States Struggling to Legalize Sports BettingPublished August 7, 2021 by Elana K
Many states have legalized sports betting, but some are struggling to get legislation approved. Texas, Missouri, Alabama, and Kentucky are four states that have been trying to legalize sports betting but haven’t been able to make it happen.
Many states have legalized sports betting since the repeal of PASPA in 2018, but some are struggling to get legislation approved. Texas, Missouri, Alabama, and Kentucky are four states that have been trying to legalize sports betting but haven’t been able to make it happen. Read on to find out why.
In early 2021, several Texas sports teams formed a coalition to pressure lawmakers to legalize sports betting. Gaming companies launched their own efforts at pressuring, but to no avail. Texas lawmakers, led by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, blocked multiple bills from passing.
The deadline for the legislation was May 31, and now Texans won’t get another chance until 2023.
Missouri has been trying to pass a sports betting bill since 2020, but three different versions that were proposed toward the end of the year were rejected. In early May 2021, lawmakers tried to push a bill through the Senate, but it didn’t make the cut. The bill included the legalization of sports betting and video lottery terminals, and the latter was an issue for many lawmakers.
Alabama is another traditionally conservative state, so while there have been several attempts at passing sports betting legislation in previous years, they didn’t gain enough support.
This year, the Senate Tourism Committee managed to push through an omnibus gambling expansion bill, which would legalize sports betting, online gambling, and a lottery. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough House votes for the bill to be called the floor. The bill will likely be re-evaluated during the 2022 session.
In 2020, it looked like sports betting legalization was only a matter of time in Kentucky, with a bill led by Rep. Adam Koenig clearing the House committee. But the GOP blocked the legislation from going through, despite the support of Gov. Andy Beshear. Due to the short 30-day session, the bill’s supporters were unable to push it through in time.
States that are staunchly conservative are having a hard time passing sports betting legislation, and even those that have many proponents sometimes can’t agree on the actual terms of the legislation. However, most states realize that legalizing sports betting can add a significant stream of revenue to the budget, which may make them more eager to push legislation through.