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All three states that had sports betting on ballots voted yes; sports betting now legal in 25 states

Frank Schwab
·2-min read

Voters generally want the freedom to place a legal bet on sports.

Tuesday’s elections provided further confirmation. Three states had measures on the ballot to legalize sports betting: Maryland, Louisiana and South Dakota. All voted yes.

Unlike other races on Election Day, the voting for sports betting wasn’t close. Maryland passed the measure with more than 66 percent of people voting yes. More than 58 percent voted yes to sports betting in South Dakota. Most parishes in Louisiana voted yes to allow sports betting, many by a wide margin.

That brings the number of states that allow legal sports betting to 25, according to the American Gaming Association. There are more to come, as the sports betting landscape continues to expand.

Half of states have already passed legal sports betting

A 2018 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court allowed individual states to decide whether to allow legal sports gambling. It didn’t take long for many states to adopt that measure.

There are 19 states, and also Washington D.C., in which betting on sports is operational according to the American Gaming Association. Six other states, including the three that passed the measure in Tuesday’s election, have authorized legal sports betting but have yet to launch it.

There is also active legislation regarding sports betting in three states: Hawaii, Massachusetts and Ohio.

Not surprisingly, multiple sports betting companies saw a spike in the stock market on Wednesday after the news that three more states will be allowing sports betting, according to Fortune magazine.

A patron enters his bet during the launch of legalized sports betting in Michigan at the MGM Grand Detroit casino in Detroit earlier this year. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
A patron enters his bet during the launch of legalized sports betting in Michigan at the MGM Grand Detroit casino earlier this year. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Sports betting looks different in various states. Some offer full mobile betting, other states only allow betting at physical locations.

No matter the extent of the betting in various states, people are making it clear with their votes that they prefer the option to place a wager on a game. In a little more than two years since the Supreme Court’s decision, half of the 50 states are already allowing it and it’s likely there are more to come.

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