By a 6-3 margin, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which paves the way for legalized nationwide sports gambling. States can now decide on their own if they want to offer gambling within their borders.
But which states will offer gambling, and when? That’s a trickier question. Even in the best-case scenario, it’ll still be several weeks before you can make legal bets – and that’s in states where gambling bills have already passed through the appropriate state legislatures. If your state hasn’t even started considering the possibility of legalized gambling, it could be awhile.
Here’s the current rundown of gambling legality by state. If your state isn’t listed, assume gambling is a no-go for now.
(Note: this list is a work-in-progress, and will be updated as we learn more from each state. Meantime, if you have information on a state’s progress toward legalized gambling, let us know so we can provide the most updated information possible.)
A bill introduced in the California Assembly in July 2017 would permit sports gambling in California as long as it was similarly legal nationwide. It’s a toe-hold, which is more than many states have achieved.
Connecticut lawmakers have begun pushing for a legalized sports gambling apparatus within the state. One caveat: the state will have to negotiate with local tribes, which hold exclusive gambling rights in the state at their casinos. The state has in its corner a bill signed by Gov. Dannel Malloy allowing gambling provided it’s deemed legal on the federal level … which it now is.
There’s already a structure in place in Delaware allowing for sports betting, but because of PAPSA, gamblers could only bet three-team parlays — for instance, you couldn’t just bet on, say, the Patriots; you’d have to bet on the Patriots, Packers, and Broncos to all win in the same week. Now that PAPSA is no more, the state will surely look to move to single-team bets. In Delaware, gamblers can play at the state’s three casinos or at more than 100 retail locations.
Illinois is one of many states which took a proactive look at the Supreme Court’s case and decided to get ready if the tides broke sports gambling’s way. In January of this year, the Illinois Senate introduced the “Sports Betting Consumer Protection Act,” one of two bills designed as a framework for sports gambling in the state, to be updated and codified once the Supreme Court ruled.
Indiana lawmakers began the rollout of bills designed to address sports gambling with some real-world tangibility: a 1 percent “integrity fee” for the leagues whose games would be gambled upon, combined with a 9.25 percent state tax on winnings. (You didn’t think this was going to go through without the government getting a taste, did you?)
Like many states, Iowa is considering recent legislation that would permit on-site, and possibly online, gambling.
A bill now under consideration in the state would permit sports gambling at state-owned casinos and the internet, to be overseen by the Kansas Lottery. Gambling would be restricted to bettors 21 and over, and anyone affiliated in a professional sense with a sports team would not be permitted to gamble.
Kentucky’s horse racing gambling infrastructure puts it ahead of many other states, and a bill now under consideration in the state would permit sports gambling under the oversight of the state’s horse racing commission.
A bill now under consideration in Louisiana would permit sports gambling only at the state’s land-based race tracks.
Maryland has a task force in place investigating the viability of sports gambling in the state, a precursor to any legislation that would allow single-game gambling.
Michigan casinos could begin taking sports bets at casinos if a bill proposed last summer becomes law.
One of five states to join with New Jersey in its appeal to the Supreme Court, Mississippi stands ready to offer legalized sports gambling at its casinos now that the court has ruled, thanks to legislation passed last summer. The only barrier is how fast operators can get the gaming apparatus up and running. (Interesting side note: state leaders passed the law thinking they were legalizing only fantasy sports betting, but the law, as written, provides for gambling on real-world games as well.)
Missouri already has riverboat casinos in place, and this year saw the introduction of legislation that would allow those casinos to expand their offerings to sports gambling.
Congratulations, you can gamble on sports! But you probably knew that already. Nevada is the only state in the union that permits single-game sports gambling as of May 13, 2018, and even then only if you’re within the state’s borders. Expect Nevada to serve as a model for other states going forward.
Given that New Jersey filed the original lawsuit that led to the Supreme Court decision, the Garden State is ready and willing to legally take gamblers’ money at designated casinos and race tracks. Some operators had pledged to be open for business within weeks of the Supreme Court’s ruling; most will likely target the start of the NFL season as their opening date.
While more than a dozen states prepared legislation to account for sports gambling when the Supreme Court ruled, few were as comprehensive as New York, which has drafted legislation governing everything from bettor eligibility to tax provisions, as well as an industry-pleasing “integrity fee” to be paid to sports leagues.
Like Connecticut, Oklahoma has struck deals with local tribes to permit gambling inside the state’s borders, and like Connecticut, Oklahoma will have to work with those tribes to allow for sports gambling. But with the major hurdle — allowing gambling at all — already cleared, sports betting could be coming to Oklahoma sooner than many states.
One of the national leaders in gambling legislation, Pennsylvania has already passed frameworks permitting daily fantasy sports, online poker, and sports gambling. The state is likely to be one of the first after New Jersey to offer legalized sports gambling; Pennsylvania’s proximity to New Jersey surely plays no role whatsoever in the urgency with which it’s acted. The state would tax winnings at a rate of 34.5 percent, which could be a determining factor in how neighboring states set their tax rates.
Rhode Island is one of many states that prepared bills to legalize sports gambling provided the Supreme Court’s ruling broke the way it did, but in Rhode Island such gambling would only be permitted at two existing casinos.
Legislation currently making its way through the state would permit sports betting under strictly regulated circumstances.
In preparation for the Supreme Court’s ruling, West Virginia passed a law earlier this year permitting sports betting, contingent on federal approval. With that barrier now down, West Virginia can move forward with its plans to offer sports gambling, with a planned tax rate of 10 percent on winnings.
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