TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The new year is well underway, which means possible law changes could be coming.
One in particular has sports fans paying close attention.
The possible legalization of sports betting in Kansas could bring even more customers in to local bars.
Jose Chavez owns Flamingo Bar and Grill in Topeka, and bars like his could be the ones reaping the benefits of the possible legalization.
Chavez’s bar currently offers games like Keno and others provided through the Kansas Lottery.
“Every time somebody buys something, we get a penny for anytime they buy a ticket,” said Chavez. “It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it helps with people coming in.”
Kansas lawmakers are expected to readdress the topic early this year after previous efforts to pass a bill didn’t result in much action.
One bill that was presented would allow bars offering Keno to also allow wagers.
However, sports gambling has also been met with some resistance.
With concerns over scams and creating gambling addictions, bar customer Gary Smith said he thinks the positive impact it can have on the state would outweigh the potential problems.
“You have to funnel some of that revenue back into the state,” said Smith. “That’s the only way to make it a win win situation, not only for the people who participate, but for the state and the schools to get a part of the revenue.”
Those in support of the bill say it will bring in much needed extra revenue to bars and to the state.
However, there are still many questions about regulation and just how much the state would benefit that are keeping sports betting from becoming legal in Kansas.
Another possibility lawmakers are looking into is mobile sports betting through an app.
Governor-elect Laura Kelly has also expressed support of looking into legalizing sports betting.
The key takeaway here is that it’s treated like a PPR league, rewarding a point for every reception, which greatly increases someone like Ezekiel Elliott’s median projection – more on him later.
Andrew Luck O/U 20.5 Fantasy Points
Projected fantasy pts at
Opp rank vs QB
Andrew Luck (QB)
20.5 (O -190 / U +145)
*All odds taken 1/5; find them under “Fantasy Betting” at MyBookie
The Texans are a pass funnel team, ranking 2nd in DVOA against the run compared to 16th in DVOA against the pass.
Andrew Luck has seen this exact matchup twice already this season and hit for 35 points in Week 4 and 25 points in Week 14.
Andrew Luck’s HUGE 464 yard 4 TD performance against the Texans. He’s back. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/2YghPc9qJ8
— Indy SportsOne (@IndySportsOne) October 1, 2018
The Colts pass at the highest percentage among teams on the Wild Card slate and Luck feasts on cover 2 schemes like Houston employs, ranking third in the league in expected points added against that coverage.
Pick: OVER 20.5 (-190)
Deshaun Watson O/U 21 Fantasy Points
Projected fantasy pts at
Opp rank vs QB
Deshaun Watson (QB)
21 (O -140 / U +100)
Similar to Luck, this is a matchup Watson has already face twice this season, exploding for 32 points in their first meeting, but scoring just 18 in their second game.
Updated Super Bowl 53 Odds Tracker
The Colts are a sneaky tough matchup as they allow the second-fewest catches and yards to opposing wideouts.
No team forces a shallower average depth of target than Indy, and Watson will have pressure in his face all game.
Autry lands his 7th sack of the season. #INDvsHOU pic.twitter.com/RjP9dkZVtu
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) December 9, 2018
Pick: UNDER 21 (+100)
Russell Wilson O/U 18 Fantasy Points
Projected fantasy pts at MyBookie
Opp rank vs QB
Russell Wilson (QB)
18 (O -135 / U -105)
The Seahawks run the ball at the highest rate in the NFL, forcing Russell Wilson to be ultra efficient when he gets a chance to throw.
Wilson topped 31 pass attempts only once in the final 14 games of the season, and was held under 27 attempts nine times.
The 10 BEST @PFF single-game grades of 2018! 📈 pic.twitter.com/9FoWx4qvEm
— NFL (@NFL) January 2, 2019
The matchup isn’t great, as Dallas allows just 18.5 points per game at home, and while Russ has the talent to exceed his projection on low volume, I prefer to bet on opportunity rather than efficiency.
