Wisconsin is probably best known for Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packers, and as of 2021, the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks. It is not known for legal sports betting or gambling. But that might change soon.
Wisconsin sports betting finally became a possibility in July 2021 when the Oneida Nation signed a new tribal compact with Gov. Tony Evers. The compact received federal approval in August, meaning the Oneida Casino in Green Bay is preparing to offer retail betting on-site.
The amended tribal compact does mean sports betting is legal in Wisconsin, albeit in a limited fashion. There are several tribes that own and operate casinos in Wisconsin but only one has renegotiated their state compacts. There also is no plan for online sportsbooks in Wisconsin. But given the option to place a couple of legitimate bets on Aaron Rodgers’ MVP chances or the upcoming game against the hated Minnesota Vikings, the state has come a long way. Here’s what we know about betting on sports in Wisconsin.
Last updated: October 12, 2021
Delays related to ordering equipment have pushed back the expected launch of legal sports betting at Oneida Casino in Green Bay to mid-November.
Chad Fuss, the assistant CFO of gaming operation for the Oneida Nation, told NBC26.com that “”We anticipate having it in hopefully by next month and then we have some set-up time with it..”
Is sports betting legal in Wisconsin?
Yes, sports betting is legal in Wisconsin via an amended compact with the Oneida Nation. However, the tribe has not yet opened its retail sportsbook so there are no legal options as yet. The deal allows the tribe to offer on-site sports betting on land the tribe owns that contains at least one commercial building. For now, that means Oneida Casino in Green Bay, but this could lead to further expansion. The tribe operates five gambling facilities in Wisconsin. Online sports betting remains illegal in Wisconsin.
When will Wisconsin sports betting launch?
The Oneida Nation hopes to launch by mid-November to take advantage of football season, 2021. Oneida Casino is the “official casino” of the Packers, so NFL betting there could be huge. As for non-tribal sports betting, someone is going to have to actually file a bill, which has yet to happen in this politically diverse and complicated state. Wisconsin has swayed from conservative to liberal by the narrowest of margins, but neither side nor any political party has found the gumption to consider legalizing sports betting in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin’s path to legal sports betting legislation will remain a haul if there is to be non-tribal statewide mobile and online sports betting. The measures would require passage in the House and Senate in consecutive sessions, changing the state constitution, and a voter referendum. So, for now, it’s baby steps for the state.
Can you play daily fantasy sports contests in Wisconsin?
Yes, daily fantasy sports contests are available in Wisconsin. Major national outfits like the ubiquitous DraftKings and FanDuel operate in the state, albeit in a legal gray area. State Rep. Tyler Vorpagel has attempted on multiple occasions to craft bills to legalize and regulate DFS in Wisconsin, without success.
Who oversees Wisconsin sports betting?
For now, there is no state agency that oversees sports betting in WI. The Oneida Nation, as a sovereign tribe in Wisconsin, would oversee the sportsbook at its casino or casinos in cooperation with the Wisconsin Division of Gaming. If and when other tribes in the state renegotiate their tribal compacts, all sports betting on-site would be overseen by the individual tribes, too. However, online sportsbooks would likely fall under the jurisdiction of the DOG.
How old do I have to be to bet on sports in Wisconsin?
The legal gambling age in Wisconsin is 18, but that’s only for playing charitable games such as raffles or the state lottery. In Wisconsin tribal casinos, which, by law, are all located on tribal lands, the minimum gambling age is 21. So it’s safe to assume any sports betting fan will have to be at least 21 years old.
Where can I bet on sports in Wisconsin?
For now, the only known option available to residents and visitors to Wisconsin is the planned sports betting lounge at the Oneida Casino in Green Bay. Oneida Chairman Tehassi Hill said the tribe will open a sportsbook at its main casino first before pursuing options at its other gambling facilities. Unfortunately, there are no online sportsbooks in WI.
Wisconsin’s casino options are mostly on tribal land, so any further attempt to bring land-based sportsbooks to the state would likely involve a new compact with the 10 other tribes. It will be interesting to see who else moves forward with sports betting. For instance, the Ho-Chunk Nation is the state’s largest casino operator but there has been no word on whether it has approached the state for a new tribal compact to offer sports wagering.
In truth, Wisconsin is going to have to get on board at some point if it wants to be competitive. Several of its neighboring states have already legalized online sportsbooks in various forms including Iowa, Michigan, and Illinois. And its there where Wisconsin betting fans can find multiple legal options.
