It’s been three years since the fall of PASPA, and we’ve seen some major success in terms of what’s now available to US bettors. The US sports betting scene hasn’t been in such a healthy state since the 1980s, with states creating new laws and regulations surrounding all things online sports betting. Prior to PASPA being struck down in May 2018, all but four states were irrefutably banned from setting up sports betting services in both the online and retail sectors.
Fast forward to the present day, though, and the US federal government has warmed to the idea of sports betting. Having ruled PASPA unconstitutional, the country is moving towards a regulated, legal sports gambling industry. Currently, 14 states offer legal online sports betting to players - something unthinkable just a few years ago. Expect this number to rise rapidly over the course of the coming decade.
Having said that, some dozen states remain bearish on the idea of legalizing sports betting. Utah, for example, shuts down the premise of gambling within its constitution. Therefore it’s highly improbable that the state will permit gambling of any kind, ever. For other states, it’s due to a lack of support from residents, political opposition, and/or tribal relationships.
But, the point is that the states now have the opportunity to allow sports betting. Previously, PASPA threw a blanket ban over the US. Today, the land of the free boasts yet another freedom for its people. One which is unquestionably a step in the right direction.
If you are in a legal jurisdiction, it is highly advised that you use the regulated options for obvious reasons. Regulated sportsbooks are licensed by each state and these licenses are not cheap. Not only are they backed by the state, but also are usually run by a large corporation that has strict guidelines to adhere to.
Should you run into any issues with a deposit, withdrawal, bonus redemption, or any type of financial grievances with a regulated sportsbook, you can rest assured that the regulations in place will protect you from any issues or errors that can and do occur from time to time.
If you plan on using an off-shore sportsbook, with little to no regulation in their jurisdiction, be very cautious. Most of these sportsbooks offer very few options for deposits and withdrawals other than cryptocurrency. Some off-shore websites claim to accept Visa or Mastercard transactions, but that should be seen as a major red flag.
Firstly, you have no idea who you’re giving your personal information and debit or credit card information. Secondly, The Interstate Wire Act of 1961, or the “Federal Wire Act”, is a federal law that explicitly prohibits the operation of sportsbooks in the United States. So you’re giving all types of information to an organization committing a felony by just taking the information, to begin with. What other felonies are they capable of committing?
Should you choose to remain anonymous and deposit with cryptocurrency, you may have a good experience and find a good offshore sportsbook. Should you, however, run into any type of financial grievances with the operators, it’s highly unlikely that they will make things right or even communicate with you. It’s the wild, wild west. Enter the off-shore gambling world at your own risk.
Online sports betting is an increasingly popular way to enjoy online gambling, with millions of players indulging in the activity across the nation every week. Essentially, online sports betting is when a user wagers money on the outcome of a particular sports event through an online betting site. This can be basketball, soccer, NFL, NHL, MLB, UFC, and anything in between - online sports betting is available for all.
Often, online sports betting odds are constantly refreshed to keep up to date with the latest action in the world of sport. Unlike retail sports betting, customers don’t need to rush back to the betting shop to place a new bet, as every option they’ll ever need is available at the touch of a button.
The following states currently offer legal sports betting within their jurisdiction in some capacity or another.
These states include:
Signed. Sealed. Delivered. Arizona residents can now legally place wagers on sports as of September 2021, when the New Tribal-State Gaming Compacts were approved and signed into law. Players in Arizona can also play Daily Fantasy sports.
Regulated by the Arkansas Racing Commission, Arkansas’ first sports bets were taken on July 1st, 2019 at the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort.
Currently, all sports betting is limited to in-person wagers only with online sports betting not yet written into law - and there doesn’t appear to be much movement with regards to doing so. That said, Arkansas boasts double the number of sportsbooks compared to Rhode Island, four in all.
There are two new physical casinos slated to open shortly. Arkansas authorized 5 separate casinos to operate sportsbooks after the referendum was passed in 2018.
