After the US Supreme Court’s historic ruling of 2018, quite a few states have lined up to legalize gambling. Here’s a state-wise update on the present status of legal gambling in the United States. The first list highlights states that have taken steps in a positive direction. While the second list summarizes states that are dead-set against permitting gambling within their borders.
States Moving Towards Legalization
1. Hawaii – Bill #1107 introduced in the Hawaii legislature in 2019 seeks to regulate gambling and sports betting in the state, keeping the interests of the general public in mind. If passed, the Bill proposes a Hawaii Sports Wagering Corporation for easier regulation.
2. Texas – State representative Eddie Lucio III introduced a 15-page Bill in February 2019 proposing to regulate gambling within the state. According to the Bill, the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation would be in charge of overseeing the procedure, while operators would be charged $250,000 for the permit.
3. South Carolina – House Bill #3102 introduced in 2017 seeks to regulate gambling and online sports betting in the state. Although the Bill wasn’t enacted close to the end of the legislative cycle, a new proposal was submitted in 2019, pending approval.
4. California – Assembly Member Adam Gray submitted a petition in July 2017 that would allow sports wagering only if a Federal Law approved the activity. Gray reiterated his earlier statement within hours of the historic court ruling. The state of California also has a voter referendum pending, which could legalize gambling if approved by a majority.
5. Kansas – A law regulating sports betting in Kansas was proposed in January 2018. While the state held sports betting hearings a month before the Supreme Court ruling, no actions were taken thereafter. A second Bill was introduced in January 2019.
States with No Legalization Activity Yet
1. Utah – The state’s strict stance on gambling isn’t likely to change anytime soon as anti-gambling regulations are written into Utah’s constitution. Any deviation would require a massive collective effort from the citizens and the lawmakers to set the wheel in motion. And that seems pretty unlikely anytime soon.
2. Idaho – The state currently allows wagering on horse racing. Any amendment or addition to the constitution isn’t likely to occur anytime soon. Idaho is among the few American states to actively prohibit residents from participating in gambling or sports betting outside the constitution.
3. Wisconsin – The stateprohibits sports betting in any form. The constitution has to be entirely reworked before any mass-scale gambling is allowed. Moreover, Wisconsin currently does not have any publicly announced bills or drafts to regulate sports betting within its borders.
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