At the time of writing this sports betting is illegal in the state of Wisconsin. Technically speaking, Wisconsin sports betting was legalized with the introduction of pari-mutuel betting but there are no more race tracks operating in the state since 2009. Betting on sports teams or generally on athletics has been widely outlawed. However, Daily Fantasy sports sites and consequent betting is deemed legal in the state as it is classified as a game of skill. Online horse race betting, on races throughout the country is fully legal for residents as well.
Gambling Laws in Wisconsin
As opposed to many other states, Wisconsin went about their gambling regulations a bit differently. Instead of legalizing certain sectors the state repealed some positions on gambling. At the moment some forms of gambling are legal and available. Social and charitable gambling like raffles, bingo and the lottery are legal. Pari-mutuel betting at race tracks is legal and even available online. Authorized Tribal owned casinos are operating legally as well.
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- The Wisconsin State Journal
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- Office of Indian Gaming and Regulatory Compliance
- Department of Gaming
Most Popular Sports in Wisconsin
Sports play a major role in the state of Wisconsin with Major League teams in the 3 most popular sports, football, baseball and basketball. Apart from the Major league teams the state has stellar collegiate athletic teams as well as a multitude of successful minor league teams. As racing has been legal since the 80’s it played a major role, but at the time of writing this there are no active race tracks operating in the state anymore.
National Football League – Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are an NFL member and compete in the NFC North Division and are the 3rd oldest franchise in the NFL and is the only non-profit community owned team in the US. It is one of the more notable NFL teams. They hold some of the most coveted records such as winning 13 League championships with 9 pre- and 4 Super Bowl wins. They play home games at Lambeau Field with a capacity of about 82,000 and have sold out almost every home game since 1960.
National Basketball Association – Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks were established in 1968 and are a member of the NBA competing in the Eastern Conference Central Division. The Bucks won 1 League title, 2 conference titles and 14 Division titles, the last being in 2019 and have featured a list of notable players on their roster. They have just moved to Fiserv Stadium.
Major League Baseball – Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers compete in the National League Central division and were established in 1969 as Seattle Pilots. The name brewers refers to the city’s association with the brewing industry. After relocating twice, the team arrived in Milwaukee and play out of Miller Park. They have won 3 Division titles and made a World Series appearance once in 1982.
American Hockey League – Milwaukee Admirals
The Milwaukee Admirals were founded in 1970 as amateur team and currently compete in the American Hockey League. They are an affiliate of the Nashville Predators and play home games out of the Milwaukee Panther Arena. They have won 5 AHL Division championships and, 2 Conference championships and the Calder Cup once.
Local History of Sports Betting
Wisconsin started comparably late, and as previously mentioned quite different, in defining and organizing their gambling laws. After legalizing, raffles, bingo and the Lottery, race track betting was legalized at 5 private race tracks in the state. Pari-mutuel betting is the only legal type of sports betting in Wisconsin.
|1965||Amendment to give legislative power for exception to allow residents to take part in promotional contests|
|1987||After authorizing bingo and raffles the state Lottery was authorized|
|1987||With the introduction of the Lottery Pari-mutuel betting was legalized at 5 privately owned race tracks|
|1988||Indian Gaming Regulatory act, 11 licenses were given to native tribes (today 22) offering slots table games and poker|
|1993||Gambling laws were clarified, and all gambling outside of the aforementioned was outlawed.|
Legal Online Sports Betting Age in Wisconsin
Provided that sports betting is currently illegal in Wisconsin, a legal age for this type of activity still hasn’t been voted. The issue of cannabis possession is treated likewise. Whether it be for medical or recreational use cannabis has not been legalized. It is anticipated that the minimum age to place sports bets will be pursuant to the norms for drinking. In other words, 21 years of age.
Sports Betting Age
Is Online Sports Betting Legal Outside of the State?
As of 2018, commercial sports betting is effectively banned in the larger part of the United States. The space didn’t remain stagnant for too long however. A number of states have passed bills that can in term legalize sports betting. It’s fair to say that the states around Wisconsin are in the short strokes of making sports betting legal. For example Illinois. In 2018 a Senate bill called “Sports betting consumer protection act” along with other draft bills for which the formal vote is outstanding at the time of writing this. West Virginia, for example was the 5th state to offer sports betting legally, with the West Virginia Lottery Commission serving as oversight and regulator. The Hollywood Casino was the first venue to offer sports betting when it opened its doors on Aug 30th 2018.
Taxes on Your Winnings: Do You Have to Pay Anything?
The only good thing about sports betting in Wisconsin being illegal is thatno taxation has been set yet. Conversely, the state lottery is subjected to federal tax of 24% as well as state income tax of 7.65% on winnings over $5000. The same applies to winnings from pari-mutuel betting. People in the know predict that the taxes for when sports betting finally becomes a legal activity, will be in the ballpark.
Upcoming Regulation Changes in Wisconsin Betting Law
No official actions have been taken to commence legalizing sport betting in Wisconsin or to expand licenses. It seems the state is content with its pari-mutuel online betting platform and casinos. In order to expand further into online gambling and sports betting new legislation needs to be passed, which could be a lengthy road. The fact that many Midwestern states are working towards legalizing online sports betting may have a positive influence on the state in moving actions along faster.