What are the next U.S. states to legalize sports betting?
The United States is making small but important steps towards the expansion of legalized sports betting. The goal of making this activity legal nationwide is overly ambitious, simply because there are some states that vigorously oppose such a measure. Utah is one of the places where any form of gambling is illegal and there’s no reason to expect any change in the foreseeable future. On the other hand, many states have already legalized sports betting and a dozen more are just a few months away.
More states sign sports betting bills
Washington is one of the latest states to prepare for legalized sports betting, after a gambling bill was signed into law back in 2020. It is already possible to wager on esports, so it’s only a matter of time until traditional games will also be covered. Just a few months later, Maryland and South Dakota sign similar sports betting bills and they also prepare to legalize it statewide. If everything goes according to the plan, citizens of both states will be able to lawfully bet on sports at the end of 2021.
Louisiana voters comprehensively backed sports betting regulations that would create the proper setting for online betting. In Wyoming, Gov. Mark Gordon became the latest to sign a bill legalizing mobile sports betting, which is similar to what Tennessee has in place. Nebraska governor followed through with the amendments approved back in 2020 to regulate sports betting starting in the second half of 2021.
Arizona was among the first states to consider the possibility of legal sports betting, but it took longer than expected for this to happen. The laws are now in place and all that is left is a regulatory structure to make sports betting legal in late 2021. Earlier this year, in the second half of May, Florida and Connecticut legislators approved sports betting laws via tribal state compacts. Unless challenged on a federal level through lawsuits, the bills will come into force in a matter of months.
Small progress made in a dozen other states
Oklahoma lawmakers have been pondering about the advantages and shortcomings of legal online sports betting. Laws exist to create the necessary setting, but there is still strong opposition from powerful people including the Atty. Gen. A similar situation occurred in Maine, where lawmakers were ready to enact laws to make sports betting legal, but the governor chose to veto the bill.
Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina, California, Ohio, Hawaii, Texas, Georgia, Vermont, Alabama, Alaska and North Dakota also make progress. Compared to the first group of states that have already passed gambling bills they move slowly and progress is uncertain. The first group of states will make sports betting legal in the final months of 2021. As for these states, it will probably take at least a few more years for residents to be able to legally bet on sports.