Which will be the next US state to permit sports betting?

September 9, 2022 Pen highlighting text in a book

Across the USA this past weekend, the NFL season kicked off with more states than ever allowing their residents to bet on the games. More than thirty states currently have legalized sports betting, with Kansas the latest name to fully permit betting. Both Massachusetts and Maryland are expected to launch sports betting in the aftermath of bills passing through their legislature, and there are now just 16 states in the union that haven’t legalized it in any form. It’s widely expected that there will be more states that take the plunge before 2023’s season kicks off, but which are the most likely states to do so?

We can realistically write two states off the potential list, as Utah has firm laws against betting and no substantial movements to change that status, while Hawaii does not permit betting in any form other than informal card games. Of the remaining states, which ones are some way down the road, and which are likely to make renewed moves to permit sportsbooks to operate in their state? The following list enumerates a few states which could be the next to open up sports betting to their residents.

Florida

The Sunshine State has actually passed a sports betting bill, but cannot proceed with ratifying the legislation and operating sportsbook platforms until agreement is reached with the Seminole nation. This step is likely to come to pass, but not before 2023, and not at any time during the NFL regular season or postseason. Records show that states with a number of pro sports teams tend to see higher revenues from sports betting taxes, which would be good news for Florida, which has three NFL teams as well as two each in the NBA, NHL, MLS and MLB. Don’t be surprised if it’s up and running this time next year, ready for another NFL season.

California

The huge market for sports in California is one of the largest potential markets for betting that currently doesn’t permit it. That could change in November as competing sports betting bills go to the public vote. Should Proposition 27 pass, then major sportsbooks would have access to a market that contains three NFL teams right now, along with four in the NBA, five in the MLB, four in the NHL and two MLS clubs. The votes are pretty touch and go at the moment, but if sports betting passes in California then it is understood that this could be the domino that pushes over a lot of the states that currently are either on the fence or against it.

Missouri

A sports betting bill with broad support has been presented to the Missouri legislature before, but never got as far as the vote. It is now deemed to be a work in progress, as lawmakers look to eliminate elements that could prevent its passage, specifically as it pertains to taxation of proceeds. The effort is likely to be redoubled if, as expected, the recent launch of betting in neighbouring Kansas is successful. Despite the name, Kansas City – home to the Chiefs in the NFL, Royals in baseball and Sporting Kansas City of the MLS – is located in Missouri, and bettors there won’t appreciate being cut out of the picture. Nor, for that matter, will the state Treasury.

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