Is West Virginia missing out on new revenue – by not thinking ahead?
Maryland’s Legislature is taking steps to be prepared. Forward thinking members have introduced legislation to assure the State is ready to take advantage of sports betting. Introduced February 8th and its first hearing was held March 1 reported the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (THA).
Republican Delegates Jason Buckel and Kevin Hornberger said their bill is a “forward-thinking and practical approach for what we think is not a matter of if but when” sports betting is legalized in the U.S. They said the idea is to have a framework in place so Maryland “could turn it around quickly rather than wait three or four years.”
That is what ought to have been done in West Virginia. As early as February, 2014 this blog suggested the State and more particularly Lottery begin looking at gaming options. The options may not be popular but revenue can be produced – what is needed now even more so than in 2014 – revenue.
Last month phillipsbillboard.com urged Governor Justice to begin initial study of sports betting.
According to THA Maryland’s legislation does nothing more than establish a task force to monitor action of federal laws; study implementation of sports betting in other states; and make recommendations on changes needed to facilitate sports betting in Maryland. The bill does offer a starting point for the allocation of revenue. The task force could make its own recommendations.
THA points out that sports betting can only be offered by “repeal or amendment of the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in a manner that does not prohibit the state from allowing wagering on sporting events or a determination by a federal court or the United States Department of Justice that (PASPA) does not prohibit the state from allowing wagering on sporting events.”
Is it going to be the same old story – a day late and a dollar short?