Oct 31, 2020; Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA; General view of Falcon Stadium during the first half of the game between the Boise State Broncos against the Air Force Falcons. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Election legalizes sports betting in three states

Sports betting was legalized in three more states last week following referendum wins on election day.  Sports betting is now legal in 27 state following the addition of Louisiana, Maryland and South Dakota on election day.

In Louisiana, 55 of the states’ 64 parishes approved sports betting, allowing it to pass. In Maryland sports betting gained approval in the referendum with a 66.3 percent in favor. In South Dakota it passed with less of a majority, with 59 percent in favor.

Presumptive sports bettors in those three states can’t start placing wagers immediately. The referendums gives approval for sports betting in the states, but the state legislatures still must develop bills that will determine the rules and regulations around sports betting in their jurisdictions.

How many states have legal sports betting now?

With the addition of Louisiana, Maryland and South Dakota to the pool of states that have legalized sports betting, there could be a glut of state launches in 2021. Along with the three recent additions, other states that have legalized sports betting but have not launched yet include North Dakota, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

While the election brought sports betting to Louisiana, Maryland and South Dakota, it may have thrown a wrench in the works on a sports betting bill in Ohio. Sport betting bill HB 194 which is currently under review in Ohio lost three of its four sponsors after Dave Greenspan and Sean O’Brien both lost the vote, and John Eklund termed out.

That means the Ohio legislature must pass the existing bill during the November and December session or it will be forced to start again with a new bill and new sponsors in 2021. The bill does face some opposition and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could also limit the session time.