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Sports betting simplified
Legal Wisconsin sports betting began in 2021 after tribal gaming operators began renegotiating their gaming compacts with the state to authorize retail sportsbooks at casinos. Multiple Wisconsin sportsbooks are open to the public today, and more will follow suit soon.
Currently, legal sports betting in Wisconsin is limited to bets placed in person at authorized casinos. Lawmakers will need to pass additional legislation to legalize online sportsbooks.
Other legal Wisconsin online betting options include daily fantasy sports apps and horse racing betting sites. Additionally, fans in southern Wisconsin can head to Iowa, Illinois, or Michigan to place sports wagers online via licensed mobile betting apps. In-person gambling options consist of tribal casinos, the state lottery, and charitable gaming.
State of Wisconsin Sports Betting Overview
Sports betting in Wisconsin was legalized in mid-2021 via amendments to the state's gaming compact with the Oneida Nation.
The amendments cleared the tribe to install retail sportsbooks in Wisconsin on tribal land and accept mobile wagers from patrons physically located on casino property. Sportsbooks may accept wagers on amateur and collegiate events, excluding games involving Wisconsin colleges.
The Department of the Interior (DOI) approved the amended gaming compact, and Wisconsin’s first retail sportsbook opened in November 2021 at the Oneida Casino in Green Bay.
The St. Croix Chippewa Indians signed a similar agreement in the final days of 2021 to offer retail sports betting at their casinos. The Potawatomi Nation and Sokaogon Chippewa Community have also signed amended gaming compacts with the state to open sportsbooks.
Prior to 2021, there was little progress or discussion regarding legalizing sports betting in Wisconsin. No bills had been introduced on the topic in either 2019 or 2020.
In fact, even past efforts, such as Assembly Bill 800, which attempted to legalize daily fantasy sports games, failed to pass through the legislature. While DFS sites are not technically legal, they are also not illegal. Many DFS sites accept customers from Wisconsin.
Taking all this into account, industry experts thought it was nearly impossible to put a timeframe on when Wisconsinites could expect legal sports betting in their state.
Wisconsin is no longer a state whose laws explicitly forbid sports gambling after the state gaming compact was suddenly amended in July of 2021.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned on May 14, 2018. Courts voted to allow each state to propose and create its laws and regulations for sports betting. Wisconsin is just one of many states that have initiated the legalization process.
While horse racing is legal in Wisconsin, there are currently no race tracks in the state.
Residents, especially those in the south of the state, can cross state lines into Iowa or Illinois to bet on sports legally. In the north, Michigan also offers legal sports betting.
Wisconsin is home to several retail sportsbooks now, and more are on the way. Multiple tribal gaming operators have signed amended gaming agreements with the state to offer sports betting on tribal property.
Soon, Wisconsin will be home to a competitive land-based sports betting industry. However, online sports betting in Wisconsin will remain limited to patrons physically located on casino grounds until Wisconsin legalizes statewide online wagering.
State of Wisconsin Sports Betting Timeline
2023 - The Forest County Potawatomi Community opens self-serve sports betting kiosks at two casino-based sportsbooks: The Potawatomi Casino in downtown Milwaukee and the Potawatomi Casino in Carter. The Forest County Potawatomi Community struck a deal with the Kambi Group to provide a full suite of sports betting services to the tribe’s Milwaukee sportsbook.
Nov. 17, 2022 – The state of Wisconsin and the Sokaogon Chippewa Community’s compact agreement was approved. With this news, the fifth sportsbook in Wisconsin was given the green light to open up at the tribe’s Mole Lake Casino before Super Bowl 57.
Apr. 18, 2022 – The St. Croix Casino in Turtle Lake opens a sportsbook.
Feb. 21, 2022 – Oneida Nation launches sports betting app, only usable from Oneida land.
2021 - The Oneida Indian Nation begins offering sports betting in Wisconsin after reaching a tribal compact with the state. The tribe opens a sportsbook at the Oneida Casino complex in the Green Bay area.
The St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin reach a compact deal with the state.