States where sports betting may be ready in time for NFL season
SportsPulse: Supreme Court reporter Richard Wolf breaks down the SCOTUS ruling on sports betting in the United States, and what it could mean for the future of gambling in professional and college sports.
USA TODAY Sports
The Supreme Court made sports betting legal nationwide with Monday’s decision, although only a handful of states will allow you to place bets once the NFL season rolls around.
The 6-3 decision by the highest court sided with New Jersey – likely to be the first state to take advantage of the ruling – as it struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). PASPA, passed in 1992, had effectively kept Nevada as the only state to offer widespread, state-sanctioned sports betting.
But just because the Supreme Court ruled PASPA unconstitutional doesn’t mean you’ll be able to legally wager on professional and college sports just yet. Here’s a rundown of the states that could be among the first to offer sports wagering:
The state’s casinos and horse tracks were ready to offer sports betting within days of then-Gov. Chris Christie’s approved legislation in October 2014. A federal court halted that move, which led to the protracted legal fight with the major sports leagues and the NCAA that finally came to an end Monday.
It stands to reason it won’t take long for the state’s horse tracks and casinos in Atlantic City to ramp up.
“Today’s victory would not have been possible without the incredible bipartisan effort from so many in our state, particularly former Governor Christie and former State Senator [Raymond] Lesniak,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the legislature to enact a law authorizing and regulating sports betting in the very near future.”
Dennis Drazin, who leads the parent company that operates the Monmouth Park racetrack, told reporters Monday that his facility could, in theory, start offering betting in two weeks. But track and casino operators are likely to put such a move on hold as the state passes new legislation in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling.
Allows online wagering? Most likely. Bettors would need to visit the casino/racetrack to start an account and would only be able to wager within New Jersey.
Expected tax on wagering: 8-10%
Legislators in about 20 states put forward bills in anticipation of a PASPA repeal. West Virginia was one of the first to sign such legislation into law.
Gov. Jim Justice signed The West Virginia Lottery Sports Wagering Act in March, which clears the way to allow sports wagering at five racetracks/casinos. Like other proposed bills around the nation, companies who want to operate within West Virginia are subject to a vetting process, which includes background checks and fingerprinting for key personnel.
Justice pushed back on lobbying from sports leagues for a so-called integrity fee, which would have been about a 1% cut taken out of all sports bets before the state got its cut.
“I insisted from day one that no part of an integrity fee for sports betting would be paid by the state,” Justice said in a statement last week. “I demanded that the entire fee be paid by the casinos.”
Allows online wagering? Yes. The state will set rules on the approval and use of mobile/online wagering, which will include the need to be within the state’s borders.
Expected tax on wagering: 10%
A decade ago, Delaware led a fight – against many of the same organizations New Jersey did – to allow sports betting. The federal courts, however, thwarted that effort, although the state has allowed parlays on NFL games since 2009.
With PASPA’s repeal, Delaware Gov. John Carney said in a statement that “full-scale sports gaming could be available at Delaware’s casinos before the end of June.”
“In the coming days, the lottery office will consult with the Delaware Attorney General’s Office to more fully understand the details and impact of this decision on Delaware,” Carney said.
Allows online wagering? Not allowed under current law.
Expected tax on wagering: The state operates parlay wagering on a revenue-sharing model.
A law passed by Mississippi last year wasn’t touted as one that would allow sports betting by its title, but House Bill 967 appears to do just that with the Supreme Court decision.
Before that bill passed, all gambling had to be on games taking place inside casinos, like blackjack and slot machines. It was seen, at the time, as a means to enable daily fantasy play.
“It will be just another type of game offered in a legal casino operation,” Mississippi gaming commission director Allen Godfrey said.
The state’s casinos could have sports gaming ready to go “within 45 to 60 days, before football season,” Godfrey added.
Allows online wagering? Current law doesn’t allow it.
Expected tax on wagering: 8%
Contributing: Geoff Pender of The Clarion-Ledger, Scott Goss and Phil Freedman of The News Journal.
Follow Perez on Twitter @byajperez