Since PASPA’s repeal, states now have the option of introducing legislation that would legalize domestic sports betting options. Several states already had legislation in place that would introduce sports betting once PASPA was repealed. Other states have attempted to quickly draft legislation in hopes of becoming one of the first to offer legal betting options. This update provides insight into the current sports betting climate in the United States.
The First Four
Before PASPA was repealed, four states already were able to offer some type of legal wagering action. These were Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and Delaware. Out of these four states, only Nevada could offer single-game wagering. PASPA ruled that no new sports gambling schemes could be introduced. Now that PASPA is out of the way, these states (outside of Nevada) can develop their markets further.
States That Launched Legal Sports Betting Post Paspa
Delaware became the first state to officially pass new legislation in wake of PASPA’s repeal as of June 5, 2018. Three of their existing land-based casino operations can host full-scale betting. They are looking to expand to more physical locations and online platforms soon.
New Jersey became official on June 11, 2018, when Governor Phil Murphy signed a new sports betting bill. New Jersey was the crusading state in the anti-PASPA effort, so it is fitting they got their way soon after its repeal. Multiple sportsbooks have begun taking bets in the Garden State area and the first online sportsbooks have launched in the state, powered by Draft Kings.
MGM-owned casino locations began offering sports betting on August 1. Other MGM owned locations are expected to feature betting lines before the college and professional football seasons start. Mississippi will not pay out integrity fees to sports leagues.
West Virginia began hosting betting options on August 30. The WV Lottery Commission oversees the state sports betting industry including land-based, mobile and online wagering. The Hollywood Casino at Charles Town was the first sportsbook venue to begin accepting wagers in West Virginia.
States Nearing Sports Betting
Pennsylvania had previous sports betting legislation activated when PASPA was repealed. There are currently 12 different applicants for a sports betting license. The state hopes to have some type of betting options available by the start of football season.
You would think a small state like Rhode Island wouldn’t have sports betting on their radar, however, Governor Gina Raimondo signed a sportsbook gambling bill in June. Only two locations will be allowed to host full-scale betting. Their projected start date is October 1.
New York’s gambling legislation has been an uphill battle on all fronts. The state can’t seem to make their minds up regarding sports betting, online casinos or online poker. The legislation failed during the 2018 session but there are high hopes for the 2019 legislative window.
States Teeing Up Legislation
Connecticut was close to signing off on their sports betting bill, however, nothing came to pass before the end of the legislative session. Governor Dannel Malloy has considered opening a special session exclusively for sports betting, but that hasn’t happened yet. 2019 seems a more realistic option.
Illinois tabled several different sports betting bills. They had hoped that at least one would get it right, or perhaps elements from the multiple bills could be compiled into one venture. Despite multiple hearings, there were no formal votes on any of them.
Senator Julian M. Carroll introduced a sports betting bill in June 2017. Betting on professional and collegiate sports would be allowed, but no other categories. The bill carried a high tax rate and expensive licensing fees. Nothing ever came of it, meaning they will look to tackle the issue during the next legislative session.
2017 saw legislation that would permit any casino license holders in the state to offer betting lines on sports. The state gaming board would then be responsible for regulating the new market. The Michigan legislature adjourned before any official action was taken.
Indiana looked to be a state willing to play ball with the NBA and MLB in terms of agreeing to pay out integrity fees. Representative Alan Morrison sponsored the bill and another version popped up in the Senate. The session closed before action could be taken on either bill.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission released a lengthy white paper providing a roadmap into a potential sports betting market. The state is being slow to the draw on purpose to gain a comprehensive understanding of how sports gambling works. They are expected to legalize it in 2019.
Maryland did something similar and introduced a bill in February that established a task force to look into sports betting options for the state. The legislation imposed a legal age requirement of 21. The legislation failed to move forward by the end of the 2018 session.
Rep. Pat Garofalo was the strongest proponent behind a draft sports betting bill. It would have legalized sports wagering (including mobile) and created an overseeing commission. Minnesota legislature adjourned in May, too late to make anything official.
Representative Bart Korman introduced a bill back in January that would allow licensed riverboat casinos and DFS operators to expand into full-scale sports betting options. There were hearings held prior to the SCOTUS ruling, but nothing came to fruition.
Kansas proposed a law that would allow its lottery to host sports betting lines for residents. There were multiple hearings held on sports betting before the outcome of the Supreme Court case. No action was taken before the legislative session ended.
Iowa put forth a bill in 2018 that would permit casinos and racetracks to offer on-site sports betting options. Online sports betting was also discussed. They amended the bill to appease sports leagues, but no final decision was made.
A March bill introduced the idea of local racinos being able to offer sports betting lines for residents. Louisiana representatives failed to take any significant action during the legislative window.
Oklahoma attempted to navigate a new tribal-state compact to introduce sports betting pools. These pools would differ from traditional betting offerings, but the legislation failed to make it through.
House Bill 3102 would have amended the South Carolina legislation to allow sports gambling. According to the bill, the regulation would be strict and betting would only be allowed under specific conditions. However, nothing happened before the session ended.
Assemblyman Adam Gray proposed a state constitutional amendment in July 2017 to permit sports betting in the case of a change in federal law. Gray reiterated his prospect when PASPA was repealed, but there have been no official moves at this time.
An Ohio sports betting bill emerged out of the Senate on July 12, 2018. It was more of a placeholder to get the ball rolling on sports gambling. This sets up a further discussion at a later date.
States Without Any Official Sports Betting Efforts (At This Time)
• New Hampshire
• New Mexico
• North Carolina
• North Dakota
• South Dakota