Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers agrees to sports betting pact with local Oneida Nation
Oneida tribe will be able to offer legalized sports betting on their properties around the state
Similar deals with other tribes are expected to follow
On Thursday, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers officially signed a compact with the Oneida Nation that will greenlight sports betting in the state for the first time. The deal calls for the tribe to begin offering legal sports betting at its casinos and affiliate properties around the state. The pact will now have to await approval from the federal government before going into effect.
When and if the deal gets approved, bettors will be given the ability to place legal wagers on NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball games. This deal is unique in that it will grant bettors the right to place bets on special events, as well, such as professional sports league drafts and the outcomes of major awards shows, such as the Oscars or Golden Globes.
Oneida Nation’s Deal
The Oneida Tribe will have the exclusive right to begin accepting wagers at its local properties. Remote internet betting will also be allowed, though only if the person betting is physically located on land owned by the tribe. So, the mobile sports betting component will likely be a fairly small part of the overall experience.
While the Oneida Nation is currently the only tribe involved, the state’s Department of Administration added that Wisconsin is engaged in similar talks with other local tribes. Spokesperson Olivia Hwang said Thursday that Wisconsin is discussing a similar deal with at least one other tribe that will allow that tribe to operate its own sports betting platform, too. The government has said it is open to discussing these types of deals with any tribe in the state.
Oneida Casino is proud to announce it is one step closer to bringing legalized sports betting to WI. Chairman, Tehassi Hill, and Governor, Tony Evers, signed an amendment to the Oneida Nation Gaming Compact adding sports wagering to the scope of games to be offered at Oneida. pic.twitter.com/dxGbVbxQhq
— Oneida Casino (@OneidaCasino) July 1, 2021
The new deal will not affect the Oneida Nation’s existing revenue-sharing deal with Wisconsin, though that is subject to change if the sports betting industry explodes in popularity. While some states allow for bettors to place mobile bets even if they are not physically located on tribal lands, that is not the case in Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s sports betting pact is more limited in nature, though it may expand further in the future.
In a statement, Evers said, “I’m grateful to Chairman Hill and the Oneida General Tribal Council for their partnership on this historic compact amendment. The Oneida Casino is a critical source of revenue and employment for Oneida Nation and this expansion will bring new opportunities for employment and revenue growth to the Tribe.”
The tribe is hoping to be able to launch its sports betting platform by the time football season begins later this fall. Bettors will be barred from placing bets on college sports in the state, however. Elections and other events that include participants younger than 19 years old will also be prohibited.
Sports Betting Expanding Across US
Dozens of states have voted to legalize and open local sports betting industries since the US Supreme Court’s landmark decision to eliminate the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May of 2018. Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa are a few states near Wisconsin that have fully operational industries.
Wisconsin has lost out on tourism to those neighboring states as a result. Governor Evers believes this is the first step toward opening a fully legalized industry, but the state has not done so yet. In order for a fully legal sports betting industry to open, Wisconsin’s state Assembly and Senate would each have to approve a measure in consecutive sessions. Voters would then take to the polls in order to officially approve the measure on the ballot in order to alter Wisconsin’s state constitution.
The states that have legalized sports betting have reaped massive financial benefits already. Colorado’s industry has grown exponentially after opening in May of 2020, while Pennsylvania and New Jersey have exploded into sports betting havens. Those two states are already rivaling Nevada as the biggest sports betting industries in the United States.