Three states join push for expanded sports betting in US

27 January 2017

Lawmakers in New York, Michigan and South Carolina have introduced legislation seeking to legalise sports betting in their respective states.

The New York bill looks to exempt sports betting from the state’s gambling ban, and has support from sponsor Senator Tony Avella, who recently declared that he would challenge Bill de Blasio for the position of Mayor of New York City this year.

The South Carolina bill is similar as it seeks to amend the state constitution.

Both states require public approval in order to make such changes.

Meanwhile, the Michigan bill sets out plans to submit a referendum to voters on whether the state should introduce a form of legalised sports betting, with such legislation requiring the population of any township or city where this activity would take place to approve it by majority vote.

However, should any of the bills be passed in the states, they would still need to get past the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA), a law introduced in 1992 that bans sports betting in states where it was not already in existence.

New Jersey has already outlined its intention to challenge PAPSA and is currently involved in a case with the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) over its efforts to push through legislation.

However, last week SCOTUS said it was to delay its decision over the case after requesting a brief from the Solicitor General.

Nevada remains the only US state in which sports betting is legal.

Related article: New Jersey sports betting decision delayed