Pick: UNDER 18 (-135)
Ezekiel Elliott O/U 19.5 Fantasy points
Projected fantasy pts at MyBookie
Opp rank vs RB
Ezekiel Elliott (RB)
19.5 (O -175 / U +135)
After resting in Week 17, Elliott is primed for a massive workload as a home favorite.
He’s averaging 25 touches per game this season, and has at least five catches in seven straight. These receptions are so valuable in PPR formats and are not factored heavily enough into MyBookie’s line.
.@EzekielElliott reaches out with one hand and runs it in for the TOUCHDOWN!#DallasCowboys lead 10-0. #NOvsDAL
Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins await a new coach for 2019. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License].
On December 31st, Adam Gase was fired as Miami Dolphins head coach
A number of candidates have emerged, including Special Teams coordinator Darren Rizzi
Is Rizzi the best bet? Or is someone else primed to take Gase’s headset
Adam Gase is out as Miami Dolphins head coach and now the search is on.
For the seventh time since Nick Saban left the Dolphins, Miami is looking for a new head coach.
With several strong candidates emerging, BetOnline has released the odds on who will be the Dolphins’ next head coach. And it’s an internal candidate leading the way.
Odds to be Next Miami Dolphins Head Coach
Head Coach candidate
*Odds taken 1/5
Darren Rizzi favored to win Dolphins job
The one name that jumps out at you is Darren Rizzi.
Unless you’re a Dolphins fan, you likely don’t know him.
Updated Super Bowl 53 Odds Tracker
Rizzi is Miami’s Special Teams coordinator. He’s held that role since 2010. He’s also served as the assistant head coach.
If you ask Dolphins past and present, they don’t think he should interview for the the job. They think he should get it.
I love seeing the @MiamiDolphins interviewing Darren Rizzi. He’d make an excellent head coach. #FinsUp
— Brian Hartline (@brianhartline) January 2, 2019
It’s those endorsements that have Rizzi as the front-runner. He clearly has the respect of his players, even though the decision falls to Chris Grier and Stephen Ross.
It’s about time someone recognizes how good Darren Rizzi is. Glad to see he’s getting a look. Played for him and have known him for years. Great coach, leader, pro and teacher. Demands accountability and respect https://t.co/97gL2AG4d3
— Jason Taylor (@JasonTaylor) January 3, 2019
Up and comers among odds for Miami Dolphins head coach
Two popular names among the odds are Vic Fangio and Brian Flores.
The Chicago Bears’ defensive coordinator, Fangio is a popular man.
Dolphins and Broncos now have requested HC interviews with Bears’ defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, per league source. They are not expected to be the only interested teams in Fangio. He can’t interview this week with Bears prepping for Eagles.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2018
While his defensive mindset would be welcome in Florida, where the Dolphins have burned through offensive and defensive minds alike, it doesn’t look likely.
Right now the Broncos are the front-runners.
A source tells me that current Bears DC Vic Fangio is the leader in the clubhouse for the Broncos head coaching vacancy. Fangio is scheduled to meet with the Broncos on Monday.
— Ryan Witkowski (@RyanWitkowski) January 2, 2019
And for Flores? He was interviewed by the Arizona Cardinals last year when he was just the New England Patriots linebackers coach. Flores is a riser in coaching circles, but he’s only been calling defenses for one season.
With Josh McDaniels reportedly passing on the Bengals job, that means the only one he’s currently scheduled to interview for is the Packers. Brian Flores is interviewing with the Packers, Broncos, Browns and Dolphins, per reports.
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) January 3, 2019
While the interest is hot surrounding him, he likely still has things to learn. His chance is coming, but I would bet on him staying in New England.
Interesting names in search for next Miami Dolphins head coach
Despite the fact the Ravens committed to him for 2019, John Harbaugh’s name appears on this list.
Statement from the Baltimore Ravens: pic.twitter.com/NSog0QWx1P
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 21, 2018
That’s because there’s a report out there that the Dolphins are considering trading for Harbaugh. While the speculation is fun, it’s tough to envision, especially considering the price tag attached.
Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is receiving plenty of love after his first year on the job. Despite his lack of experience, some feel he’s got the attitude to succeed.
The #Dolphins are meeting this evening with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who is in his first season as an NFL OC. He coordinates Kansas City’s offense but reportedly doesn’t call the plays.
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) January 4, 2019
That would likely mesh well with a front office looking for a franchise-wide change.
Then there’s Dan Campbell.
Campbell knows Miami. He was their tight ends coach, and took over for Joe Philbin in Week 4 of 2015 after he was fired. He went 5-7 and moved on to New Orleans.
He’s not interested in coming back though:
Dan Campbell is highly respected. And apparently not interested in Miami, per source. https://t.co/dn6otyzzPT
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) January 4, 2019
Who is the next Miami Dolphins head coach?
Despite having the best odds, I don’t think it’s Rizzi.
While the players have endorsed him, an internal candidate may not change things enough.
The two most likely candidates are probably Bieniemy and Harbaugh. Even though the latter is a long shot and would cost a fortune, if the Dolphins want him, they’ll go get him.
And before you ask, no, don’t throw five bucks on Dan Marino.
ALBANY -Nearly eight months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could implement sports gambling, New Yorkers have yet to cast a legal wager.
The hold up is remarkable because New York began taking steps more than five years ago to prepare for the day that a federal prohibition on sports gambling would be struck down.
While it was the Assembly Democrats who backed away from legislative action last year that would hasten the coming of legal sports wagering, some gambling industry insiders – looking forward to the day when they can expand their services – assign the blame to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, in part because of an ongoing arbitration with the Seneca Indian Nation in western New York.
Shortly after the court ruling in May, the state Gaming Commission, which was tasked with filling in the details for a 2013 law creating a broad framework for sports gambling, announced that rules would be produced in “the near term.”
Cuomo at the time contended that a new law was needed, and downplayed the usefulness of the law on the books.
“We’ll do an economic analysis and a legal analysis, but nothing’s going to happen this year,” Cuomo said.
The consensus of attendees at a Saratoga Springs gambling conference in August was that the commission was waiting for a green light from Cuomo to publicize its work. The expectation among industry experts and state legislators in attendance was that the governor was waiting until after his re-election in November.
But the state’s gambling landscape became more complicated last month when the Senecas and New York entered arbitration over a disagreement about payments to the state from their casinos.
As a result of the ongoing negotiations, two industry stakeholders said that the governor’s administration may be holding up regulations on sports gambling. If the rules were issued for the commercial casinos, the state compacts would allow the Native American casinos in New York to expand their services too.
“It’s my impression from conversations that the executive doesn’t want to do anything to help the Senecas until a settlement is reached,” said a gambling industry source who did not want to be identified.
A second source said the administration doesn’t want another “open item” with the ongoing arbitration.
When asked about the delayed regulations, Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi said they’re still trying “to decide the best way forward.”
While the Senecas haven’t voiced their intentions to eventually offer sports gambling, the Oneida Indian Nation in central New York announced a deal on Wednesday to create wagering lounges at their properties with Caesars.
A spokesman for the Seneca Indian Nation declined to comment for this story.
Incoming Senate racing and wagering committee Chair Joseph Addabbo Jr., D-Queens, is optimistic about the chances of sports gambling being addressed during the legislative session.
“I do think sports betting will be done in the budget,” he said last month, echoing the sentiment of his predecessor on the committee.
Cuomo has been quiet on the topic, which wasn’t included in the 2019 priority agenda that he laid out last month. His executive budget proposal is due on Feb. 1.
A lobbyist predicted sports gambling wouldn’t make the initial proposal, but would be part of the final budget deal due on March 31.
It’s not clear where the Assembly Democrats stand on the issue. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is “not a big fan of gambling.” Addabbo anticipated the need for additional revenues without raising taxes would weigh heavily on their decisions.
If sports gambling is addressed, providers will want to offer it on mobile platforms, which would likely run afoul of the state Constitution. Addabbo acknowledged that “online gaming is going to be the issue” moving forward, and wants the state to address the challenge head on.
