Wisconsin moves to legalise sports betting

In a historic and surprising move, the state of Wisconsin is now one step closer to sports betting as Gov. Tony Evers and the Oneida Nation signed a compact amendment to allow betting on sporting events for the first time in the state.

Third time’s a charm

Tribal chairman Tehassi Hill and Gov. Tony Evers signed an amendment to Gaming Compact of 1991, an agreement between the two entities that allowed for certain gaming activities on Oneida Reservation.

“This is only the third time the compact has been amended, and it will be the first time that event wagering will be permitted in Wisconsin in recent history”, said Evers. He added: “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”.

The details

“Event wagering,” as defined by the compact amendment, include betting on professional sports such as football, basketball, hockey, baseball, and soccer as well as nationally televised award show such as the Oscars. Bettors can also wager on college sports, but not in-state programs such as the University of Wisconsin.

If approved, sports betting will only be within the tribe’s gaming facilities and the Oneida Nation announced it will look to open its first sportsbooks by the 2021 football season.

The tribe will have kiosks and retail betting stations at select gaming properties and will allow mobile wagering exclusively on tribal lands. It also expects to open a temporary sportsbook near its sports bar at its primary casino near Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport.

A surprising announcement

Thursday’s compact announcement stunned many gaming industry analysts and observers. The Badger State was among the few states that had not seriously considered legal sports betting legislation so far. As opposed to some of its bordering states, for which sports betting turned out to being very lucrative.

Evers confessed that this deal was a “half-year process,” but neither the governor’s office nor the tribe had given a public hint of a new compactor sports betting deal until the announcement this Thursday.

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