Like many other US states, Wisconsin has had several updates to its gaming laws over the years. While online bets are not possible (away from a tribal casino) just yet, that is expected to change in the near future.
An agreement was reached with Oneida Nation to allow mobile and retail sports betting at its Green Bay casino. Sports betting began there in November 2021. A second agreement with the St. Croix Chippewa Indians was also formed and came into effect in April 2022, when the tribe opened retail sportsbooks at its casinos.
Read the rest of our review to learn more about the status of gaming legislation in WI.
The Status of Legal Online Gambling in Wisconsin
Recent changes have made retail and mobile sports betting possible in WI, but only on tribal casino land. It is a slightly different situation from most other states. You can determine the status of each type of online gambling below:
Online Sportsbooks in WI
Though online sports betting is still not allowed in Wisconsin (aside from tribal casinos), two tribes — Oneida Nation and St. Croix Chippewa Indians — have renegotiated their gaming compacts and now conduct online and retail sports betting. It is anticipated that other tribes in the state will follow suit.
Online Casinos in Wisconsin
Online casino gambling is illegal in the Badger State. There have not been any serious moves by lawmakers to change that fact. Although gambling at tribal casinos is permitted, it is unlikely that commercial online casinos will launch in WI anytime soon.
Daily Fantasy Sports in WI
Wisconsinites are allowed to participate in daily fantasy sports (DFS). There is no specific law prohibiting or permitting the activity, but major operators like DraftKings and FanDuel have been operating in the state for several years.
Legal Gambling Activities in Wisconsin
Several forms of gambling are legal to enjoy in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin has run a state lottery since it was authorized in 1988. Tickets need to be bought in person at a retail location with cash as they are not available online. You can play Powerball, Mega Millions, Supercash!, Megabucks, Badger 5, Pick 3, Pick 4, All or Nothing, plus scratch games.
There are 26 tribal casinos operating on reservation land across Wisconsin. Players can enjoy slots and table games at these locations.
As mentioned above, the first retail sportsbooks are launching in WI at existing tribal casinos. Compacts have been renegotiated to include sports bets.
Although all the racetracks in the Badger State have closed and there are no off-track betting locations, horse racing bets are legal in Wisconsin. However, several online sites accept bets from Wisconsinites.
Daily Fantasy Sports
There is no specific legislation concerning DFS, but it is allowed in WI.
Legal vs. Illicit Online Sports Betting in the US
Illegal sports betting sites pose many risks for bettors, whereas legal ones offer several levels of safety and protection. They provide transparent policies, fair odds, and responsible gambling tools. Additionally, they process banking transactions securely, making sure that payouts are received on time wherever possible.
Illegal sites pay more attention to making money than customer safety. They don’t offer the same services and protections, and there’s a chance they could remove the site and take your finds with them.
Illegal Online Gaming Offered in Wisconsin
Bettors in Wisconsin should be aware that they could be targeted by illegal online operators offering casino games, sports betting, and poker. They could be mistaken for legitimate sites as they are advertised on Google.
Why Offshore Betting Sites are Unsafe
There are many reasons why illegal betting sites are unsafe for Wisconsinites. The money you deposit at these sites is not protected. Illicit operators have been known to disappear with player funds, confiscate winnings, close accounts without warning or a good reason, and invalidate wagers that stand to have significant returns.
As well as being at risk of having your identity stolen, you might also experience delays in receiving your payout. The aim is to get you to bet more in the meantime, or you could find it seized by authorities while the transaction is processed. For each of these issues, you do not have a regulatory body to step in and act on your behalf.
Another area that puts bettors at risk is the lack of responsible gaming tools. With no resources to get support or limit your account, you might experience problem gambling behaviors. High wagering requirements are put in place by these sites to make bonuses difficult to clear, which is another sign that money comes above the player.
Offshore sites do not benefit the community, as sites operate outside the local systems, so do not contribute, and neither do you.
How to Know a Site is Legal, Regulated, and Safe
These five signs will help you to determine if a site is legal or illegal:
- USGamingReview.com Approval: For an easy way to see if a site is legitimate or not, you can visit our site and read the reviews
- State Regulator: A state regulator seal is usually featured in the footer of the home page of legal sites.
