A new report predicts that 16 states will introduce bills to regulate sports betting this year, with 11 — including Ohio — having a good chance of passing legislation.
Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, which tracks gambling legislation nationwide, said that is just the minimum; the firm predicts that more than 30 states could introduce sports betting bills.
The U.S. Supreme Court this year will decide a case brought by New Jersey that seeks to overturn a ban on sports betting in all but four states: Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon. A favorable ruling in that case could open the floodgates in terms of states adopting a new form of gambling.
“Assuming a Supreme Court decision or action by Congress permits it, we could see the largest simultaneous expansion of regulated gambling in U.S. history with sports betting in 2018,” said Chris Grove, the company’s managing director.
The court is expected by June to decide New Jersey’s case, which seeks to overturn a ban on sports betting by any state that did not meet a 1991 deadline to legalize it. States and private companies in the U.S. and abroad are already moving quickly to position themselves for a favorable ruling.