Wisconsin is about to add its name to the growing list of states that have their legal sports betting markets up and running. The launch of the activity hinges on the successful approval of gaming compacts between the state and its 11 Native Indian tribes, and the Oneida Nation has crossed the finish line. Should everything go smoothly, the first tribal sportsbook could be seen this November.
Oneida Nation Brings Sports Betting to Wisconsin
The Oneida Nation reportedly had its updated gaming compact with the state approved by the Department of the Interior (DOI) last week. With that, it now has the green light to launch its first sportsbook, according to The Action Network. The new agreement will allow the tribe, the official casino partner of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, to introduce sportsbooks at all of its casinos in the state, and the first to accept sports wagers is expected to be Main Street Casino, a short distance from Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport. The tribe hasn’t yet announced who will operate the sportsbook, but is said to already have its partner in place.
The sportsbook should be ready to launch in November. The tribe is currently rounding up the hardware and equipment it needs to support the launch; however, there is reportedly a “component backorder” that might be causing issues. That is per the GM of Oneida Casino Gaming, Louise Cornelius, who didn’t specify what type of equipment was affected or if additional delays could come. Should the sportsbook open in November, that would give sports bettors access to half of the NFL season, which starts on September 9, and most of the NBA season, starting on October 19.
Mobile Sports Betting On Hold
As lucrative as online sportsbooks, and online casinos, have proven themselves to be, Wisconsin isn’t yet ready to make that leap. Sports betting in the state will be limited to just the tribal properties per the gaming compact. It might be better this way, for now, after seeing the difficulty Florida is facing with its attempts to introduce statewide mobile sports betting with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. While the Oneida won’t have a mobile sports betting app that can be used anywhere in the state, it will offer mobile betting from inside the casinos.
Now that the Oneida Nation has received approval for sports betting, Wisconsin’s market could pick up steam. There are reportedly no other tribes in the state that have shown interest in legalized sports wagers, but that could change once they see how well the Oneida are doing. Wisconsin has no commercial casinos, which means all of the gambling activity is led by the state’s tribes. With 27 gaming facilities in the state, that’s a lot of potential targets for sportsbooks. Once the first book launches, Minnesota will be the only Wisconsin neighbor not to have legal sports betting. Some lawmakers in the state are attempting to find support for legislation, but the state is bringing a new definition to the word slow.