The past year included a massive expansion of legalized sports betting in the US.
Heading into 2021, 20 states and Washington, D.C., were legal US sports betting markets. Now, at the dawn of 2022, there are sportsbooks in 30 states and DC open for sports bets.
Beyond those newly operating markets, several more are on the horizon in 2022 — both just waiting to launch and those nearing legalization.
States that legalized sports betting in 2021
Most of the states that launched in 2021 just crossed the finish line. Others were able to get the nod of approval, at least temporarily, during the calendar year.
- New York sports betting was the biggest news in the year. While the state already had sports wagering at physical casinos, legislators passed a law to allow online betting. A launch is expected in early 2022.
- Wyoming sports betting and Arizona sports betting legislation were both introduced and passed during the spring. Regulators then pushed both markets through to launches in September 2021.
- Connecticut sports betting followed a similar path but launched in October 2021.
- Ohio sports betting legislation spent much of the year in a special committee before legislators came together to pass it in December. Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill just before Christmas.
- Lawmakers also passed legislation to allow Nebraska sportsbooks (physical locations only) and are awaiting launch.
Getting the work done
Voters in Louisiana, Maryland and South Dakota all approved sports betting at the ballot in November 2020. Legislators enacted the wishes of their voters in the spring of 2021.
Louisiana sports betting started with retail sportsbooks on Oct. 31, 2021, while mobile will likely launch in early 2022. Maryland sports betting began at several retail sportsbooks in December 2021, with online sports betting unlikely to start until late 2022.
Florida legalized, for a bit
In May 2021, lawmakers worked in a special session to pass Florida sports betting legislation as part of a new compact with the Seminole Tribe. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the compact later that month.
Despite several legal challenges, the Hard Rock sportsbook app run by the Seminole Tribe launched Nov. 1, 2021. The Hard Rock app eventually was pulled in early December as court rulings mounted against the Seminole Tribe.
While the Seminole Tribe appeals the rulings, FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook are working to secure signatures needed to put sports betting on the 2022 ballot.
States that launched sports betting
While Ohio regulators are cleared to work toward its launch now and Florida stakeholders work through a complicated situation, ten states did cross the finish line in 2021.
Online sports betting in Virginia and Michigan sportsbook apps launched in January 2021; Michigan already had retail sportsbooks. Additionally, retail sportsbooks opened at tribal casinos to offer North Carolina sports betting, Washington sports betting and Wisconsin sports betting.
Here’s the full list of markets launched sports betting in 2021:
- Michigan (online sports betting joined retail that launched in 2020)
- North Carolina
- South Dakota