Sports betting is on the way to Wisconsin! Rookie bettors and experienced sharps in the Badger State have a lot to look forward to when event wagering launches, and they could be placing bets as early as September of 2021!
Governor Tony Evers signed an agreement with the Oneida Nation that paves the way for Wisconsin sports betting, pending federal approval. This deal shocked many industry insiders, as Wisconsin was expected to be one of the last states to legalize event wagering.
WI Sports Betting: Key Details You Need to Know
Before we dive into the details, here’s your quick scouting report for Wisconsin sports betting:
Legal Status: Amendment signed by Gov. Tony Evers, legal pending federal approval.
Betting Platforms: No online betting, in-person and mobile app betting permitted at retail sportsbooks.
Launch Date: Expected September 2021.
Wisconsin sports betting will take place exclusively within the Oneida Nation’s gaming facilities. The Oneida Nation operates five major casinos that could be great candidates for retail sportsbooks. Here, gamblers can play slots, poker, and various table games.
While the amendment to the gaming compact does not allow for online sports betting, mobile wagering is expected to be available on tribal lands in Wisconsin. Of course, there’s also nothing stopping Wisconsin sports fans from crossing state lines to legally use Illinois, Iowa, or Michigan online sports betting sites.
When Will Sports Betting Launch in Wisconsin?
While the gaming compact signed by Gov. Tony Evers and Chairman Tehassi Hill of the Oneida Tribe still needs to be approved at the federal level, there’s reason to be optimistic that fans will be wagering in the Badger State by fall of 2021.
The Oneida Tribe released an official statement stating their intention is to have sports betting go live before the start of the NFL season.
Wisconsin is now waiting for their amended gaming compact to be approved by the US Department of the Interior, a process that can take up to 45 days. This process is largely considered a formality at this point, but sports betting won’t be available immediately following federal approval.
There could be a delay between legal approval and the first bets in Wisconsin, but bettors shouldn’t have to wait long through September.
Wisconsin Retail Sportsbooks: Where to Bet
Wisconsin sports betting will take place exclusively on location at gaming facilities run by the Oneida Tribe. Online wagering won’t be available, but you’ll be able to use a mobile app to bet provided you’re near an authorized retail sportsbook.
The Oneida Tribe has confirmed they’ll be establishing kiosks and retail stations at a temporary location while the permanent retail sportsbook is under construction. The Oneida Main Casino (2020 Airport Dr, Green Bay, WI) will be the first location in Wisconsin to start accepting bets on sporting events, expected sometime in September of 2021.
The amendment to the Wisconsin gaming compact allows the Oneida Tribe to open more retail sportsbooks in the future at other properties. Some potential sites for future Wisconsin sportsbooks include:
- Oneida Casino West Mason (2522 W Mason St, Green Bay, WI)
- Oneida Casino IMAC (2100 Airport Dr, Green Bay, WI)
- Oneida Casino Outlet (3120 Packerland Dr, Ashwaubenon, WI)
It will be interesting to see if the Oneida Casinos partner with any major sportsbooks like DraftKings, FanDuel, or BetMGM for example. With numerous other tribes in the state of Wisconsin, more agreements could be made to establish retail sportsbooks at other tribal gaming facilities throughout the Badger State.
Beat the Sportsbooks: Look to Local Teams for an Edge
You’ll be able to bet on games in professional leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL when sports betting launches in Wisconsin. The amended gaming compact allows for wagering on college sports, but as is the case in other states like New Jersey, you won’t be able to place bets on college games featuring local teams like the Madison Mallards.
Despite these local college sports betting restrictions, researching your hometown teams is the best way to get an edge over the sportsbooks. You might know something the oddsmakers missed, and betting with confidence is easy when you have insider knowledge.
Some of the major professional sports teams in Wisconsin include:
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Milwaukee Brewers
- Green Bay Packers
- Wisconsin Badgers
Make sure you’ve done your research on these local teams before sports betting launches in Wisconsin.
How We Got Here: Path to Wagering in Wisconsin
Prior to 2021, there was little progress or discussion regarding legalizing sports betting in Wisconsin. No bills had been introduced on the topic in either 2019 or 2020.
In fact, even past efforts such as Assembly Bill 800 which attempted to legalize daily fantasy sports games failed to pass through the legislature. While DFS sites are not technically legal, they are also not illegal. Many DFS sites accept customers from Wisconsin.
Taking all this into account, industry experts thought it was nearly impossible to put a timeframe on when Wisconsinites could expect legal sports betting in their state.
Wisconsin is no longer a state whose laws explicitly forbid sports gambling after the state gaming compact was suddenly amended in July of 2021.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned on May 14, 2018. Courts voted to allow each state to propose and create their own laws and regulations for sports betting. Wisconsin is just one of many states who have initiated the legalization process.
While horse racing is legal in Wisconsin, there are currently no race tracks in the state.
Residents, especially those in the south of the state, can cross state lines into Iowa or Illinois to legally bet on sports. In the north, Michigan also offers legal sports betting.
Wisconsin Sports Betting FAQs
Is sports betting legal in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, sports betting is close to being legal after Gov. Tony Evers signed an agreement with the Oneida Tribe to amend the state’s gaming compact.
Is WI sports betting currently available?
Sports betting isn’t currently available in Wisconsin, but it is expected to launch before the start of the NFL season in September of 2021.
Will online sports betting be available in Wisconsin?
No, only retail sports betting will be available in Wisconsin, although you’ll be able to bet through mobile apps while physically present at these locations.
Does Wisconsin have any professional sports teams?
Wisconsin is home to the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA, Milwaukee Brewers in MLB, and Green Bay Packers in the NFL.
Who owns the Green Bay Packers?
Unlike your typical ownership where one person or family owns a major sports team, the Green Bay Packers in the NFL are owned by over 350,000 fans as a publicly-owned entity.