- Montana, Iowa, Indiana, and Tennessee are likely to approve sports betting this year.
- Oregon, New Hampshire, Louisiana, and Colorado are also moving forward with sports gambling.
- Currently, eight states have approved legal sports betting in the country.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Though it was expected that a similar number of states this year would legalize sports betting in their jurisdiction compared to last, the trend is still positive, despite its slowed down reality.
Six states last year moved quickly to introduce or expand upon gambling laws in their state, to which the total number of legal sports betting states now stands at eight. Tribal casinos in New Mexico are offering sports wagering without having changed any preexisting laws.
This year has seen disagreements over minute details that would set the standard for any state’s legalization process.
Between tax contribution percentages, which establishments will be offered sports betting licenses, and the debate to add mobile wagering, the legislative sessions have kept many Americans’ spinning in circles trying to figure out their state’s situation.
In reality, there are eight states to keep an eye on. Four of them are very close to being the next state taking action or at least have undergone serious discussions on the matter. The other four are introducing bills now or have recently brought the debates forth to the main stage.
The States Likely To Legalize Sports Betting In 2019:
Montana is only a governor’s signature away from introducing new betting laws.
With multiple bills set to be approved, Montana would permit wagering for those 18 and older through a system implemented by the lottery as well as the AG’s office.
Mobile wagering was included in the provisions but requires players to be located a certain distance from the hosting casino.
Iowa is in a similar situation, as their bill is also awaiting the signature of their governor.
Through the 19 casinos in the state, sports betting would be permitted and taxed at a rate of 6.75%. This sets the lowest taxing rate for any of the legal sports betting states.
However, with the casinos being located along the borders of the state where residents of Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, and Nebraska can easily travel into town, it is likely the rate will do just fine.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission will oversee the industry, should it be signed into law.
Indiana needs to get a little push on the backside to finish all of the details before the April 29 session adjournment.
The 14 casinos in the state, along with any others that would come in the all-encompassing casino expansion bill, would hold the key to the sports betting industry.
Mobile betting was taken out of the measure but then it was added back in, leaving everyone unsure whether or not Indiana wanted to move forward with the industry.
As this was a recent change, we are unsure whether or not online or in-person registration will be required to create an online wagering account.
Similar to Indiana, Tennessee needs that little boost as well. Their session ends a few weeks after that of Indiana (May 15); however, both sides of the legislature have been unable to agree on many things here.
Eventually, they settled on allowing mobile wagering throughout the state, without needing a tie to a casino.
With a $750,000 licensing fee and a tax rate of 20%, Tennessee would be ready to capitalize on the funds coming in from the books.
The vote is set to occur this week.
The States That Might Legalize Sports Betting In 2019
Oregon is one of the states in a peculiar situation. Like New Mexico, they could begin offering sports betting without any law changes; however, in Oregon’s case, it stems from the state have previously agreed upon sports betting laws.
Oregon was one of the states grandfathered in against any standards of PASPA and could offer sports wagering through the state lottery.
Once regulations and the choice for a sports betting provider have been finalized, Oregon will launch their industry, likely before the NFL season.
New Hampshire would not have been on this list but with funds being positioned in the governor’s 2020-2021 budget, lawmakers have taken the bait and recently begun their discussions.
On top of that, Senator Lou D’Allessandro (D- Manchester) has proven he will continue to open the doors for debate on why sports betting should be implemented in the state.
Set to be overseen by the state lottery, mobile wagering would be permitted as well as in ten retail locations.
The talks will continue on Wednesday, where the measure is slated on the Ways and Means Senate Committee’s calendar.
New to the yearly session is the state of Louisiana. Their April convening allowed legislators to focus is on the good and bad occurring between the variety of states with sports betting bills.
Set to help fund essential educational programs and assist with problem gambling, sports betting in Louisiana would first need to be approved in the parishes. After a referendum, an 11% tax would be installed.
In a similar boat from Louisiana is Colorado.
The state will also (possibly) be given the opportunity to approve sports betting on the country level through a voter referendum.
A 10% tax would be implemented, as long as the measure is approved. (Like Louisiana, Colorado residents must vote to increase or implement a tax).
The money here would be held for gambling addiction programs as well as offer subsidiaries for the agricultural industry within the state.
Future Outlook For 2019 Sports Betting
At the end of the day, any of these states could implement or reject a measure ultimately changing the outlook of the sports betting industry. On top of that, a variety of states could join this list should they call a special session or send a bill through their legislative bodies in lightning speed.
Either way, the industry for legal sports betting continues to grow and it is assumed that nearly half of the states will have legalized it by the year 2021. With New York, Arkansas, and DC prepared to launch this year and with Virginia expected to launch in 2021, the amount of licensed sportsbooks is set to rise.
Michael began writing as an NBA content writer and has spent time scouting college basketball for Florida State University under Leonard Hamilton and the University of Alabama under Anthony Grant. A graduate of both schools, he covers topics focused on legal sports betting, betting odds, and casino reviews. Michael likes to golf, play basketball, hike, and kayak when not glued to the TV watching NBA games.