The number of places where you can legally bet on sports in Wisconsin continues to grow at an exponential rate. What's more, this trend doesn't appear on course to change entering 2023. In fact, given the latest development, it may not be long before Wisconsin legal sports betting is offered in every casino and eligible sports venue throughout the state.
Granted, this has been the state's goal all along. Wisconsin outlined a plan to expand legal sports betting options after an initial limited rollout in just a handful of casinos. But many were skeptical the state would follow through. At the very least, the prevailing sentiment was that they would take their time to noticeably broaden the list of Wisconsin legal sports betting options.
However, it became clear by the end of the summer that the state wasn't messing around. Another Wisconsin tribe received legal sports betting approval in September, and it turns out they were the first of many more to follow. Not only that, but Wisconsin is also starting to expand the reach of casinos that already have limited sports betting licenses.
Where can we expect to see sports betting in Wisconsin land next? Let's find out.
Wisconsin Legal Sports Betting is Becoming Ubiquitous
Wisconsin governor Tony Evers has "struck a handful of gaming deals" that will expand the sports betting footprint throughout the state. Most notably, the Menominee Tribe officially received approval to start rolling out their own sports betting services.
This move alone will leave a huge dent on Wisconsin's gambling market. As Geoff Zochodne noted for Covers.com: "[The Menominee Tribe] already operates Menominee Casino Resort and announced in July it was partnering with Hard Rock International to take another run at opening a casino in Kenosha. A previous attempt by the Menominee at establishing a Kenosha-based gaming facility earned approvals from the city, county, and federal government, but was shot down by then-governor Scott Walker in 2015."
By licensing the Menominee tribe now, present-day governor Tony Evers is just increasing the number of places at which Wisconsinites can bet on sports. He's opening the door for more casinos and sportsbooks to set up shop within the state.
Indeed, this isn't technically a given. Then again, many of the gaming compacts Evers has brokered hinted at similar circumstances. A handful of the tribes now newly licensed to offer Wisconsin legal sports betting previously showed interest in partnering with larger corporations on new casino-resort projects.
Fast forward a few years down the line, and it seems like Wisconsin could be a midwest hotbed for tourists looking to gamble while experiencing resort-style getaways. Even as in-person betting is on the decline throughout the United State, this would be a huge boon for the Wisconsin economy.
Is Online Sports Betting Now Legal in Wisconsin, Too?
Speaking of the decline in on-site wagering: Governor Evers may have just taken steps to legalize online sports betting in Wisconsin, as well.
At present, online sports betting remains illegal within state lines. Wisconsinites can still sign up and service accounts with many of the sites that appear in our reviews of the top online sportsbooks, but North American companies such as FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, BetMGM and many more are prohibited from offering their mobile sports betting apps to people who reside within the Badger State.
To be sure, nothing Governor Evers has done recently changes that now. But the agreements he recently came to with the Menominee tribe, along with many of their peers, allows for sports betting on mobile apps in Wisconsin so long as you're on tribal grounds.
It isn't yet clear whether this new provision will apply to casinos that received their licenses earlier in the process and already fired up their gaming operations. But the fact that Wisconsin has amended their online sports betting laws at all, in any capacity, is a big deal when projecting forward.
It means that wider-spread legal online sports betting in Wisconsin should soon be on the way.
Wisconsin Sports Betting Headed to an Arena or Stadium Near You?
Even though we're optimistic about Wisconsin online sports betting eventually earning the stamp of approval in 2023 or 2024, it isn't going to happen immediately. On-site wagering continues to be the state's focus. And that will invariably spill over into sporting venues.
Other states have allowed sportsbooks to set up shop near or inside stadiums and arenas. Sometimes, they come in the form of portable kiosks. Other times, they come in the form of brick-and-mortar structures inside the stadium and arena that allow fans to watch multiple games on large TVs or even procure special seats to the arena or stadium event they're attending.
Based on the most recent ruling in Wisconsin, we're banking on this setup finding its way to the state soon. Pro sports franchises like the Milwaukee Bucks (NBA) and Milwaukee Brewers (MLB) have already expressed interest in partnerships, and erecting on-site sportsbooks is one way for predominantly digital bookies like FanDuel and DraftKings to crack the Wisconsin market.
The timeline for this rollout is unclear. Again: There aren't even concrete plans in place. But the state has done enough to imbue us with confidence. The expansion of on-site sports betting in Wisconsin is a top priority, and it will continue to be deep into 2023, if not beyond.
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