The sports betting market became a reality in Colorado in May 2020. Following a vote which saw residents opt for the addition of regulated sports betting in Colorado, the state has started preparations to supply sports wagering services through casinos.
Retail and mobile sports wagering is permitted, with online registration also a feature. Whereas other states have decided to limit the number of casinos that can build relationships with sportsbooks, Colorado is allowing every one of its thirty-three casinos to obtain sports betting licenses. WynnBET, Caesars, and others have joined the market.
Colorado has 33 commercial and tribal physical casinos that may apply for online and/or in-person licenses for a sportsbook on their properties. As of February 2021, most have been granted at least a temporary license.
Sports betting is entirely legal within the state of Connecticut. In May 2021, the general assemblies passed the bill which authorized sports betting in Connecticut. The gaming bill was created alongside a state-tribal compact that allowed tribes to operate retail and online sports betting services on tribal land.
Delaware’s sports betting scene took off in June 2018, not long after the crucial PASPA ruling. There are currently three casinos in operation in the state, none of which offer online sports betting platforms despite the practice being legal.
Players can visit any one of Dover Downs, Delaware Park Casino, or Harrington Raceway & Casino to wager on all types of sports activities. Even with sports betting permitted, Delaware bettors are prohibited from betting on in-state college teams. Arguably, we’re yet to see the “full-scale sports gaming operation” brandished by Gov. John Carney.
Date of Launch: June 2018
Number of physical sportsbooks: 3 locations
If you’re currently residing in Delaware, you can also do “parlay” wagers on NFL games. This type of betting requires you to pick 3 or more games and choose the correct winner of all contests. This has been legal for decades, pre-dating the PASPA regulations.
The passing of a bill to legalize sports betting in June 2019 led to the opening of Illinois’ sports betting market less than one year later, with the first bets placed on March 9th, 2020.
Initially, it was required that all customers wanting to sign up with sportsbooks must do so in person, but with the COVID-19 pandemic preventing that, players may create accounts remotely for the time being.
Sports betting operations went full steam ahead on September 1st, 2019. At first, it was thought that online betting would be left out of the bill that eventually legalized sports wagering in Indiana, however it was later included in the final draft that was put into law.
Customers have the opportunity to register from the comfort of their homes with remote registration permitted, while almost fifteen land-based sportsbooks have taken on bets since the opening day of sports betting in the state.
A little slower on the pulse when it came to passing bills into law, Iowa is now one of the go-to destinations for all things sports betting. Becoming the first state to implement online and retail sports wagering on the same day, the state has unsurprisingly seen mass growth in terms of revenue as a result of sports betting.
It’s now been two years since sports betting was made legal in Iowa (August 2019), while the requirement for in-person registration for online sports betting platforms was thrown out at the beginning of January 2021.
A resounding parish referendum result in favor of sports betting saw 55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes vote for the implementation of sports betting in June 2021. This bill has given access to sports betting operators. The first sportsbooks in Louisiana went live in January 2022 which includes mobile and desktop sports betting.
The state began taking sports bets from March 11th, 2020, a few months after the Lawful Sports Betting Act became law. Unlike some other states we’ve mentioned, Michigan’s sports betting laws specifically allow for collegiate sports betting, with both mobile and retail services available for use.
It’s worth noting that every sportsbook in Michigan is tied to a land-based casino, which has become somewhat the norm for many states. As an added bonus, it was announced that Michigan would also be legalizing poker and casino games, too.
An interesting state to have kept an eye on over the last few years, Mississippi proposed legislation that hoped to legalize sports betting if PASPA were to collapse.
We all know what happened just one year later. It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for those looking to place bets in Mississippi, though, as online betting outside of the four walls of a casino is illegal.
Proposals have been put forward over the last couple of years but to no avail. Since the inaugural month of sports betting in Mississippi, until now and probably in the foreseeable future, in-person betting appears to be the sole contributor to the industry’s earnings.
In-person sports betting has been legal in Montana since March 2020, with the first sportsbooks opening up just one month later. Online betting is also allowed, but it’s restricted to certain areas within the state rather than being a statewide feature.
