Wisconsin Sports Betting

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Wisconsin residents woke up to excellent news a few days before Independence Day, 2021. The Oneida Nation, one of Wisconsin’s most important Native American tribes and arguably the leader of Native American gaming in the state, signed a historic compact with Governor Tony Evers to allow event wagering on tribal lands. This could mean Wisconsin sports betting will launch before the end of the year.

This development is likely to be the first of many; with the inclusion of event wagering on Oneida Nation land, it’s likely that the other 10 out of 11 Wisconsin Native American tribes will soon enter gaming compacts with the state government as well. In this way, we may see a rapid expansion for sports wagering in the Badger State over the next few months.

Things are far from settled, however. There are many limitations included in the compact at this time, and the contract itself has not yet been approved by the Wisconsin Department of Interior. This page will break down the details of Wisconsin’s sports betting scene as it stands today, plus explore how it may develop in the near future.

Wisconsin Sports Betting Timeline

  • July 13, 2021:

    Oneida Nation is the first to announce that it will launch sports betting in fall 2021.

  • July 1, 2021:

    Wisconsin legalizes in-person sports betting. Gov. Evers signs gaming compact agreements with all 11 federally recognized Tribes of Indians in Wisconsin.

  • March 15, 2020:

    Nearby state, Michigan, launches in-person sports betting followed by online sports betting in January 2021. It continues to see a steady increase in revenue for 2021.

  • January 7, 2019:

    Governor Tony Evers assumes office in Wisconsin. Gov. Evers worked since his time in office on a gaming compact that would allow the state to split sports betting revenue with tribes.

Top Sports Betting Sites In Wisconsin

As mentioned, it isn’t yet clear what sports betting apps, if any, will technically be allowed on tribal lands. No major operators or companies have announced their intention to offer sports wagering in Wisconsin.

But we can still make some educated guesses about the sports betting sites likely to come to the Badger State. Here are the top five best sports betting sites you’ll likely see in Wisconsin sooner or later.

FanDuel

  • Welcome Bonus Offer: $1000 risk-free bet
  • Where It’s Available: Desktop, Android, iOS
  • Key Features: Set your odds in multiple formats, DFS, search bar, live betting
  • Best Ways to Deposit: Electronic wallets like PayPal, credit or debit cards, bank transfers
  • Overall Ranking: 9/10

FanDuel is one of the two biggest sports betting companies in the country, alongside DraftKings. It’s a fan favorite for good reason, offering player-friendly odds and an intuitive mobile app interface that is easy to navigate through, even for new sports bettors. It’s also well known for its plethora of promotional opportunities and odds boosts, plus a dedicated search bar that lets you locate any betting line or feature you want just by typing in the name.

DraftKings

  • Welcome Bonus Offer: Five $5 free bets + 20% deposit match bonus up to $1000
  • Where It’s Available: Desktop, Android, iOS
  • Key Features: Very fast betting slip, DFS, mobile-only betting pools, live betting
  • Best Ways to Deposit: Bank transfers, electronic wallets, credit and debit card transfers
  • Overall Ranking: 9.5/10

DraftKings is the undisputed sports betting market leader in the majority of US states with legal sports wagering industries. Its mobile app is one of the best you can find, being slick and smooth, even on heavy traffic days, and it features excellent odds in a wide variety of betting markets for most major professional US sports. It also has one of the most generous opening bonuses in the industry, although you do have to play through any bonus site credit 25x before you can withdraw it as cash.

BetRivers

  • Welcome Bonus Offer: 100% deposit match up to $250
  • Where It’s Available: Desktop, Android, iOS
  • Key Features: Live Right Now wagering pool, live streaming and betting, sports newsfeed
  • Best Ways to Deposit: Bank transfers, electronic wallets, credit and debit card transfers
  • Overall Ranking: 8.5/10

BetRivers has a sportsbook app designed from the ground up for mobile functionality rather than being a port of desktop sports wagering platforms. Its loyalty program is particularly well-received, rewarding players with bonus offers the longer they use it. It’s also an easy-to-navigate sportsbook app for newcomers as its “live right now” wagering pool will direct you to popular betting lines with a couple of button taps.

