Which States Will Legalize Sports Betting Next?

Steve O Speak

Since the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting in 2018, 30 states and Washington DC now offer sports wagering in some capacity. As of July 2022, sports betting has generated over $1.4 billion in tax revenue for the states in which it is legal. States have clearly taken notice and there are several more expected to launch or expand sports betting in the coming months. 

Which states are next in line to legalize sports betting and when can we expect them to launch? Let’s take a look.

Massachusetts Sports Betting

Out of left field, lawmakers came to an agreement to bring sports betting and Massachusetts sportsbook promos to The Bay State. It initially seemed as though legislation on sports wagering would be put off until 2023 when the Massachusetts House and Senate couldn’t agree on a handful of issues, the main one being college sports betting. Quite literally at the last minute, the two sides came together and approved a bill. 

Seeing as the legislation was agreed to in the wee hours of August 1, there’s no timeline for an expected launch. Even though the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has been preparing for this moment, multiple steps still need to be completed before the first legal bet can take place. Massachusetts sports fans can rest assured, however, they’ll be able to place wagers in the near future.

Kansas Sports Betting

Speaking of wanting to get sports betting launched in a hurry, the state of Kansas says hello. After being signed into law on May 12, 2022, commission members and government officials have been pushing for sports betting to be fully functional in time for the start of football season. While that early start may be out of reach, Kansans will be placing bets sooner than later. 

At full maturity, Kansas’ sports betting law allows for 12 online sportsbooks, four retail sportsbooks, and up to 200 betting kiosks to be placed at businesses and fraternal organizations.

Maine Sports Betting

Maine was the first state to legalize sports betting in 2022 at the beginning of May, just ahead of Kansas. Unlike Kansas, however, Maine is taking more of a tortoise approach as opposed to the hare. Milton Champion, executive director of the Maine Gambling Control Unit, said it could potentially take until January 2024 before sports betting is rolled out to the state.

Ohio Sports Betting

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed the state’s sports betting legislation into law in December 2021 and The Buckeye State’s official launch date is January 1, 2023. Ohio is unique in the sense that it will be rolling out online sports betting, retail sportsbooks, and betting kiosks on the same day. What makes this unique is the fact Ohio could have over 20 online sportsbooks go live in addition to several retail sportsbooks and possibly hundreds of betting kiosks. This is generally considered the largest launch in US sports betting history.

California Sports Betting

While not legal just yet, Californians will be voting on whether to bring sports betting to The Golden State and to what capacity. This November, California voters will have two ballot initiatives to decide on – Prop 26 and Prop 27. Both of these initiatives center around sports betting but are complete opposites. 

Prop 26 would allow in-person sports wagering only and be controlled mainly by the state’s tribal nations. This would also seek to outright ban DraftKings and FanDuel from the state. Prop 27, as you can guess, is backed by private sportsbook companies and seeks to bring online wagering to California.

Either way, all eyes will be on California this fall given the massive market size and implications it would have for sports betting revenue and sports wagering in general.

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