Bars, taverns, and other premises may provide sports betting kiosks, with betting locations sprinkled across the entire state. Regulated by the Montana State Lottery, complaints have come rolling in regarding the offerings from the primary sportsbook Intralot, so changes could well be seen soon.
The Lottery Bill was signed by Governor Steve Bullock and backed by the Montana Tavern Association. Ideally, kiosks can be placed in its members’ establishments, which in turn brings new patrons that are interested in placing wagers and watching the event unfold.
The home of betting in the United States, Nevada is the first state that comes to mind when we think of betting. One of the few exemptions from PASPA, sports betting has been legal within the state since the late 1940s.
With both mobile and in-person sports betting available, Nevada sets the tone for positive and healthy gambling, so states seeking to improve their respective betting industries should look to the Silver State for inspiration.
There’s a zero-tolerance attitude towards college-level sports betting in New Hampshire, but in all other aspects of sports wagering customers are free to do as they wish.
By allowing players as young as 18 to sign up for online and in-person sportsbooks, New Hampshire has gone against the grain compared to the rest of the US. The market launched in December 2019 and has grown exponentially since, which is good news for New Hampshire considering half of DraftKings’ gross revenue will be paid back to the state.
With sports betting launched on June 14th, 2018, New Jersey has gone on to accumulate massive customer interaction and earnings through its legalization of such services.
Industry figures are in and around the billions for 2020, with further profits expected over the coming years. Players can enjoy online and in-person sports betting in New Jersey, however, there are no plans to allow wagers on New Jersey’s college teams or college-level events held in-state.
By launching its sports betting market in October 2018, New Mexico followed in the footsteps of the states we’ve previously mentioned. However, like in Delaware, such betting cannot yet take place online.
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling on PASPA, New Mexico decided against creating legislation that sets in stone the legality of sports betting. Instead, via a compact gaming agreement with the state the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel opened its sports betting doors.
Since then, New Mexico has seen three more land-based sportsbooks take bets, including Caesars.
July 16th, 2019. The opening day for sports bets across the state of New York - despite the fact sports wagering was made legal (assuming federal law permitted it) over half a decade earlier.
As of January 2022, sports betting is now legal for residents in New York, and players have plenty of options to choose from including DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, and BetRivers to name a few.
By legalizing in-person sports betting in 2019, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper subsequently opened the door for - whether intentional or not - online sports wagering in the future.
For now, customers may place bets on college and professional-level sports events, but it’s not possible to do so via online means. Initial bets were taken very recently in March 2021, with expectations of online platforms entering the fray sooner rather than later.
North Carolina passed SB 154 in July 2019, legalizing sports betting exclusively at two tribal casinos. Not much is known about these sportsbooks as they are located on Native American land in the extremely rural Western area of the state.
Being in the minority as one of the states that already had legislation permitting sports betting, Oregon lawmakers didn’t need to write up any new bills once PASPA came to a halt a few years ago.
Things haven’t been all smooth sailing though, with the sole online sportsbook, ScoreBoard, hit with heavily negative reviews. Subsequently, a bill was submitted in January 2021 that placed the Oregon Racing Commission as the regulator. Since Jan 2022, Draftkings is operating as one of the only online sportsbooks in Oregon.
In January 2021, Oregon's Governor filed a new bill that would put the Oregon Racing Commission in charge of regulation while also opening up the market to non-lottery operators.
November 2018 was a big month for Pennsylvania’s sports betting industry, with bets taken for the first time at Penn National Race Course. Gov. Tom Wolf signed the all-important bill one year before, in a move to push for not only sports betting but poker and daily fantasy sports betting too.
Online registration is available for players interested in partaking in online sports betting in Pennsylvania, with sportsbooks such as DraftKings, FanDuel, UniBet, and BetRivers onboarding customers.
In a move that saw sports betting allowed from November 2018, Rhode Island residents started placing sports wagers at the Twin River Casino on the 26th of the month.
After Gov. Gina Raimondo signed into law a bill that permitted two casinos to take sports bets, players have since been able to wager both online (since 2019) and in-person through Caesars-powered sportsbooks.
Rhode Island’s sports betting set-up was put under the spotlight due to immense losses endured from Super Bowl LIII in what was the perfect example of what-not-to-do as a state in the youthful stages of sports betting.
Beginning November 1st, 2020, Tennessee’s online-only approach to sports wagering has seen some success. Starting with nearly five operators and delivering on a vast array of sports odds, Tennessee’s growth in the sports betting market has been stifled by delays to incoming platforms obtaining their licenses.
Since all betting takes place online, there’s no need to register at a retail sportsbook or casino, with customers allowed to enjoy BetMGM, FanDuel, and others at the touch of a button. 2021 is poised to be a fascinating year for the state with the addition of WynnBET expected.
Retail wagering is currently legal and regulated throughout the state.
Tennessee legalized online sports betting in early 2019 with HB 1 (a substitute for SB 16). The law came into effect on July 1st, 2019. The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation (TELC) is the regulatory agency along with oversight from the Sports Wagering Advisory Council.
January 22nd, 2021. The day that sports betting arrived on Virginia’s doorstep. In a nationwide first, the Washington Football Team was granted a license from the Virginia Lottery, allowing the NFL side to partner with FanDuel and offer sports betting products.
Despite no land-based sportsbooks in operation right now, the market is predicted to rise quickly, especially with the excitement surrounding the Washington Football Team’s unprecedented venture into the world of sports betting.
Online wagering is offered at 1 sportsbook, and retail locations coming soon.
Virginia approved sports betting for both online and retail sportsbooks in April 2020, and the bill becomes effective as of July 1, 2020. The Virginia Lottery will be in charge of regulating the market. Keep a close eye on upcoming news as 18 licenses will be allowed.
Interested bettors in the capital watched on with interest as the state’s lottery launched GameBetDC. The service was developed to provide users with sports markets from all over the world in one, easy-to-use place.
However, as we’ve seen with other sports betting platforms put together by state lotteries, things don’t always go according to plan. Negative reviews are rife across social media and beyond, leading to many users abandoning the service in anticipation of competitors entering the scene. Having taken off in May 2020, Intralot’s Washington, D.C. project isn’t going swimmingly.
But, DC sports bettors can also play on Caesars sportsbook and BetMGM if players are within a two-block radius of Nationals Park and Capital One Arena. Be aware, that Caesars sportsbook is available within a two-block radius of the Capital One Area while BetMGM is available within a two-block radius of Nationals Park.
Although West Virginia wasn’t as quick to pull the trigger on sports betting, the Mountain State has reaped the rewards of legalizing the popular form of gambling in late August 2018.
From the 30th, West Virginian bettors were able to legally place bets on sports events, becoming the fifth state in the US to do so. Online sports betting in West Virginia is just as easily accessible as in-person gambling, with online registration permitted too.
Sports betting in Wyoming became legal in April 2021 after Gov. Mark Gordon signed HOUSE BILL 133 into law, a bill to allow the operation of online sports betting sites.
However, online sports betting didn't begin until September 1, 2021, making the Cowboy State the second state in the US to provide only online sports betting to players in the location.
The WY sports betting market kicked off with two sportsbooks brands, BetMGM and DraftKings; they came just in time for the new NFL season in September.
Below are US states that are currently pending legislation for sports betting.
Sports betting is all but ready to go in Florida, with just a few details remaining before it can officially launch. Importantly, though, is that state officials found a sensational agreement with the Seminole Tribe, which had previously been the biggest hurdle for lawmakers.
Now things will really ramp up, but Florida bettors might need to be patient before their first bets can be placed.
Maryland is well on course to provide sports betting services, both online and retail, from Fall 2021. Voters were clear in their opinion when they took to the ballots last November, and in April lawmakers put the final pieces of their sports gambling puzzle together ahead of the official rollout.
Up to 60 online platforms can plant seeds in the state’s mobile gaming scene, while 30 retail shops are permitted to exercise their sports betting rights.
