Wisconsin Sports Betting is Coming; Gov. Tony Evers Signs New Gaming Compact
Wisconsin was not really on the radar for most experts when it came to possible sports betting legalization in 2021. However, in a surprise deal announced this week, Governor Tony Evers has signed a new gaming compact with the Oneida Nation that will allow retail sports betting at their tribal casinos. To be clear, this compact only legalizes in-person betting as bettors will only be able to wager on casino property.
In quotes provided by Action Network, Governor Evers seemed ecstatic about the new compact, saying, “This is a historic day for our state and will serve as a major milestone for our state’s partnership with the Oneida nation for generations to come.” It will be interesting to see if Evers tries to further leverage this partnership to allow state-wide mobile sports wagering.
While this gaming compact is now officially signed, it is not technically put into place until approved by the Department of the Interior. This approval, or unlikely rejection, will take place in the next month or so. With the time frame in mind, sports betting should be ready for the 2021 NFL season in Wisconsin.
When & Where Can You Bet
This agreement between the Oneida Nation and the Governor’s Office is only for in-person gaming. This means that you can only wager on sports at Oneida Nation tribal casinos and sportsbooks. It is also worth noting that not all Oneida Nation properties will have sportsbooks right away; however, there are plans to open up new sportsbook-centric and casino properties in the future.
The compact will allow professional and collegiate wagers on sports but does follow the trend of banning in-state collegiate wagers. This means that the University of Wisconsin will not be available to bettors to place wagers on at Oneida Nation sportsbooks.
Sports betting could launch before the NFL season as long as the proposal is accepted in a timely manner. Oneida Nation will not want to miss out on cashing in on the most profitable betting season in the United States.
Possible Mobile Wagering
As of right now, it does not seem like there are any plans for expansive online mobile wagering in the state. There has yet to be a state to allow state-wide mobile wagering through a gaming compact. However, Florida is attempting to do so at the moment with the Seminole Tribe. The results of this experiment in Florida will likely give us a clear indication of what would be needed in Winsconsin to allow state-wide mobile sports wagering.
Nearby Market & Their Power
With Canada legalizing single-game wagering, Michigan launching expansive online sports betting this year, and Illinois and Iowa already having established sports betting markets, Wisconsin needed to act fast if it wanted any piece of the pie. It makes sense that Wisconsin would follow its neighbors in allowing some kind of sports betting. If no action was taken, it is likely that Wisconsin bettors would simply take their money to neighboring states. Now, that money will likely state in-state with this new gaming compact.