In the spring of 2021, eight states enacted legislation approving retail and / or online sports betting, all with the goal of launching statewide sports betting in time for the 2021-2022 NFL season. , which officially begins on September 9, 2021. This article provides an update on the state of the law in each of these states, identifying which ones will be most likely to go live by September 9th and which which appear to be on track for a late 2021 / early 2022 launch.
Wyoming (Planned launch date: September 1, 2021)
Wyoming passed a law legalizing online sports betting on April 5, 2021. However, online betting will not be “online” until the Wyoming Gaming Commission finalizes the state’s sports betting regulations. and begin licensing sports betting. Wyoming’s sports betting law requires corresponding regulations to be finalized and approved by September 1, 2021. The Commission appears to be on track to meet this target.
In addition, on July 15, the Commission opened the process of applying for sports betting operator licenses. The Commission intends to start issuing licenses immediately after the regulation is published on September 1, allowing sports betting operators to go “live” almost immediately.
South Dakota (Planned launch date: September 9, 2021)
On March 18, 2021, South Dakota enacted legislation allowing retail and mobile sports betting on the premises of a licensed casino located in the Municipality of Deadwood. The South Dakota Gaming Commission has released a regulatory schedule that calls for an official “launch” of sports betting on September 9, 2021, and it appears to be on track to meet that goal. On July 14, 2021, the Commission adopted a final set of sports betting regulations, which will be sent to the state legislature for approval at a hearing scheduled for August 2. If approved, the regulation would come into effect immediately.
The Commission also indicated that it is in the process of monitoring potential sports betting operators and intends to start issuing operator licenses at its meeting on September 8, 2021, which would allow licensed operators to start. to offer sports betting the next day.
Arizona (Planned launch date: September 9, 2021)
Arizona enacted a law allowing retail and online sports betting on April 15, 2021. However, sports betting operations in Arizona will not officially begin until the Arizona Department of Gaming finalizes sports betting operations. state and will begin licensing sports betting. The Department has set a target “launch” date of September 9, 2021, and it appears to be on track to meet that goal. Over the past month, the Ministry released three sets of draft regulations for public comment. The ministry is currently drafting a final set of sports betting regulations, which will likely be released in the coming weeks.
Maryland (Potential launch by September 9, 2021)
Maryland enacted legislation allowing retail and online sports betting on May 18, 2021. However, sports betting operations in the state cannot begin until the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission will not have finalized its sports betting regulations and begin issuing sports betting licenses. The Commission released a final set of sports betting regulations on July 14. The proposed regulations will soon be published in the Maryland Register, triggering a 30-day public comment period. Once the public comment period is over, the Commission will finalize the proposed regulation and begin issuing sports betting operator licenses.
Given the Commission’s recent progress, it’s possible that Maryland’s sportsbook will go live in early September, just in time for the 2021-2022 NFL season.
Connecticut (Likely launch during Q4 2021 / Q1 2022)
Connecticut enacted legislation legalizing retail and online sports betting on May 15, 2021. However, sports betting operations will only be officially launched (i) amended state-tribal gambling agreements developed alongside legislation, which allows retail sports betting on tribal lands, receives approval from the Office of Indian Affairs of the United States Department of the Interior (BIA); and (ii) the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection finalizes state sports betting regulations and begins issuing licenses.
The Tribal State Gaming Contract is currently under review by the BIA. However, given that the department has yet to release even an early draft of its proposed sports betting regulations, it seems unlikely that sports betting will go live in Connecticut in time for it. the start of the 2021-2022 NFL season.
Louisiana (likely to launch in Q4 2021 / Q1 2022)
Louisiana enacted legislation legalizing retail and online sports betting on June 22, 2021. Sports betting operations in Louisiana will not begin until the Louisiana Gaming Control Board finalizes the state’s sports betting regulations and begins to issue operator licenses. When the legislation was initially passed, state officials expressed optimism that sports betting would launch in the third quarter of 2021. However, the recent resignation of the Council’s executive director is expected to slow down the rule-making process, and it is not clear whether the Council will be able to meet initial forecasts.
New York (Planned launch: Q1 2022)
New York legalized online sports betting on April 19, 2021, as part of the state’s 2022 fiscal year budget. The newly enacted legislation provides that the New York State Gaming Commission will issue licenses to two operators of online betting platforms, which will be selected through a competitive bidding process. On July 9, the Commission opened the tender process, issuing a call for applications (RFA) to interested online betting operators. Applicants have until August 9 to submit their offers. The deadline set by the Commission to select the two operators of the state’s online betting platforms is December 6, 2021. In light of these developments, it seems likely that online betting will go live during the next month. first quarter 2022.
Florida (no launch date planned)
On May 19, 2021, the Florida legislature approved a 30-year tribal gaming deal granting the Seminole Indian tribe exclusive rights to conduct retail and online sports betting operations statewide. Before the tribe can begin offering sports betting to Florida residents, the Compact must be approved by the BIA. When the legislation was first passed, we reported that the Compact would likely face legal challenges from opponents who argued that (i) the Compact violates Florida Constitutional Amendment 3, which requires voter approval for any statewide gaming expansion; and (ii) the Compact violates India’s Gaming Regulation Act, which permits sports betting only on tribal lands. On July 2, 2021, two Florida-based betting mutual operators filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, raising these same arguments.
In light of the ongoing lawsuit, even if the BIA approves the Compact, it seems unlikely that sports betting will go live in Florida anytime soon.