The ongoing public health crisis gripping the country has made it so federal and state governments are scrambling for ways to help as the economy comes to a standstill and some people become gravely ill from the coronavirus.
It’s suspect to even care about sports betting legislation with so many people suffering in countless ways. It is worth mentioning on USBets.com, however, that the crisis almost certainly freezes most if not all legislative work on gambling expansion that had recently enthused many in the sports betting industry.
Sixteen states were live with legal sports wagering before the coronavirus brought the casino industry to its knees and closed facilities in many states. Four additional jurisdictions — Montana, Colorado, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia — already legalized sports wagering but have yet to launch their respective industries. It’s possible none of those now will in 2020, but a lot can change in the weeks and months ahead.
As for states with pending legislation, it also looks grim, as many states have suspended or adjourned their sessions. For those still working, it’s all hands on deck for a response to the global pandemic.
Look at where some states are at
As mentioned, the news has been changing rapidly. The White House and the CDC as of Monday were advising against social gatherings larger than 10 people. A full lockdown could be on the horizon.
State legislatures might soon face no option but to suspend their respective sessions indefinitely, aside from what can be done remotely. It’s worth noting that previously scheduled adjournment dates could all be out the window and rescheduled for if/when things return to normal in 2020.
No official decision has been made about the ongoing session. A pair of sports betting bills sit on the table, with hopes running high before the crisis that legislation would pass in 2020 and head to the governor. The House is reportedly on an indefinite break, so the odds are slim for passage this year.
Session end date: Dec. 31, 2020
The state was one of the favorites to pass sports betting legislation this year, though legislation had stalled in recent weeks as proponents were trying to gather votes. As of Tuesday, Kentucky closed the statehouse to the public, but for now policymakers will continue on ahead of an April adjournment.
Session end date: April 15, 2020
The state saw a recent uptick in debate on sports betting, but there were major differences between legislation introduced in the House and Senate, especially with regards to taxes. Kansas hasn’t officially ended its session, but it’s moving in that direction.
Session end date: May 31, 2020
Already an underdog to approve sports betting in 2020 thanks to all sorts of complexities in policy proposals, the state’s legislature appears to only be considering essential measures to combat the crisis. With the session ending in mid-May, it looks like Missouri has no chance for passage.
Session end date: May 15, 2020
Legislation was recently filed for sports wagering, but lawmakers on Monday decided to “temporarily adjourn the session.” There is no indication that sports betting will be considered for the rest of the year.
Session end date: June 1, 2020
Momentum was building in the state, thanks to support from the pro sports leagues, but sports betting legislation for the casino-less state reportedly is officially dead this year.
Session end date: April 3, 2020
The state recently sent sports betting legislation to the governor. While he’s unlikely to sign it at this point, it would become law soon without his signature. The state appears likely to just barely cross the finish line.
Session end date: March 12, 2020
State policymakers are still conducting business related to a coronavirus response, despite a statewide ban on gatherings of more than 25 people. A complicated lobbying battle has taken place in Massachusetts between the casino industry and the online sports betting companies, and there was no real end in sight on that conversation. It’s unclear whether gambling measures will remain on the table this year.
Session end date: July 31, 2020
The state Senate recently passed legislation, so there was real momentum for Maryland to cross the finish line this year. That is now off the table, as the legislature reportedly has adjourned early.
Session end date: March 18, 2020
Like Virginia, a bill for sports betting has been on the governor’s desk for a handful of days. It will likely still become law at this point, as inaction by the governor would have the same effect as him signing it.
Session end date: March 12, 2020