2021 may be the biggest year American sports betting has ever seen. Loads of states are legalizing or about to legalize, which means we are getting closer and closer to the majority of states in the Union having legal sports betting.
November 2020 Election
Three states saw legalization pass in the November 2020 election: Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota. Now, these states still have a ton to work on when it comes to getting laws and regulations passed, but they took the all-important first step in getting sports betting launched in their respective states.
All three should be aiming for late 2021 or earlier 2022 for a launch date for sportsbooks to go live. It will be interesting to see what form of sports betting each of these states goes with, whether it be in-person, online, or both, and who will be the head of regulation in each state.
States With Promising 2021 Legistlation
The first state that comes to mind is Ohio. Ohio is on the brink of legalization with just minor changes to the wording of the bills being discussed in both the House and Senate of the State. The Buckeye State was extremely close to legalization in 2020 but just could not get the details done by the end of the year. There is little doubt that sports betting will be coming to Ohio in 2021 or 2022, following the legislative process over the course of the next month or so.
A state that already has in-person betting but is looking to expand to mobile wagering for the entire state is New York. Due to budget concerns, Governor Cuomo has changed his tune about sports betting, and the legalization of online wagering seems to be on the fast track. Many experts would not be surprised to see New York be the first to legalize in 2021 with how urgent this money seemingly needs to enter the state.
Georgia, Massachusetts, and Missouri are all states that have very promising bills in place to legalize sports betting. All three of these states are getting more and more support in both the Senate, the House, and the general public.
States With 2021 Legalization Hopes
Arizona, Texas, Connecticut, and Kansas all have bills in play that seem like they could be promising legislation in 2021. At the same time, each one of these states has different degrees of chances when it comes to 2021 legalization; however, their chances are all definitely smaller than the states mentioned above.
Arizona looks to be the most likely with a bill that would not only bring sports wagering to the state and the tribal casinos but also introduce daily fantasy sports to the state for the very first time.
California has a lot of things in the way of legalizing sports betting. For one, it would take an Amendment to the State Constitution to legalize, which means that it not only has plenty of hurdles in the State Congress, but it will also need a large number of votes in California on the 2022 or 2024 ballot.
Then, there are the tribal casinos that run gaming in the state. How much pull do they have? What will be given up to them? There are many questions to be answered that will be unique only to California’s situation.
However, one thing that will help get the ball rolling is the massive wave of sports betting legalization we see in the United States. Tons of states are already live with mobile and/or in-person sports betting, and a lot more look to be on the verge of legalizing in 2021.