Is 2018 The Year 18 States Embrace Legal Sports Betting?

Written By Martin Derbyshire on January 10, 2018Last Updated on July 6, 2022
number 18 in glitter glue

[toc]Sports betting legislation could sweep the nation in 2018, according to a report from gambling legislation tracker Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.

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

Eilers & Krejcik Gaming managing director Chris Grove told the New York Times this week all signs point to 2018 being a big year for sports betting and regulated gambling in the U.S.:

“Assuming a Supreme Court decision or action by Congress permi
ts 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:

Additionally, The Eilers & Krejcik Gaming report also listed states not likely to introduce or pass sports betting bills this year. That list includes:

  • Tennessee sports betting
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Texas
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming
  • Utah
  • Idaho
  • Alaska
  • Hawaii

[show-table name=cta-golden-nugget]

Martin Derbyshire Avatar
Written by

Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

View all posts by Martin Derbyshire