Prospects for Legal Sports Betting in Play for More than 30 States in 2018

Report: Up to 30 States Could Be in Play for Legal Sports Betting in 2018

January 14th, 2018 by Jon Sofen

Late in 2017, Pennsylvania passed a law that gave its land-based casinos the right to offer online gambling within state borders. Poker sites and internet casino operations are expected to launch in 2018. But also included in that new law is a provision for licensed and regulated sports betting, should this favorite American pastime become legal at the federal level.

Las Vegas Race and Sports Book at the Mirage

Several states believe the odds of the US Supreme Court lifting a federal ban on sports betting across the country in 2018 are good. (Image:

Many experts believe this is the year that will see major changes in sports betting. Gambling legislation tracking firm Eilers & Krejcik released a new report last week that predicts 18 states will float bills to legalize sports betting in 2018.

And that’s just a minimum, report authors said, citing as many as 30 states where such measures seem possible.

The report also identified 11 states where legislation was likely to pass this year.

That doesn’t mean, however, that sports books across the country will be ready to take action on 2018’s March Madness. All of these pending sports betting bills are contingent on either a Supreme Court decision or future federal legislation.

Waiting on SCOTUS

Nevada has long been the only state with legal sportsbook in the US, but 11 other states may pass legislation 2018, with many additional states to introduce a bill, according to a report.

Along with Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana are the only other states exempt from the federal sports betting ban. But the latter three states have never licensed operators to accept wagers.

New Jersey’s soon-to-be ex-governor Chris Christie (his term ends Jan. 16) opened a can of worms when he pushed for the federal government to lift the ban on nationwide sports betting, allowing individual states to make their own decision on the issue.

Thanks to Christie’s fight to allow folks all across the country to gamble on sporting events, the Supreme Court is currently considering lifting the ban. A decision is expected to be released by June.

At that time, if the ban is lifted, many lawmakers around the country are expected to begin introducing pro-sports betting bills.

States Eilers & Krejcik Predicts Will Pass a Sports Betting Bill in 2018:

New Jersey
New York
Rhode Island
West Virginia

Outlook for Online Poker

The outlook for online poker in the US, however, doesn’t look as bright.

Pennsylvania recently became just the fourth state to legalize online poker, joining New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, and only the first since 2013.

Many lawmakers in other states, including California and Michigan, have debated the benefits of legalizing online gambling, but to no avail.

Conventional wisdom says that gambling bills are hard to pass during election years, but the state of New York appears to be in play and has picked up some traction in recent months.

Both online gambling bills introduced in 2017, A 5250 and S 3898, remain active as the 2018 New York Legislature session begins.

The proposed measure has twice passed the state Senate, but the Assembly never cared enough to even vote on it. The same issue could arise this year but, being optimistic, perhaps the third time is a charm.

5 Responses to “Report: Up to 30 States Could Be in Play for Legal Sports Betting in 2018”

  1. Infinity Objective says:

    Great news for the makers of ATM’s spitting out all that cash. I’ve said it before and here now again, nothing I need to learn about an actual deck of cards, those whom want more play, convenience and fun from your recliner go online like most do but I do not trust RNG software. Yet I still play online dopous that I be, lol, but have I made a deposit ever, nope and will only to cash if needed. Started playing online again 2 months ago.

    More pawn shops too. Check out the poverty surrounding Atlantic City, this is what America needs more predatory action? How about schools on gambling first…

  2. asedu says:

    US is goning hard on the online gambling. Me like =)
    @infinity objective. There is no pint in schools at this point. There are so many schools that some forms of poker are solved. litteraly. Yet still see “recriational plays” at 109 mtts. People who want to gamble will gamble, who come to make $ will make $. Nothing changed in that manner and never will.
    Thought I would hope that all this segregated world of Online poerk would come togerther like buttcheecks faster. The idea that you have to play with ~150 people=… and thats it is really sad

  3. ederato says:

    Here in Brazil could create a law liberating casinos and betting. Unfortunately it will hardly happen as there is a lot of money involved.

  4. CRStals says:

    I’m very encouraged to see States taking the active approach to legalize online sportsbooks and hope that the Supreme Court rules in favour of this in June. I feel that as our society moves in a direction towards online and technology, this moves just makes sense.

    However, I feel that there are provisions required to properly ensure jobs are kept, integrity is maintained, and that help is available should people become addicts and in need of help:
    – Online sportsbooks should partner with brick and mortar casinos. This would promote existing establishments and allowing the ability to place electronic bets live in the building, with the hopes that people don’t sit in their homes and do this exclusively. It would also allow facilities on site in the casinos to be set-up to help those with problems as I fear simply allowing the public to gamble from their couch will facilitate mental health issues
    – States need to realize that there’s too much money in this industry to not go forward. By getting involved, they can not only gain on the financial side, but use those assets to help those that require it, rather than sweeping it under the rug and pretending it doesn’t exist.
    – Sportsbooks are the beginning, and states have to see the bigger picture by moving towards full blown online casinos, complete with poker. The gain is too big to picture big states like New York partnering with sites like Stars or 888 to flow US traffic into those sites with tabs on how much is being made and making money on the licenses.

    As I’ve said before governments want their cut and in this electronic, paperless society we are moving towards this has to be up front and center as a means to supplement state budgets. The money pit is too big for this to be ignored and as a Canadian, not being able to play for real money with our friends to the south is tough. I hope it happens in the 30 states that it could…but know the wheels are turning in the right direction…slowly….

  5. adriantempo says:

    Great news for my american friends. It seems so strange that poker was invented there and is most popular there and they can’t play comfortably. Just weird.

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