Looking at the current state of sports betting in Wisconsin

March Madness is here and if you want to place a bet, the only place you can do so is over a two hour drive north of Madison.
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 10:09 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - March Madness is here and if you want to place a bet, the only place you can do so in Wisconsin is over a two hour drive north of Madison. The Oneida Casino in Green Bay is currently the only place in Wisconsin offering retail sports betting.

Retail sports betting is currently illegal in the Badger State, but just 55 miles south of Madison, you can place a sports bet anywhere right at your fingertips.

“The fact that it is legal in Illinois and the fact that it is legal in Iowa definitely, sort of, sets the groundwork for this to be something that should maybe be available here in Wisconsin as well,” University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor Jason Lopez said.

“Once surrounding states start legalizing, it commonly becomes a race then to also legalize it in whatever state that you happen to be in,” Lopez said.

Although it’s known to generate plenty of revenue, Lopez said there’s some concerns that may hold back Wisconsin legislators from legalizing online sports betting. A major one being gambling responsibly.

“When it comes to gambling and when it comes to states legalizing it or thinking about the benefits and drawbacks of gambling, there’s always going to be this kind of push and pull between availability as well as making sure that people are playing responsibly,” Lopez said.

However, plans are in place for the expansion of retail sports betting in Wisconsin.

This includes a new sportsbook at the Potawatomi Casino Hotel in Milwaukee.

“You could take, from here in Madison, an hour and a half trip and go over state lines in order to put in your sports bet,” Lopez said. “But, it’s going to be really interesting to see what happens when all of a sudden people can go over to Milwaukee... and place these sorts of bets.”

Lopez said if online sports betting does become legal in Wisconsin, it raises concern for an increase in gambling addictions.

If you or someone you know has a gambling addiction, call the National Problem Gambling Hotline at 1-800-522-4700.

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