Quit With The Land-Based Nonsense, True Sports Betting Success Requires Mobile Access
Kansas is considering the legalization of sports betting. That much was known back in December 2018, when Kansas State Senator Bud Estes said that sports gambling would probably happen in some form within his state.
The question remains, what form will sports betting take? Will bets need to be placed in a land-based casino or will bettors have the ability to make their bets through mobile applications.
“For it to be successful you need to have the mobile app. If you have it in just the four casinos, how could someone who lives 100 miles from a casino place a sports bet,” stated Johnson County Rep. Jan Kessinger on February 12.
It is a debate that is occurring in many jurisdictions across the United States. Should sports betting be permitted online and through mobile applications, or limited to people who venture to land-based casinos.
Logically, there is only one answer to the question. For legalized sports betting to become a real threat to illegal oversees and/or bookie-based sports betting, it must be offered through online and mobile means. Further, for states to truly benefit from the taxation of sports betting, they should not concern themselves with solely making legal sports betting available at land-based operators.
Yet, the State of Mississippi is one that has legalized sports betting while keeping it impermissible through online channels. The belief is that lawmakers are using a concern about the potential for underage gambling as a crutch to support their arguments as to why online and mobile sports betting should not be allowed. While it may be true that it is more difficult to regulate the age of the individual placing a bet when that person is not physically stepping up to a betting window, nothing prevents someone from using a third party to place a bet in person. If someone wants to place a bet so desperately, there is little-to-nothing that will stop him, even under the current land-based-only regulations.
Some in Mississippi are coming around to the concept that the state’s current regulations do not make sense economically nor from a consumer protection standpoint. For instance, State Senator Willie Simmons recently said that his chamber will continue to look at mobile sports wagering because it would generate dollars and additions needed for his state.
“Passing legislation is kind of like a courtship you have with a significant other,” said Simmons. “You have to date it, work it, nurture it, and get it to where you can have a marriage. So we know when we put together a piece of legislation like that, that it’s a challenge for us, but we’re not going to give up.”
That is an odd way of describing the process. If true, then hopefully Kansas lawmakers are past the dating and “working it” stage, and getting close to marrying the idea that sports betting offered through online and mobile means is the way to go in 2019.