Eight States Could Take Up Sports Gambling Legislation This Year

But it may be a difficult row to hoe for the states.

Another National Football League playoff weekend is on the horizon and betting on NFL games is now commonplace in many states. The league itself encourages betting. It has partnerships with gambling businesses. One team, the Arizona Cardinals, will have an in-stadium sportsbook. Not every state has sports gambling but there is a possibility that some of the non-gambling states could have some form of gambling by the 2022 NFL season or in 2023. The candidates for sports betting are Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri and Vermont but there are some major obstacles to overcome in those states.

In Alabama, legislators have advanced a bill that will permit a state-run lottery and statewide mobile wagering. In Georgia, sports ownership groups including the Atlanta Falcons, the Atlanta Braves, the Atlanta Hawks and the Atlanta United along with voters want sports gambling but lawmakers have said no. Kansas politicians are trying to figure out if they can support a sports gambling bill. Kentucky Republicans are not on board with gambling. The Maine legislature supports gambling, the Governor Janet Mills doesn’t. In Massachusetts, the Republican Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and members of both parties in the Democrat-controlled General Court support sports betting. But no one can agree on various aspects of sports gambling and that has been a hang up for a couple of years. Missouri lawmakers have problems with video gaming terminals. Vermont lawmakers could move ahead with online sports gambling but nothing is certain at this point. Sports leagues protested when New Jersey planned to open a sportsbook after voters said yes to legalized sports gambling in November, 2011. There were lawsuits with lower courts siding with the sports leagues. In 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act that limited betting on college and professional sports.

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