Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and West Virginia are the top-scoring states in the most recent reading of the Consumer Choice Center’s US Sports Betting Index.
The gauge ranks all 50 states on consumer friendliness and sportsbook accessibility with criteria including “how consumers can place bets, who controls betting, and the number of sportsbooks per capita in each state.”
Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and West Virginia each received scores of 21, tops among the 30 states where sports wagering is currently live and legal. States that do not have any form of regulated sports betting, such as California and Texas, score zero on the survey. The Consumer Choice Center’s US Sports Betting Index rewards states with robust competition.
If a state gave all of its betting rights to the state lottery and they had a monopoly on the sports betting industry in that state, the lottery would have no incentive to give consumers better lines to entice them to bet with them,” according to the organiztaion. “On the other hand, if consumers have a choice of 10 different sportsbooks, each sports book would have to offer more competitive lines, benefiting the consumer by giving them more freedom to choose their preferable sports book as well as getting more favorable betting odds.”
As just two examples, Montana and Oregon — states where lotteries control sports betting — score just 17 and 13, respectively. Earlier this year, Oregon saw the error of its ways and announced DraftKings will be its exclusive sportsbook operator.
Likewise, states where sports wagering is controlled exclusively by tribal operators, such as New Mexico and Washington, score tepidly in the US Sports Betting Index.
Nevada Something of a Surprise
Prior to the 2018 Supreme Court ruling on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), Nevada essentially had the legal sports wagering market in the US to itself.
As such, the state scores favorably in terms of sportsbooks per capita and overall sports betting legality, but the fact that it ties with other states atop the poll may surprise experienced sports bettors and residents of the state. For example, Nevadans must physically enter a casino and fill out paperwork to activate an online sports wagering account.
Additionally, states such as Colorado and neighboring Arizona don’t have the in-person registration requirement and operators offer more lucrative sign-up bonuses and deeper wagering menus in many states outside Nevada.
Plus, FanDuel and DraftKngs – two of the largest online sportsbooks – aren’t operational in Nevada.
Other States Faring Well
Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and West Virginia are the only states garnering the score of 21 from the Consumer Choice Center’s, but five others are right behind with tallies of 20. Those are Arizona, Indiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Wyoming.
Six other states, including some of the country’s largest sports betting markets, score 19. That group is comprised of Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania.
Of the states with true mobile wagering that’s not lottery operated and no in-person registration mandate, Tennessee and Virginia score somewhat low at 18. Both are relatively new entrants to the market, so there’s time for those rankings to increase.
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