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Wisconsin Sports Betting

Editor’s note: As of Jan. 20, 2021

Fans of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Brewers, and Wisconsin Badgers better not hold their collective breaths when it comes to sports betting in America’s Dairyland -- it could be fatal.

State lawmakers have shown little interest in getting anything moving in that regard, possibly due to the already stringent tribal compacts. Nearly 11 tribal nations operate more than 20 casinos in the state offering table games, slots and bingo.

No bills have been introduced in the state.

The compacts would have to be renegotiated, a daunting venture, if sports betting were to be considered in Wisconsin. That alone is one reason it hasn’t moved forward.

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Adding to the approval hurdles is that legalized sports betting would need to be approved by the state Assembly and Senate in two consecutive legislative sessions, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. Then, a statewide voter referendum would be needed to approve the Wisconsin Constitution, which outlaws gambling.

At least one lawmaker, Rep. Tyler Vorpagel (R) is on the record in support of trying, especially to keep the revenue in the state rather than going to neighboring states – Iowa, Indiana and eventually Illinois – that have legalized betting on sports.

Sports betting analysts, The Action Network, have Wisconsin firmly planted on its “not in sight” list citing tribal interests in keeping the status quo.

Is sports betting currently legal in the state?


What about horse racing?

Thanks to an anomaly in the law it is perfectly legal to place wagers on horse racing via authorized operators such as Bet America, Twinspires, and AM Wager.

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