Wisconsin has officially unveiled its first state-licensed legal sportsbook operations. On Tuesday, the Oneida Nation began taking wagers at its Green Bay betting location.
Bettors will now be able to put money down on professional and college sports. This includes teams from the state such as the Packers and Bucks.
Wisconsin Welcomes Tribal Betting
The expansion comes as a result of the state signing new gaming compacts with its tribes. Oneida was the first to take on Wisconsin sports betting privileges but the rest are soon to follow.
However, the road to legal betting in the state has not been an easy one. Oneida Casino’s chief financial officer said that the process was lengthy, with discussions going on since the 2018 repeal of PASPA.
“What a lot of people in the state of Wisconsin may not realize is that it was a little bit longer process than most realize… We started this endeavor probably about two and a half years ago trying to work with the state of Wisconsin.”
Chad Fuss, CFO of Oneida Casino
Even so, the Oneida Nation has paved the way for the rest of Wisconsin’s tribes to enact sports betting. With established guidelines and licensing procedures, other tribes should have a much easier time setting up their respective sportsbooks.
Growth On The Road Ahead
For now, patrons are limited to retail sports betting inside the casino. However, the Oneida Nation is eager to roll out limited mobile sportsbook options.
When these options become available, bettors will be able to place wagers from anywhere on the tribe’s sovereign land. However, the tribe hopes for further expansion that would allow online betting from anywhere in the state.
But, as with any movement, Wisconsin sports betting has its dissenters. And for them, statewide online betting is their greatest fear. 19 states already allow some form of statewide online betting. Lorri Pickens of Wisconsin’s Citizens Against Expanded Gambling said the following:
“It’s a game of inches, right? As we inch closer and closer and it becomes more normalized, then less people seem to really have concerns about what might happen down the road…”
The thing is, statewide betting is already accessible in Wisconsin. Through legal offshore betting sites, players can place wagers online safely and securely. The only distinction is that the state doesn’t extract tax revenues from these businesses.
Restrictions Harm The State
That being said, restricting the scope of domestic betting does not deter problem gaming. The only thing that can prevent problem gaming is counseling and social safety nets.
The best way for states to extend such aid to problem gamblers is by pulling revenues from state casinos and sportsbooks.
Such paternalistic gambling laws only stand to hurt the state and its bettors.
Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette