Sports Betting Legalization in the U.S.

Legal sports betting has become a hot issue across the U.S. Over the past decade, states have passed laws to allow residents to place wagers on sports events. Several have done so successfully, with New Jersey and Nevada leading the way. And now, in 2023, more states are on the verge of launching regulated sports betting markets.

Sports betting popularity on the rise

Sports betting has exploded in popularity over the last decade, with the number of states with legalized sportsbooks growing by leaps and bounds. It is estimated that a total of 30 regulated sportsbooks operate in the U.S. These are all located in the thirties, with a handful of other states also working on sports betting bills.

States legalizing sports betting

There is no clear path to sports betting legalization in every state, but some have made it possible for residents to bet on their favorite teams and athletes. These include Delaware, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, and Michigan.

Delaware - Paving the way

Delaware was one of the first states to offer single-game wagering in 2018. It went live in June 2018 and expanded its offerings later in the year. It now permits wagers on a variety of sports, including college games and e-sports.

Indiana - Dominating the market

In Indiana, sports betting started in October 2019, allowing bettors to wager online and via mobile devices. It has now taken over $7 billion in bets. It's dominated by large operators like FanDuel and DraftKings, which have both been in the business for years. Indiana's monopoly of the sports betting market has put it in a great position to compete with other states, as it has an ample supply of land-based casinos and a good supply of gambling machines, including video lottery terminals (VLTs). Its market is expected to continue growing, and now it has the largest percentage of regulated sportsbooks by revenue in the country.

Iowa - Steady growth

Iowa launched its sportsbook in August of 2019 and has grown steadily since. It's already home to 13 online sportsbooks, and it has the potential for more. Its biggest competitors are DraftKings and FanDuel, which both have operations in the state.

Montana - Embracing change

Montana has a long history of anti-gambling policy, but the state's legislature recently authorized a new bill that would allow for sports wagering. Its move comes in response to a court ruling that said that the federal government's ban on single-game sports betting was unconstitutional. The law gives the state's four native tribes the ability to partner with commercial companies and offer online sports betting. It sets up for a minimum of three mobile sportsbooks and a maximum of four.

Massachusetts and Vermont

Massachusetts and Vermont are the only states in the New England region without legalized sports betting, though both of them may soon be able to offer it. The legislature approved a bill in April that would allow the state's four native tribes to partner with commercial operators to offer online sports betting, and the state's two casinos -- Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway in Lincoln and Oxford Casino Hotel in Burlington -- can apply for licenses as well.

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