Twin River racino and ban greyhound racing in the state. Also, the state would provide the bank $3.6 million in state revenues for marketing purposes to compete with Connecticut’s and potentially the Massachusetts’ casinos. Rhode Island keeps 61 cents of every dollar spent at the state’s racinos. The state is expected to receive an estimated $251 million in gambling revenues. 

South Dakota

Development

 

 

Development

The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe and local residents are proposing a casino in Sioux Falls. The proposal is in response to the concern that Iowa casino’s will hurt the local economy. The Sioux Falls gambling proposal would not need a constitutional amendment due to its tribal partners, just governor approval via compact.   The governor expressed concerns with state, federal and tribal regulations with regards to revenue sharing. 

Pending: A legislative committee approved the multi-state lottery game Megamillions. 

Tennessee

SB 3321, Berke

Enacted: Beneficiaries of lottery revenues expanded to include after school programs complimentary to school curricula. 

Texas

Development

Lawmakers and the horse and greyhound racing industries in the state are considering introducing legislation for the next legislative session to allow race tracks to have video lottery terminals in order to generate state revenues and save the racing industry in the state.  

Virginia

HB 1010, Athey

Enacted: Slot machines or free rolling gambling machines are illegal to operate in the state.  

West Virginia

HB 4458, Campbell

Failed: Senate proposed using $531 million in lottery revenues to close the state budget gap. 

Wyoming

SB 64, Schiffer

 

 

Development

Enacted: This bill gives the Pari-mutuel Commission the authority to set the number of live horse racing days in order to qualify for a simulcasting permit. The commission must adopt new rules governing live horse racing and simulcasting before Jan. 1, 2011. The race track, Wyoming Downs, does not plan on hosting live racing events in 2010. 

The Pari-mutuel Wagering Commission proposed two options to continue live horse racing. Both proposals would determine the number of live racing days based upon the amount of money wagered in off-track betting sites. The proposals are being studied in a committee and will be decided within the year. 

Source:  Various media and government outlets: November 2009 – May 2010. Last updated May 12, 2010. 

This table is intended to provide general information and does not necessarily address all aspects of this topic. The table reflects in summary form information gathered from media sources and states’ individual gaming agencies. Please contact us at econ-info@ncsl.org if you know of any additional information that should be reflected here or any errors that should be corrected.

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