Updated: 02.02.2020 – Being an enthusiastic punter in the US can be quite challenging at times, especially when you know how things are in other Western countries. There are so many obstacles to overcome that many people simply give up, especially if they live in certain US states. There is a silver lining though, as the wheels of legalizing online gambling have been set in motion and progress is being made nationwide. Granted sports betting will probably never be legal in Utah, and a few other states are resisting change, most are open to legalizing the online gambling industry.
A Flurry of Sports Betting Bills
2019 was a great year for sports betting enthusiasts hoping to see their favorite activity legalized in most US states. Many sports betting bills were filed in US states and significant progress was made in Florida, Michigan, Virginia, Colorado and California. If these states can maintain the tempo, 2020 is going to be the decisive year for those who are anxiously waiting for online bookmakers to return.
Tennessee and Montana have legalized sports betting in May 2019, leading by example and encouraging others to follow suit. Illinois and New Hampshire did the same one month later and even though North Carolina only passed similar laws in July, its residents were not unhappy. Americans who live in Maine will have to arm themselves with patience, as the recently passed bill will start producing effects in 2020.
The Supreme Court Lends a Helping Hand
In early 2018, the Supreme Court brought a big smile on the faces of US punters, by striking down the federal ban on sports betting which meant that access to top online sports betting sites was no available. This was a decision of extraordinary magnitude, as it empowered states to legalize sports betting if they consider it to be beneficial. It goes without saying that for the unlucky residents of some conservative states this didn’t change anything, but most American punters were jumping with joy. Local lawmakers were anxiously waiting for the Supreme Court to untie their hands and allow them to regulate this sensitive area.
Sports betting enthusiasts who live in Nevada have no idea of the struggles of their countrymen from other states. Delaware and New Jersey residents are also among the lucky few who have had the chance to enjoy sports betting for a while. Other states that allow online sports gambling are Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Arkansas, New York, Iowa and Indiana. By this time next year, the list could be twice as long and we hope that the trend will gain further traction in 2021 and beyond.
Tribes and Sports Betting: A Match Made in Heaven
New Mexico residents would normally have to wait for the lawmakers to create the right setting for online sports gambling. Luckily for them, some tribes are already offering sports betting, by using the Class III gaming compact. Similar actions were taken by Oregon tribes who run their own sports books, prompting the state lottery to follow suit and launch its own product.