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Minnesota, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Alabama Quietly Making US Legal Sports Betting Industry News

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Fans attend the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 21, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images via AFP.

We take a look at some US states who could make sports betting legal in the near future.

33 states in America have welcomed or are in the process of bringing on their own legal sports betting platform, despite the idea of such an industry being somewhat controversial only 3.5 short years ago. While still taboo in some states, most are on board or are signaling their intentions to allow sports betting.

Let’s take a peek into four states that are in various stages of acceptance of a legal sports betting platform.

Minnesota

The battle for legal sports betting in the state of Minnesota seems to be gaining steam. After a few failed attempts to legalize sports wagering, it seems like the time is now for legislation.

Many of Minnesota’s neighbors such as Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota are currently benefitting from their own legal sports betting platform and reaping some tax contribution rewards.

“Minnesotans deserve the chance to engage in safe and legal sports betting right here in Minnesota,” Rep. Zack Stephenson, chair of the House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee said. “It’s past time for us to bring a safe and regulated sports gambling to the state of Minnesota,” Rep. Pat Garofalo added.

Expect to hear more about the drive toward legal sports betting in Minnesota during the next legislative session. Sports wagering bills have already been drafted by Sen. Karla Bigham and Rep. Pat Garofalo. Each will be heard likely in January.

SEE ALSO: Ohio Sports Betting Legal but There Is a But

Kentucky

The fact that Kentucky, home of one of the most bet-on annual sporting events annually in the Kentucky Derby, doesn’t have legal sports betting yet is a bit of a head-scratcher. But it is not for the lack of trying especially from Adam Koenig, a Republican member of the Kentucky House of Representatives who has been attempting to legalize sports betting and vows to keep on after a number of fails.

All of the Midwest states either have or are, like Ohio, prepping to launch their own legal sports betting platform. Most are presently cashing in on tax revenues from their own legal sports betting industries. Kentucky continues to be left out in the cold but hopes to join the fray in 2022 or 2023.

“Some people think it’s evil and sinning,” Adam Koenig said in a recent interview. “Some people think their constituents don’t want it. It’s fair to say voting ‘no’ on anything gambling is a safe vote, especially if you’re a Republican and have to face a Republican primary.”

Despite the obvious blowback, sports betting legislation in Kentucky will be heard in 2022 in Kentucky. Just where that goes is anyone’s guess.

Arkansas

The state of Arkansas appears poised to expand its legal sports betting platform to include mobile. A vote by the Arkansas Racing Commission on a profit-sharing partnership deal between local casinos and online bookmakers like DraftKings and FanDuel is set for December 30.

If passed, the issue moves on to the Arkansas Legislative Council, which will either accept or deny the agreement. That vote will likely take place in January. It has the potential to drastically alter how citizens of the state place a bet— from windows and kiosks at casinos to the comfort of their homes.

Alabama

How about Alabama as a jurisdiction? Alabama has traditionally been one of the states fundamentally opposed to any form of legal sports betting or gambling. The conservative state doesn’t currently have any casinos within its borders, with exception of Class II tribal casinos, which offer only bingo-style gaming machines.

But if Senator Greg Albritton and his group have their way, a casino and lottery bill could be on the way for Alabama. A decision could come right at the beginning of the next legislative session which begins January 11. That bill would pave the way for state-authorized lottery gambling options as well as table games at tribal casinos.

It doesn’t mean legal sports betting just yet in Alabama. But some hope seems to be on the horizon for proponents of sports gambling down the line. 2022 is a longshot for any gambling legislation. But the fact that Alabama is even considering an expansion of its wagering industry shows just how far the mainstreaming of betting has come.