PointsBet

  • Welcome Bonus Offer: $500 risk-free bet
  • Where It’s Available: Desktop, Android, iOS
  • Key Features: Pointsbetting wagers, live betting, search bar
  • Best Ways to Deposit: Bank transfers, credit and debit card transfers, electronic wallets
  • Overall Ranking: 8.3/10

PointsBet’s titular pointsbetting system makes it a unique sports betting app among its competitors. These wagers are very popular for experienced sports wagerers thanks to their potential for high profits. Aside from this aspect, the mobile app is well-developed and smooth in its performance.

BetMGM

  • Welcome Bonus Offer: $1,000 risk-free bet
  • Where It’s Available: Desktop, Android, iOS
  • Key Features: Good rewards program, wide international betting pools, lots of special betting offers
  • Best Ways to Deposit: Credit and debit card transfers, bank transfers, electronic wallets
  • Overall Ranking: 7/10

BetMGM is an international-based mobile sportsbook app featuring a phenomenal loyalty program and some of the best betting pools for fans of international sports like rugby and Korean baseball. It also features excellent live betting and a well-rounded user interface that directs you to special offers or tutorials for easy navigation.

How To Place A Bet In Wisconsin

The sports betting discussion in Wisconsin is truly just beginning, even though the recent announcement of legal sports wagering is indeed exciting. Let’s take a look at how you may be able to place a bet in Wisconsin, though keep in mind that the exact process could shift depending on how the rules are set in the future.

How To Choose And Download A Sportsbook

For starters, you’ll need to choose and download the sportsbook that best suits your needs or budget limitations (many sportsbooks offer extra site credit as an opening bonus).

To choose a sportsbook, simply visit our collection of sportsbook app guides. We have detailed guides on all of the best sportsbook platforms available, including the above five we just described. You can use these guides to figure out which sportsbook app seems to be the most fun or most suitable for your betting style.

After you choose a sportsbook, you should download it to your mobile device: either an iOS or Android phone. Odds are you’ll be able to download the sportsbook of your choice straight to the mobile app without having to visit a desktop platform. The Google Play Store has gotten a lot better in recent months with allowing sportsbook apps to be downloaded from its platform.

As you download the sportsbook, the app will most likely include geolocation software. This software will be used to ensure that you only place a wager within Native American tribal lands in Wisconsin. If you try to use the app outside Native American lands, your wager may not go through.

Registering For A Sportsbook App

Once you’ve downloaded the sportsbook of your choice, you’ll need to register for the app and create an account. Luckily, practically all mobile sportsbook platforms use the same registration process, requiring a few bits of personal information like your Social Security number before you can proceed.

You should also connect at least one payment method, like an electronic wallet or credit or debit card account. This will allow you to make an initial deposit and potentially take advantage of any opening bonuses that may apply.

Placing A Bet

After funding your account, you’ll be able to place a bet! Keep in mind, again, that this will only be possible on Wisconsin Native American tribal grounds. So you’ll need to be firmly within casino or resort limits for your wager to go through.

Visiting A Retail Sportsbook

In addition to placing a bet using a mobile sportsbook app, bettors may also be able to visit one of the 27 gambling locations that are scattered throughout the Badger State. All of these casinos are owned by at least one of the 11 Native American tribes that call Wisconsin home. There are no commercial casinos to patronize.

It’s likely that at least some of the tribes that eventually offer sports wagering will also construct retail sportsbook locations. With this in mind, you may be able to visit these retail sportsbooks and put money down in comfortable lounges with lots of widescreen TVs, beverage and food options, and more.

If you choose to place a bet at a retail sportsbook, you’ll need to bring proof of your ID and a means of funding your sports betting activities. These include credit or debit cards, cash, or potentially even prepaid cards for casino brands.

Wisconsin Legal Sportsbooks

Although legal sportsbook apps are still at least a few months away, you shouldn’t visit any offshore or illegal betting sites while you wait. Why? In truth, there are a few big reasons:

  • Illegal sportsbook apps only have subpar security and will not protect your personal information or funds the way you deserve
  • They also offer betting lines that are not as potentially profitable as the betting lines you’d find on legal sportsbook apps

Legal sportsbook apps are the exact opposite. They should have very player-friendly odds (as all of their odds will be derived from official league data), and each of them will use SSL certification at the very least for digital security purposes.

