Will Sportsbooks Take Bets On The USFL?

Sportsbooks are taking bets on the new version of the USFL, as the league looks for a revival from its heyday of the mid-1980s (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Football fans and bettors do not have to wait until next September for some action, as the United States Football League (USFL) kicks off in mid-April. The league has hired coaches, drafted players, and secured television contracts, and training camp begins Monday, March 21 with the first game scheduled for April 16. Yes, sports fans, spring football is back, and we’re here to help you answer the important question: Will sportsbooks offer USFL betting odds?

Will Sportsbooks Take Bets On The USFL?

We now know the answer to that question is “Yes.”

FanDuel, Caesars, and DraftKings have posted odds for the winner of the USFL season. A representative from PointsBet confirmed via email with Gaming Today that its intent is “to offer the 3 core markets (moneyline, spread, handle) plus select props pending approval. We have reached out to all states that we are live in and are waiting to hear back.”

If a sport or event is not on a state’s approved list, sportsbooks have to make a request to each of the regulatory bodies they operate in. The process varies from one state to the next, but it does not appear to be a major hurdle:

  • Sportsbooks in New Jersey must notify the state of their intention to offer a new event/market 72 hours before the event. The Division of Gaming Enforcement has the authority to prohibit sportsbooks from taking bets and can cancel bets sportsbooks may have taken if the event has not been approved.
  • Requests for the approval of new events/wagers must be submitted at least 72 hours in advance in Virginia.
  • In Michigan, sportsbooks must apply to add a new league/event/wager at least 10 days before the start of said event.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board has received a request to authorize wagers on the USFL, spokesperson Mary Kay Bean confirmed with Gaming Today via email.

“The agency is reviewing the request and will update the sports wagering catalog if it is approved,” Bean said. “We do not have a timetable for approval.”

Will Sportsbook Carry USFL Odds In Every State?

You would think so, but that is not necessarily true. Gaming officials in Delaware were hesitant to approve wagering on XFL 2.0 last year. The director of the Delaware lottery, Vernon Kirk, had this to say, via FoxBusiness.com:

“As of now, we’re kind of reticent to jump into that because some of the rules are kind of crazy.”

The XFL geared its rule changes toward picking up the pace of play. But the league made other changes to traditional football rules, too (i.e., extra-point kick replaced with one offensive play for one, two, or three points).

Delaware did eventually get on board with the XFL and allowed sportsbooks to offer betting odds.

As for the USFL’s rules, the league is making a few tweaks and changes to the traditional rules of the game. Many of the rule changes will be aimed at helping officials get things right. For example, the replay official will have the option of overturning questionable penalty calls.

Also, teams won’t gain gain huge chunks of yardage on pass interference calls downfield. Instead of a spot-of-the-foul penalty, defenses will get hit with a 15-yard penalty (unless a receiver is deliberately tackled).

With kickoff of the 2022 USFL season set for April, there is plenty of time for sportsbooks to request approval and for states to grant it. New Jersey didn’t add the XFL to its list of approved leagues until January 15 of last year, less than three weeks before that season started.

So, if you are looking forward to putting some money down on the Gamblers, Bandits, or any other teams in the USFL but sportsbooks in your state do not have odds posted, be patient.

Kickoff is still over a month away.

About the Author
Travis Pulver

Travis Pulver

Senior Writer
Travis Pulver is a senior writer for Gaming Today and a lifelong football fan, something he says comes naturally having been born in the football-crazy state of Texas. Through the years, Pulver's love of sports has extended into baseball, basketball, golf, and rugby. Life currently finds him in Indiana with his wife and two kids.

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