Legalizing sports betting has spread countrywide n the USA since PASPA was overturned and has become legal in more than 30 states so far. Online casino gambling has only been offered legally since 2013 in some states. Nearly a decade ago, states that adopted this form of gambling include Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
More recently, other states have joined the online gambling bandwagon by legalizing the trend, with Connecticut coming on board last October. The question is, where will you be able to gamble at online casinos for real money in legal states?
In Indiana, a pair of bills were introduced to allow iGaming in the Hoosier state. Republicans Ethan Manning and Doug Gutwein filed an HB 1356 with a bid to adjust tax on gaming revenue up to 18%. Alan Morrison filed A similar bill, including HB 1337, with more plans for adjusted taxation on iGaming revenue.
Both these bills have been referred to the House Committee for Public Policy, and they would need to go through the House and the Senate before reaching the desk of Governor Holcomb, where they could potentially become law. With Indiana already drafting legislation in relation to iGaming, it’s not a sure thing yet, but it does put them ahead of other states. The state does, however, have a significant retail casino presence, and mobile sports betting is already legalized. More than a dozen casinos are currently operating in Indiana, many of which already offer customers sports betting.
According to state Senator Dave Syverson, the likelihood of Illinois legalizing iGaming this year is nil. However, that does not mean it may not happen in the future. The focus is currently on land-based casinos, and the priority of legislators is elsewhere this year. The development of a handful of land-based casinos is planned for this coming year throughout Illinois, and there is currently a debate about whether allowing iGaming would impact negatively on these casinos.
The question arises that if brick-and-mortar casinos do not have their own mobile apps, would the legalization of online gambling take away from their revenue. Alternatively, if the casinos did have apps ready to launch, there could be motivation to push for legalizing iGaming.
It is highly unlikely that Maryland will be next to follow Connecticut in 2022, as legislative procedures have not yet been put in place. Currently, Sports betting is a major focus for the lottery in Maryland, and retail sports betting was already launched in December 2021.
While only a small handful of casinos have followed suit by launching sports betting operations during the last few months, more are expected to follow during 2022. The focus could very well fall on online casino gambling in the next few months, as the lottery starts taking a more logistical approach to sports wagering.
The constitution in Maryland requires that commercial gambling expansion be approved by a statewide referendum by voters. Online gaming would be considered part of the commercial gambling sector, and the process will therefore need to be adhered to in order for legislation to change. The same was true in November 2020, when a referendum on sports wagering was held, and then the law was passed by the General Assembly in April 2021.
While retail sports betting was legally launched in October of last year, the launch of mobile sports betting is expected to happen in 2022. Online casinos, however, may take a while still to become a reality.
According to Ronnie Johns, chairman of the Louisiana State Gaming Control Board, approval by the Louisiana Legislature would be required for any online casino to be licensed. The Governor of Louisiana would also be required to either sign or veto the legislation before it can pass as law. In the event that the Governor does veto the legislation, the Louisiana Legislature could potentially override this veto, but currently, there is no indication that the Legislature is moving forward with such legislation yet. To date, no bill has come up, and no imminent movement is expected toward legalizing iGaming in Louisiana in 2022.