Massachusetts has become the latest state to express its desire to legalise sports betting; hoping for an instant boost to the state's budget.
The floodgates have opened for sports betting in America, and many states are planning to take advantage of the recent law changes.
The latest name in the hat is the Bay State, Massachusetts. We look why this mad rush is happening, and give an update on the current country-wide sports betting landscape.
One by one, states across America are drawing up bills and legislation to fully legalise sports betting within their borders. Massachusetts has now filed three separate bills in the Senate in relation to this. To provide the bills full titles, they are an:
- Act creating a Special Commission on Sports Gaming
- Act to Regulate Sports Wagering
- Act Relative To Sports Wagering
Essentially, Massachusetts is going all-in from day one. Some states that have so far proposed their bills are doing so in stages by first legalising land-based sports betting venues with online (potentially) to follow at a later date.
The Bay State however, is gunning for complete legalisation across the board which will be pleasing to the thousands of bettors in this sports-mad part of the US.
The reason is why is simple: increased state revenue.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has estimated that legal online and retail sports betting could generate more than $400 in annual revenue. This figure would likely be higher than that in the first year due to application and licencing fees during that period.
Where is sports betting legal in the US?
When Massachusetts gets the green light for allowing sports betting, it will join:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
These are the states where sports betting is legal.
Even before Massachusetts, Arkansas will most likely be in the game. It has already approved an expansion bill for four counties. Also New York may consider reviving an old bill which has lay dormant for a several years.
Which US states are unlikely to legalise sports betting
A further 20 states including California, Maryland, Ohio and Washington DC are moving towards legalisation. There are a further 19 states which have yet to confirm any plans for or against, which one leaves 1 state in which it is highly unlikely to ever happen - Utah.
It has a tough stance on gambling which is written into its state's constitution. It does not even allow lottery tickets to be sold there, so a shift to legalise sports betting is remote - at best.
For most states, there is simply too much money on the table for them to ignore. It has a domino effect especially among neighbouring states as there is a potential for residents to simply cross borders and bet on sports.
Massachusetts definitely will not be the last state this year to come forward with a bill to legalise sports betting. Welcome to the game, America!Last update: 30-09-2019
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