If you like to bet on sports, chances are the last couple of years have been good news to you. However, despite online sports betting exploding across the land, many states still do not offer sports betting of any kind.
The good news that continues to change, nearly every month. Notably, Michigan went live recently with online sports betting last month after launching retail sports betting last March.
More states are bringing sports betting to their jurisdictions. In the latest analysis done by the American Gaming Association, they illustrate just how far sports betting has come and how far it has to go.
Is your sportsbook a legal, regulated operator? #HaveAGamePlan and check out our interactive map, which lists legal retail sportsbooks in each state where sports betting is legal. 👇 https://t.co/9clGY6F143
— American Gaming Association (@AmericanGaming) February 1, 2021
A total of 20 states have officially gone live with sports betting. Another five states have legalized sports betting but not yet launched, while another 15 have “active or pre-filled legislation” as defined by the AGA. Some analysts such as Morgan Stanley are predicting as many as 35 states could approve sports betting by the end of the year.
Today we will take a look at the status of where sports betting stands for 40 different states as of February 2021.
The legalized states
Chances are if you are in one of these states you already know that sports betting is available to you, but here is where you can currently bet today:
Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Of those, these states are offering online: Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia
Legalized sports betting coming soon
These states have passed sports betting during 2020, but are not yet live:
During the 2020 election, voters in 86% of Louisana’s parishes passed legal sports betting. This spring, the state legislature will create rules, tax rates and will also decide on whether to limit sports betting to retail locations or also go online.
Although a late 2021 launch is possible, sports bettors will likely have to wait until 2022 before they can wager in Louisana.
Like Louisana, voters in November passed a general sports betting amendment but left out specific details. That task will instead be handled by the state legislature.
Discussions are in their infancy, but one idea gaining steam is to award a license to the Maryland State fairgrounds.
There is hope that online sports betting could be live by the start of the 2021 NFL season, but more likely is that Maryland will be among those launching in 2022.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians agreed on a revised compact in 2019 but after a delay, Cooper and the Department of Interior must sign-off on the deal. Sports betting will be limited to the two retail casinos in Murphy and Cherokee for now.
There is some optimism that North Carolina sports betting could be available in time for March Madness this year.
South Dakota voters overwhelmingly passed an amendment in November to bring retail wagering to the historic gaming town of Deadwood. A bill that sets up the framework for sports betting has passed the South Dakota Senate and will now move on to the Senate.
That is expected to happen in March with the first sportsbook opening as early as November.
Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill legalizing sports betting in the state’s tribal casinos in March 2020 of last year. Efforts are also underway to expand sports betting legalization to the state’s card rooms and race tracks.
While that is being worked on legislatively, regulators continue to tackle rules and regulations. A launch could happen as soon as this spring.
Legislation in the works:
A total of 15 states are in various stages of trying to get legalized with the American Gaming Association’s description of these states being those that have “Active or Prefiled Legislation.”
On February 9th, State Senator Del March filed a constitutional amendment that would authorize a variety of retail gambling including a state lottery, five casinos and sports betting.
Last week, an Arizona House committee approved a proposal to allow for the wagering on college and pro sports. The proposal would allow for the state’s tribal casinos and locations owned by pro sports teams to accept wagers. It is facing some opposition on the Senate side, where it failed to pass the committee.
In Connecticut, the state’s two tribes — Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Indians — must compromise with the Connecticut Lottery and Sportech, an off-track betting service. An agreement has not yet been reached, which could mean sports betting could be held back this year.
In early February, a mobile sports betting bill cleared a Georgia House committee, setting up the possibility of a floor vote. If it were to pass this session, sports betting could begin as early as July.
Princess Cruises revealed that sports wagering could soon be available on cruise ships.
A bill is also sitting in the Florida Senate, that would authorize sports betting in the state. The legislative session begins on March 2nd.
The state’s primary sports betting bill, HB 736, has been tabled for now but could be addressed at a later date. If that bill were to pass, it would legalize mobile sports betting through 2025.
In Kansas, the best hope for sports betting at the moment is SB 84, legislation that would allow for retail and online sports betting. The bill is currently being discussed by the state legislature.
Surrounded by states with regulated sports betting, there is a lot of pressure on Kentucky to ensure tax proceeds stay in the state. Still, regulation prospects have cooled so far in 2021 and the current session is scheduled to adjourn on March 30th.
Late last month, two Minnesota legislators revealed plans to introduce sports betting legislation. The bill would only allow for the legalization of sports betting at tribal casinos and racetracks.
Unfortunately, tribal nations currently oppose the legislation while top lawmakers don’t seem interesting, making Minnesota not likely to address sports betting this session.
There are a half-dozen different bills circulating in the Missouri state legislature. The state’s casinos support legalization but are also voicing opposition to efforts to legalize video lottery machines.
A Senate committee hearing was held earlier this month, but there has been no announcement of what will happen next.
Nebraska lawmakers have introduced bills on the future of sports betting through the state’s licensed horse racing tracks.
The focus of the new bills would clarify that the November ballot initiative approving games of chance would include sports betting.
A North Dakota House committee has endorsed a bill that would allow state residents to vote on whether sports betting should be authorized in the state.
It will then be considered in the full House. Should it be passed in both chambers, it would be on the ballot in 2022.
South Carolina is on the American Gaming Association’s list of states with active or pre-filled legislation, but there has been no activity so far in 2021 that we are aware of.
There have been two sports betting bills filed in Texas so far in 2021. However, recent comments from Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick sports betting has “zero chance” of being apart of this legislative session.
A bill that would legalize retail and online sports betting in Vermont has been reintroduced in the state senate. There has yet to be any news on when the next steps will occur.
No major sports betting legislation on the horizon
A handful of states still have no concrete plans to offer sports betting anytime soon. These states include California, Maine, Massachuttes, Idaho, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.