Within the past 10 days, three additional states have joined the growing number of states legalizing sports wagering, with a fourth poised to join them before the end of the month.  Governors in Iowa, Indiana and Montana each signed legislation legalizing sports wagering in their respective states.  Legislation in Tennessee passed the legislature and was presented to the governor on May 14, 2019.  Tennessee governor Bill Lee has signaled that he will not sign the legislation but will not veto it either.  Under Tennessee law, a bill becomes law ten days after it is presented to the governor (Sundays excepted) if the bill is not signed.  Tennessee’s law would therefore become effective May 25, 2019 if no further action is taken.

The recent action takes the number of states who have legalized sports betting to 13, with 8 of those states having already implemented regulated sports betting (Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Rhode Island).  Arkansas, New York, Oregon, Indiana and Iowa all are in the process of establishing regulations that would allow the roll-out of sports betting, along with Washington D.C.. 

A number of other states are moving towards legalization.  Colorado’s legislature approved a sports wagering bill on May 3, 2019.  It would need to be signed by the Governor and then the issue of sports wagering would advance to a statewide initiative on the November 2019 ballot.  Louisiana and North Carolina have each passed legislation in their respective Senates but not their respective Houses.  Numerous other states have introduced legislation that is working its way through the process and could result in additional states authorizing sports wagering in 2019.


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