Winners and Losers for Adding Legal Sports Betting in 2022
Heading into the month of June, there are currently 30 different states plus the District of Columbia up and running with some form of legal sports betting. This past May 14 marked the four-year anniversary of the landmark US Supreme Court decision that paved the way for legal betting outside the state of Nevada.
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While the overall betting volume of the legal US industry continues to grow and expand at an impressive rate, there are still some major holes to fill in the national footprint. More than a few states without legal sports betting on the books took on the task of joining this list in 2022. Early in the year is when most states schedule their annual legislative session.
Five months in, the industry wins do not outweigh the losses on the board. On the plus side, Ohio is expected to launch legal sports betting by the end of this year. State lawmakers actually passed the proper legislation towards the end of 2021. Everything remains on track for a full launch of both retail and mobile sportsbooks by Jan. 1, 2023.
Beating a pressing deadline in their respective legislative sessions, Kansas and Maine were also successful in passing the proper bills to allow legal betting on sports within their borders. There is an outside chance that both states could be up an running by the end of this year. However, past experience in the regulatory and licensing process points to some inevitable delays down the road.
Case in point is legal online sports betting in Maryland. This issue goes back to a successful voter referendum in November of 2020. While the state’s gaming regulators were finally able to go live with retail sportsbooks in land-based casinos by the end of last year, continuing regulatory issues have delayed the start of online betting indefinitely.
The list of states that failed to carry the ball across the goal line in 2022 include Kentucky, Minnesota and Missouri. Support for legal sports betting remains strong in all three of those states. However, infighting among lawmakers ended any hopes of getting something done this year.
There is still an outside chance that Massachusetts passes the proper legislation this year. The state Senate and state House have each passed their own sports betting bill. The issue at hand is a few major discrepancies between the two that could easily derail the entire process.
The House wants legal betting on college sports and the Senate wants a complete ban. The House has proposed a 15% tax on mobile sportsbook revenue and the Senate wants that rate set at 35%. There are also some other regulatory issues that need to be agreed upon.
North Carolina lawmakers are still working hard to pass legislation to add mobile sports betting to the mix but time may not be on their side with a June 30 deadline. There is another group of states that have introduced bills paving the way for legal sports betting but they have failed to move past the committee phase of the legislative process.
The states that everyone in the sports betting industry remains focused on includes Florida, Texas and California. The launch of legal mobile sports betting this past January in New York proved just how much potential the country’s biggest sports betting markets really have. In a few short months, the Empire State has become the biggest legal sports betting market in the US.
Florida has turned into a hot mess with legal sports betting tied up in the courts. Texas has yet to make any real progress on the legislative front and California is set to put the issue in the voters’ hands with as many as two or three referendums tied to this November’s general election.
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