When the Supreme Court struck down PASPA on May 14, the celebration ensued. The celebration, however, was short-lived because it was time to get back to work. The Supreme Court ruling opened the door for legalized sports betting, which was the first big step, but states still needed to put together the infrastructure necessary to implement this huge change to the betting landscape.
It was a little bit like getting your driver’s license, but not having a car to drive. The ruling struck down the outdated provisions that outlawed sports betting, but left lawmakers, legislators, and operators to their own devices in terms of figuring out how to get it all set up. Work had gone on behind the scenes for a long time in hopes that the day would come, but now that it has, the reality is that most states are nowhere near equipped to allow sports wagers to be placed within their borders.
The opposition from the leagues has mostly faded, although they are still looking for their cut via “integrity fees”. States certainly want their piece of the pie, both to line the pockets of the lawmakers and give back to the constituents in the form of roads, bridges, education, and the like. It would seem that the operators, who work on pretty thin margins of around 4-6 percent of the handle in a given game on average, can ill-afford to pay exorbitant tax rates or dish out integrity fees at the standard -110 vig.
But, ultimately, what most gambling enthusiasts care about now is when their states will get sports betting up and running. Some states are far more equipped than others and will move a lot quicker than others. Other states will not move at all. It is believed that somewhere around 30 of the 50 states will have some form of legalized sports betting within five years, but things can change in this very fluid situation.
In order to help out our readers, we’ve put together 50 individual pages so that you can follow along with the progress in your state. Offshore options remain available for those that want to go that route, but this is all about updating the ongoing legislation to see when you will be able to bet in your place of residence or in one of the neighboring states.
Alabama is one of six states without a lottery, so an expansion of gambling could be an uphill battle. Then again, in Roll Tide land, will legalized sports betting create enough appeal to change the laws?
Will Northern California, Southern California, and California all adopt sports betting when the state splits in three?! In spite of an enormous population and a lot of financial incentives, the Golden State has been slow to react to the strike down of PASPA.
States that share borders with other states that are moving quickly on sports betting have accelerated timelines. While states across the northeast are moving at different paces, Connecticut is certainly moving forward.
Like a lot of states you will read about, Native American tribes have a lot of say in what happens in the casinos in Florida. How do they feel about sports betting and how close is it to being legalized?
The Peach State is one of the most interesting states with regards to legalized sports wagering. A lot of states are cut-and-dry or are already taking significant steps forward. As far as Bible Belt states go, Georgia is one firmly on the fence.
States with small populations usually don’t have a lot of incentive to create something that would filter money into the state budget. On the other hand, some money is better than no money. That seems to be the crux of the argument in Idaho.
The state of Illinois butts up against a lot of states that are moving on sports betting, but also some that don’t have that same sense of urgency. Illinois is all but a lock to legalize it, but how long will that take?
States that border other states with legalized betting or casinos are likely to move quicker, but those that have the majority of their casinos near borders are also likely to move quickly. Indiana happens to fit that bill.
A lot of the states that have accelerated timelines for the legalization of sports betting were working on bills and discussions long before the Supreme Court struck down PASPA. The Hawkeye State is one of them.
Kansas, like Iowa, was one of those states that was looking to move forward before moving was *technically* allowed. With casinos and horse tracks, plus a big city that bisects the border in Missouri, the state will soon adapt the motto Rock Lay Chalk on the Jayhawks.
Churchill Downs and Keeneland are two of the most popular gaming venues in the country, but representatives in the commonwealth of Kentucky are still jockeying for position on legalized sports betting.
Some of Louisiana’s representatives took a proactive stance with sports betting before PASPA was even struck down, but a hastily-composed bill may have done more hard than good. Also, a significant wrinkle in Louisiana state politics could be a hindrance.
Some states need dollars for the budget more than others. The state of Minnesota is a huge parcel of land with lots of infrastructure. Sports betting dollars may go farther there than in any other state.
If you were to rank the 50 states on May 14 when PASPA was struck down, where would Mississippi have ranked in likelihood of legalized sports betting? As it turns out, you better have to put them top five because this is happening.
Peer pressure is something that will reach a crescendo in the push for legalized sports betting, as a follow the leader concept will pop up with states that share borders with states that have already adopted legislation and have implemented wagering. Missouri is one of those states.
While a lot of states had initial discussions or even put forth bills prior to the ruling on PASPA, Nebraska is not really one of them and it could be a while before betting becomes a reality, if it does at all.
New Mexico is one of the poorest states in the country, so legalized sports betting could be used to fund assistance programs. On the other hand, the opposition groups have plenty of data to shoot down an expansion of gambling.
It will only be a matter of time for New York to figure out how to run sports betting, but there are casinos spread across a large piece of land and the New York state representatives all have very different interests based on their districts, so there are a lot of i’s to dot and t’s to cross.
Ohio’s rich tradition in the sports betting arena hasn’t created any sense of urgency for legalized wagering in the state. In fact, Ohio is sitting on the sidelines while bordering states are pushing forward.
Oklahoma got an earlier jump start than most states with regards to the strike down of PASPA, but that legislation didn’t go very far a couple of years ago. Now, as Oklahoma recent allowed for roulette and craps, it looks like only a matter of time.
Pennsylvania is going to get sports betting sooner rather than later, but the state really needs to relax some of its licensing fees and tax rates, otherwise it won’t nearly be what they hope it will be.
Washington is not moving swiftly when it comes to legalized sports betting, but with 29 casinos on tribal lands, it would take the support of elected officials and the input from the Native American tribes.