The race is on as US states outside of Nevada seek to begin offering legal sports betting services for the first time in over 70 years. As the situation currently stands, each state falls into a melange of different brackets from established and up-and-running (Nevada), to highly unlikely (Utah) with the rest falling somewhere in between. Here we offer a snapshot of the latest state of play.

The state that many will look to for inspiration and for lessons learned is Nevada. Currently the only state where sports betting is legal, Nevada is a decades-old market. As such, it may well be viewed as the benchmark for best practice.

New Jersey, meanwhile, could be described as being under starter’s orders. Established casinos and race tracks in the garden state are looking to open up legal sports wagering imminently, possibly within the next two weeks. The earliest leader to emerge in the race is Monmouth Park which has been preparing in earnest for a positive outcome on PASPA. Casinos, including Atlantic City’s Borgata, have stated their intent to offer sports betting at the first opportunity.

Delaware falls into the same bracket. Thanks to a legal block by the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and NCAA, Delaware’s last aspirations to broaden out its sports betting offer were nullified in 2009. However, the state’s enabling law may be revisited, meaning that could change quickly. Delaware’s lottery is currently offering parlay bets on professional football.

Then there are those states that could simply be described as waiting in line. These include Connecticut, Iowa, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia and each have thought ahead to what the post-PASPA landscape will be like. Some have enacted state laws to facilitate sports betting while others have fast-tracked legislation. Hearings have already been held in some cases, with a number heading beyond the crucial committee stage of the process.

The states that appear to be making the first tentative moves toward legal sports betting include California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and South Carolina. All have either set the legislative wheels in motion, or officially revealed plans to do so. There is much to keep track of here, with bills being processed at varying speeds. Maryland, for example, could be waiting for up to a year to get started having missed a crucial deadline in the passage of its own bill.

There are two states, Oregon and Montana, which already have laws enabling limited forms of sports wagering. Broadening the remit of those laws is a possibility, but the decision to do so will be in the hands of the states’ policy makers.

The largest bracket belongs to those states that have, as yet, to make any noises about moving to offer legal sports betting. These comprise Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, Washington State, Wisconsin and Wyoming. All have laws that prohibit Nevada-style sports betting and would require repeal or amendment.

And last of all we come to the ‘highly unlikely’ category whose sole occupant is Utah. The state is, and has been for decades, anti-gambling and that stance is a written ingredient of its constitution. It would require a volte-face turnaround in attitudes for Utah to be able to offer anything resembling legal gambling.