Legalizing sports betting in the U.S. has been a long-term dream for sports enthusiasts. Currently, sports betting is illegal in most states, including New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland. These states are among the last to legalize the practice. But that’s changing rapidly. In California, a new bill is on the horizon, which may bring digital wagering to the state by 2024. The issue here is control, though lawmakers see sports betting as a $500 million revenue source a year.
Legalization of sports betting in the U.S.
A bill that would allow sports betting in New Jersey was vetoed by the governor on June 19, but a different piece of legislation is in the works in Maine. In New York, regulators are treating a 2013 constitutional amendment as legalizing sports betting and are working on new guidelines. In Pennsylvania, experts expect that it will take between six to twelve months before sports betting is allowed in the state. But it may be sooner if the state changes its existing legislation.
The prohibition of sports betting creates criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens, especially considering that many states still prohibit the practice. According to the Washington Post, 38 percent of adult Americans can answer the question “Is sports betting legal in my state?”
Legalization of sports betting in New Jersey
After a successful court battle, the legalization of sports betting in New Jersey has finally come to fruition. The state’s casino and horse racing industries have benefited, state tax revenues have risen, and sports betting has given New Yorkers a reason to cross the Hudson River. Daniel Wallach, the founder of Wallach Legal LLC, founded the first sports betting law firm in the country. This landmark case has opened the way for legal sports betting in all 50 states, including New York.
The Supreme Court is now weighing the constitutionality of New Jersey’s sports gambling law. A legal challenge against the state’s sports betting law was filed by the NCAA and four major sports leagues. The state of New Jersey, along with four other states and the federal government, had been hesitant to allow sports betting. The lawsuit centered on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Football League (NFL). The leagues and NCAA argued that state-sanctioned sports betting violates the anti-commandeering doctrine.
Legalization of sports betting in Virginia
The legalization of sports betting in Virginia is just around the corner. The first legal retail sportsbook is expected to open sometime in 2022. The state has no restrictions on professional sports, so you can bet on NFL and MLB games, as well as NHL and NBA games. Other international sports, including soccer, tennis, golf, and cricket, are available to wager on. However, the minimum age for sports betting is 21 years old.
The state has already had several instances where gambling has been illegal. Before the legalization of sports betting, Virginia did not have any gambling venues. However, after the state legalized online sports betting in 2014, it reopened its only thoroughbred horse racing track, which began offering bets in 2018. In addition, the bill also contained provisions for land-based casinos. This allows betting operators to attract more players. The Virginia state lottery is the state’s regulator of gambling.
Legalization of sports betting in Maryland
Earlier this year, the State of Maryland passed a bill to study the legality of sports betting. A voter referendum would be needed to approve the new legislation, which would give the state lottery and gaming control commission full control over the sports betting industry. Casinos and race tracks would apply for licenses to operate sports betting businesses. Maryland has been the only US state to prohibit sports betting, but the current legislation could change that.
Licensed operators are required to pay an initial application fee and license bond. The state also requires a 15% revenue tax on all sports bets. A retail sportsbook must pay an annual fee of between $50,000 and $2 million to obtain a license. Mobile sportsbooks must pay a separate license fee. This fee is expected to decrease as the licensing details are worked out. However, the fee structure may discourage newcomers.