Update on Legal Sports Betting in the United States

Update on Legal Sports Betting in the United States

In May 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) that had previously limited sports betting to the state of Nevada, giving Las Vegas casino based sportsbooks what had amounted to a monopoly on the practice. SCOTUS instead ruled that each state had the right to decide if sports betting would be allowed in their jurisdictions.

Since the ruling, 31 states and the District of Columbia have implemented some type of legal sports betting, whether it’s online, in a casino or some combination of the two. It doesn’t matter if a prospective bettor lives in a state that legally allows sports betting or not, because there’s always the option of going to BetUS for the latest Vegas NFL odds.

In addition to the states where sportsbooks are already in operation, six more have approved sports betting but are in various stages of implementation, from drafting regulations to choosing providers to an impending start date. Three other states have legislation that has been introduced but has yet to be voted for approval. 

What About the Big States?

Interestingly enough, the two most populous states appear to be at least two years away from implementing legal sports betting, and even that date is uncertain, while Florida is mired in legal battles to move forward. Texas has had difficulty getting a bill out of committee and onto the floor of the legislature for a vote in a body that only meets every two years, so they won’t be able to address the issue again until 2023.

There seems to be a lot of disagreement among the Texas legislators on what sports betting should look like in the Lone Star state and it has delayed the state from moving forward with a bill. While progress has been made, it doesn’t appear to be a slam dunk that they’ll be able to come to an agreement in the next session of the legislature.

In California, there is an initiative that voters will have an opportunity to approve during the November 8, 2022 midterm elections. If passed, it will allow sports betting at tribal casinos and licensed racetracks within the state.

What it won’t allow is the operation of online sportsbooks or for sports franchises and professional stadiums and arenas to offer sports betting, unlike many other states such as Arizona and the District of Columbia. The measure was largely supported by the tribal casinos but is seen as a further consolidation of gaming power by the tribes in the view of opponents of the measure.

Even if the initiative passes, it may be well into 2023 before the most populated state in the country implements legal sports betting, although the lack of an online component and with only already operating establishments eligible to open sportsbooks could accelerate the start date. However, there is no guarantee that the measure will pass, with many sports betting proponents lining up in opposition because they believe the initiative is too limited in its scope.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis worked out a deal with the state’s tribal casinos and the legislature approved of the agreement, but legal challenges have delayed implementation, although Hard Rock temporarily introduced their mobile sportsbook only to suspend operations on December 4th. That leaves the top three states with a combined population of over 90 million without legal sports betting, but those 27% of the population can still access Vegas NFL odds.

New York, the fourth most populous state, has retail sports betting available, but only four locations have been approved, limiting the ability of most potential bettors to have access to place wagers. However, mobile sports betting was approved earlier in 2021 and on November 8th, nine operators were approved and most expect to be accepting wagers in time for Super Bowl LVI that will be contested on February 13th, 2022. As always, check out BetUS for the best Super Bow odds! 

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