Since the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, many states have legalized sports betting in the US. Nineteen states still have the opportunity to legalize sports betting in 2022 but not all of them will do so.
California will possibly have four ballot initiatives in the November 2022, so there is a good chance it will legalize sports betting. At present, the only initiative that is cleared is a tribal one to allow retail-only wagering at horse racetracks and tribal casinos. The other proposals that would allow for statewide mobile wagering are still in the signature-gathering or review stages.
There is definitely an appetite in many states to legalize mobile sports betting. For instance, Pennsylvania sports betting at Parx Casino has proved to be extremely popular, and the tax revenue the state is benefitting from is encouraging others to follow suit.
In Georgia, there is optimism that 2022 could be the year that sees the legalizing of statewide mobile wagering. There is time during the 2022 session to get an initiative on the ballot. Georgia seems to be moving towards the model operating in Virginia and Tennessee, where the lottery awards online operator licenses. It is going to be hard to persuade church-going voters in Georgia to approve the legalization of mobile wagering. However, there are also voters who have been enjoying at-home activities during the pandemic, including internet gambling.
Legal sports betting bill allowing for statewide mobile and retail wagering has been going through the legislative process since November 2021. It has already been approved by the Senate. Retail wagering at two tribal casinos was already legalized in 2020. The early talks indicate that the bill could limit the market to a small number of mobile-only licenses, and this would spark some serious competition.
In Massachusetts, there doesn’t appear to be anything standing in the way of legalizing sports betting except that legislators are unable to agree. Massachusetts is already surrounded by legalized gambling in states like New York and Connecticut. There is pressure to legalize as residents increasingly cross state lines to enjoy activities like sports betting. Massachusetts has a thriving gaming industry already and is home to DraftKings, one of the giant sports betting brands.
Six states with potential
Kansas, Alabama, Minnesota, Maine, Oklahoma, and Missouri have the potential to legalize in 2022 but it could go either way. Lawmakers can’t seem to agree on what they want. They see how they’re losing revenue to other states but some of them are staunchly opposed due to concerns about problem gambling. A number of these states have been flirting with legalizing sports betting for a while and in Missouri, the state’s pro teams filed nine proposals to legalize sports betting. One of the proposals could end up before voters.
States that won’t legalize it in 2022
Utah is a state that is unlikely to ever legalize wagering. Neither Texas nor North Dakota has proposed ballot initiatives and their legislators are not in session in 2022.