More Sports Betting State Launches Coming During Football Season

More Sports Betting State Launches Coming During Football Season article feature image
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Arizona, South Dakota and Washington took their first legal wagers Thursday, hours before the 2021 NFL season kicked off. Here are the next wave of states hoping to launch their respective legal sportsbooks before Super Bowl LVI:

Connecticut

Projected Launch: Retail mid-September; online October

Statewide Mobile: Yes

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday that the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan gaming tribes had earned federal approval to open sportsbooks at their respective casinos, clearing the final major obstacle for the state’s first legal sports bets.

There are still a few logistical considerations remaining, but officials from both casinos hope their sportsbooks can open before Week 1 of the NFL season concludes.

Online sports betting goes through a separate regulatory process, which could last several more weeks. DraftKings, FanDuel and SugarHouse, the three legal statewide mobile sportsbooks, are hoping to go live by October.


Louisiana

Projected Launch: October

Statewide Mobile: Yes

Hurricane Irma has upended Louisiana’s sports betting rollout, likely delaying the projected September launch by several weeks. Still, both online and retail sportsbooks are preparing for launch, likely in the coming weeks.

Louisiana will allow as many as 41 online sportsbooks, though only a handful will likely launch this year. BetMGM, PointsBet, Caesars, TwinSpires and Barstool Sports are among a group of books that are expected to launch mobile sportsbooks in the state.


Florida

Projected Launch: Oct. 15

Statewide Mobile: TBD

Florida’s first retail sportsbooks are set to open at the Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock casinos on Oct. 15. The timeline for online betting remains up in the air.

The right to open a statewide mobile sportsbook through the tribe’s Hard Rock Digital app is currently being contested in court. If a judge rules in the plaintiff’s favor, it could delay or ultimately derail mobile wagering in the state.

Meanwhile, DraftKings and FanDuel are circulating petitions for an unrelated constitutional amendment that would allow third-party digital operators to operate in the state, but that wouldn’t come until 2023 (if approved at all). Third-party operators are technically allowed to contract with the tribe, but that seems politically, logistically and legally unfeasible at this point.

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Maryland

Projected Launch: October

Statewide Mobile: Yes

Maryland regulators are still undertaking the rulemaking and review process, two key steps for legal wagering. Final rules could be published by the end of September or early October, clearing a major hurdle that could allow legal wagering to begin soon thereafter.

Many top sportsbooks are already planning online and retail sportsbook launches in the state. Maryland allows retail books at its three major sports stadiums, as well as six commercial casinos.


Wisconsin

Projected Launch: November

Statewide Mobile: No

Wisconsin’s first retail sportsbook has earned all federal approvals; it’s now just waiting on the final parts — literally. Officials from the Oneida Casino in Green Bay told the Action Network the physical pieces to run the sportsbook are holding up its opening, which is now targeted for November.

The casino near Green Bay’s airport will be the first legal betting option in the state, and likely the only one for the immediate future. Other tribes are considering sportsbooks at their casinos, but they’re likely months away from opening.

Statewide mobile wagering doesn’t seem like a reality anytime soon.


New York

Projected Launch: January 2022

Statewide Mobile: Yes; retail sportsbooks open now

New York has had legal retail sportsbooks for years, but the in-person betting options in upstate New York have not generated much revenue in the nation’s fourth-most populated state. That’s why the industry has eagerly watched New York’s statewide mobile rollout, a process that should conclude by early 2022.

New York will bid out a limited number of online sports betting licenses. Based on current bidding structures, there could be as many as nine and as few as four customer-facing sportsbook brands, though it remains to be seen which will earn the coveted bids.


Nebraska

Projected Launch: Late 2021 or early 2022

Statewide Mobile: No

Voters in one of the nation’s most politically and culturally conservative states overwhelmingly backed Nebraska’s first-ever legal casinos via a 2020 ballot measure. They’re expected to see the first such facilities open in the coming months. With that will come the state’s first retail sportsbooks at a date that is still to be determined.

Nebraska law still prohibits statewide mobile wagering and it appears unlikely legal digital sportsbooks will be approved in coming years.

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