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Louisiana, Md., S. Dakota approve sports betting

Louisiana, Maryland and South Dakota are one step closer to joining the regulated sports betting market in the U.S., after voters approved ballot measures during Tuesday’s elections.

Regulatory frameworks for how sports betting will be conducted in each jurisdiction still must be created and approved, but Louisiana, Maryland and South Dakota are in position to join the growing number of states that offer legal sports wagering in the coming years.

The American sports betting landscape has changed dramatically in the past two years. In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, the federal statute that for 26 years had restricted regulated sports betting to primarily Nevada.

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Since the ruling, legal sportsbooks have begun operating in 19 states and the District of Columbia. North Carolina, Virginia and Washington have passed legislation and are gearing up to launch sports betting markets. When Louisiana, Maryland and South Dakota get up and running, more than half the states in the U.S. will have legal sports betting.

“Some form of legal gaming is currently authorized in 44 states, and more than 45% of American adults — 115 million — live in states with legal, regulated sports betting and the safeguards these markets provide,” Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, said in a statement Wednesday.

Louisiana voters in the majority of the state’s 64 parishes approved the ballot measure that eventually will bring sports betting to New Orleans, Baton Rouge and many other of the state’s largest cities. State legislatures will begin tackling the regulatory framework, deciding on details like whether to allow widespread online sports betting and whether betting on in-state colleges, like LSU, will be allowed.

In Maryland, voters approved a sports betting measure by around a 2-1 margin. Gov. Larry Hogan supported the issue and plans to allocate sports betting revenue to public education. The Maryland General Assembly must pass legislation and a regulatory scheme must be created before sports betting may begin.

Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover, Maryland, said it is investing “millions of dollars in a state-of-the-art sportsbook concept,” through its partnership with FanDuel that will premiere in 2021.

States and jurisdictions with legal sportsbooks:

Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, West Virginia.

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