Ever since the Supreme Court repealed the PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992), a number of states have moved forward with sports betting and online gambling legislation.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) which is the national trade group for casino operators says that including Washington D.C., there are now 44 states that have either some form of legalized casino or sports betting services.
The multi-billion dollar sports betting market in the United States has helped those states that legalized sports betting to bring in an additional stream of revenue which has turned out to be vital after the coronavirus pandemic.
The United States tops the list of countries with the most COVID-19 cases. Businesses across America have suffered greatly which in turn has impacted the state budget. Eilers & Krejcik Gaming analysts state that a number of states who were previously closed to the idea of legalizing casinos and sports betting are now considering the possibility.
Eilers & Krejcik market analyst Chris Grove says that he expects another 20 plus states to move forward with sports betting legislation in 2021. Grove has cautioned these states to only push for sports betting legislation and not add additional forms of gambling legalization to the bill as it will slow down the process.
Will The Big States Legalize Gambling?
Some of the bigger states like California, Texas and Georgia have toyed with the idea of legalizing different forms of gambling in their state. Georgia has flirted with legalizing land based casinos and has received interest from top casino operators including Las Vegas Sands Corp and MGM Resorts International who are interested in building billion dollar casino resorts.
Texas is looking at legalizing land based casinos in coastal areas while California has contemplated legalizing online gambling for a number of years without any result. Texas and California could bring in millions of dollars in gaming taxes if thy move forward with sports betting legislation.
However, there are multiple hurdles that will have to be addressed to see gambling legislation approved in these states. Chris Cylke, Senior VP at the AGA said that legislators in these states will now be forced to consider new revenue streams in light of COVID-19 and some of the most lucrative streams are sports betting and online gambling.
We will have to wait till 2021 to see if any of these big states change their stance on gambling and sports betting.