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Update on State Sports Betting Laws

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

Once the Supreme Court opened the door to legalized sports betting by overturning a federal ban in May, you knew a whole bunch of states would walk through it as soon as possible. Why should Nevada have all the fun, anyway? Of course, those new gambling regimes can take a lot of forms, and removal of the federal prohibition on sports betting merely set the stage for states to step in with their own regulations and restrictions.

Now, just a few short months later, what does that landscape look like nationwide? Here's what's up with state sports gambling laws right now.

The Starters

As of August 1st, just four states have full-scale legalized sports betting: Nevada (obviously), New Jersey (who mounted the recent legal attacks and brought their case to the Supreme Court), Delaware, and Mississippi. Delaware currently offers single-game betting at three casinos in the state, and is contemplating expanded sports wagering options at additional physical locations or online in the coming months. Mississippi had already passed a sports gambling bill in 2017, betting on a favorable decision from the Supreme Court. For now, all betting to take place in-person at casinos, but the state may consider mobile wagering later.

The Next Round

Another four states -- New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia -- have passed legislation legalizing sports betting. West Virginia hopes to be "up and running by football season," according to Danielle Boyd, managing general counsel for the West Virginia Lottery. Their new law includes online betting, as does Pennsylvania's. New York's sports gambling law is actually five years old, and might now be revived with the Supreme Court's ruling.

And fourteen states have legislation in the works: California, Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. The rest of the country, at least for now, will have to wait on the bench.

Again, state regulations can vary, even in those that have already legalized it. So before you go laying a bet down with your local bookie, it'd be best to check with your state's specific statutes.

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