Most important, legal sportsbook apps will be investigated before receiving a license from the Wisconsin state government. This will guarantee that any sportsbook platform you use is a legitimate operation, minimizing the likelihood of you experiencing any unfairness.

That being said, using a legal sportsbook app does mean you’ll face the possibility of taxation on any sports wagering winnings you receive. 

Wisconsin, just like most other states, does tax you on any gambling income you receive. However, we have no idea what the tax rate will be for any sports betting winnings. Time will tell whether all tribes face a flat sports betting winning tax rate for if different tribes have different tax rates for the money you win within their borders.

Wisconsin Sports Betting Revenue

There’s no doubt that one of the driving forces behind the legalization of sports betting in Wisconsin has been the potential revenue that the Native American tribes in the state government could both receive from such an arrangement.

However, there isn’t any official estimate for the revenue that Wisconsin’s sports betting industry could bring in. Instead, it’s best to look at developed states like New Jersey, which already have robust sports betting industries, to make some basic predictions.

For example, New Jersey made approximately $46 million in revenue from sports betting alone in February 2021. Note that there are a lot of differences between this state and Wisconsin, including geography, population, and more.

Still, it’s no stretch to imagine that Wisconsin’s state government could receive many millions of dollars of revenue just from launching sports betting.

We can also look at the current revenue brought in from Wisconsin’s overall gambling industry. For example, in 2017, the Wisconsin gambling industry brought in over $1 billion in revenue just from casinos. There’s been a lot of debate about revenue sharing between Native American tribes and state government, and it’s easy to see why.

How Wisconsin Compares To Other States

Wisconsin isn’t very advanced when it comes to online gambling opportunities. While there are over two dozen Native American casinos in the state, casino gaming is the only gambling activity fully legal and endorsed by the state government (with the exception of sports betting thanks to the recent tribal compact).

While you can place wagers on online horse betting apps, like TVG, other types of online gambling are strictly forbidden. This isn’t too surprising given Wisconsin’s overall conservative state government and the previously tense relationship between the state government and Native American tribes like the Oneida Nation.

However, the recent tribal compact may open the door to future negotiations, both for the expansion of sports betting in the Badger State and the legalization of other online betting activities, including casino games, online poker, and more. Daily fantasy sports is technically legal in Wisconsin, though it is not really on the law books in any way. This hasn’t stopped many people from enjoying DFS on mobile platforms like DraftKings, however.

Wisconsin Sports Betting Recent Updates

Wisconsin’s gambling industry has historically been pretty conservative, in large part due to the iron grip that its local Native American tribes have on gambling markets. Legal sports wagering, despite making great strides in nearby states, was at a standstill because the Oneida Nation, among other Native American tribes, did not wish to share any profits from sports wagering with the state government.

That rapidly changed in June 2021. The Oneida Nation and Gov. Tony Evers reached a historic compact to offer sports wagering with a few major strings attached. At the time of this writing, only the Oneida Nation has agreed to offer sports betting, though there are 10 other Native American tribes in the area that may soon follow suit in order to take advantage of this new development.

For example, the Forest County Potawatomi Community has already announced its intention to extend another tribal compact to the state government.

In Wisconsin, gambling is strictly regulated in that it is only allowed on tribal grounds. Furthermore, each Native American tribe is allowed to come up with their own rules and regulations regarding gambling activities, requirements, and so on. Thus, the future sports betting industry could be fairly complex relative to other states.

At the moment, it seems that sports betting in Wisconsin will be limited to tribal lands both for retail and/or mobile betting. For example, you may be able to use a mobile app in Wisconsin to place sports wagers, but you can only place those wagers while you are on tribal grounds.

For many, this may diminish the value of online sports wagering. Lots of sports bettors like to place bets using remote devices since they can enjoy betting action from the comfort of their couches. In addition to this limitation, the Oneida Nation has announced its intention to limit sports wagers by banning bets on events that involve Oneida collegiate teams, election outcomes. Any sporting events where the contestants are younger than 18 years of age will also be banned.

Still, these developments are a major sign of hope for Wisconsin residents who had previously resigned themselves to having to hop across state borders to get their sports wagering fixes. Time will tell whether the tribal-lands-only limitation sticks around or if other tribes besides the Oneida Nation decide to open up online sports betting beyond their borders.

