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Update of Recent States and Legal Sports Betting

The sports betting industry in the United States continues to grow, and Election Day 2020 played a key role in adding to the growth. Voters in some states took to the polls to approve legalized sports betting, and 2021 is set to be another big year in the industry.

Most states require a new constitutional amendment before sports betting can be legalized, and it’s clear that a majority of US citizens are in favor of making that change. Here is a recent update on four states and where they stand when it comes to sports betting.


In Louisiana, each parish voted on whether or not to legalize sports betting, and the result was overwhelmingly positive for the industry. Voters in 55 of the 64 parishes approved the ballot measure, with some parishes reporting more than 80 percent of the votes were in favor.

This now sets up a unique task for lawmakers throughout the state because the sports betting industry will not be legal state-wide. Lawmakers did not spend a lot of time discussing details before the referendum being placed on the ballot.

Industry experts believe that sports betting likely won’t be available until 2022 in Louisiana, but lawmakers could speed up the process when they meet in 2021. 


Maryland lawmakers struggled to develop sports betting regulations, but they were able to get a referendum placed on the ballot in November. That referendum was approved by a count of 66.3%-33.7%, meaning that sports betting is now legal.

Unfortunately, it could still take some time before the industry is launched in Maryland, as lawmakers must now meet to come up with rules to govern the industry. Both mobile and retail sports betting will be included, but there are a number of other factors that need to be discussed. 

South Dakota

Voters in South Dakota overwhelmingly approved a referendum to legalize sports betting in the town of Deadwood. Deadwood is home to all of the state’s commercial casinos, and residents hope to create more revenue for this area.

This also means that the 11 tribal casinos in the state can offer sports betting as soon as they can get things up and running. The South Dakota sports betting market will be much smaller than in some other states, but it could be the first to launch in 2021. 


The state of Virginia has already legalized sports betting, and a vote of approval was not needed from residents on November 3. They did ask residents to vote on new casino projects, and that is where all of the retail sports betting will take place. 

All four cities that held a vote on Tuesday night approved the casino projects, and those will now get underway almost immediately. Retail sports betting will be live at some point in 2021 throughout the state. 

Less than a month ago, the Virginia Lottery announced that it would begin taking sports betting applications from operators. That application window closed on October 31, but the lottery has not yet announced what companies initially applied.

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