Yes, You Can Gamble Legally in the Deep South
Gambling in the U.S. continues to be governed by state laws, despite a landmark ruling in 2018 by the Supreme Court that said sports betting in the country could be legalized.
Legal gambling is therefore different in various states considered to be a part of the Deep South, but there is still plenty of betting to be had, an activity that is likely to continue to spread in the future.
Louisiana Among States to Block Online Gambling
Since that Supreme Court ruling, some states have taken steps to legalize online gambling for the first time, with Louisiana among them. However, while a bill that would have paved the way for online casinos got through the Senate, it was later blocked by the House.
The next time that legalizing online gambling will be put to a vote in Louisiana will be in the November 2020 elections. But due to the fact that neighboring states like Mississippi have gone further with their online gambling regulations, people in Louisiana can still easily access sites such as online casinos without having too many problems.
One of the issues preventing the legalization of online gambling across the U.S. is that it would increase competition for businesses, such as brick and mortar casinos. When a lot of these casinos are operated by Native American tribes, there is plenty of reluctance to make a move that might make it harder for these organizations to remain in business.
Is Gambling Even Popular in the Deep South?
Another issue to take into account is the fact that some states in the Deep South simply do not seem to be interested in gambling. After all, not everybody likes to make a bet.
Take Alabama, for example, where horse racing and greyhound racing are among the options when it comes to sports betting. But they are not very popular, and most people in Alabama do not seem to have a lot of interest in gambling at all. This makes it harder to push through changes to the law, as there is not likely to be a lot of lobbying for regulations to be upgraded.
North and South Carolina are among the states with the strictest gambling laws. As such, it seems unlikely that they are going to be in any rush to legalize online betting, which would open the door for casinos to run through the internet. Tennessee has similarly restrictive gambling laws, but there are still some ways to legally gamble, for instance by playing bingo.
Virginia sports fans have a strong passion for horse racing, a sport that has intrinsic links to the world of betting. Texas also has betting on sport but, ironically, games of Texas Hold’Em poker are not allowed in the state right now.
What Does the Future Hold for Legal Gambling in the Deep South?
Eventually, as states continue to embrace online gambling, you will be able to simply pick a casino from a list. There will, at some point, be legalized online betting through sites such as online casinos in probably every single state in the Deep South.
The Deep South seems likely to further legalize online gambling in the future, but the pace of change could be slow. Many states are taking their time to see how others handle what is a difficult situation. The coronavirus crisis could hasten the spread of online gambling due to the fact that a lot of states now face budget deficits, and holes in their finances need to be plugged.
Raising taxes through legalized online betting has worked well in some other states, and those in the Deep South will be keeping a close eye on what happens in those places in the future.
Another factor set to increase the debate over online gambling is that some brick and mortar casinos are likely to go out of business due to the coronavirus crisis. Many of these sites have been closed down for months and, even when they reopen, will run in a very different way.
For example, social distancing is going to be enforced at physical casinos and there could be limits on the number of people who are able to enter.
As a result, legalized online gambling in the Deep South seems inevitable. It might just be a matter of time, but, for now, gambling remains a popular past-time in the region.