Wisconsin Betting Successes And Failures

The upcoming expansion to Wisconsin’s gambling options has drawn a lot of comparison between this state and others. Let’s take a look at the concrete successes and ongoing failures that this industry has seen so far.

Wisconsin Sports Betting Success

The big success to talk about is the recently agreed upon compact between the Oneida Nation and Wisconsin’s state governor. This compact will legalize sports wagering for the first time in the state’s history. Fortunately, it will also legalize online and retail sports betting, rather than one or the other.

While this upcoming industry will more than likely ban bets on Wisconsin college sports or players, this is a common limitation found in states like New Jersey, which already have much more developed sports betting industries.

With luck, the recent success the Oneida Nation had with the state government will inspire other Native American tribes in Wisconsin to enter their own negotiations. In time, people may be able to drive to any casino in Wisconsin and find either a retail sportsbook to check out or be able to use an online app while on casino premises.

Where Could Wisconsin Improve Online Gambling?

There are lots of areas in which Wisconsin could improve its online gambling industry.

For one, it could do away with the limitation of only allowing online sports betting within tribal borders. At the moment, this will severely limit how many people can enjoy online sports betting, as well as where sports betting is possible. This negates a lot of the value that mobile sports betting brings to the industry elsewhere.

Still, many people will undoubtedly jump into mobile sports betting as soon as it launches since any retail sportsbooks will take several months or years to be constructed. We’d like to see the tribal compact amended or state law changed to allow for mobile sports betting anywhere in the state, even if it’s just for one or two apps.

We’d also like to see an expansion for online gambling overall in Wisconsin. As mentioned earlier, online casino games and online poker are both still illegal, despite the plethora of retail casino locations scattered throughout the state. With the expansion of sports betting in Wisconsin, lawmakers and Native American leaders may both realize the value of such a change.

Legalization Effort In Wisconsin

The history of sports betting legalization in Wisconsin isn’t very long. Discussions have been ongoing for several years now, but only recently did they bear fruit.

This is largely due to the negotiation efforts of Gov. Tony Evers, who finally convinced the Oneida Nation to agree to a sports wagering compact that would split the revenue received from this activity between the Native American tribe in the state government.

This new compact will likely serve as a basis for any of the negotiations between other Native American tribes in Wisconsin and the state government.

Wisconsin Teams

When sports betting comes to Wisconsin, lots of major sports fans will be thoroughly pleased to finally have the opportunity to put money down on their favorite teams.

Wisconsin Professional Sports Teams

Wisconsin is home to a number of professional sports franchises, including the Milwaukee Bucks, an NBA team, the Green Bay Packers, an NFL team, and the Milwaukee Brewers, an MLB team. Count on any launched sportsbooks in this state to have special wagers and promotions focusing on these teams.

Wisconsin College Sports Teams

Wisconsin’s sports betting industry won’t let you place bets on in-state teams, which is a shame. Most major American sports are well represented in this state’s college teams. The only major exception is hockey.

Other Sports To Bet On In Wisconsin

Any sportsbook apps that launch in the Badger State will probably let you bet on a variety of other sports as well, including eSports, international sports like rugby, and more.

Wisconsin Sports Betting FAQs

How old do I have to be to bet online in Wisconsin?

You’ll need to be between 19 and 21 years old depending on the rules specified by the Oneida Nation and other Native American tribes that may legalize sports betting on their land.

Is it legal to bet on college sports in Wisconsin?

Not yet, and any future sports betting industry will likely only let you bet on college sports that don’t involve Wisconsin collegiate teams.

Who regulates online sportsbook apps in Wisconsin?

We don’t know yet. It may be an existing regulatory agency or a new organization created specifically for sports betting regulation.

Do I need to be a resident of Wisconsin to bet online?

No. But you will need to be within Wisconsin tribal lands in order to place a bet on a mobile sportsbook app.

Is it safe to use an online sportsbook app in Wisconsin?

It will be. Legal sportsbook apps should have good digital security and other measures to keep your personal information and funding safe.

Is DraftKings legal in Wisconsin?

Not yet, although it does currently offer daily fantasy sports to Wisconsin residents.

About the Author

Amber Hoffman

Amber is the Managing Editor of Gaming Today. She writes for a variety of websites in diverse industries, including gaming and travel and is a fan of international football (not "soccer") and Gaelic sports.

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