Wisconsin has become the latest state to officially offer legal sports betting for the first time in the United States after the state’s first ever wagers were placed on Tuesday.
Alma Webster was the first person to place a legal sports bet in the state’s history as she bet on the New Orleans Saints to defeat the Dallas Cowboys in this week’s offering of Thursday Night Football. The Saints are 4.5-point underdogs against the 7-4 Cowboys who are currently top of the NFC East standings.
“It’s awesome to see that we’ve come this far and to see this operation and to be able to employ as many of our own people as we possibly can, I think it’s wonderful,” Webster said.
Previously, bettors within Wisconsin have been able to place wagers on sporting events through operations that were based outside of the United States, though this was not a legal practise.
However, Tuesday was a seminal moment for sports bettors in the state who will finally be able to wager on professional sports. There are a number of professional sports teams in Wisconsin including the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers, all of whom are likely to have significant wagers on their games from within the state.
The Bucks are the current defending NBA champions, while the Packers are one of the favourites to win the Super Bowl in the NFL this season in what is a successful sports period for Wisconsin sports.
The Oneida Casino in Green Bay is still the only facility within the state to offer sports betting at this moment in time. Situated close to the Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport, plans are already in place for an additional sportsbook at their Milwaukee tribe casino.
“The Potawatomi look forward to bringing sports betting to Milwaukee in the future,” read a statement from the tribe.
The Ho-Chunk Nation operates casinos in a number of locations across Wisconsin and have outlined their plans to bring sports betting to their various sites. “We are going to do it. It’s just a matter of when,” spokesman Ken Luchterhand said. “It will be a very quick turn-around. We’re going to hit the ground running.”