Sports Betting Legality by State
Now that states are reacting to the federal government lifting the ban on online sports gambling, ODDS.com is offering this tool called the Sports Betting Bill Tracker. PASPA, the federal law making sports betting illegal was overturned in May 2018. That meant betting sports online, and sports gambling in general, was now in the hands of state governments. For most states that were interested in allowing sports betting sites, and all the tax revenue that comes with it, they were left to do two things:
1) Pass a bill to explicitly allow sports betting if they have not done so already. This often leads states to simply allow existing gambling bodies including state lotteries, local tribes, and casinos to add a brick and mortar, AKA walk-up, sportsbook. This is the least complicated step to the real revenue earner that is online betting. It is projected that more than 90% of wagers will be placed online in most states.
2) Develop a licensing model for online sports betting that is uniquely formatted for their state. This is by far the most difficult part of states bringing internet sports betting to market. New legal bills must address items such as tax rate, fees for entry, license bidding and the total number of licenses. Second, but no less important, are issues such as earmarks, integrity of sports, and gambler safeguards.
Almost all states can be classified as being in one of the four groups below. Nearly all states have begun reviewing sports betting bills or have legalized walk-up sportsbooks. Revenue estimates are based on a full sports calendar in a typical year and a 7% hold on sports wagers. See the State’s status description for explanation of tax revenue projections:
These are states with active legislation that is meant to accelerate sports betting. The bill could be addressing land-based betting or online gambling policy. In both cases, if the state does not already have a physical bookmaker presence, they are listed here.
All revenue estimates are based on numbers where online betting is already in place using a 13% revenue tax if the state has not already established a would-be tax rate.
Alabama is working towards a complete overhaul on gaming in the state. If SB 214 is approved, it would legalize the Alabama Lottery, five casinos, and sports betting in the state. Alabama residents have not voted on a gambling bill since 1999 and this year could be a turning point for one of the most conservative states in the U.S.
HB 2772 and SB 1797
Arizona has been taking giant strides in 2021 to legalize online sports betting. Both the House and Senate filed bills into the state to make it happen. What is also important with Arizona sports betting is that lawmakers got tribal groups on board who control the casinos. If the bill is passed, it would also allow for professional stadiums to offer sports betting.
SB 146 in Discussion
2021 is the best chance for Connecticut to pass sports betting. Gov. Ned Lamont and 17 other lawmakers have filed a sports betting bill that will bring wagering to the two tribal casinos in the state. After years of not being able to find a middle ground on sports betting, Lamont is changing his tune and wants to be at the forefront of the new industry compared to Connecticut’s neighboring states.
Three Betting Bills Filed for 2021
There is no sports betting in Florida. In the coming months Florida governor intends to come to an agreement with the Seminole Tribe to create a new comprehensive gambling outline that will allow sports gambling, online betting. Florida is currently prohibited from running sports betting through it’s own lottery due to the existing tribal casino agreement. The 2020 session has closed, however a new vote is expected in 2021 after the logistics are ironed out.
SB 142 & HB 86 Propose Online Sports Betting
The Georgia House and Senate are presenting bills to the state that would allow sports betting. Both have similar language with the Senate bill potentially being more enticing for sports betting operators. Lawmakers still need to vote on the bills, but there is a good chance sports betting could come to Georgia in 2021.
Multiple Bills Introduced
Three sports betting bills were filed by Hawaii lawmakers this year. The island is very conservative when it comes to legalized gambling in Hawaii, and sports betting faces a tough uphill battle. Although bills were filed to the state, it does not seem like 2021 is the year it will become legal.
SB 84 and House Bill
Kansas will be a battleground for legal sports betting in 2021. Overall, most lawmakers and shareholders want to wager in the state, but the bill’s language will be fought over. House and Senate members have very different sports betting bills, and both chambers will decide what the final language could look like for Kansas sports betting. With how intense things could get in 2021, Kansas could take a while to get a sports betting deal done finally.
HB 241 Would Allow In-Person and Online Betting
Kentucky Rep. Adam Koenig submitted HB 241 into the state this year to pass sports betting in 2021 or 2022. The bill would allow for in-person and online sports betting in Kentucky. In addition to sports betting, HB 241 is also in favor of legalizing daily fantasy sports and online poker.
14 Bills Filed on February 19
February 19 was the deadline to file sports betting bills for 2021, and Massachusetts saw 14 submitted. State lawmakers are clearly pushing for legalized sports betting in 2021, which is a positive sign since the state has failed to do so for three years. The Senate was why sports betting failed in 2020, but the chamber has changed its tone this year.
Three Sports Betting Bills Proposed
In 2021, Missouri submitted three sports betting bills into the state. Progress has been promising in the early session, but there is opposition to the bills’ language. Video Lottery Terminals also want a stake in sports betting if legalized and are against the current bills that would only allow sports betting online and at casinos. The state could be seeing a tough battle this year towards legalization.
House Concurrent Resolution 3032
North Dakota lawmakers filed two gaming bills in 2021, with one of them legalizing sports betting. The bill already cleared the House and is moving over to the Senate and will give sports betting a chance to go through this year. If the bill is approved, it will be voted on in the 2022 November election.
House Bill 1121 is filed, but still a long shot
Texas sports betting made a lot of headlines to start 2021 before hitting a roadblock in February. The state filed a betting bill in the House and saw a coalition formed with some of Texas’s biggest franchises. However, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said there was no chance of sports betting coming to the state after a radio interview in February.
S 77 Filed on February 11
Vermont is making a push to legalize sports betting this year. The bill calls for up to six online sportsbooks to launch in the state, and the Vermont Lottery will oversee sports betting. However, there are no details about tax rates or fees in S 77 and could slow down the legalization process.
WY HB 133 Filed February 18
In October 2020, Wyoming tribal casinos attempted to launch sports betting at their locations despite not having legalized sports betting. Nothing ever came from the attempt, but the state did file a sports betting bill in 2021. Lawmakers attempted to pass sports betting in February 2020 but fell short 32-27.