The 2020 presidential election is fast approaching, but ballots go well beyond Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump on November 3rd. Each state will have various propositions and questions for the electorate to vote on. They will cover everything from decriminalizing certain drugs to implementing a variety of new taxes.
Three states will have an opportunity to amend their state constitutions to allow for sports betting legalization to occur. Currently, 22 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have legalized sports betting in some form.
Louisiana — parish-by-parish
Ballot language: Proposition to authorize sports wagering — Shall sports wagering activities and operations be permitted in the parish of ______?”
Will it pass: Each of the 64 parishes is voting individually on this and it can be approved by some, all, or none of them. Two years ago, 47 of 64 parishes voted to permit paid fantasy sports contests, per The Advocate. There is no significant polling as to where each of the parishes otherwise stands.
If approved, when would sports betting be able to start: TBD. The proposition would authorize the state legislature to enact a law providing for a sports betting framework. If legislation is passed, the state would then likely need to enact rules and regulations around sports betting. The next legislative session is scheduled to start on April 12, 2021, but the governor could call a special session before then.
Maryland — Question 2 Commercial Gaming Expansion Referendum
Ballot language: Do you approve the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland to authorize sports and events betting for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education?
Will it pass: A recent poll conducted by the Vote Yes on 2 campaign found that 60 percent of Marylanders intended to vote yes, 28 percent no, and 12 percent were undecided.
If approved, when would sports betting be able to start: TBD. If the referendum passes, the General Assembly will need to pass a law authorizing sports betting and establishing a regulatory framework for how it may be operated. The legislature is scheduled to return to session on January 13, 2021.
South Dakota — Deadwood
Ballot language: An amendment to the South Dakota Constitution authorizing the Legislature to allow sports wagering in the city of Deadwood.
Will it pass: “The Deadwood Gaming Association indicated that polling shows a majority of people in the state favor sports betting,” per Legal Sports Report. The group’s executive director said, “Deadwood gaming locations are cautiously optimistic for the upcoming vote,” according to KOTA TV.
If approved, when would sports betting be able to start: TBD. The Amendment would authorize the state legislature to enact a law providing for a sports betting framework. If legislation is passed, the state would then likely need to enact rules and regulations around sports betting. The next legislative session is scheduled to start on January 12, 2021.