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Who's next to launch online sports betting?

22 November 2019

Is lift-off in sight for Montana, New Hampshire, Colorado, Illinois or Tennessee?

Welcome along. Another seven days have zoomed by since we last spoke, pushing us closer to December and all the winter festivities. Before we know it, we’ll be bringing in 2020 and a brand new decade.

But which states, if any, will be toasting the new year with an online sports betting industry to boot? Plenty have passed bills, only to have gone quiet in recent weeks.

Here’s the very latest on states legal, but still waiting to go live.

Montana online sports betting

  • Projected: December 2019

Get the drinks in, Montanans! There’s good news in The Treasure State where the Montana Lottery Commission has, in the last few hours, approved and signed off rules to implement sports wagering.

This gives the industry a genuine chance of a launch before 2019 is out.

Montanans will be able to bet on their favorite sports at up to 1,400 locations in the state with bars, taverns and restaurants eligible to apply for a sports betting license - in Montana, state law sees gambling licenses tied with liquor licensing in an attempt to drive custom.

Full-scale mobile wagering will not feature

While this part of the deal is appealing, the full-scale mobile wagering every state craves will not feature in the “Big Sky Country”. Bettors will be able to make a wager from a mobile device but only at one of the licensed locations. A further standout is the ability to bet on both pro and collegiate sports.

The Lottery is still tying together the odds and ends of the framework. But end of year roll out forecast looks to be on the money. As the first state to legalize sports betting in 2019, Montana is set to become the final launch of 2019.

New Hampshire online sports betting

  • Projected: December 2019/January 2020

Closing the year with a sports betting launch looks likely in the Granite State too.

H 480 was signed into law in July with the state lottery responsible for overseeing the industry. As per the law, there is the potential for up to five mobile operators and retail sportsbooks.

DraftKings will be the state’s sole online betting option

However, DraftKings will be the state’s sole online betting option online. Their proposal to the New Hampshire Lottery Commission will see DraftKings share 51% of their revenue in exchange for exclusivity. The deal is all good to go but still needs rubber stamping.

As part of the agreement, they’ll also be a retail license for DraftKings who will be able to open up to ten land based sportsbooks as per the legislation. It’s hoped the necessary details are finalised for mobile betting to go live before the end of the regular NFL season (29th December) If not, then January it will most certainly be.

Colorado online sports betting

  • Projected: May 2020 (or before)

    You may have heard that The Rocky Mountain State legalized sports betting earlier this month, albeit only just!

    Now the focus turns to operators applying for licenses, which will start to be accepted by the Colorado Division of Gaming before December. As part of the framework, each licensee will need to be partnered with an existing casino licensee and receive one online skin (brand)

    Although the demand for sports betting is unclear, it’s believed the usual suspects will head the list of names seeking a piece of the action in a market with the potential to become the biggest in the MidWest.

    Online betting on Colorado

    While mobile betting is popular in Nevada, the numbers are unreliable due to the amount of tourists passing through. Then there’s the person sign up. And while Oregon went live just a few weeks back, the Lottery’s sole mobile app prevents a competitive market.

    Licensed operators are expected to launch by May 1 2020, at the latest.

    Illinois online sports betting

    • Projected: 2021

    Movement has been next to non-existent in the Prairie State since sports betting was legalized in July.

    However, as from next month, potential sports betting operators in Illinois can begin applying for sports betting licenses, setting the wheels into motion, albeit very, very slowly.

    Full scale mobile wagering won’t be a thing until at least 2021

    Retail sports betting needs to be live for at least eighteen months before the three mobile-only licenses available, can be applied for. And even once the first licenses are issued, bettors will face the hassle of in person registration for some time.

    Expect sports betting in Illinois at some point in 2020. But, barring any changes, full scale mobile wagering won’t be a thing until at least 2021.

    Tennessee online sports betting

    • Projected: 2020

    With no physical casinos or sportsbooks in The Treasure State - and notably no intention to build any - mobile will be the only way to bet on sports in Tennessee. Which should make things easier, you’d think, right?

    But there’s a uniqueness to the situation given no other state has launched with just mobile betting. Without a blueprint to follow, and with a desire to get it right, there’s no deadline in which to go live. The application for sports betting operators isn’t even in sight.

    Mobile will be the only way to bet on sports in Tennessee

    However, rules for the industry have at least been drafted. As is the norm, the minimum age to bet is 21 and bettors must use a licensed vendor. Also, it’s forbidden for those involved in sport to wager, while for college sports, only bets on the end result will be allowed.

    A 2020 launch date is anticipated for Tennessee. Though quite when it happens is anybody’s guess right now.

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