Three Years After PASPA, Where States Stand On Sports Betting
With the three-year anniversary of the Supreme Court overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), nearly 30 states have legalized or launched sports betting.
Here’s where each state stands with legal sports betting:
Sports betting is not permitted and there is no state lottery. Legislation was introduced but failed to advance out of committee in both 2019 and 2020. In mid-April, the Alabama Senate approved lottery and casino legislation, voting 23-9 in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment that would establish a state lottery and allow for six new casinos and sports betting in the state. The House of Representatives is considering revised versions of the Senate bills. The session ends May 18. If the legislation is approved by lawmakers, it would then go before voters in the November 2022 general election.
Alaska has no gambling history. Sports betting is not permitted and there are no racetracks. And there does not appear to be any push anytime soon to change that.
The Arizona legislature approved sports betting and it was signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey in April 2021. The state is taking applications and will issue licenses when new gaming compacts are approved. Ten professional sports organizations with stadiums that seat at least 10,000 and any site that hosts a PGA event or NASCAR event can apply for a license. Ten licenses will be available for Native American tribal casinos. Mobile betting will be allowed. Betting advocates are pushing to have betting available by football season.
Other PASPA Stories
- In 3 Years Since PASPA Ruling, Legal Betting Transforms Sports
- Q&A With Joe Brennan On 3-Year Anniversary of PASPA Ruling
Arkansas legalized sports betting in 2018 and has three sportsbooks located at casinos around the state, with one more in the planning stages. Online sports betting is not legal, but there is a bill in the state house (HB1942) that would allow casino licenses to operate “online sports pools.” Horse betting has been legal since the early 1900s.
A push for a referendum in 2020 was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Enough signatures have been collected to get it on California’s ballot in 2022. It’s possible that if Gov. Gavin Newsom is recalled in a special election this November, the sports betting bill could also get on the ballot. The initiative would legalize sportsbooks at tribal casinos and existing horse racetracks. At this time, there are no plans for online sports betting. Horse betting has been legal since 1933.
Colorado voters approved online sports betting in 2019 and it went live in May 2020. There are 17 retail sportsbooks across the state and online sports betting in Colorado is legal. Horse betting has been legal since 1948.
State legislators passed a bill with a provision that would allow for sports betting in 2017, a year before PASPA was repealed. But Connecticut didn’t move forward until Gov. Ned Lamont struck a deal with tribal owners of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos to have exclusive rights to offer sports wagering in March 2021.
Delaware has had sports betting since 2018. Full sports betting is available at three racinos across the state. There are 100 retail locations that only take college and pro football parlay cards. There is no current online betting available. Horse betting is legal.
In a deal that wasn’t made public until March, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida have agreed to allow sports betting at the Tribe’s seven casinos. The state legislature still has to approve and if it does, sports betting could be ready to go by football season. However, the sports gambling picture in Florida is complicated by competing interests, legal questions and anti-gambling opposition. Legal action could alter the current plan or at least delay the launch of sports wagering.
Sports betting is not permitted in Georgia and there are no racetracks. Three sports gambling bills introduced this year failed to pass, so the state will have to wait until at least 2022 to try again.
Going back to when Hawaii was admitted to the union in 1959, it has no gambling history. A few bills that have been introduced haven’t gone anywhere. Horse betting is illegal and there are no tracks.
Sports betting is not legal in Idaho and there doesn’t seem to be much interest in lawmakers to change that. Horse and greyhound betting are legal.
The year began with the possibility of Kansas legalizing sports betting, but two bills in March failed to pass. Horse betting is also illegal.
Despite being able to bet on horses since 1875, Kentucky doesn’t allow other forms of sports betting. In 2017, before PASPA was repealed, a bill was introduced in the state that would have allowed the horse racing commission to regulate sports gambling, but it didn’t pass. The pandemic hurt the chances of a bill introduced in 2020 and so far in 2021, a bill has not been sponsored.
Instead of passing legislation to cover the entire state, Louisiana allowed each parish to vote if it wanted to allow sports betting and 55 of 64 parishes voted yes in November 2020. Legislators are working on how that will be structured, from whether bets will have to be made at fixed sites, online or both.
In 2020, Maine lawmakers approved online and in-person sports betting, but the bill was vetoed by Gov. Janet Mills. A new bill was proposed in April 2021.
Maryland voters overwhelmingly approved sports betting in 2020. Legislators passed a bill in April 2021 to allow in-person and online with a hoped-for start date of Sept. 1. The state’s top regulator has said that the licensing process might mean that sports wagering will be in-person only in 2021 and that online sports betting may not be ready to launch until 2022.
Massachusetts almost passed sports betting legislation in 2019 and 2020, and has several bills being considered in 2021. Sports betting revenue is not part of the House budget that was proposed in April, so Massachusetts could be a year away again. Horse betting is legal.
As was the case in 2019 and 2020, a Minnesota sports betting bill introduced in 2021 didn’t get any traction because the Native American Tribes that run casinos in the state are opposed to any expansion of betting.