Wisconsin sportsbooks near me
Since Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan all have online sports betting, the easiest solution for those looking to place a bet is to drive across the border and bet on one of several legal sports betting apps in those states including DraftKings Sportsbook and BetMGM Sportsbook. If you visit Illinois to place a bet online, the state requires that you complete registration in-person at an Illinois casino. You can download the apps and make a deposit from Wisconsin. You just have to be physically located inside the legal state to place a bet.
Retail sportsbooks are harder to come by and will require a drive depending on where you are in Wisconsin, so if you’re up for a road trip, here is a list of nearby sportsbooks at casinos in Illinois:
- Caesars Sportsbook at Grand Victoria Casino (Elgin, IL)
- BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino (Des Plaines, IL)
- Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino (Joliet, IL)
How online sports betting in Wisconsin could work
Online sports betting tends to work the same in every state by virtue of state and federal laws. When it arrives in Wisconsin, it will function as it does in other states where it’s legal — as a fenced-in market. Geolocation will ensure Wisconsin online sports gambling will only work if you are within state borders. So the minute you leave Wisconsin, you would no longer be able to place bets. Depending on the type of legislation, there are two ways to activate an online account:
- In-person registration: Customers sign up at a physical location like a partner casino. This is how it’s done in Illinois and Nevada, for example.
- Remote registration: Customers download an app or use a computer to sign up anywhere in the state.
The preferred method and the one used by most states with legal sports betting is remote registration. We will have to wait and see which route Wisconsin goes if it moves to legalize online sportsbooks.
Registering for a WI sportsbook account and depositing money
You will need to provide some information to activate your account; this goes for in-person and remote registration. Various bits of personal information will be required in order to generate your new sports betting account. Be sure to have a username and password picked out, as well.
Information you may have to provide includes:
- Email address
- Date of birth
- Cell phone number
- Social Security number (or last four digits)
There may be an optional box for a bonus code somewhere in the registration area. If our link indicates that there is a code, make sure to enter it here. Once you sign up and have an active account, you will be able to transfer funds in and out of your account to place bets. Some operators might try to get you to do this immediately after registering, but don’t proceed until you are comfortable doing so. There are a variety of options for transferring and withdrawing money online. Some of the options to fund and withdraw from your account include:
- Credit or debit cards
- Online bank transfers
- Wire transfers
- Electronic checks
- Prepaid cards
- Electronic wallets
- Cash at the cage of a partner land-based casino
- Checks or money orders
Not all sportsbooks will have all of these options. Furthermore, the options at a particular site can change as it negotiates new deals with vendors.
Betting on Wisconsin sports teams
For the most part, even with just a single tribal compact in the works for sports betting, the major sports are going to be present at Wisconsin sportsbooks. You should be able to find some options for the following:
Once sports betting opens up for business in Wisconsin, customers will have a number of local teams to place wagers on, too, including:
- Milwaukee Brewers (MLB)
- Milwaukee Bucks (NBA)
- Green Bay Packers (NFL)
However, betting on Wisconsin college teams will not be available at Oneida Nation casinos. That means no betting on the University of Wisconsin and Marquette University. Depending on how lawmakers structure a bill for non-tribal sports betting, wagering on collegiate sports may or may not be available online either.
What bets are available at Wisconsin sportsbooks?
Odds are, traditional bets like single-game outcomes, parlays, and professional props will be available at WI sportsbooks. You can expect to find the following betting markets in Wisconsin:
- Moneylines — bet on a team or player to win.
- Spreads — bet against the difference in score as set by the sportsbook.
- Totals — bet on how many total points both sides will combine to score.
- Parlays — multiple bets combined as one, all of which need to be correct for the bet to win.
- Teasers — parlay bets for spreads or totals that allow you to shift the lines in your favor (altering the odds).
- Futures — bet on end-of-season events or outcomes.
- Live betting — bet on individual plays and outcomes as a game is taking place.
What’s next for Wisconsin sports betting?
Legal sports betting is a relatively new concept in the state. That is somewhat odd since there are tribal casinos, pari-mutuel wagering, and a lottery. As recently as June 2021, Gov. Evers approved a new Ho-Chunk Nation casino near Beloit.
Wisconsin’s history with sports betting, therefore, is short and sweet. Even after 2018 and the fall of PASPA, there were no serious moves to legalize sportsbook apps in Wisconsin. Sen. Vorpagel tried in 2019 and failed. Lawmakers did not attempt statewide Wisconsin sports betting legislation in 2020 or 2021, either. The surprise came in July 2021 with the Oneida Nation’s new tribal compact. Will another tribe renegotiate its compact with the state? Or will the state legislature finally make a concerted effort to bring sports betting to Wisconsin? The next step for the state remains to be seen.