Many states in the USA have already passed laws that would allow for residents to engage in legal online sports betting. However, the laws for online casinos are not as popular and this industry is growing at a much slower pace. Yet, there are some states that have put the ball in motion and are moving towards passing legislation that would allow for new online casinos to start operating.
States are realizing the loss in revenue by not offering legal operating casino sites and are taking steps to enact laws that would allow the state to operate sites and boost revenue. There are currently two states that are close to passing laws in 2021, and these include Illinois and Connecticut.
For the past few years, Senator Catherine Osten from Connecticut has been submitting bills to legalize all forms of online gambling in the state. The Mohegan Sun Tribe as well as the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe have both been supportive of these bills, but require Governor Ned Lamont to ament tribal gaming contracts. In 2020, the tribes filed a special plea to obtain an executive order to allow online gambling due to casino closures, but it was shot down by Lamont.
In 2021, a bill went to the Senate in April that outlines the tribal agreement with Lamont as well as bills to offer sports betting and the erection of a new casino and sportsbook. The state legislature finally passed the bill in May and it was signed by Lamont in June.
With this new legislation, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes will be able to offer online casino games for real money along with sports betting. The state lottery will also be allowed to offer online sales. Operators have already partnered with operating land casinos. DraftKings has partnered with Foxwoods Resorts to offer an online casino and sportsbook. FanDuel and BetMGM are two other brands that could enter the Connecticut market in 2021.
In Illinois, online poker has been considered since 2017 when a bill for poker and casino games passed the Senate by a huge margin. However, it failed to progress any further. Instead, the state focused on legalizing online sportsbooks, which were launched in 2020. In 2021, internet gaming was back on the table and a new bill was proposed, immediately going to the House Rules Committee. Unfortunately, even with much support, the bill did not pass as the legislative session closed before approval.
Aside from the successful bill in Connecticut and a possible bill in Illinois, there are some other US states that are making strides towards legalizing online gambling. It is quite possible that Indiana will pass online casino laws in 2021. This state already offers legal sports betting, including mobile wagering for anyone within the borders of the state.
Maryland and Nebraska are two other states that have a good chance at passing laws to offer legal online play in 2021. Both states have much support in place and residents are looking forward to the possible launch of betting sites later this year.
One other state to keep an eye on is Missouri. There are currently three proposals on the table and the efforts to legalize online gambling will benefit schools throughout the state. These proposals heavily rely on mobile access, but it is not clear whether they will be successful for this year.