Wisconsin Betting Laws

The 2018 Supreme Court ruling to strike down the act which prohibited sports betting in the United States (PASPA) opened up a brave new world, but Wisconsin did not appear to get the message.

More than two years later, the state (population 5.832million in 2020)  is still no nearer to allowing legal sports betting.

Despite the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, college football’s Wisconsin Badgers, the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers all providing plenty of local interest for a rabid fan base, there is no prospect right now of those fans being allowed to bet on games.

While almost half of the 50 states in the union already accept legal sports bets, Wisconsin is still on the outside looking in.

Is sports betting legal in Wisconsin?

No, sports betting is not legal in the state of Wisconsin, and nobody has even tried to put forward a bill since 2018 to change that.

Wisconsin already has a state lottery, and it already has casinos operated by tribal jurisdictions. Daily fantasy and horse racing betting are not illegal. So it seems pretty obvious that the next step is to legalize sports betting. Right? Wrong.

At this stage there is no plan or push to open up sports betting in the state, and no sign of one appearing.

Legal sports betting near Winsconsin

Because U.S. states pass their own laws around sports betting, the rules and regulations are all very local. It’s all about location – if you’re in a legal state, generally you can bet….

So for residents of Wisconsin, while the picture is pretty bleak at home, it’s not all bad as long as their mentality is “have cash, will travel”.

With both Iowa and Illinois just across the state lines, and both open for sports bettors, there are work-arounds. You can bet legally – as long as you are physically in either state at the time. Remember, this is not a residency deal, it’s all about location.

  • Iowa has now ditched the need for wannabe online players to sign up in person at a licensed land-based sportsbook.  Now you can sign up from anywhere in the state. You’ll need some basic information, your Social Security number and be aged 21 or over.

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois suspended the need for players to register for online betting accounts at a licensed in-state casino. So you can sign up for one of the available sportsbooks from anywhere in the state. Again, you need to be 21 or older.

Are offshore sportsbooks legal in Wisconsin?

There is a slew of offshore sportsbooks offering players in Wisconsin the chance to bet. Just sign up and you are good to go.

But when something sounds too good to be true, it generally is. It is NOT legal when you are in the United States to bet with offshore books.

We advise OddsCritic users to keep up to date with the latest state-by-state rules. Our goal is to give you as much intel as we can on where and how you can bet. But always legally.