U.S. Supreme Court Legalizes Sports Betting

It's estimated that people bet upwards of $150 billion on sports each year. These bets are done on the sly, so the government doesn't collect taxes that could help with the economy. On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court voted to overturn a decision that made sports betting illegal. What does that mean for you?

Las Vegas, Nevada, is the only place where sports betting is currently legal. It's expected that legalized sports betting will start opening up betting in more and more states over the next 12 months. Here's where things stand.

States That Already Have or Have Passed Bills to Authorize Sports Betting

Two states just passed bills authorizing sports betting. They are:

  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

A handful of states had already legalized sports betting. They are:

  • Delaware
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon

States That Are Waiting on Legislative Rulings

Some states are currently waiting on their legislative branches final rulings on pending sports betting bills. These states are:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina

States Where the Sessions Ended Before the Ruling

Some states had bills in the works, but the sessions ended before the final ruling came in. Those states are:

  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland

States That Want to Study Sports Betting Legalization First

Two states have ordered studies to weigh the pros and cons of passing sports betting legislation. They are:

  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts

States That Have Yet to Take Action

Of the remaining states that haven't taken any action either way, current governors or their spokespeople had this to say.

  • Alabama – Session is out until March 2019.
  • Alaska – No action has been taken.
  • Arizona – It remains illegal for now until the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compact is updated.
  • Arkansas – Need to examine the 10th amendment before any decisions are made.
  • Colorado – People should be able to share their opinions and vote on the issue.
  • Florida – Amendment is on the November 2018 ballot.
  • Georgia – Sessions is out until January 2019 and a new governor will be in place by that point.
  • Idaho – The state's constitution would have to be changed and that's time-consuming.
  • Kansas – State needs to come up with a bill first.
  • Maine – Bill to put sports betting to a referendum vote with the people failed.
  • Minnesota – Session ended before the issue was brought up.
  • Montana – Fantasy sports and sports betting pools are currently legal. Not sure about legalizing sports betting against the house.
  • Nebraska – Sports betting is still illegal and there are no plans to change that decision.
  • New Hampshire – The governor isn't ruling it out.
  • New Mexico – No comment.
  • North Carolina – Believes any action to legalize sports betting will be slow.
  • North Dakota – No plans to legalize sports betting at this time.
  • Ohio – Legalizing betting is not a priority.
  • South Dakota – It's up to the new governor in 2019.
  • Tennessee – Considering it if tax proceeds go towards the education fund.
  • Texas – Texas is not a state that wants to enact gambling laws.
  • Utah – Gambling of all forms will still continue to be illegal.
  • Vermont – No comment.
  • Virginia – Reviewing the issue.
  • Washington – Legislature must agree by a 60 percent majority after examining the issue.
  • Wisconsin – Wisconsin constitution bans sports betting.
  • Wyoming – No comment.

What Can You Do?

If you want to see sports betting legalized in your state, the best thing to do is contact your local senators and representatives often. With pressure from the voters, some may decide it's worth at least opening up a discussion.