In fact, the Eilers & Krejcik Gaming report suggests as many as 18 states could introduce bills to regulate sports betting this year. All in anticipation of New Jersey finding success in its Supreme Court challenge of the federal law that makes sports betting illegal in almost every state outside of Nevada.
Plus, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming is predicting up to 11 states are favorites to go as far as passing legislation that would legalize sports betting inside state lines if New Jersey wins or Congress repeals the federal sports betting ban.
The largest expansion of regulated gambling in U.S. history
“Assuming a Supreme Court decision or action by Congress permits it, we could see the largest simultaneous expansion of regulated gambling in U.S. history with sports betting in 2018.”
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is the federal law that makes sports betting illegal everywhere except Nevada. Limited parlay sports betting in Delaware and Game Square wagering in Montana are also exempt. The law came into effect on Oct. 28, 1992 after giving states the opportunity to legalize forms of sports betting in advance.
New Jersey Vs. NCAA
New Jersey stood pat at the time. However, in 2011, the state of passed a bill legalizing sports betting at racetracks and casinos. Major sports leagues in the US, including the NCAA, filed a lawsuit to stop it.
The law was struck down in the courts, upholding PASPA. However, after a series of failed appeals, New Jersey tried again in 2014. The leagues filed suit and the law was struck down again.
The state’s subsequent appeals were denied. However, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed in June 2017 to hear its case against PASPA. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case in December. A decision is expected by June 2018.
Additionally, Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) has introduced legislation to Congress that would repeal PASPA. Plus, Representative Dina Titus (D-NV) has asked Congress to hold a hearing on the issue.
The future of sports betting legislation
As a result, several states are now actively positioning themselves for a future that increasingly appears like it will include the right to legalize sports betting.
In fact, Indiana and Kentucky have already introduced sports betting bills. Plus, Pennsylvania and Connecticut have already passed bills. Delaware is claiming its gambling legislation already includes a provision for sports betting. Plus, Mississippi’s fantasy sports bill may do the same.
According to the Eilers & Krejcik Gaming report, the other states likely to introduce a sports betting bill this year include:
- Rhode Island
- New York
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
- South Carolina
Additionally, The Eilers & Krejcik Gaming report also listed states not likely to introduce or pass sports betting bills this year. That list includes: