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As I See It

Wisconsin missing out on legal sports betting

Scott Robert Shaw

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Its a pretty safe bet that before long, all states will legalize sports betting. But at this point its also a safe bet that Wisconsin may be the last state to do so. When the Supreme Court opened the doors to legalized sports betting in states other than Nevada and New Jersey, many states were quick to pass legislation making sports gaming legal within their borders. Already Wisconsin is an outlier in the Midwest. Iowa has legalized sports betting. Sports books opened in Indiana just last week. Illinois sports books will open later this year, and Michigan and Minnesota legislatures are considering bills that would make sports gambling legal there. Then there is Wisconsin. Not a single piece of legislation has been introduced to legalize sports betting in the Badger state. And even if the state legislature passed bills legalizing sports betting tomorrow, it would likely be years before a person could place a legal bet in Wisconsin. That is because according to the state constitution, legalizing sports betting would require approval by both the Assembly and the Senate in two consecutive sessions, and would then have to be approved by voters in a statewide referendum. You can bet Packers fans would be happy to place a bet on their team, and a referendum would likely pass easily. Wisconsin lawmakers have dropped the ball on this one and if they don’t act soon, Wisconsin may soon be the only state where sports betting is not legal.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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