What states have the best chance to legalize sports betting in 2020.

  • There are several states that are planning to legalize sports betting in 2020.
  • Some states will have a more difficult time legalizing compared to others.
  • There are a few states that will have an easier time than others to legalize sports betting.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – It is almost 2020 and there are several states that are looking towards legalizing sports betting in 2020.

States With The Best Chance To Legalize Sports Betting

Throughout the 2019 legislative session, there were several states that legalized sports betting.

However, there were a greater number of states that introduced sports betting legislation but did not pass their bills. From disagreements about taxes to issues with state laws, there are plenty of reasons why bills fail. But lawmakers are looking towards 2020 as the year they legalize sports betting.

One such example of this is Maine. In June of 2019, Maine lawmakers did pass sports betting legislation. ME LD 553 is the sports betting legislation that did end up passing. It got through both the state House and Senate and was sent to the Governors desk. However, Governor Janet Mills actually did not sign the bill. Gov. Mills did not veto the legislation either.

Gov. Mills does not agree that online sportsbooks in Maine should not tie into local businesses. But she does seem to want to bring sports betting to the state. So instead of signing or vetoing the bill, she is thinking about the issue.

The Maine Constitution allows for the Governor to not sign the bill within a timeframe to move the issue to the next legislative session. Once the next session begins, the governor will have three days to sign or veto the bill. This means out of all the states, Maine sports betting could be legalized within the first week of 2020.

There are plenty of reasons to legalize Kentucky sports wagering in 2020. The new year will be when Kentucky lawmakers will approve their new budget. State lawmakers are going to do what it takes to make sure the budget is as balanced as it can possibly be.

That is why Kentucky lawmakers pre-filed legislation in 2020. The pension system in Kentucky is severely underfunded. Kentucky lawmakers are hoping that by legalizing sports betting, they can properly fund the state’s pension program.

Ohio lawmakers were rather close to legalizing sports betting in 2019. But legislative efforts stalled out back in May. Since then, lawmakers in Ohio have been working together to create legislation that will not lose momentum.

There are currently two different bills that were pre-filed in Ohio for 2020. One bill would give the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) control of sports betting. The other bill would give the state lottery control and also allow areas such as fraternal organization halls and veterans halls to operate sportsbooks.

Lawmakers from both the House and Senate have agreed to come together in order to get a unified sports wagering bill in Ohio passed in 2020.

Legislators in Missouri believe that sports betting can be legalized in 2020. Lawmakers expect that sports betting in Missouri could generate $289 million in sports bets. State representatives in Missouri believe that not legalizing sports betting in 2020 could mean a loss of revenue for the state.

There are several states surrounding Missouri that have legalized sports betting in one form or another.

Without legalizing sports wagering, Missouri bettors will travel to other states to make their wagers. State legislators are always looking for ways to keep tax revenue within state borders. This is likely the reason why they will work hard to create new sports betting legislation in 2020.

States With A Difficult Path Ahead

Two specific states can legalize sports betting in 2020, but they have more hurdles to overcome. Both California and Florida will likely have a difficult time legalizing sports wagering.

In Florida, the Seminole Tribe has strong control in the gaming industry. Legislation was also passed in 2018 that makes it much more difficult to expand gaming operations in the state or legalize sports wagering. Even though that’s the case, multiple bills have been pre-filed for 2020.

The situation is similar in California. Tribal casino owners are trying to convince lawmakers of the state that going through the tribes is the best path to legalization. Many state lawmakers do not agree with this sentiment and are planning to prove their case in multiple hearings.

The year 2020 is bound to be an eventful year for sports betting. Since it is an election year, many states will bring bills up to the voters to decide. That means there could be a massive surge of states with legal sports betting by the end of 2020.

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