Fresh off the back of legalizing sports betting in November 2020, South Dakota should be ready to take the next step forward. A ballot was held before Christmas to determine whether or not retail sports wagering should be allowed, and since then we’ve seen lawmakers hard at work to make such services become a reality.
At the moment, sports betting is only permitted in specific areas of the state at land-based casinos and tribal lands, but we could see support for mobile platforms gather momentum throughout the year. The first retail bets are expected to take place in September.
Before going as far as making sports betting legal, Alabama lawmakers are first finding ways to develop a proper lottery and casino scene. At the time of writing, bills that seek to make lotteries and mobile betting legal are under construction, and the natural progression from that is sports betting. For the time being, there’s little to report.
Backed by polls and professional sports teams in Atlanta, Georgia lawmakers pushed hard for the legalization of sports betting last year. Recently, a bill was passed by the Senate that allows for the development of sports betting regulatory framework, thus leading to speculation as to whether sports wagering would be made legal in 2021. However, having seen legislation fail in 2020 and early 2021, it’s clear that those in favor face an uphill task.
If not for COVID-19, we might have seen Kansas legalize sports betting by now. Not long ago both the House and Senate put forward bills aiming to safely incorporate sports wagers into the state, but the worldwide pandemic brought talks to a sudden halt. Considering there was quite a bit of positive movement within Kansas with regards to making sports betting legal, it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if a bill were to pass this year.
Despite support for sports betting from Democratic Party members in Kentucky, stringent opposition to the form of gambling from Republican representatives tossed any prayer of legalization in the trash - for now. Gov. Andy Beshear is an advocate for sports betting, so we may see pushback against long-held conservative views among party members in the state. Without statewide support, Kentucky could face a long fight for the right to wager on sports.
Progress in Maine was coming along nicely until Gov. Janet Mills vetoed a bill that would have introduced a fresh, competitive market. The governor explained that she was left unconvinced by support for the legislation, while the lack of support for those with problem gambling understandably left cause for concern. However, it’s expected that lawmakers will return to Mills with improved sports betting bill in 2021, so watch this space.
It’s a matter of when not if sports betting legislation will pass in Massachusetts. Seeing as Republican and Democratic leaders in the state back the legalization of sports wagering, interested bettors are simply waiting on a number of key issues to be sorted out before the full implementation of the hobby can be introduced. First, the parties need to agree as to how many sportsbooks can set up shop in the state, and second, they must decide if they want a competitive market or only allow already-settled casinos the option to provide sports betting facilities. Once these discussions have been ironed out, Massachusetts will have sports gambling.
Neighboured by states with thriving sports betting industries, Missouri lawmakers likely feel hard-pressed to push sports betting bills through this year. If not for the pandemic - which has slowed talks of sports betting across the nation - we reckon Missouri would have its scene up and running as we speak. As many as three bills are being discussed right now, so the outlook is positive as things stand.
Providing lawmakers want to push for sports betting in Nebraska, chances are we’ll see it in the state fairly soon. Towards the end of November 2020, all games of chance were legalized in Nebraska, and sports betting quite comfortably comes under that umbrella term. The only thing standing in between Nebraska and sports gambling is the language within the legislation, which should be expected in the coming months.
A vote regarding sports betting legislature was turned down by a small margin last year, but contrary to what the result translates as this was likely just the first step towards a healthy sports betting scene in North Dakota. Tribal casinos are considering building their own casinos, which has been argued for a while now, with laws surrounding such facilities unclear. If this does go through (likely retail only) legislation is probably going to be put forward by lawmakers for the entire state.
Another state is considering the passing of legislation that would allow sports betting legally. Ohio has seen little progress since the fourth quarter of 2020, but lawmakers remain confident that eventually, sports wagering will come to the state. Garnering support for such legislation has proved relatively easy - now it’s time to act on that.
