More States Consider Introducing Legal Sports Betting

by Ken Edwards, 06 December 2018
More States Consider Introducing Legal Sports Betting

Last week’s ICE Sports Betting USA conference in Manhattan was dominated by discussions on the swift and momentous changes in U.S. gaming legalization in the last few months. Nothing has changed the landscape more than the
landmark May 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of New Jersey vs the major sporting leagues that opened the doors on legalized sports betting nationwide, by overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
Like most passing gambling industry conferences lately, the center showpiece of last week’s event in New York City was the discussions of the successes of the state of New Jersey, and the effect that success is having on other states that are considering the addition of sports-betting to their revenue-raising measures.

New Jersey’s Sports Betting success and its legacy

Keynote speaker at the ICE Sports Betting USA conference, Ted Olson, (whose first came to national prominence as the winning attorney in the Bush-Gore voting counting case in the State of Florida) made it abundantly clear that that conference itself was taking places only because of the actions of the state of New Jersey.

Among this crowd however, Olson was perhaps more famous for his part arguing the sports betting case for New Jersey and the attorney gave the masses what they came to hear;

“We are here in large part because of a wager on sports betting made by the people of New Jersey,” Olson said to the crowd of gambling representatives.

“That was a remarkable gamble on sports betting, so it is fitting that the long, arduous — I would say torturous — odyssey brought us to that day in May, …. and who would have thought, when we got started, that this would happen – and so quickly?” Olson added, referring to eight sets of States Representatives choosing to legalize sports betting in their respective states in less than seven months.

New Jersey’s sports books are breaking records month-on-month since beginning operations earlier this year.

Other States Now Considering Sports Betting on NJ’s successes

At least a dozen more U.S. states could potentially legalize sports betting in the coming year, and up to eight more could have operational sports books ready to take legal sports betss before the start of the next NFL season in 2019, according to industry experts and legislators.

Betting aficionados can now wager legally on sporting events in New Jersey, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Nevada, New Mexico and Mississippi. Another four to eight will “probably be accepting bets by the coming football season,” said Jake Williams, Sportradar Group’s vice president of legal and regulatory affairs.

Mr Williams believes that within 24 months, “there could be a total of 24 states offering legal sports betting”.

Casino industry representatives, legislators, sports leagues and bookmakers believe that states that could possibly legislate on new regulations by the end of 2019 include Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oregon and others.

One of those others is Michigan. State Representatives in Michigan may soon pass a mobile gaming bill and prepare it for the Governor’s signature to pass into law before the year is out.

The legal framework may then exist for Michigan to introduce sports betting in early 2019. By combining it with the current legislation, that would enable online and land-based sportsbooks to begin offering their services in the state simultaneously.

Long story short, the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s ruling are occurring almost daily now as new partnerships and sponsorships are reached rapidly and the states quickly gather the legislative wagons in unison to cash in on the action.


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