We are less than three weeks away from the highly anticipated launch of Ohio Sportsbook, which is scheduled to begin at midnight January 1, 2023.
When the schedule changes, Ohio will become the 32nd state (plus Washington, DC) to launch fully legalized sports betting since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down federal law banning such activity in May 2018. More a dozen sports betting operators, including BetMGM, Caesars and FanDuel – are expected to start taking bets in the nation’s seventh-largest state in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
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The Ohio launch follows the rollout of sports betting in Maryland in recent weeks and ahead of what is expected to be a busy year for gambling legislation in 2023. So who’s next to join the party? bets?
Here’s a look at a few other states that have already legalized sports betting and when they might start taking bets:
While Ohio sports betting is making most of the headlines heading into the new year, Massachusetts is set to join the fray in 2023 after legalizing sports betting in August.
It’s been a complicated time since then for Massachusetts Sportsbook, with questions about its approval process and timeline complicating the pending launch. As of now, retail sportsbooks in casinos are expected to start taking bets in January, while online sportsbooks will follow in March.
Massachusetts bettors won’t be able to bet on their favorite schools in the state, though they have plenty of options in a thriving horse racing scene.
Much like Massachusetts, sports betting was approved by Nebraska voters in 2020 and signed into law in mid-2021, although Cornhusker State has been much slower to roll out legalized sports betting than other states.
In fact, even with Legislative Bill 561 on the books 18 months now, Nebraska is still months, if not years, away from taking bets. Indeed, the state focused on setting up the infrastructure for casino games – which was also legalized by LB 561 – before launching sports betting, which will only be legal in person in Nebraska casinos.
The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission approved the rules governing sports betting on October 21, and the official launch of Nebraska sports betting is expected in mid to late 2023 at the earliest.
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Maine became the first state to legalize sports betting in 2022 when Governor Janet Mills signed Legislative Bill 585 into law in May. And while the process of getting it into law was pretty quick, the official launch of Maine sports betting could take forever.
Indeed, the state still does not have a specific timeline as to when sports betting will be available to its nearly 1.5 million residents, who will eventually be able to bet in person in retail sports betting, while tribal casinos hold the exclusive rights to online and mobile betting.
The protracted battle between state lawmakers and local tribes nearly killed the bill in the first place and will likely signal a lengthy rollout that could stretch into 2024.