Legalization of sports betting in the U.S. began after the landmark Murphy v NCAA decision. In the early 2000s, the NCAA partnered with the four major pro sports leagues to legalize sports betting in their respective states. The NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL all worked together to pass rules that allow sports betting to take place.
Legalization of sports betting in Nevada in 2018
Legalization of sports betting in Nevada in 2018 was a landmark decision for the state. PASPA, the 1992 law that banned sports betting, was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court on May 14, 2018. This ruling opened the door to states like New Jersey and Nevada to offer legal sports betting.
Other states are considering legalization of sports betting, too. Maine lawmakers passed a bill to legalize the sport on June 19, but the governor vetoed it. The legislature may reintroduce the bill at a later date. Meanwhile, Utah, which has a longstanding anti-gambling policy, is unlikely to change that stance any time soon.
Legalization of sports betting in Arizona in 2021
The legalization of sports betting in Arizona will add another dimension to the gaming industry. The new state legislation will allow up to 20 individual operators to operate mobile sportsbooks. But not all are expected to be up and running before the end of the year. Caesars, FanDuel, BetMGM, and other top names are among those who have applied for a statewide sports betting license. Currently, 18 of these companies have been approved by the Arizona Gaming Commission. Of these, only MaximBet and a number of Native American tribes were not.
At the beginning of the legislative session, Arizona sports betting seems like a longshot, but it gains steam when Ducey begins negotiations with state tribes and signs the sports betting bill into law in April. The state’s first retail sportsbooks launch in September 2021. In the first four months, bettors wager more than $1 billion, and almost half a billion by December. In the meantime, lawmakers like Borrelli and Pierce try to revive the issue and introduce HB1525 and HB2813. But the Senate bill never makes it past the second reading, and the House bill never gets a floor vote.
Legalization of sports betting in Texas
The issue of legalizing sports betting in Texas has been debated for nearly two decades. Earlier this year, the Texas House State Affairs Committee held a public hearing for state rep. Dan Huberty’s bills that could put legalized sports betting in Texas in the hands of voters this November. While the committee didn’t act on the bills, Huberty is trying to move the legislation forward in the state legislature.
Several bills have been drafted and introduced, but none have made it out of committee. In 2021, five bills were introduced but did not make it through the committee process. While the Texas legislature isn’t in session right now, it is likely to pass legislation on legalizing sports betting in Texas sometime in 2023.
Legalization of sports betting in Oklahoma
There are a number of issues that remain to be addressed before the legalization of sports betting in Oklahoma is finalized. For one thing, there has been a lack of progress towards legislation regarding online sports betting in Oklahoma. Although there have been several bills introduced, none have been passed yet. As a result, online sports betting in Oklahoma may not start until the year 2023 or even later.
Despite these hurdles, the US Department of Interior has approved gaming compacts with two federally recognized tribes in eastern Oklahoma, including the Comanche Nation. Once the compacts are published in the Federal Register, sports betting in Oklahoma will begin. Nonetheless, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers and the state’s attorney general oppose the expansion of sports wagering in Oklahoma.