Sports betting is not legal in the state of Wisconsin.
Wisconsin is one of the few states that has not even tried to get a sports betting bill passed in its legislature since the Supreme Court’s PASPA decision in 2018. However, officials are said to be studying the issue. So, there could be a light at the end of the tunnel, albeit a very distant light.
Should the time come, it is not going to be easy to make it happen. The state constitution contains anti-gambling provisions. So, it will need to get amended, which is no simple task. A bill will need to get passed by the Assembly and Senate across two consecutive legislative sessions.
That would allow the question to then get put to the voters via a referendum.
But if that does not seem plausible, the state could renegotiate its gaming compacts with the 11 tribal groups that operate casinos in Wisconsin. However, if the state does not give the tribal groups exclusive control over sports betting, the tribes would not have to make their exclusivity payments anymore.
So, there are paths to getting it done if/when the state ever decides to seriously approach the issue of sports betting.
There are 26 tribal casinos located inside Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s best shot at legal sports betting probably resides in the tribal gaming compacts getting amended to allow retail sports betting.
Role of the Lottery
Wisconsin does have a state lottery, but there is no reason to believe it will be involved in a future sports betting industry in the state.
Professional Sports Team Involvement
Wisconsin is home to the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers and the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. There is no reason to think they will be involved in sports betting should the industry ever get launched in Wisconsin.
Since there has yet to even be a bill proposed to get sports betting legalized, there have not been any discussions involving licensing, fees, and/or taxation.
Expected Live Date
There has been some muted interest in sports betting of late. But there has yet to be any action taken in that direction. Without even a cursory effort regarding sports betting to date, there is no reason to guess as to when it could launch in-state.
Once a bill is proposed, and progress begins to be made, there is no launch date in the near future for Wisconsin.
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