Before the NBA’s suspension in mid-March, The Los Angeles Lakers took a commanding lead at the top of the Western Conference. That makes the Lakers the odds on favorites to win the NBA Championship this year.
With their newly proposed schedule, the Lakers will close out the regular season with eight games. Betting at the start of the newly proposed season is expected to be brisk, as Lakers fans have been eagerly awaiting the season to resume. However, not every Lakers fan across the country will be able to place an online sports bet legally due to the laws in their home state.
Where Can Lakers Fans Legally Bet Online?
Currently, 14 states offer legal online sports betting in the US. Gambling laws in the US are often confusing; while Delaware allows online casino games, it doesn’t permit online sports betting. While in Oregon, online casino games and poker are not permitted, but online sports betting is.
New Jersey Lakers fans are in a perfect position to place in-play bets on LeBron James; the Garden State’s market for sports batting and regulated online gambling is the biggest in the entire country raking in $225 million annually. There is a wide variety of both land-based online sportsbooks available there, which makes betting on both the regular season and play-off easy.
Neighboring Pennsylvania is another state with a strong sports betting market, after many of the big casinos operating in the state launched online sports betting sites. Late last year, Indiana also began to offer full-service online sports betting despite not having any plans to launch online casinos or poker.
Lakers fans in Delaware are in a good position to place bets; Delaware was the first state to launch online gambling after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overruled by the US Supreme Court in 2018. Delaware has three online casinos with a sportsbook, but none of those has a mobile app. But Lakers fans can easily log onto the online sportsbook websites from their computer or mobile device.
Mobile sports betting apps have made it easier for Lakers fans to place bets wherever they are. Mobile sports betting apps are available in several states now, including New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Oregon, Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana.
Iowa is a good example of how quickly online sportsbooks can be legalized and launched. Online sportsbooks were launched in Iowa for beginning in August 2019, and soon, the Hawkeye State had five online sports betting sites ready for players. However, registering for the online sportsbooks in Iowa requires that a written form be submitted in person at a partner casino. The good news is, the in-person requirement will expire at the end of 2020.
The latest state to legalize online gambling in Colorado. Following a voter referendum in November 2019, online sports betting went live in Colorado in May 2020. Potentially, the Centennial State could have as many as 33 online sportsbooks for Lakers fans to place bets during the rest of 2020.
Tennessee is unique, in that the Volunteer State has online betting even though it doesn’t have any land-based gambling locations at all. In April 2019, Tennessee legalized online sports betting and the online sportsbooks are expected to debut sometime in 2020. Hopefully, for Lakers fans who hope to bet on the team from Tennesse, the sites will be up and running before the end of the year.
Who Can’t Bet Online Legally?
The sad irony is, Los Angeles-based Lakers fans won’t be able to bet on their team this year. While efforts are underway to push through sports betting legislation in California, for now, the closest place to bet on the Lakers in Las Vegas. The California sports betting legislation could have been put before voters during 2020, but the extended COVID-19 shutdowns have put those plans on hold. However, the fact that California is considering legalizing sports betting means the current situation could change soon.
Several other states are also considering legalizing online sports betting shortly. In Florida, three bills related to the legalizing online betting are up for a vote.
Lawmakers in Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, and Missouri are also hopeful when it comes to expanding online gambling options. The fact is, the majority of states have either made sports betting legal or are moving quickly towards some level of legalization. As of this year, the only states to have no action on the issue of online gambling are Wisconsin, Idaho, and Utah, the latter of which has a built-in ban against gambling written into the state’s constitution.
On the whole, the picture for online sports betting is much better for Lakers fans across the country. A few years ago, the state of Nevada had a monopoly on sports gambling. But now, with more states ready for legal sports gambling, Lakers fans will soon have even more options close to home.