Sports Betting Set to Expand in US as 21 States Considering Legislation

Sports betting opened up in the United States in May of 2018 when the Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was unconstitutional. Several states already had sports betting laws in place while others worked quickly to be ready to offer services. Over the past year, we have seen state after state launch services. Currently, a total of 21 states have legislation under review that includes sports betting. The latest to join the fray includes Wyoming and Alaska.

Joining in the Legislative Process

Both Wyoming and Alaska have introduced legislation that would legalized sports betting within their respective boarders. In Wyoming, HB 225 would allow sports betting to take place online. The bill would tax the industry at 16% with an initial licensing fee of $20,000. Annually after that, operators would have to pay a low $10,000 fee to continue offering services.

Like other states in the US, lawmakers in Wyoming want to ban college betting that includes a game in Wyoming or an in-state school. Several states are avoiding this type of wagering to protect the integrity of NCAA gaming.

In Alaska, sports betting is being considered as part of a lottery bill. Governor Mike Dunleavy would like to see sports betting added to increase revenues for the state, along with lottery gaming. Alaska is one of only a handful of states in the US that does not offer lottery gaming. The state is considering instant games, keno, multi-state draw games and sports betting.

Benefiting Casinos

With sports betting, existing casinos have a wonderful opportunity to bring in additional revenues. In many states, the casinos are falling short of revenue numbers, with sports betting now providing a much-needed boost. Players are visiting casinos during big games, placing bets, but also hitting the casino floor as well.

Table games and slots gain more attention as the visitor numbers of casinos increase as sports betting activities grow across the nation. States that already offer sports betting, like New Jersey, have benefitted online as well as in a retail setting.

Casinos made quick work in New Jersey to offer services, starting with a temporary space when needed as permanent sports books were created in the venues. Players have taken to both retail and online sports betting in the state, with figures increasing in both online and land-based sectors with the new option.

There is potential for as many as 18 states to pass sports betting legislation into law but just how many will push measures through is still unknown. If the year goes like others have before, only a small number of states will actually see enough support to pass sports betting legislation into law.

Over the next few months, lawmakers in the 21 states will be reviewing the legislation and if enough support can be gained, we may see even more options for sports betting across the nation.


Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.