By the end of 2019, no fewer than 16 US states were legally accepting sports bets through bookmakers operating out of land based casinos. There were also eight states in which sports bettor could place bets online.
As the nation entered the new year, the outlook for bookmakers in the US was tremendous. States like Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania were reporting sport betting revenue that was exceeding all projections and expectations. Then, the COVID19 pandemic brought everything to a screeching halt.
The US sports betting industry was crashed on two fronts. First, most if not all of the country’s land based casinos were forced to close due to executive orders being handed down by governors and mayors. That closed the door for anyone who enjoyed running to their local casino to place sports bets.
Of course, the closing of land based casinos still left sports bettor in eight states with access to online sports betting sites. This would include the best Pennsylvania online operators. Access to said sites was eventually rendered moot as professional and college sports throughout the world were also forced to shut down in light of the pandemic. All of this happened on the cusp of the Men’s and Women’s NCAA March Madness basketball tournaments, the start of the MLB regular season and the impending NBA playoffs.
Sports Betting Community Not to Be Deterred by Virus
Despite the fact US bookmakers were collectively losing hundreds of millions in sports betting revenue while waiting for the sports betting world to reopen, some states showed they would not be deterred by the events of the day.
Back in November of 2019, Colorado voters passed Proposition DD by a narrow margin. Under the language of the new law, the Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Gaming was put in charge of setting sport betting regulations for both land based and online sports betting operations. They did so with the hopes they could have legalized sports betting up and running for Colorado bettors by May 1 of 2020. Mission accomplished.
In the face of the pandemic, both the government and prospective bookmakers continued moving full steam ahead. While Colorado’s land based casinos are still shuttered, four online operators officially started taking bets by the May 1st target date. The four licensed online bookmakers are FanDuel Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, BetRivers, and BetMGM. Now, Colorado sports bettors just need something on which to wager.
Also, not to be deterred was the state legislature in Virginia. Despite having to report to the Senate and House floors in the face of risks from the COVID19 virus, the state legislature was able to pass a pair of sports gambling bills, HB 896 and SB 384. The new laws were immediately signed into law on July 1, 2020 with a projected date of September 15 for having regulations and bookmakers ready to roll.
All of this is a testament to constitution of a US sports betting industry that has garnered a solid foundation and respectability. This is much to the delight of US sports bettors who having been waiting a lifetime to take their illegal sports betting activities to the land of legitimacy.