Football season is gambling season. The handle on professional and college football is far more than any other sport, so it’s perfect timing that some states are getting around to regulating sports betting. By the time the NFL season kicks off, four states including Nevada will be able to accept sports bets. Another three states have legalized sports betting, but are still working on the distribution and regulation before bettors are able to place wagers.
Federal Law Overturned
The changes outside of Nevada stem from a Supreme Court decision in May declaring a ban on sports betting outside of Nevada unconstitutional. The bill opened the door for states to make their own laws regarding sports betting, and some were more prepared than others for the opportunity. Within months, New Jersey and Delaware launched physical sportbooks. Other states are lagging behind, with some states not even discussing their plans for sports betting until 2019.
States Where Sports Betting is Legal
Delaware was the first state to launch sports betting after the Supreme Court ruling, going live in June. There are three physical sportsbooks in Delaware, which already had parlay wagering on sports before the ruling.
New Jersey launched just weeks later, with Monmouth Park becoming the first sportsbook to open for business. Resorts Atlantic City followed soon after, partnering up with DraftKings for the company’s first official sportsbook. Other Atlantic City casinos that have opened sportsbooks include Borgata, Ocean Resort, Hard Rock, Golden Nugget Bally’s and Harrah’s.
Right next to MetLife Stadium, The FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack opened in July.
Unlike other states, New Jersey is quickly getting into mobile gaming. DraftKings was the first to market, launching their standalone sportsbook app in late July. The app is only available to users within New Jersey.
In August, MGM Live, the sportsbook at Borgata, launched their mobile app. They were joined soon after by SugarHouse Sportsbook, making it three total sportsbook apps for New Jersey residents.
Mississippi became the fourth state to fully legalize and operate sportsbooks, launching on August 1st. Unlike the other states, Mississippi is the only state that allows betting on in-state college football. That means bettors in Mississippi can bet on Ole Miss and Mississippi State without having to cross borders. The first casinos to begin taking bets were Beau Rivage in Biloxi and Sportsbooks at Gold Strike Casino in Tunica.
That’s in addition to Nevada, still home to by far the highest volume of legal sports betting in the country.
States Where Sports Betting Is Legalized But Not Yet Available
Currently, there are three states that have legalized sports betting but have not formally launched. West Virginia approved licenses at all five casinos, with launch planned for September. Pennsylvania is still working out the applications for it’s 12 casinos, but the full-state launch, including mobile betting, is scheduled for October. Rhode Island has also approved sports betting at two casinos, but wagering isn’t expected to be available until late 2018.
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