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Which US State is most likely to legalize sports betting next?

Publish Date: 30/05/2021
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Recently we have seen a wave of US states legalizing sports betting. In 2019 alone, nine states paved the way for regulation of sports betting. Recent converts have included states such as Montana, Michigan, Illinois and New Hampshire.

As it stands, 17 US states have full-scale legalized sports betting. But with as many as 30 more states in with a good chance of permitting legal betting on sport by the end of 2020, there’s plenty of speculation about which could be the next to join the fray. So here’s a quick overview of the US states most likely to legalize sports betting in the coming months.


For a state that gave us the world-famous Kentucky Derby horse racing event, it might be surprising to find that Kentucky still holds a state-wide ban on sports betting. However, it looks like things are changing. Ever since Senator Julian M. Carroll introduced a bill for a system of sports wagering in 2017, it seems that Kentucky is getting serious about betting on sport.

Things took another big step forward in governor Andy Beshear’s State of the Commonwealth address when he stated that he fully supported a bill that would legalize sports betting at Kentucky’s racecourses. This would also permit online betting on sports, as well as fantasy sports and online poker.


Although the bill that aimed to create a task force to implement sports gaming to the state was held up in the 2018 session, it looks like the wheels are finally in motion for Maryland to enjoy legal sports betting very soon.

This is because the Senate passed a Maryland sports betting bill by a vote of 47-0 in March earlier this year. This paved the way for legal sports betting at six casinos and three racetracks. Interestingly, there could also be the possibility of legalized sports betting at the Washington Redskins stadium in Landover.


The Buckeye State introduced two bills to legalize sports betting just over a year ago. Although the coronavirus pandemic has delayed things, there have been a number of hearings and meetings to move things forward.

It’s expected that the Ohio Lottery Commission would hold the regulatory power, and it would allow mobile betting, along with betting at casinos and racetracks. However, there is still plenty of debate as to whether this bill should include betting on college sports. But with every neighbouring state now having legal sports betting, it’s hoped that Ohio’s legislators will work to overcome such issues.


Although Connecticut introduced a bill for authorizing sports wagering early on in 2019, legal sports betting is still not a reality within the state.

The bill proposed that tribal casinos would get the rights to offer sports betting, and there would be similar schemes for the Connecticut Lottery and the Sportech online gambling company. All will be revealed when a legislative session takes place on 6 May that will determine the future of sports betting in Connecticut.

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