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3 more states just voted to legalize sports betting

Maryland, Louisiana and South Dakota voted to legalize sports betting on election night. Yahoo Finance's Dan Roberts joins Kristin Myers to break down what's next.

Video Transcript

KRISTIN MYERS: On the ballots yesterday was also legalizing sports betting in several states. We have Yahoo Finance's Dan Roberts here now to talk to us about the landscapes and which states passed that initiative. Hey, Dan.

DAN ROBERTS: Hey, Kristin. Yes, so we're talking about Louisiana, Maryland and South Dakota, and that's all three of the states that last night had the question on the ballot. Now, we're talking specifically about sports betting, because three other states did vote yes to expand casino gaming, but that's separate. Now, what's interesting about those three states that passed today was decisive the vote, but it wasn't, you know, overwhelming like close to 90% in any. We're talking about 59% in one of those states, 66% in another. And then interestingly in Louisiana, they vote by parish. So all but 10 of the parishes voted yes to legalize sports betting.

Now, the caveat I want to give, that doesn't mean that we flip the switch, and those states now have legal sports betting. A little bit more follow up legislation has to pass, though probably launching 2021. But it does mean those three states will have legal sports betting. That brings us to a total of 27 states plus DC that have either launched or committed to launch legal sports betting. So you can see where the tide is headed, although that doesn't mean that we're just going to, you know, have legal sports betting across the country anytime soon. I think it will really take a while to get to a large number of states, but the momentum is obviously there.

KRISTIN MYERS: So you're mentioning that momentum, because that's a really interesting point, because we had long talked about sports betting, you and I, way back in the days when we actually were in studio, and folks have been telling us the likelihood of legalizing sports betting around the country was probably unlikely. As we just saw that patchwork of states that were willing to legalize it, are you reading the tea leaves, so to speak, the same way, or are you thinking that the way that the tide is going that we actually could see legalization of sports betting all across the country, perhaps not immediately, but in the next several years, perhaps in the next decade?

DAN ROBERTS: So just quickly, and I'm glad you brought up the distinction, because there's federal legalization. That has not happened. It's not, you know, legal at a federal level. All that happened is in 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down the ban, which allows each state to choose to legalize it in their own state. Now with the pro leagues, especially the NBA one, is what you just said, for America to say, it's now legal across the country at a federal level. I don't think that's going to happen, maybe never. Maybe in two decades. A state like Utah just isn't going to do it. But I do think that a year from now, you'll see a lot more states have it. You can see that that's where the domino effect is going state by state.