Since the Supreme Court struck down PASPA in May of this year, many states are moving full-steam ahead to draft sports betting legislation. Some states, like West Virginia, already had legislation in place, which made it easy to push the legislation through. Others, like Missouri, had been discussing the issue but didn’t start moving until the Supreme Court rendered its decision. Now that the sports betting ban has been lifted, for many states it’s simply a matter of ironing out the details before being able to pass legislation.
Last year, Missouri Rep. Dean Plocher sponsored sports betting legislation, but it lacked the momentum to move forward. Since the Supreme Court decision, Plocher reports that there is much more support, and multiple bills have been drafted for legal sports betting. Senator Sen. Denny Hoskins, who also supports sports betting legislation, estimates that the industry could generate anywhere between $18 and $40 million a year.
Kansas is another state considering taking the plunge into sports betting. Democratic Gov.-elect Laura Kelly has expressed support for the endeavor, and a special committee for sports betting legislation is already up and running. Committee chair, Sen. Bud Estes, is urging all Kansas lawmakers to become informed about the issue so they can make an educated decision. Key issues include deciding on a fair tax rate, preventing fraud, and exactly where and how to place bets.
Michigan Rep. Brandt Iden, now elected to his third term in the House of Representatives, has been a long-time supporter of gambling expansion, including legalizing online gambling and sports betting. He’s currently pushing for “integrity fees” to be included in a potential sports betting bill, which are fees that operators need to pay to leagues whose game are bet on. None of the other states that have legalized sports betting include these fees, so his is an uphill battle. But it’s just one issue among many that needs to be settled before any gambling expansion bill can be passed.
More States on the Way
Missouri, Kansas, and Michigan are just some of the states that are interested in legalizing sports betting. Colorado, Indiana, California, South Dakota, and more are also considering the prospect. And given that it’s an extremely lucrative prospect, it seems only a matter of time before the majority of U.S. states offer some legal form of it.