One Year After PASPA Repeal, Sports Betting Legislation Appears In More Than 75% Of US

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The decade-long legal challenge to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was a one-state fight, but other states stood ready to enter US sports betting when the Supreme Court accepted the case.

It turns out New Jersey was far from the only state interested in undoing Nevada‘s monopoly on legal and regulated sports betting in the United States.

It was a bit of a delayed reaction, as most states already adjourned their legislative sessions for the year by the time May 14, 2018 arrived. The decision opened up the floodgates for sports betting legislation.

Over the past year, 38 states representing nearly 90 percent of the US adult population have introduced more than 150 bills on the topic. Sports betting is arguably the most-talked about policy issue in state capitols across the country.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights, key issues and the evolution of sports betting from the legislative front since the PASPA decision.

States move quickly on sports betting legislation

Online gambling in general has been a slow burn in state legislatures, with some states having considered the issue for a decade without movement.

The green light from the Supreme Court sparked immediate action from legislatures on legal sports betting. Some states even started early.

Delaware, Pennsylvania and Mississippi had passed legislation to legalize sports betting in previous years, and West Virginia anticipated the legal decision by passing a bill before it adjourned in March 2018.

New Jersey and Rhode Island passed new sports betting bills a month after the ruling. The year ended with seven states joining Nevada in allowing sports betting, not including Arkansas voters giving their approval at the ballot.

So far in 2019, Indiana, Iowa, Montana and Tennessee have passed sports betting legislation.

States on the cusp of legalization

Four states legalizing sports betting might not seem like a great ratio in comparison to the number of states that have considered the issue this year.

That’s a little misleading, as many other states have made significant progress toward authorizing sports betting in 2019.

Lawmakers tend to wait until the end of their legislative sessions to pass bills, and these states are primed to join the fab four in the next month:

Other states with a decent shot at passing sports betting legislation this year include New York, Michigan and Illinois.

One full legislative session following the Supreme Court decision, the number of states allowing single-game sports wagering could increase by 15.

Key policy issues since PASPA overturned

A year after PASPA, states have gone in a number of different directions with sports wagering legislation. No two states look the same, which is consistent with the fractured way states approach gambling in general.

Here’s a look at how some of the key policy issues played out over the past year:

Evolution of sports betting legislation

Here’s a look at some of the emerging and changing perspectives toward sports betting in state legislatures one year after PASPA’s demise: