The popularity of sports betting in online gambling has grown in recent years due to a Supreme Court ruling that paved the way for individual states to legalize it. Even though over half of all states have legalized sports betting, it is still illegal in many regions of the country. From 2018 till now, around 30 states have legalized sports betting, with 21 allowing online betting.
It’s difficult to predict whether 2023 will be the year for the legalization of online poker and sports betting in the US, as the legality of these activities varies by state and is subject to change. Currently, online poker and sports betting are legal in a limited number of states, with more states considering legalizing or regulating these activities.
As of 2023, only a small number of states have permitted and managed online poker: Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan. If more states pass legislation to legalize or regulate online poker and sports betting, 2023 could be a year of significant progress in this area.
In 2022, sports betting was legalized in Kansas, Maine, and Massachusetts. This means that there are still 16 states in the US without legal sports wagering options. These 16 states include large populations attracting the attention of sports betting operators, such as California, Florida, and Texas. Recently, a State representative of Texas, Charlie Geren, has filed for the legalization of gambling in Texas. Since the state’s constitution does not allow sports gambling, Geren has filed a resolution to amend the constitution, preventing the state from losing huge amounts of money to betting giants. Although legal sports betting in Texas and other such states are not expected to happen soon, it may make progress in 2023. Additionally, some other jurisdictions are likely to legalize sports betting this year.
States Most Likely to Legalise Sports Wagering in 2023
A bill was introduced in the 2023 legislative session to legalize online sports betting and daily fantasy in Kentucky. The state is surrounded by states that already allow sports betting, including Missouri, which is considering similar measures. Public opinion in Kentucky supports the legalization of sports betting by a two-to-one margin, and about half of the eligible population has already placed bets on sporting events.
Governor Andy Beshear has also expressed support for legalization, but the Kentucky General Assembly has been reluctant to expand gambling in the state. However, the continuing outflow of Kentuckians going to other states to place bets may eventually sway lawmakers to change their stance on the issue.
Optimism surrounding the legalization of sports betting in Missouri was rampant heading into 2022, but those aspirations were dashed with the return of Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs). Now a third bill has been filed for consideration during the 2023 legislative session that could potentially bring legal sportsbooks to Missouri. Whether or not this dream becomes a reality will ultimately depend on negotiators being able to reach an agreement between VLT proponents and supporters of legalized sports betting.
Minnesota has the best prospects for passing sports betting legislation. In 2022, the House approved a sports betting bill, but most senators voted against it. However, last year’s election saw the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party gain control of the Senate, which are much more supportive of sports gambling. Representative Jeremy Miller has already claimed “Minnesota is falling behind” as he continues to try and push a bill through.
Apart from these states, Georgia, Massachusetts, Kentucky, and South Carolina are also in the race to make sports wagering legal this year.
Last States to Legalize Online Poker and Online casinos
However, while there has been a lot of movement in regard to sports betting across the US, there has been a stark contrast in the number of states to have legalized online poker and online casinos.
Michigan is the latest State to have fully embraced online casinos and poker. Poker was made legal around the same time as Michigan online casinos were back in 2019. Since then, a number of operators have since acquired licenses and are now able to offer residents and visitors to the state the ability to enjoy a safe wagering experience. Indeed, there has been evidence that the move to do so has benefited the state economically, as almost $2 billion was generated in revenues in 2022; a number that is likely to grow.
However, it does not appear as though there are many moving on the figures being generated at the moment, as Michigan was the last state to have legalized iGaming and online poker.
It could be argued that New Jersey was the driving force behind the shift in legalized online gambling and the industry in the US. Of course, Nevada had always been considered the home for this activity, but following the Garden State’s victory in 2018 in front of the Supreme Court, it has opened up opportunities for everyone else. Since going legal, NJ has recently managed to match and create a new joint record of $5.21 billion in terms of revenue in 2022, thus highlighting it is still going as strong as ever.
Following in the footsteps of NJ, Pennsylvania was another of the early adopters when it came down to legalizing online casinos and online poker in the US. Again, it is also another state that has been able to benefit by doing so, as there have been a number of strong revenue performances. Indeed, PA was another state that managed to have another record year in 2022, with almost half-a-billion more being generated.
Future of Sports Betting and Online Poker in the US
In the United States, sports betting has become widely available across the country, whereas, in the past, only Nevada offered legal sports betting. This shift was a result of a Supreme Court ruling in 2018. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts that the online sports betting market will generate up to $39 billion in yearly revenue by 2033, compared to the current less than $1 billion. The rapid growth of digital betting is a major contributor to this surge, which received a significant boost during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns due to increased online activities.
As each state in the US can establish its sports wagering laws and regulations, the sports betting experience can vary greatly from one state to another. For instance, one state may only permit in-person betting on sports, while another state may provide online sports betting. This creates challenges for lawmakers who try to legalize sports betting in certain states. Despite the difficulties, the growing popularity of sports gambling and online poker games has prompted many states to legalize it to bring in significant revenue.
2023 Could See Significant Progress
2023 could be a year of significant progress for legalizing online poker and sports betting in the US. Only six states have legalized and regulated online poker, with around 30 states allowing legal sports betting, including online betting in 21 states. Several states are considering legalizing or regulating online poker and sports betting. The success of 2023 in this area will depend on the outcome of ongoing legislative discussions and compromises.