Gambling in the United States picked up steam on election day as voters in six states approved sports and online casino betting. It’s expected that by the end of next year, more than half the country will be able to bet on sports legally.
Although these measures did not directly address online casino gambling, it is clear that US online betting is gaining acceptance.
- The number of US states with legal gambling continues to grow
- Election-day results clear the way for more betting legislation
- Governments see the potential for industry revenue
Americans Say Yes to Gambling Expansion
In the most recent US elections, voters in Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota approved sports betting. In Virginia and Nebraska, voters called for new locations, and Colorado approved new types of games for their casinos.
The sports wagering provisions mean that people will soon be able to bet games at brick-and-mortar casinos and stadium kiosks. This also opens the possibility of mobile betting in the future.
Launch Expected in 2021
Although the votes do not immediately put the measures into effect, it paves the way for the state legislatures to determine how to implement them. The lawmakers will have to decide on logistics, regulation, and taxing of this new type of wagering. That should come in 2021, and experts believe a further relaxation of anti-gambling laws is on the way.
According to gambling historian David Schwartz of the University of Nevada Las Vegas:
We have reached a point where voters seem satisfied that legalizing gambling will offer positive returns for their state.
A Closer Look at the Numbers
The election-day votes mean that 25 states will have some form of legal gambling by sometime next year. The overwhelming vote totals in the states indicate the growing acceptance.
- In Louisiana, 56 of 64 parishes agreed to sports betting proposals.
- Two-thirds of Maryland voters – 67% to 33% – approved bets on sports.
- South Dakotans favored a constitutional amendment on sports wagering by a 58% to 42% margin.
- Four Virginia cities voted to open casinos, each getting around 70% approval.
- Nebraska voters approved casinos at their racetracks by a 65% – 35% margin.
- Colorado agreed to add games such as baccarat and keno to their lineups by 60% – 40%.
What About Online Gambling?
Four of those states – Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia – host real money online casinos, and Michigan sites are expected to open soon. However, internet players must be residents of those states to play there.
While most US online players still have to take their business offshore, the recent voting bodes well to expand online betting across the country.
The Future of US Gambling
The pandemic has state and local governments in debt, and gambling appears to be a revenue source more and more officials are willing to accept. Voters concur. Nationwide, online betting laws remain vague, but the trend indicates promise for US online casinos.