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States where sports betting will be legalized soon

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December 7, 2023
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States where sports betting will be legalized soon

The commercial gaming industry in America has reached new heights thanks to the adolescent sports betting market. In 2018, the Supreme Court authorized states outside of Nevada to offer sanctioned sports wagering, opening a new revenue stream for state and local governments. Since then, Americans across the country have wagered over $220 billion on sports, according to the American Gaming Association. The popularity of sports betting in the U.S. is apparent but not every prospective bettor has access to sportsbooks that offer legal wagering.

As of November 2023, 38 U.S. states plus Washington D.C. have legalized some form of sports betting, whether online or retail. Each market across the country has undergone its own licensing and approval process to allow gambling operators to reap the benefits of a sports betting market that is projected to generate more than $10 billion in revenue annually by 2028, per Statista.

The road to offering sports betting for U.S. states is an arduous process but lawmakers have displayed a willingness to embrace the industry despite moral and ethical concerns. mapped sports betting legislation across the country using data from the American Gaming Association. Data is as of November 2023.

The U.S. sports betting industry is continuing to grow as Maine, Florida, and Vermont prepare to offer sports wagering in their respective states. These states are poised to take notes from other states that have recently introduced sports betting, which include Massachusetts, Ohio, and Kentucky.

While numerous states also offer some form of sports betting, specifically through tribal legalization, not all are fully up and running for online betting yet. For example, North Carolina is among the states where sports betting is considered "legal" and had a bill passed to allow online sports betting, but the online betting aspect won't be fully operational until the early stages of 2024.

A heat map depicting sports betting legislation status across the country.
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Vermont is the only state with pending operational status for all sports betting. Maine and Florida rolled out online wagering in November.

Sports betting is making a mark on the U.S. economy with three states waiting to take advantage of the industry, but two of these states just rolled out online betting in November.

Maine, a state with a population of nearly 1.4 million, legalized both online and retail wagers following the signing of LD 585 into law by Gov. Janet Mills in May 2022. The bill allows both online and retail sports betting through the state's tribes. Maine began accepting online wagers through DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbook on Nov. 3, 2023, while the launch date for retail sports betting is still to be determined.

Sports fans in Vermont won't have to wait long to take advantage of the industry. In June 2023, Gov. Phil Scott signed H.127—a bill that authorizes up to six sports betting operators. The legislation requires wagering to be regulated by Vermont's Department of Liquor and Lottery. Vermont is expected to go live with wagering by January 2024.

Meanwhile, Florida is readopting sports betting following a nearly two-year hiatus. The Sunshine State began accepting online wagers on Nov. 7, 2023, amid Hard Rock Bet's relaunch while wagering at brick-and-mortar sportsbooks will be permitted on Dec. 7 this year at three Seminole-owned casinos. The tribe was granted the right to offer sports wagering under a compact signed in 2021.

North Carolina will introduce online sports betting in early 2024 following the June 2023 passage of legislation that allows betting within the state.

Story editing by Jeffrey Smith. Copy editing by Tim Bruns.

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