Sports betting in Wisconsin is not legal, and there haven’t been any attempts to legalize since PASPA ended in 2018.
Wisconsin does not have commercial gambling but does have 27 gaming locations operated by 11 Native American tribes.
It also has a state lottery, so there are a few options to legalize Wisconsin sports betting if the discussion ever arises.
When will online sports betting launch in Wisconsin?
Considering there have been no bills submitted to legalize sports betting, it’s impossible to say when legal online sports betting could launch in Wisconsin. It does not appear likely in the near future.
Recent Wisconsin sports betting and DFS stories
None at this time
Legal betting options in Wisconsin
There are currently no legal betting options in the state of Wisconsin.
Iowa currently requires signing up in person at one of their casinos to open an online betting account. Illinois will operate the same way when it launches online betting later in 2020.
Offshores operate illegally
There are, however, operators that say it is legal to bet on their sportsbook websites and apps from within Wisconsin or anywhere else in the United States. These are offshore sportsbook operators that do not have a license to run a legal gambling business in the US.
There are no federally-licensed gambling businesses in the United States, so any legal operator in Wisconsin would have to be licensed by the state’s gaming regulator.
Gambling with these offshore sportsbooks can have some unfortunate consequences, as consumers have no protection with these operators. That means an operator could decide to not pay out a winning bet or could close their site without returning customer funds.
Most popular sports to bet on in Wisconsin
Wisconsin, like many other states, is a football state.
NFL betting in Wisconsin
Consider this: the NFL‘s Green Bay Packers are the only publicly-owned major league sports team in the United States. The Packers are owned by more than 350,000 fans instead of one owner or a handful of partners, which is the typical setup.
So there’s no doubt an appetite to support the Packers in multiple ways, including at the betting window. One interesting caveat would be whether those stock owners would legally be allowed to bet on the Packers.
NCAA betting in Wisconsin
There’s also the University of Wisconsin-Madison football team. The Badgers compete in the Big 10 Conference and typically find themselves in a big-name bowl game at the end of the season. The 2019 season ended with a one-point loss to Oregon in the Rose Bowl.
NBA betting in Wisconsin
The Packers aren’t the only major league team that would be supported by local bettors, however. The NBA‘s Milwaukee Bucks will be in the running for an NBA Championship for as long as Giannis Antetokounmpo decides to remain with the team.
MLB betting in Wisconsin
The MLB‘s Milwaukee Brewers also had consecutive postseason appearances in 2018 and 2019. Outfielder Christian Yelich is a former National League MVP.
Wisconsin and Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily fantasy sports are not illegal in Wisconsin, though they aren’t on the books as legal, either. This is how many states operate concerning DFS contests, however.
The legality of DFS contests in Wisconsin isn’t for a lack of trying, however. Rep. Tyler Vorpagel has written a few bills to legalize and regulate DFS in the state, though none have passed.
Is horse racing legal in Wisconsin?
Horse racing is legal in Wisconsin.
Harness racing takes place at multiple spots throughout the state, mostly at county fairs throughout Wisconsin. There are no tracks open permanently in the state.
Betting on horse racing is also legal in the state, with some of the state’s tribal casinos offering racebooks.
Wisconsin sports betting timeline
2020: There was no attempt to legalize sports betting in 2020.
2019: There was no attempt to legalize sports betting in 2019, though Rep. Vorpagel told local news outlet NBC 26 he intended to start conversations about legalizing sports betting in the state.
“People are doing it, and I think it’s just better for us if we make sure that they’re doing it in as safe and responsible manner as possible,” he said.
Wisconsin sports betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Wisconsin?
No, sports betting is not currently legal in Wisconsin. There is no estimate as to when it might be legalized going forward.
Where can I bet on sports in Wisconsin?
There are currently no legal betting options in Wisconsin. The closest legal betting options reside in Wisconsin’s border states, Iowa and Illinois.
Can I bet on sports on my phone in Wisconsin?
Since sports betting is not legal in Wisconsin, you cannot legally bet on your phone in the state. There are nearby options for legal phone betting for Wisconsin in Iowa and eventually Illinois.
There are some sportsbook websites and apps that suggest they can take bets from within the state of Wisconsin. These are not legally-licensed operators in the United States, however.
All websites that involve real-money gambling are licensed at the state or jurisdictional level in the United States. That means there are no legal options that include taking bets from anywhere in the US.
Gambling on these websites include risks that bettors wouldn’t encounter with legally-licensed websites. Since these websites are taking bets illegally, there is no consumer protection for anyone that bets with these operations.
That means should a sportsbook operator choose not to pay out a winning bet or close their website without returning customer funds, the bettor has no legal options to reclaim that cash.