In a historic move, the Supreme Court of the United States lifted in May 2018 a long-standing ban on wagering on professional and college sports leagues, known as PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992). The ruling authorized individual states to legalize sports betting if they feel inclined to do so.
Where you can bet on Sports
The Silver State has had legal betting for decades, so nothing new here. Casinos in Las Vegas and around Nevada will continue to offer physical sportsbooks and mobile betting apps.
Delaware was the first state outside of Nevada to have legal single-game wagering, as it launched on June 5. Right now, sports betting is only available at the state's three racetrack casinos.
New Jersey was the state that lead the anti-PASPA effort. It took state lawmakers years of lobbying and searching for supporters of its cause as well as of legal battles until the US Supreme Court agreed to take on the sports betting case.
First legal sports bets were accepted in the state on June 14 at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City and the Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport.
The Mississippi became the third state to launch legal sports betting in the months after the PASPA annulment. Its wagering legislation came into force on July 21, and it was on August 1 when the state’s first sportsbooks opened doors and accepted first sports bets.
The first land-based sportsbook opened in November, at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. Two more sportsbooks at Rivers Casino and SugarHouse Casino opened on Dec. 13.
More sportsbooks have been approved for licenses and are expected to roll out betting operations within the next few months. Online betting is expected to start early in 2019.
Sports betting debuted in West Virginia in late August, right in time for the beginning of the new college and NFL football seasons. Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races was the first property to launch sports betting services following the annulment of the long-standing ban.
Twin River Casino in Lincoln took its first sports bets in November. However, there is no online betting in the state currently.
Its sister property, Twin River Tiverton, launched sports betting one week later in 3rd December.
Currently, a single property is taking bets in New Mexico. The Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel is now the first tribal casino in the country to operate on native lands within a state that does not offer legal sports betting.
More States on the verge of Legalizing Sports Betting
Arkansas, Oregon, and Montana are expected to fully legalize sports betting early this year.
Thirteen more states have already passed laws seeking to legalize sports betting. From the above analysis, it seems that the wave of sports gambling is taking over all the US states and it is projected that by mid-2019, half of the states will have legalized sports betting.
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Guest writer contributed to this article: Josiah O. Makori