“I don’t want to go around the hurdle,” he said. “We need to clear the hurdle.”
That could mean passing an amendment to the Constitution, which wouldn’t be completed until 2021 at the earliest.
As Kentucky lawmakers prepare to meet in this year’s regular session, rating agencies are warning of headwinds if it doesn’t tackle its underfunded pensions.
The legislative session begins Tuesday.
No major pension reform bills have been filed, but one measure could ease funding problems.
Rep. Dennis Keene, D-Campbell, has prepared a draft bill that would provide money for certain retirement obligations.
Keene’s bill, currently designated BR 15, would permit the Kentucky Lottery Corp. to develop a professional sports betting program.
After setting aside $2 million of the proceeds from wagering receipts annually to fund the state’s problem gambler program, the remaining proceeds would be split between the Kentucky Employees Retirement System nonhazardous retirement fund and the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System’s pension fund in amounts proportional to the number of participants, according to the proposed bill.
Moody’s Investors Service said a December court ruling that invalidated 2018’s pension reform bill is credit negative for the Bluegrass State, “delaying reforms to its severely underfunded pension plans that were set to provide modest savings over the long term.”
Kentucky’s adjusted net pension liability of nearly $39 billion at the end of fiscal 2017 was 332% of revenues, the third highest among states, according to Moody.
“Kentucky’s track record of weak annual contributions has also pushed its plan for non-public-safety employees, the Employees Retirement System’s non-hazardous plan, to the brink of asset depletion,” Moody’s said.
After the state Supreme Court struck down the 2018 reform bill because of the procedures used to pass it, lawmakers held a one-day special session to consider House Bill 1, a replacement measure. The session ended Dec. 18, a day after it began, with legislators saying they didn’t have enough time to digest the bill.
Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, blasted the GOP-led Legislature in a Dec. 30 newspaper op-ed.
“The bill did not fail due to a lack of planning but, rather, due to a lack of legislative will,” Bevin said. “The weak excuse that there was not enough understanding among legislators about the contents of HB 1, reflects poorly on the legislative leadership’s ability to communicate with their own members.”
Bevin said the single greatest threat facing Kentucky’s financial future is its public employee pension crisis. In less than five years, he said, the non-hazardous public employee plan is projected to run out of money.
“This will affect the financial stability and credit rating of Kentucky and will leave us unable to deliver on the promises we made to all our hardworking police officers, teachers, firefighters and other state employees regardless of which pension plan they happen to be in,” Bevin said.
Analysts stopped short of downgrading the state in December, but they have previously taken action because of fiscal pressures mostly due to chronic pension underfunding.
In May, S&P Global Ratings lowered Kentucky’s issuer credit rating to A from A-plus. In July 2017 Moody’s downgraded its issuer rating to Aa3 from Aa2. Both assign stable outlooks.
S&P said the court ruling and special session in which lawmakers couldn’t agree on a replacement bill “highlight the ongoing pension funding challenges facing Kentucky’s credit quality.”
Current pension pressures are likely to persist despite reform efforts, S&P analyst Timothy Little said Dec. 21. The likelihood of the 2018 reforms being overturned as well as increasing pension costs were factored into the May rating downgrade, he said.
Even if reforms are enacted, Little said the state’s fixed costs for its pension obligations are expected to remain high, pressuring future budgets. Any future pension reform adopted by the Legislature will likely face legal challenges, he added.
Inside the race to ready Colorado for legal sports betting. Then, how the state went from early Prohibition adopter to “Napa of Craft Beer.” Next, we look back on how Gov. Hickenlooper handled rural Colorado and the economy. Also, Colorado Wonders what’s up with all those geese. Finally, this artist can make a pinhole camera out of anything, even a truck.
About Ryan Warner
Ryan Warner is the senior host and editor of Colorado Public Radio’s daily interview program “Colorado Matters.” He regularly reports on the most important issues facing Colorado – from the state capitol, which includes a monthly interview with the Governor of Colorado – to topics concerning health, education, business, energy and the environment and arts and culture.