Which States Allow Sports Betting?
If you haven't already heard, states can now officially legalize sports betting if they chose to do so after the US Supreme Court struck down the federal ban last year. There are now a variety of bills on file around the country and even some new laws in place that pertain to sports betting and sportsbooks.
I am going to run through all 50 states and given you a synopsis of which States already allow sports betting, which are on their way to passing the bill and which are just flat out not interested.
States That Already Allow Sports Betting
Nevada - Nevada is the originating state, and many states might look to them for the best practices in the regulation of sports betting.
On June 5, 2018, Delaware moved to offer single-game betting on a number of
different sports at three casinos in the state. This happened less than a
month after the Supreme Court ruled that federal law restrictions on single
game betting was unconstitutional.
New Jersey - On June 11, 2018, a sports betting bill was signed and a William Hill sportsbook at Monmouth Park took the first bets on Thursday, June 14. A mere 30-minutes later, the Borgata in Atlantic City booked its first sports bet. Shortly after, a few other sportsbooks started taking wagers, and the Meadowlands opened its doors on July 14 for the FanDuel's first sportsbook.
Mississippi - Mississippi requires all sports betting to take place in-person, with mobile wagering to be considered at a later date. This big win was put to light when a new law in 2017 was passed that allowed MGM Resorts to allow their two casinos to start booking bets on Aug 1, 2018.
West Virginia - West Virginia became the fifth state to offer legal and regulated sports betting when Hollywood Casino opened its doors on August 30, 2018. The West Virginia Lottery Commission is serving as the chief regulator, and both in-person and online sports wagering are permitted under the law.
New Mexico - On October 16, 2018, the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel booked its first sports bet in partnership with Nevada-based USBookmaking. However, that move came in conjunction with a gaming compact currently in place with the state. Any new sports betting legislation has not yet been passed, and a published report indicates that bets are not permitted on games involving the University of New Mexico or New Mexico State University.
Pennsylvania - Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course booked its first legal sports bet in Pennsylvania sometime in mid-November 2018. This move came after a new sports betting bill was signed as part of a broader legislation that pushed to include online poker and Daily Fantasy Sports.
Rhode Island - The legalization came on November 26, when Twin River Casino opened its door for the first time for legal sports betting. However, under the state law, Rhode Island can only operate two locations and the state's lottery is providing regulatory oversight.
Up-and-Coming Legalization States
New York - In 2013, New York passed a law to allow sports betting at four on-site locations. After that law was D.O.A, many think the law is about to be revived. The New York State Gaming Commission is aiming to complete regulations 'in the short term' for four locations specified under the 2013 law. On October 26, a Supreme Court Judge ruled that the states two-year-old DFS law violated the state's constitution. The Attorney General will likely appeal the ruling, and both Draft Kings and FanDuel confirmed they will continue offering fantasy contests in the state. It's only a matter of time before sports betting is officially legalized.
Arkansas - On November 6, 2018, Arkansas voters approved 'Issue 4,' a constitutional amendment that will bring expanded gambling - including sports betting - to four counties in the state. On the bill, a section included 'accepting wagers on sports events'. The Arkansas Racing Commission will oversee licensing at the four locations, and it's a process that could take months to pass.
Moving Toward Legalization
Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, California, Oregon, Montana, Ohio, Washington D.C., Tennessee, Virginia, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Maine, Arizona, Hawaii, South Dakota, Texas, Washington State, Georgia, Vermont, North Carolina, Colorado, Alabama
Without taking up 18 pages and more of your time than I need to, I grouped these States together for the same reason. They are all moving towards legalization, but no laws or bills have been passed yet, and they are simply not close like the two states in the above category. For the most part, these states have several rules and regulations that need to put in place, such as fees for obtaining a permit (Texas must pay $250,000 to operate sports books) or laws that prohibited betting on University Athletics.
No Legalization Activity Yet
Idaho, Florida, Alaska, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Utah
These states all have laws in place that prohibit full-blown sports betting. Such laws would need to be repealed before any news laws could be set in place. As of writing this, there are no bills in motion that could change the status quo.
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