Last Updated on November 5, 2020

Legal Sports Betting

While most of the attention on Election Day goes to the presidential race, the sports betting world continues to make great strides. Three states had sports betting on the ballot in 2020 (Maryland, South Dakota, Louisiana) and all three passed with flying colors. In addition, three states passed measures to expand casino gaming (Nebraska, Virginia, Colorado).

American Gaming Association (AGA) President and CEO Bill Miller issued a statement following the historic results.

“As a result of successful ballot measures in six gaming states, more Americans will have access to much needed job opportunities, dedicated tax revenue, and safe, regulated entertainment options closer to home.

“Some form of legal gaming is currently authorized in 44 states, and more than 45 percent of American adults – 115 million – live in states with legal, regulated sports betting and the safeguards these markets provide.”

Let’s take a look at the three states who passed sports betting on Tuesday and what this means for each state individually, but also for the country at large.



Question: Sports and events betting would be legalized at certain licensed facilities, and the revenue generated would be primarily dedicated to funding public education.

For: 66.2% (1,316,805)
Against: 33.8% (670,836)

State Population: 6.046 million (2019)

What’s Next: The official launch date of sports betting in Maryland will likely be sometime in 2021, but there is still work to be done at the legislative level. Maryland joins the rest of the mid-Atlantic states who have already legalized sports betting and there is optimism that the Old Line State will have mobile sports betting.

Setting up the rules and regulations of sports betting is not something that can be done overnight, but state lawmakers will be motivated to get this done so they can start bringing in tax revenue. If the state legislature moves at breakneck speed, a potential launch by the Super Bowl or March Madness is a slight possibility. However, the more conservative estimate would be for the start of the NFL season in 2021.

Source: New York Times



Question: Whether or not to legalize sports betting in individual parishes.

For: 55 Parishes
Against: 9 Parishes

State Population: 4.649 million (2019)

What’s Next: Much like Maryland, sports betting won’t happen immediately in Louisiana. But unlike Maryland, the vote in Louisiana is unique in the sense that the measure is taken up on the local level rather than statewide. For all intents and purposes though, Louisiana has overwhelmingly passed sports betting.

The next step is for each parish to work out the kinks of tax rates, online sports betting,

Source: New York Times


South Dakota

Question: Legalizing sports betting in Deadwood and on Indian reservations.

For: 59%
Against: 42%

State Population: 4.649 million (2019)

What’s Next: Sports betting can go live in Deadwood and on Indian reservations on July 1, but there is still legislation that needs to get done before then. Tax rates and regulations still need to be put in place and the question of mobile sports betting is still up in the air. The constitution now allows sports betting, but it does not explicitly allow online sports betting.

This could doom mobile sports betting in South Dakota, but proponents would argue that so long as the servers are located on location in Deadwood or Indian reservations, online sports betting is constitutional. Lawmakers in New York are trying to make a similar argument.

Source: New York Times