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The States Most Likely to Legalize Sports Betting in 2022

Sports betting is a multi-billion-dollar business, and it’s only going to grow.

In four years since the Supreme Court allowed states to pass sports gambling legislation, there are now 33 states that have made sports betting legal in some form β€” 30 of which already have sports gambling live, and three more have the approvals needed but are working through the rollout.

The effort has proven to be a windfall for cash-strapped states looking to realize new revenues.

In 2021, sports gambling brought in a record $4.3 billion in revenue, according to the American Gaming Association.

In New York, where online sports betting launched on Jan. 8, the state realized roughly $48 million in new revenue and $24.6 million in taxes in only eight days.

Eight days.

While efforts in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma appear to have stalled out, several other states are poised to roll the dice on sports gambling legalization in the year to come.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at which states might be next, as well as a look at the states in which FanDuel Sportsbook is fully up and running.

Which States Could Legalize Sports Gambling in 2022?

California

The Golden State could soon get in on sports betting, as voters are expected to weigh in this November when at least two initiatives β€” and potentially more β€” are set to be on the ballot.

As the country’s most populous state, some experts say California could realize as much as $3 billion in annual revenue should residents be allowed to wager on sports. And the state, many believe, is considered to be key to opening the floodgates for sports gambling across the country.

β€œA lot of people basically think the rest of the country will legalize if California does,” said Oklahoma State University professor John Holden, who was featured in a March 30 story at Politico.

But getting sports betting on the books in CA may not be as simple as it seems, as several competing measures are expected to go before voters this fall.

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Kansas

A bill that would legalize mobile and retail sports betting in Kansas through the state’s four casinos is slowly making its way through the legislature and could get signed into law as early as this spring.

Lawmakers, however, must hash out the final details in the proposed legislation before it goes to the desk of Gov. Laura Kelly. At odds in this latest iteration is how much of a tax rate the state will set for online and retail sports gambling. A similar effort stalled in last year’s session, but lawmakers appear optimistic something could get done by the end of the session on May 20.

And, like many others in this situation, Kansas passing a bill to make sports betting legal could have major implications for nearby states like Missouri.

Maine

Online sports betting is all but a reality in Maine, as lawmakers passed a bill to legalize sports betting on April 19, one day before the legislative session was to conclude.

The bill, which is expected to be signed by Gov. Janet Mills, grants the state’s native tribes exclusive control over the online sports gambling market.

According to the language, each of the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac, and Maliseet tribes will be permitted to partner with one commercial sports betting provider β€” rules that could pave the way for four online sportsbooks in the state. The amended legislation would also grant mobile gaming licenses to Maine’s two casinos.

While rollout could take some time, Maine is well on its way to becoming the 34th state to legalize sports betting.

Massachusetts

Mass lawmakers have a few months to hash out the details of a sports betting bill, but it’s unclear just how close they will get before the session ends on July 21. On the surface, all parties involved β€” the Governor, House, and Senate β€” appear in support of bringing sports betting to the state. The details of how it is implemented, however, remain contentious.

As one of the last remaining New England states to legalize sports gambling, lawmakers are under pressure to do something β€” especially as it becomes clear that residents are simply crossing the border to place bets in nearby New Hampshire.

In fact, supporters of the effort estimate that Massachusetts residents easily could’ve placed $211 million in bets in New Hampshire last year β€” a huge amount of money Mass lawmakers want to keep in their own state.

Minnesota

Efforts to legalize sports betting for Minnesotans 21 years and over have gained momentum in recent months, but are currently stalled in a House legislative committee.

The bill as proposed would create two master licensing agreements for retail and online sports betting for the northern Ojibway tribes and the southern Dakota tribes.

According to the proposed legislation, which is still being reviewed by the House Ways and Means Committee, the state would receive a 10% tax on profits. A similar effort to legalize sports betting is expected to be heard in the Senate.

A supporter of the bill β€”state Rep. Zack Stephenson β€” said legalization could be a boon for the state, as the black market on sports betting in Minnesota currently rakes in an estimated $2 billion a year.

Missouri

Sports betting legislation is slowly winding its way through the legislature but may end up stuck in the Senate if nothing is done prior to lawmakers adjourning for the session on May 13.

While considered a “work in progress,” many changes are expected to the proposed legislation β€” especially as it pertains to just how much lawmakers will tax the effort.

The proposed betting bill would allow retail and mobile gaming, including retail sportsbooks at Missouri’s 13 casinos. And just like it is in Kansas, lawmakers are in a hurry to get things done before the other puts a law on the books.

North Carolina

North Carolinians can place bets the old-fashioned way — in person at a casino — but the state has still yet to embrace mobile gambling.

That could all change in 2022.

A bill to legalize sports gambling across the state is currently stalled but is expected to get more attention in the coming months when lawmakers come back into session. As written, the effort would allow betting on sports online, via mobile phone, and in-person at approved facilities in the immediate area of major sporting events.

The proposed legislation has already passed the Senate but needs support from the House before it becomes law.

In addition to widespread support in the legislature, a poll of North Carolina residents shows that a majority are in favor of such a proposal.

Where is Sports Betting Legal?

States in which online sports gambling is legal in full:
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Click here to view the full list of states in which online betting at FanDuel Sportsbook is legalized.

States in which online sports betting is legal but limited:
  • Louisiana: Legal in 55 out of 64 parishes
  • Montana: Online betting is on-premises only
States in which online sports gambling is legalized but not operational:
  • Florida
  • Maryland
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