The National Basketball Association is supposed to resume action in four weeks and that is coming as a relief to the legalized state sports gambling industry. Las Vegas has put up a betting line on the first scheduled NBA bubble game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. Since the last NBA game, which was played on March 11th, two more states have come on line. Washington is allowing state residents to bet on sports at tribal casinos only as there is no mobile offering. In Virginia, there is now legalized sports betting which will be run by the Virginia Lottery. The Virginia sports betting law kicked in on July 1st. There will be an online component in Virginia but to protect the integrity of something, there will be no betting on Virginia college sports and no betting on certain youth sports which might be Little League baseball. Oklahoma could be the next state to legalize sports gambling. With Virginia’s inclusion there are now 22 states and the District of Columbia that plan or are offering some form of legalized sports gambling.
In May 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States gave the greenlight to sports gambling in a case involving New Jersey’s bid to open up a sports betting casino in 2011. The National Football League fought New Jersey, now it embraces gambling. Nevada got legalized sportsbooks in 1949. New York, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, Oregon, New Mexico, Arkansas, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Michigan, Colorado and Tennessee now have various forms of sportsbooks. There are still states that are dithering. That list includes Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Kentucky. As the sports industry opens up, states are hoping people will bet on sports action. But gamblers beware, COVID-19 is the other sure thing.