In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in May  striking down a federal prohibition of sports betting, several states have moved forward with legislation and administrative rules.  Other than Nevada, there are currently three states (Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi) that have legalized sports betting and progressed to allow their casinos to accept sports bets. 

Delaware was the first state to offer legalized sports wagering, with three casinos (Dover Downs, Delaware Park and Harrington Raceway & Casino) accepting wagers starting on June 5, 2018.  Governor John Carney placed the ceremonial first bet.  New Jersey was second out of the gate, with Monmouth Park offering sports wagering on June 15, 2018.  Again, Governor Phil Murphy placed the ceremonial first bet.  Borgata quickly followed, with Ocean Resort, Meadowlands, Bally’s and Harrah’s all accepting sports wagers by the end of July.  In the south, Mississippi launched its sports betting on August 1, 2018 after administrative rules were approved by the Mississippi Gaming Commission. Beau Rivage became the first casino to offer sports wagering in Mississippi, although there are reportedly 13 other casinos that applied and will presumably be offering sports betting shortly.  In addition, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians passed an ordinance in late May to allow sports betting, although as of early August the ordinance had not been submitted to the NIGC for approval.

In addition to the states already offering sports wagering, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia have also approved sports wagering, although no casinos have obtained regulatory approval to offer sports bets quite yet.  The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved regulations at its meeting August 15th. No Pennsylvania casino has applied for a license however, so sports betting won’t be ready by the start of football season. Rhode Island is targeting October as its launch date, with Twin Rivers casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton being the only commercial casinos offering single-game sports wagering.  The Rhode Island Lottery will oversee the sports betting.  West Virginia will also utilize its Lottery to regulate sports betting.  West Virginia recently announced that Hollywood Casino became the first casino to be licensed and they hope to open by September 1.  West Virginia also awarded Fanduel a license in partnership with Greenbrier hotel and resort.

Many other states such as Michigan, Illinois and Massachusetts have sports wagering bills pending in their legislatures, but have not passed them.  Other states such as Indiana, New York, and Connecticut reportedly have interest, but would either have to convene special legislative sessions or wait until 2019 to introduce legislation.

 

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