Sports Gaming5 States That Could Legalize Online Casinos Soon

5 States That Could Legalize Online Casinos Soon

For a while now—particularly since the Supreme Court struck down PASPA in 2018—online sports betting has been the proverbial talk of the town. But online casinos are slowly and surely making their way to new markets. As it stands, you can bet at online casinos in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, Connecticut, and Delaware. 

Though online casinos lag behind their sports betting relatives, legislatively speaking, some markets are interested in legalizing them. Here are five states that could legalize online casinos in the near future. Please keep in mind this is mostly speculation; none of these states are guaranteed to legalize online casinos. 

Indiana

If we had to wager a guess, we’d say Indiana is among the most likely states to legalize online casinos this year. 

There’s an online casino bill making its way through the Indiana state legislature right now. If passed, it would set a September 1, 2023 launch date for online casinos. That means platforms like BetMGM Indiana Casino could go live in the Hoosier State before the year ends. 

The “house crossover deadline” is February 27. At that point, Indiana’s proposed bills either die or transfer to the State Senate. The bill proposes a 20% tax rate on online casino operators. 

Illinois

Illinois legislators have toyed with the idea of legalizing online casinos for a while now. The Land of Lincoln has offered online sports betting for a few years now, and the perennially indebted state (thanks, former corrupt Governors) could always use the added revenue stream. 

The bill that legalized Illinois online sports betting also authorized numerous new land-based casino projects in the state. While this doesn’t have much bearing on the possibility of online casinos, it does show that the Prairie state is willing to play ball with gambling operators. With the success of Michigan’s online casino market and Indiana well on its way to legalized online casinos, Illinois could look to play catch-up once again, as it already has with sports betting. Chicagoans in particular could hop across the border to Indiana, should the Hoosier state beat its neighbor to the punch. 

New York

State Senator Joseph Addabbo was a champion for New York sports betting. No surprise, then, that he’s also a driving force attempting to legalize online casinos in the Empire State. 

New York is one of the most populous states in the US. It has many Native American tribes with a stake in the market’s gaming industry. The sports betting tax rate is an astronomical 51%. Suffice it to say legalizing online casinos—and agreeing on a structure that pleases all parties—will be difficult. But New York made it happen for sports betting, so online casinos don’t seem all that far-fetched with one big online gambling bill under the state’s belt. 

Should New York succeed in legalizing online casinos, they could launch as soon as early 2024, pending the regulatory process. 

Colorado

Murmurs of Colorado online casinos have been rumbling since the Centennial State legalized sports betting. Colorado was one of the first states out west to legalize sports betting. 

Colorado has attempted to legalize online casinos in the past, but those attempts didn’t garner much traction. However, the state has more than 30 retail casinos. It’s likely those properties and their owners could look toward online casinos as another revenue stream and work with legislators to push for online casinos. 

Of the states on this list, Colorado has made the least meaningful progress toward online casinos in recent years, but the state could still surprise us in the years to come. 

Ohio

To be honest, Ohio is a long shot to legalize online casinos in the short term. The Buckeye State very recently launched online sports betting, and it still has to get its footing. 

However, Ohio is nestled in a competitive region of the US. It borders West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Indiana is also an Ohio neighbor. If IN legalizes, that’s four bordering states with online casinos. Ohio could risk losing potential revenue from players living near the borders hopping across to other states to play online. It makes sense, given the growth of online casinos in and near the midwest, that Ohio would want to legalize online casinos in the near future. 

Right this second, though, we don’t expect any major motion on the Ohio online casino front. As mentioned, the state is hyper-focused on making its sports betting market as successful as possible. Once the market is a bit more mature, Ohio could easily set its sights toward online casino gaming. 

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