Even though there are well over 30 states with regulated wagers on sports, there is still room for expansion. Texas sports betting would be a huge boost for the industry, as the state has the second largest population in the country. Plus, Missouri is now considering the activity, and Maryland has already approved regulations… but not much else.
Let’s start with Texas sports betting, as the market there could be the largest outside of California. Governor Greg Abbott now says he is open to expanding casino gambling there. That’s a major step, as in the past he has been “wholeheartedly” against the idea. Of course, that was when he was running for re-election so we’ll have to see if he keeps his word. But with states like Louisiana and Oklahoma hosting large casinos and pulling money out of the state, it may be a matter of survival.
Meanwhile in Maryland, the state Lottery and Gaming Control Commission has begun taking applications for online sports betting operators. There have been ten companies interested so far, which include Barstool Sports, Betfred, BetMGM, Caesars, PointsBet, and the old reliable DraftKings and FanDuel. Sports betting legislation was originally passed on the 2020 ballot, easily making the wait for sports betting in Maryland the longest of any state.
Also, legislators in Missouri are back to pushing their sports betting bills. House Bill 4 could legalize retail sports betting on riverboat casinos in the state, as well as district mobile licenses for online operators. Casinos there would be able to run a full sportsbook on their property, plus several mobile sports betting platforms. A tax rate of 10% would raise money for the state’s “Gaming Proceeds for Education Fund.”
So, while we wait for Maryland to act faster than the speed of paint drying, we keep the hope alive for Missouri and Texas sports betting. Between the three, we should see at least one of them go live within the next year or two. And that will give us something to do while we wait for sports betting in California to work out the internal struggles.