You can bet lawmakers, governors, and lobbying interests will play it cool most of the time.
But in the states with legal sports betting, when elected officials and mysterious bags of digital cash sat around the negotiating table, these nincompoops didn’t just act a fool—they’ve since doubled down during the coronavirus pandemic.
The COVID-19 outbreak, and our world leaders’ failure to contain the spread, is no longer a joke in the minds of anyone rational.
America ranks first with 209,105 confirmed cases as testing ramps up and third in deaths at 4,658, according to Worldometers at the time of writing. Worldwide, there are now 924,663 confirmed cases with a death toll of 46,368 that health officials have attributed to the coronavirus.
As of April Fools Day 2020, any state or federal lawmaker is a clown if they legitimately still believe sports betting laws should only authorize accepting bets if a window teller is present at a sportsbook.
To be fair: Some state lawmakers understand how US online gambling laws work stateside, and others even have a long history of supporting Internet-based betting.
The top-rated legal betting sites and apps for the coronavirus pandemic have already adapted to social distancing practices and offer tons of regulated germ-free ways to wager—all from the comfort of your personal quarantined safe space.
2020 has been a rough start for sportsbook legalizations and launches at the state level. Even worse: It’s unclear whether half the country will have somewhere to bet, as early end-of-year US sports betting legalization projections had indicated.
Governor Jay Inslee signed Washington state’s “emergency” sports betting bill into law on Wednesday, March 22, allowing tribal casinos to accept wagers in-person and via a mobile app if standing on their property.
Washington made history on that day and became the first state of 2020 to enact any form of sports betting legislation.
Most of the interested states and jurisdictions have put talks on ice in regards to legal smartphone betting apps among ending other online gambling prohibitions.
Millennial and Generation Z adults are more tech-savvy on average, and most carry either an Apple or Android device everywhere, so there is an opportunity for states to increase their annual budget revenue without raising state income taxes.
Putting a more significant focus on placing bets without person-to-person contact while offering more odds on virus-proof competitions, such as legal esports betting, must be a priority of the US gambling industry and lawmakers going forward.
Failing to favor the full use of the Internet punishes not only turning-of-age new bettors but will also act as a “boomer remover” for the at-risk elderly handicappers who like the brick-and-mortar experience.
Unfortunately, foolish lawmakers in the Evergreen State took the opposite approach, like many others since the 2018 US Supreme Court PASPA decision.
Despite working under a declared state and national emergency, WA legislators and Inslee approved the “emergency” tribal in-person sports betting legislation in record time.
If there are a “Biggest Dunce” trophies given to individuals, teams, or organizations in the sports betting world, then Inslee and the Washington legislature are favored to take home the top honors at this year’s live stream-only awards ceremony.
The law is expected to face many lawsuits, and lawmakers declaring the legalization of sports betting an “emergency” appears to be among the primary disputes. Giving “exclusivity” is another common form of corruption on full public display as well.
It’s often said “legalization” of a vice, or anything prohibited, is an “endorsement” of whatever the governing body eventually approves.
Since the emergency-amended sports betting bill took just over a month to be enacted, does that mean Washington lawmakers and Inslee—as well as other states who’ve passed laws—strongly “endorse” adults placing bets in-person at tribal-run brick-and-mortar sportsbooks during a global pandemic?
Time will tell whether lawmakers will wake up and legalize all Internet-based sports betting, casinos, poker, etc., but odds of that happening appear to be “slim to none” when each state’s actions (so far) are factored into the equation.