Sports BettingLegalInterview Agreements between stakeholders vital in sports betting expansion, says Fantini analyst January 24, 2020 | By Gaming America Reaching a consensus between the relevant stakeholders will be key in the continued expansion of legalizing sports betting in the US, according to an industry analyst. Laura Briggs, the Editor of Fantini Research’s National Legislative Preview, which examines key issues facing the gaming industry in 2020, has suggested disagreements between stakeholders is delaying several states legalizing sports betting. She said: "It’s really going to be a matter of ironing out the perfect policy for each individual state, and overcoming those disagreements among stakeholders, such as casinos, lotteries, tribal gaming, card rooms and sports leagues, which will be key." Although a state lottery in Alabama is on the cards after a $1bn offer from Poarch Band of Creek Indians, issues between racecourses, tribal gaming and the state are standing in the way. Briggs added: "The Poarch Creek Indians have promised the state a lot of money if they can expand their three casinos into Class III gaming and build two destination resorts. Under that plan the state could have a lottery, but it leaves nothing for racetrack interests. "Alabama has debated a state lottery for years, but the House Speaker said he didn’t believe state lottery would be able to be passed on its own; as some legislators will not support it unless there are also protections for electronic bingo slots at racetracks, which have been operating on and off in unclear territory for several years. "The Poarch Creek plan doesn’t include anything for racetracks so there’s a contention there. I guess we’ll see what happens." Similar issues stand in the way of Michigan becoming the first state to allow mobile and sports betting for both commercial and tribal casinos. "The latest update in Michigan indicates it might be another year before they get mobile and internet going," Briggs explained. "But retail sports betting should be coming in the spring. Tribal legislation needs to be addressed which is why it’s taking longer for mobile and gaming components to be legalized in the state. "It will be interesting to see how they decide to roll it out but there’s a potential barrier in federal Indian gaming law to online and mobile for tribes." Although California is projected to generate $2.5bn if sports betting is legalized, Briggs warned this would only be if mobile betting was allowed, and a long-standing disagreement between tribes and card rooms is resolved. She said: "California would represent the biggest market just based on population. But the market potential shrinks drastically if they don’t allow mobile or betting on state college games. Like I mentioned, reaching stakeholder consensus there is easier said than done; there’s a long-standing riff between gaming tribes and card rooms. "There was a significant effort to get online poker a few years ago but there was just too much contention, and a lot of it was among the various tribal gaming interests. At least in sports betting we are seeing most of those gaming tribes united on the same side of the debate. But not united with card clubs."