Evers, Oneida sign deal to allow sports betting in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers and the Oneida Nation signed an agreement Thursday to allow betting on sporting events for the first time in Wisconsin, joining a growing number of states that have embraced sports wagering as a means of generating revenue.

The governor and the tribe announced the deal at the tribe’s casino just outside Green Bay. They said they have amended the tribe’s gambling compact with the state to allow wagering on professional sporting events including NFL, NBA and MLB games, professional sports drafts and nationally televised award shows.

The deal does not permit betting on college sports, elections or events with participants under age 19. Wagering would be allowed at the Oneida’s casino. Remote event wagering would be allowed on tribal lands with buildings owned or leased by the tribe.

Evers said in a news release that event wagering would create new employment opportunities for the tribe. Oneida Chairman Tehassi Hill said in the release that it would boost tourism.

Existing state and tribal gambling compacts require the tribes to pay the state a percentage of their winnings in exchange for the exclusive right to offer gambling. The governor’s spokeswoman, Britt Cudaback, didn’t immediately respond to messages inquiring about whether the state will get any percentage of the take from wagering and if so how much.

Aides for state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, both Republicans, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

The compact amendment is subject to review by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. That agency will have a 45-day window to approve or reject the deal.

Event wagering has expanded across the country in recent years in hopes of capturing more revenue. Indiana, Iowa and Michigan legalized sports betting in 2019. Ohio legislators say legalizing sports betting will be a top priority this fall. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo authorized mobile sports betting in that state this past April.

VIXIO Gambling Compliance, a company that tracks gambling legislation and performance, issued a report in January predicting revenue for legal sports betting could reach $3.1 billion in 2021 and grow to as much as $10 billion within five years.