The United States (U.S) market for sports betting has been rapidly opening up since the Supreme court found the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) to be unconstitutional in May of 2018.
So far there are 25 legalized sports betting states, as well as Washington D.C which means that around 145 million people, or 44.5% of the U.S population, now have access to some sort of sports betting facilities. There are plans for plenty more states to offer sports bets in times to come.
Some of the Most Recent Sports Betting Legislation Changes
We take a look at some of the biggest progressions in state laws made this year, with the latest states to either go live with sports betting or get everything in place for launches any day now.
Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 2638 in March of 2020 and in June 2021 the Washington Gaming Commission approved amendments to the state’s tribal gaming compacts to set up sports betting.
On September 9th, the first sports bets were placed at the Snoqualmie casino who partnered up with IGT.
Governor Larry Hogan signs House Bill 0940 in May 2021, since then officials have been working with The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission to ensure that the licensing process is dealt with.
There will be two types of licenses, 10 Class A licenses that will go to the six casinos in the state and other racecourses and locations within state lines. Then there are 30 Class B licenses up for grabs via competitive bidding, it’s likely to see bingo halls, off-track betting parlors, and other retail locations look to snap these up.
Maryland officials hoped to launch like other states for the beginning of the NFL season, but after some delays, the Governor has spoken to the local press expressing that he hopes to see betting launched for the NFL playoffs in early 2022.
After a state vote gave the green light for sports betting in November 2020, Governor Pete Ricketts signed Legislative Bill 561 into Nebraska law in May 2021.
The state has five tribal casinos and six race tracks which in addition to racinos will now be allowed to apply for a sports betting license. Licenses are only being permitted for retail sports betting, so for now it seems Nebraska isn’t looking to allow mobile sportsbooks within the state.
The sports betting industry in Nebraska is to be regulated by the State Racing and Gaming Commission, which is currently finalizing the licenses and rules for a late 2021 launch date.
The big apple has allowed sports bets in retail locations since July 2019, this year though Governor Andrew Cuomo went on record as saying he is ready to bring online sports betting to the state of New York. Aiming to mimic the New Hampshire model, New York wants to utilize a sole operator that would have to pay $5 Million a year for hosting fees as well as purchase a $25 Million license.
New York opened up bids on who will claim the rights to the sports betting action to companies in August, and although there was an initial plan for a sole operator in the state the most recent information seems to be leaning towards both FanDuel and Kabmi setting up within state lines. However, nothing is set in stone right now, we will have these details confirmed by December 6th, 2021, with a launch date for online betting before the SuperBowl in early 2022.
Governor Ned Lamont signs House Bill 6451 into law in May 2021, setting the stage for full-scale sports betting platforms within the state. Of the three licensees in the state, two will be Native American tribes and the other will be the Connecticut Lottery.
In June four sportsbooks submitted proposals and in August Connecticut Lottery announced that Rush Street Interactive would be their online betting partner. More recently in September the U.S Department of the Interior approved new tribal gaming compacts that will allow the local Tribes to partner up with sportsbooks and release their own products, with FanDuel finalizing a deal with Mohegan Sun.
After all the legal dust has settled the amendment between the state of Connecticut and the Mohegan Indians has been published in the Federal Register which will allow a launch of online sports betting on October 7th, 2021. The apps that will go live will be DraftKings, FanDuel, and PlaySugerHouse from Rush Street Interactive.
Sports betting has been given the green light in the pelican state, with a public vote in November 2020 meaning 56 of the 64 parishes in the state will move to have sports betting facilities. Since that vote, Senate Bill 247 was approved, and House Bill 697 was signed by Governor John Bel Edwards in June 2021.
After having to pass emergency rules in August, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board passed the permanent sports betting rules on September 16, 2021. The state will likely post these rules in January, whilst the emergency rules are still in effect and can be for an extended period of time if needed.
With 24 casinos, racinos, and tribal casinos within state lines in total and each business allowed to launch up to 2 apps, we could see in excess of 40 new mobile sports betting skins released within Louisiana in the coming years. Sportsbooks like BetMGM and Barstool have already partnered up with various casinos, are looking to go live during the NFL season, which means we should see the first bets placed in 2021 or by the latest the start of 2022.
The ball is rolling for Florida to see legalized sports betting by the end of the year, with a tribal compact being singed by Governor Ron DeSantis in April 2021 and gaining state legislation a month later in May. All that’s left now is for the compact to be given federal approval, and in August the Department of the Interior (DOI) allowed the compact to proceed without explicit approval.
Since then though there have been some forks in the road to legalized betting in the state, with a federal lawsuit being filed that looks to block the Floridian gaming compact. This was submitted by West Flagler Associates Ltd, a long-time big player in the racing and track operations in Florida who represent Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room. A hearing for this lawsuit will be heard on November 5th, 2021, meaning that sports betting in the sunny state will have to wait until after the hearing or longer depending on the outcome in the courtroom.
As the third most populous state in the whole of the U.S and having a booming tourist industry, if legalized Florida could stand to gain a great deal in tax revenue from having legalized sports betting. Sadly though there are still some old hands that want to see if remain outlawed. One of which is the Miami Beach Mayor, Dan Gelber who expressed his views in June when he wrote a letter to the DOI that urged the agency to reject the compact changes.
Despite plenty of naysayers, there is a huge movement that hopes sports betting will soon be allowed in the state of Florida, including DraftKings and FanDuel who have donated $10,000,000 each to fund a constitutional amendment for the 2022 ballet that would allow state-wide mobile sports betting. So regardless of the outcome of the tribal compacts court case, we can see Florida being one of the next states to go live with sports betting one day soon.
Round Up of the Changes in 2021
We have seen various challenges from state to state this year, each different from the next. Some have faced challenges with tribal compacts, others have had extended legislation processes and many have been delayed with regards to reaching licensing agreements. However, all of these states are winning the fight when it comes to legalizing sports bets and will be looking to go live by the end of the year in most cases, with one or two outliers that may see the first bets placed in early 2022.