Divide shown in states approving sports betting

Southern and western states lagging behind north-eastern states

Thomas Perumean
June 24, 2019 - 8:25 am

Getty Images - sb-borg

A review of sports betting legislation by The Associated Press shows a regional divide has opened as states decide whether to expand their gambling options.

By year's end, legalization is possible in a dozen states in the Northeast and Midwest. But most states in the Deep South and far West are staying on the sidelines, at least for now.  State lawmakers are weighing the benefits of a slight boost in state revenue and the ability to add consumer protections against concerns about the morality of allowing another form of gambling.

Sorting out complex business interests and opposition from some casino-operating tribes also has emerged as thorny challenges.  In a ruling last year, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for every state to legalize sports betting.  

Louisiana lawmakers failed to bring legislation to legalize sports betting in the recent legislative session.  Sports betting is allowed in Mississippi.  

The American Gaming Association’s annual report on 2018 casino revenue finds Louisiana’s remained flat at just over two-and-a-half billion dollars.  The association says the approval of sports betting at casinos could have provided a boost to the state’s gaming industry.

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