Mississippi was one of the first states to allow sports betting. But, since 2018, only in-person betting at licensed casinos is allowed. Bills to allow online betting failed in 2019 and 2020 and it could be 2022 at the earliest before it has a chance of passing.
A bill before the Missouri Senate in April 2021 did not advance. Horse betting is legal, but there are no tracks or off-track betting sites in the state.
Montana legalized sports betting in 2019, but it’s limited. There is no online betting and there are no physical sportsbooks. Bets have to be made at kiosks and terminals. Horse betting is legal, but those wagers also have to be made at terminals or kiosks.
A bill to allow Nebraska’s six horse racing tracks to install sportsbooks and take sports bets will be voted on in June. It does not provide for online betting, only retail.
There are hundreds of sportsbooks in Nevada’s casinos where sports betting has been legal for more than 70 years. Online betting is available. Horse betting is legal.
Sports betting, online and in-person, has been legal in New Hampshire since 2019. Although the state has no horse racing tracks, horse betting is legal.
The state that pushed for the repeal of PASPA, in a court battle that lasted seven years, made sports betting legal in May 2019. New Jersey has 10 online sports betting options and in 2021, the state passed Nevada in sports betting revenue.
New Mexico has not passed any laws since PASPA, but sports betting is legal. The state passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988, and while it didn’t specifically mention sports betting, it didn’t disallow it. So Tribal casinos began taking bets in 2018. Horse betting has been legal since the 1940s.
In 2013, the state passed a law legalizing sports betting if the federal sports betting ban was repealed. When that happened in 2018, it took a year for in-person sports bets to begin. The number of retail sportsbooks is small compared to New York’s overall population, with most in areas not near Manhattan. Online sports betting was passed in April and is expected to go live by January 2022.
Sports betting is legal, but only at Tribal casinos. There are two in the western part of North Carolina and one more is being built near Charlotte. Online betting is illegal, although a bill was introduced in late April 2021. Horse betting is legal only at Tribal casinos.
North Dakota’s latest attempt at a sports betting ballot measure failed in March 2021 and it might have halted any chances of getting something passed for four years. Horse betting can be made at one track in the state.
Ohio’s long-expected bill was finally crafted in early May 2021. It is 252 pages and encompasses more than just sports betting. The key issue that has prevented the state from passing a sports betting bill for the past three years is still in place: Will the Ohio Lottery or Ohio Casino Commission be in charge of the operation? Horse betting has been legal since the 1930s at racetracks and racinos across the state.
In 2020, Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt tried to authorize sports betting at Tribal casinos, but the state Supreme Court rejected it. There doesn’t seem to be a plan to try again anytime soon. Horse betting has been legal since 1982.
Sports betting is administered by the Oregon Lottery and is only offered through the Scoreboard app. A bill was introduced in January 2021 that would allow the Oregon Racing Commission to regulate sports betting and give the state more options. Horse betting is legal, though there are limited options there as well.
One of the early adopters, the state has had legal sports betting since November 2018, both at Rhode Island’s two casinos and online.
While South Carolina does have a lottery, sports betting or any other type of gambling doesn’t appear to be likely.
Voters approved an amendment to the South Dakota constitution to allow sports betting at casinos in Deadwood. Players can make wagers at kiosks, betting windows or through a mobile app inside the casinos. Horse betting is legal.
Tennessee legislators passed online sports betting in May 2019 and it went live in November 2020. There are no land-based sportsbooks in the state. But it could be the first state to allow peer-to-peer wagering. Horse betting is only allowed through TwinSpires.
Sports betting is not legal in Texas. A bill was introduced in April 2021 that would put the issue on the ballot in November, but it failed to get out of a House committee this week and the Senate is running out of time to take it up. The Texas legislature meets in odd-numbered years so legal sports betting won't be happening anytime soon.
Utah has no gambling history and has a constitutional ban against all forms of sports betting. There does not appear to be any push anytime soon to change that.
Sports betting is not legal in Vermont, but a bill was introduced in February 2021 to allow up to six sportsbook operators to get a license to do business through mobile applications.
Mobile and online sports betting began in January 2021 with 12 licenses awarded. Virginia’s two NASCAR tracks, the horse track at Colonial Downs and the Washington Football Team headquarters and practice facility will be eligible for licenses for retail sports gambling.
Washington State Gambling Commission and the Tulalip Tribes reached a tentative agreement in April, 2021 to allow sports betting facilities at two resorts on the Tulalip Reservation. The gambling commission will vote on June 10 to approve the deal.
Washington city council approved sports betting in early 2019 and both mobile and retail are available. Mobile betting is operated by the D.C. Lottery and Intralot and retail is available at Capital One Arena.
Wisconsin prohibits most gambling, including sports betting, in its constitution. So voters would have to approve a referendum to change the constitution. The other possibility is that Tribal nations would have to negotiate gaming compacts with the state to operate sports betting in their casinos. Some of those casinos offer horse betting.
The legislature passed a sports betting bill in March 2021. Because of Wyoming’s sparse population in a large area, online is the convenient option. The bill gives Tribal nations that run casinos the right to offer sports wagering.
Be first to get our exclusive sports offers!
Join today to stay up to date on your states gambling news and offers.