If you live in one of the states that have legalized sports betting—currently 19 states and Washington DC—then for this Thanksgiving, I bet you’re thankful for the licensed and regulated sportsbooks that are either already accepting wagers or will launch sometime next year.
Most of the United States still doesn’t have the option to place legal wagers on sports, but as we head into the Holiday season, there’s been major developments in state legislatures across the country.
The majority of states are expected to have sportsbooks next year, so let’s dig into the biggest legal sports betting news to see which lawmakers are putting a bill into the oven and who are expected to serve residents with leftover cold turkey for the foreseeable future.
Florida bills finally see the sun
Three sports betting bills were filed for the 2020 session in the Florida Legislature last week by Republican Senator Jeff Brandes. Online and mobile apps are included in the proposal, and operators would be required to pay a $100,000 licensing fee and 15% tax rate revenue. However, the bills may face longshot odds of passing due to significant pushback from the Seminole Tribe.
Montana Lottery approves drafted rules
The Montana Lottery Commission unanimously approved the final draft of the state’s sports betting rules in a meeting on Thursday. Once the guidelines go into effect on December 6, approximately 1,400 locations—bars, taverns, and casinos—will be able to apply for a license to offer the “Sports Bet Montana” app and kiosks.
Tennessee releases the first draft, asks for public comments
The Tennessee Education Lottery held its first-ever Sports Wagering Advisory Council meeting last week after hiring Jennifer Roberts, a Nevada-based gambling lawyer, to oversee the crafting of regulations for sports betting in Tennessee.
Councilmembers have since released the first draft of the rules for the online and mobile-only sportsbook operators, and have asked the public to give their feedback. You can leave your thoughts on their TN sports betting comments form until 11:59 pm CT on December 23. There isn’t a timetable for launch yet, but regulators said they are aiming for April at this point in time.
Virginia may go “all-in” on legal gambling
Since the US Supreme Court decision to repeal PASPA, most states have opted just to legalize sports betting. However, a bill pre-filed in Virginia last week would not only legalize sports betting but casino gambling as well.
The state is one of the strictest in the country when it comes to wagering money, and if the proposal passes during the next legislative session, then voters will get the final say during the 2020 general election.
Washington DC application process begins after Thanksgiving
After issuing several launch delays throughout the year, sports betting hopefuls in the nation’s capital finally received some good news recently. The DC Lottery said they’ll begin accepting applications to operate a sportsbook after Thanksgiving.
Officials said they are optimistic that the District’s sports betting licenses for Class A operators will go out before Super Bowl 54 is played. Small businesses, which require a Class B license, should be approved sometime between March and May.
And that wraps up the biggest legal sports betting headlines from around the country. For the latest updates on your state, follow @SportsBet_Legal on Twitter and check out the SBL Bill Tracker to see what your elected officials currently have proposed.
Between Rivalry Week in college football and the Thanksgiving Day NFL games, there’s a healthy helping of betting action ready to be served this week.
Whether it’s your first time over for dinner or if you’re coming back for seconds, here’s our recommended list of the best online sportsbooks you can legally chow down during Turkey Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and every day after!