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- The Supreme Court of the United States lifted the federal ban on sports betting on May 14, 2018.
- Since the ruling, 11 states have legalized sports betting, including New York, New Jersey, and Nevada. Seven states have also passed a law to make sports betting legal, but they are pending a launch date.
- Additionally, 24 states have pending legislation, while eight states have no action to move forward with legalizing sports betting.
- The Wire Act of 1961 has concerned some in the sports betting industry because of it’s unclear rulings.
The Supreme Court of the United States lifted the federal ban on sports betting on May 14, 2018.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was challenged in court when New Jersey attempted to allow sports betting by working around the federal law. The PASPA gave leagues, such as the NCAA and all four major professional sports leagues, the ability to challenge betting laws in court.
In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the PASPA was unconstitutional because it infringed upon states’ rights.
As a result, states are free to decide whether they want to pass legislation to legalize sports betting.
Since the ruling, 11 states have legalized sports betting within their borders, including New York and New Jersey.
Seven states have also passed a law to make sports betting legal, but they are pending a launch date. Essentially, having a launch date allows states to ensure all rules are established and casinos are ready to go.
There are also 24 states that still have pending legislation. Many states that have proposed a bill have adjourned their state legislatures prior to a vote.
Colorado is the next state to have sports betting on the public ballot after it was approved by legislatures and the governor. Voters will be able to vote for or against sports betting on the November 2019 ballot.
The Wire Act of 1961 has also brought about concerns for online sports betting. The Wire Act was enacted as a means to prevent organized crime and was created before the internet came into play.
In 2011, the Obama administration ruled the Wire Act did not apply to online gaming. However, in 2018, the ruling was revised by the Trump administration and stated the law prohibited all forms of online gaming.
The ruling was challenged in court by New Hampshire and the interpretation was said to be invalid. The Wire Act only applies to sports betting that crosses state lines. It is believed that a final ruling is still yet to come, which could impact the sports betting industry.
Below are the states with legal sports betting and states that have legal sports betting, pending launch.
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In November 2018, state residents approved expanding casino gaming in Arkansas by voting on the midterm election ballot. The state became the eighth to legalize sports betting.
The constitutional amendment does not allow for statewide online and mobile sports betting.
54.1% of voters voted for casino gaming licenses. Properties were required to submit sports betting applications by summer 2019.
Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, Arkansas was the first sportsbook to open. It began operations on July 1.
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Since the Supreme Court decision in 2018, Delaware was the first state to legalize sports betting.
In 2009, the state passed a law that permitted the lottery to offer expanded forms of parlay before the federal ban.
The state was able to roll out sportsbooks so quickly because it was grandfathered to offer parlay betting during the federal ban.
Sportsbooks were built within casinos to prepare for the day they became legal. The three casinos started taking bets on June 5, 2018.
Illinois’ state legislature passed a bill to legalize physical sportsbooks and online sports betting in June 2019.
Online betting won’t occur within the first 18 months in order to give casinos a head start on taking bets.
Sportsbooks are pending a launch date in Illinois.
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