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    States Completely Against Legalization of Sports Betting

    Thirty-six states, plus the District of Columbia, have some form of legal sports betting. Some states may not see that happen anytime soon.

    The legalization process for sports betting began in earnest in 2018, with up to 36 states, plus the District of Columbia, having some form of legal sports betting. Some other states, while not yet legal, have begun the legislative process of bringing that to a reality. Still, there are some holdouts where legalization becomes less and less likely with each passing day.

    Below is a list of the six states where sports betting is unlikely to see a pathway to legalization in the near future, if at all.

    Which U.S. States Are Against Sports Betting?

    • Georgia
    • Alabama
    • Utah
    • Idaho
    • California
    • Alaska

    Will Sports Betting Ever Be Legal in States Like Utah?

    Some of these states have attempted to legalize sports betting legislatively, and the measures have been defeated at the ballot box. Others don’t even have any legislation pending at all. Then you have a state where it is hardwired into their state criminal code to keep sports betting illegal forever. Below is a list of each of the six states in question and where they stand on the issue.

    Georgia

    To legalize sports betting in Georgia, an amendment to the state’s constitution is required, and in February 2023, that was voted down. There are loopholes to get around this, but none of those efforts have gotten any momentum, either.

    Alabama

    Bills to legalize sports betting have failed to make it all the way through the Alabama legislature over the previous two years. That bills keep getting put forth is good news, but the state senate has been where these have gone to die with no progress made with that part of the chamber.

    Utah

    Utah is not just a long shot at legalizing sports betting anytime soon; it’s a long shot to ever legalize sports betting. This is because it is enshrined in the state’s criminal code (Chapter 10, part 11), specifically that not only is it criminally illegal now but also in the future.

    MORE: Sports Betting Strategies | Sports Betting Terms

    Should the federal government ever allow the states to legalize sports betting at their discretion, which as of 2018 is, in fact, the case, Utah has already declared, in the criminal code, that it will remain illegal.

    Idaho

    There has been zero movement at any level of the state legislature to legalize sports betting. That may change in the future as four of its five neighbors legalize sports betting in some fashion, and Idaho continues to lose business across its border. That has been happening for some time already, however, and it has not spurred any action.

    California

    This is one of the big prizes for sportsbooks hoping for increased legalized sports betting, if not the biggest. However, they may have to wait until 2024 at the earliest to see it come to fruition. Even then, it’s not a slam dunk. California citizens voted down both propositions that were put forth in November 2022, and there remains opposition from California’s local tribes and even within the government itself.

    Alaska

    While there have been attempts locally to legalize sports betting in Alaska, it remains a long shot to happen there anytime soon. Unlike most of the other states on this list, the books themselves are not doing a lot of lobbying because the state has such a large land area to cover, and the population is too small to make the effort worth it.

    Nevertheless, there is a bill in front of the state legislature awaiting a vote, but that vote does not appear to be happening soon.

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