After the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling in May 2018, any state can legally offer sports betting services. But this created a new rift between state authorities and their Federal counterparts. While most North and Midwestern states embraced the decision, the Southern states have been reluctant to open their doors to online sports betting so far.
While opinions vary among the few frontrunners, general consensus weighs the odds of economic boost vs. concerns of decreasing mortality. As most states suffer from the dilemma, a select few took the opportunity to develop infrastructure and form legislation protecting civil rights within the last two years. While New Jersey and Nevada are among the highest earners, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Arkansas are slowly cashing in on the opportunity.
The simple answer, gambling revenue in the US is quite high. The states that were reluctant at first, are slowly watching the neighbors flourish and want in on the action. Plus, the COVID-19 pandemic gave the online sports betting industry a much-needed boost as physical casinos and retail operators remained shut following physical distancing norms.
Here’s a list of 5 States that are Looking to Legalize Sports Betting
1. Florida – Florida State Senator Jeff Brandes introduced three Bills specifying the requirements for sports betting in November 2019. According to these drafts, Florida Lottery will monitor all online mobile sports wagering activities in the state. The minimum age limit was specified at 21-years. And the Bill is slated to be debated in the 2020 legislative session.
2. Vermont – State legislator Thomas Burditt introduced an 18-page proposition to legalize sports betting in Vermont in February 2019. While mobile betting is currently permitted, the operators are required to ensure bettors are physically located within the state boundaries at the time of wagering. The Bill aims to restrict certain types of wagers including high-school sporting events and esports. Betting on college events in Vermont or institutions based in Vermont is also restricted.
3. Georgia – A 12-page proposal was introduced in Georgia in early 2019, stating the guidelines to follow while legalizing online sports betting in the state. Under the bill, a Sports Betting Director would be chosen while comprehensive guidelines would come into play. The draft allowed betting on professional and college sports but excluded youth sports from the list.
4. Arizona – State lawmakers introduced Bill SB 1158 in January 2019 authorizing federally recognized tribes with a gaming license to offer online sports betting services in Arizona. The proposed law prohibits anybody else from offering similar services. The draft, however, prohibits wagering on sporting events organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
5. California – Back in 2017, Adam Gray, a California assembly member introduced a constitutional amendment legalizing sports wagering in the state only if federal law allowed the same. However, within minutes of the iconic Supreme Court ruling in 2018, Gray retracted his statement about a pro-sports betting constitutional amendment. California currently has a pending voter referendum that could legalize online sports wagering if passed.