- Various states across the nation could still see sports betting legalized in 2020 for a 2021 launch.
- The Coronavirus pandemic may help lawmakers warm up to the idea because of the revenue it could bring to economies trying to come back from huge financial losses.
BOSTON – There are a number of states on the path toward legalizing sports betting during their 2020 sessions.
Although the Coronavirus pandemic has caused hearings to be put on pause or has led to shortened schedules for bills to be heard, the topic of gambling on sporting events is still being considered.
In fact, a general thought by many states in consideration is that sports betting becoming legal would be a helpful revenue stream to recoup money lost during the COVID-19 crisis.
States With Bills Still Open In 2020
Vermont is still in discussions on the legal gambling of sporting events. While they have a few bills that would actually legalize the activity, their latest bill, VT SB 59 would open a study on how betting on sports would affect their economy in all aspects of the market. LegalSportsBetting has spoken to Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio legislators for their bills that would make sports betting legal in those respective states.
Each interview resulted in the goal of getting legal sports betting in the states during the 2020 session. All three understand that the current focus is on how to deal with the damage caused by the Coronavirus but the idea that sports betting could help with the damage is not lost on them.
They have all concluded that once the biggest topics of conversation regarding their states and how to get them reopened have been resolved, budget discussions will be next on the list. This is where bills that center around legal gambling on sporting events would come into play as they could help with bridging deficits only made bigger by COVID-19.
Kansas, California, and Alaska are the last three states that have bills open this session to make sports betting a legal activity. Of the three, Kansas has had the most headway with two bills. One bill, KS SB 283, has gone farther than the other but Kansas Governor Laura Kelly will not move on it until proper amendments are made, one of which is the inclusion of an iLottery.
California would be a huge money pot should they allow legal sports betting to become regulated in their state as they are home to many of the top major sports leagues. Their bills are still open but they are being hit hard with the Coronavirus and have been locked down for some time.
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy would like to make the pastime legal in his state but the bills proposed have not made much progress to date, however, there is still hope for them to do so this year.
Governor Dunleavy initially proposed the idea to help with Alaska’s budget and this was prior to the pandemic so the bills may have an even bigger edge in the aftermath of the global crisis for financial reasons.
Other States Requiring A Public Vote
Maryland, South Dakota, and Virginia are all states that have passed legislation to make sports betting legal pending a public vote in November 2020.
Once the constituents vote on the topic, the results will factor into the 2021 session regarding rules and regulations on the actual industry and what it would offer.
Louisiana is currently doing a similar referendum bill, LA SB 130, that is making its way through the House to become legal. Should it pass by June 1 then residents in each individual parish would also get to vote on making sports betting legal in the Pelican State.
The Final Result
If all were to go right with each state mentioned, that would mean more than a handful of new states in the nation could see legal sports betting in 2021. That would make the tally of more than half of the nation embracing the legal gambling on sports matchups.
At the end of the day, every state knows that their resident’s wager on sports, it’s simply a matter of whether or not they want to offer them a regulated and transparent way of engaging in the activity while having their economies profit as a helpful bonus coming off of a pandemic.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.