- Welcome US Players: When a site says “US players welcome,” it often indicates that it is illegal, as legal ones accept players from specific jurisdictions and not the whole of the US.
- Cryptocurrency: Sites that accept Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are illegal in WI.
- Domain: It’s worth checking the domain name to see if it ends “.com”; if a site ends with “.ag,” “.eu,” or “.lv,” it is likely illegal.
Why Choose a Legal US Online Sports Betting Site?
A legal US betting site is a good choice for Wisconsinites because they:
- Operate fairly with policies and practices that are approved by a regulatory body
- Are accountable to a governing body that demands player protection
- Promote responsible gambling to prevent problem gambling and help those who need support.
- Benefit the local community by playing at a legal site; your money goes towards local projects, such as:
- Education: most states spend gambling revenues on state schools, learning programs, and student aid
- Problem Gambling Services: a legal site will pay gambling taxes that go towards support services.
- Seniors and Persons with Disabilities: for example, in New Jersey, a percentage of online gambling income funds programs helping seniors or those with disabilities.
- Local Jobs: Legal sites have offices in the US, and their operations stimulate the local economy by creating jobs.
- Other Community Benefits: Gambling taxes and income tax from legal sites often goes into the general fund, and states and cities can spend it on areas where it is needed, such as law enforcement training.
Responsible Gaming Resources in Wisconsin
Although there aren’t any options to gamble online in WI at the moment, that could soon change. Fortunately, there are already some resources available to help people recognize and deal with problem gambling. The main support methods in Wisconsin are:
- Wisconsin Gamblers Anonymous: This support group for problem gamblers meets regularly to share their experiences and help each other. It hosts in-person and virtual meetings across the state, including in Brown, Buffalo, Chippewa, Dane, Dunn, Eau Claire, Grant, Jefferson, La Crosse, Manitowoc, Marathon, Milwaukee, Outagamie, Pierce, Portage, Racine, St. Croix, Sawyer, Walworth, Washburn, Waukesha, and Winnebago.
- Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services: This department is responsible for health and addiction recovery services and provides information on responsible gambling and problem behaviors.
- Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling: This education and awareness group also has resources to help people and their close friends and family who are affected by problem gambling. The helpline is available 24/7 on 1-800-426-2535, and there are also options to text or chat online.
- Gam-Anon: This support organization helps the family and friends of problem gamblers. The hotline number is 718-352-1671.
- National Problem Gambling Helpline: This national helpline can be reached via phone or text on 800-522-4700. It also has self-help resources, a counselor directory, and screening tools to help you recognize if you have a gambling problem.
Wisconsin Gaming Regulator Information
In the Badger State, the Division of Gaming oversees gambling activities, which includes the Office of Charitable Gaming and the Office of Indian Gaming and Regulatory Compliance (OIGRC). It is the OIGRC that audits and regulates casino operations and any related businesses.
Is online gambling legal in Wisconsin?
The new compacts with the Oneida Nation and the St. Croix Chippewa Indians opened the door to sports betting in Wisconsin, albeit with a limited scope. You can also use DFS sites in the state.
Since online gambling is not legal in WI, is choosing an illegal offshore site safe?
No, while you wait for a WI sportsbook app, choosing an illegal offshore site is not a safe option. Your money is at risk, the practices are not always fair, and you do not have access to responsible gaming tools.
What are the risks of playing at an illegal offshore online sports betting site?
When you play at an illegal offshore online sports betting site, you are at risk of:
- Account closure, especially after a big win
- Unfair odds, policies, and practices
- Problem gambling without any help or support
- Delayed payouts to encourage more betting
Can I bet at legal US sportsbooks using cryptocurrencies?
No, any sites that accept cryptocurrencies operate illegally. You cannot bet at legal US sportsbooks with these payment methods.
Where can I get the latest news about online sports betting in Wisconsin?
Our site provides all the latest news and updates about online sports betting in WI. For additional sources, you can check local news outlets, like the Green Bay Press Gazette and Wisconsin Public Radio.