On the face of it, Texas looks unlikely to permit legal sports betting. But with legislators expected to meet on a consistent basis throughout 2021, the states’ discussions around the subject may see a sharp rise. Sports team owners, like Mark Cuban, have unequivocally pronounced their backing of sports betting in Texas, although their influence on matters remains to be seen.
The main reason for Vermont taking action toward legalizing sports betting would come from outside pressure. As online and retail sports gambling grows in stature, the likelihood of legislators writing up an in-depth, new-look bill for Vermont’s betting industry gets closer to being put on the table. For now, there’s not much to report from the state.
Talks are ongoing between legislators and tribal casinos, with the former trying to broker a breakthrough deal after years of failing to find a compromise. Presently, the most likely outcome is that sportsbooks open at tribal casinos from 2023, with these services solely available in person. Opposition to statewide online gambling platforms from tribes will continue to prevent those products from becoming a viable option in the state, despite both sides understanding how lucrative such a deal could be.
You could probably return to this page in five years and nothing will have changed. Alaska lawmakers have shown zero interest in pushing legislation for the legalization of sports betting, retail or online. It would take a drastic change in the 49th states’ general culture to put betting on the cards.
If you’re an avid gambler, we’d recommend avoiding Hawaii for the foreseeable future. Due to the particular family culture embedded into society, sports betting - or betting of any kind - is strictly forbidden by law. It would be wise to forget about sports gambling entirely in Hawaii.
Apart from horse racing, sports betting isn’t permitted in Idaho. Forget sports betting, daily fantasy sports bets aren’t even legal here. Just because the laws here aren’t as set-in-stone as Hawaii or Utah doesn’t mean sports betting is closer to becoming available anytime soon.
Some action has been taken towards the allowance of sports betting in Minnesota, but it’s not unlikely to go through. State tribes have remained sluggish in talks, while lawmakers haven’t exactly pushed hard to find a deal. If anything does happen, tribes will probably be given priority.
A deal was found between two tribes and the Oklahoma governor in April 2020 which would have allowed for legal sports betting, but this agreement was later thrown out in what was undoubtedly a result of a larger feud involving the state government and gambling. Today, the future of sports betting remains unclear in Oklahoma, and legislators deem the subject a lesser priority compared to other forms of potentially profitable gaming.
South Carolina has failed in its mission of legalizing sports betting thus far, but not through a lack of effort. Lawmakers presented several bills that were subsequently struck down, and talks have failed to gain momentum since the turn of the new decade.
Like Hawaii, an anti-gambling attitude runs rife through Utah’s population. Being the only state that considers private gambling with friends a crime, the chances of sports betting coming to the state are slim. If anything, laws here are more likely to become tighter.
We’re yet to hear of any sports betting legislation reach the governor’s office in Wisconsin, which tells a story in itself. Relaxed laws compared to Utah and Hawaii present the opportunity for sports betting, but there’s very little movement from lawmakers. Tribes in the area could set up their own services.
During the 1990s and early 2000s, offshore betting sites were raking in billions of dollars in profits every year. Obviously, such success in a shady area of the market caused concern amongst government officials, leading to the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act).
President Bush wanted to crack down on the gambling black market, and in signing the UIGEA he sought to prevent these businesses from taking part in the US market. It wasn’t that simple, though, and some operators remained glued to their US audience in what they commonly described as a legal gray area.
Despite now offering a legal and regulated sports betting market, the US is still struggling to shift all consumers from offshore sportsbooks to legal ones. Why? Familiarity, resentment, and betting options. With offshore betting sportsbooks, the platforms aren’t obligated to follow rules set out by the US regulators, therefore opening a world of opportunity when it comes to the types of bets that can be made.
On top of that, there’s an element of resentment towards the US government’s attitude over the last thirty years, while others simply want to stay at sites that have served them for some time.
But now is the time to move on.
As offshore operators spread their wings across more countries, US citizens open themselves up to more dangerous, less trustworthy sources of online gambling. Sportsbooks within the US are subject to regulation from authorities that know what they’re doing and seek to keep players safe, whereas offshore organizations don’t need to follow rules.
Realistically, if a customer at an offshore betting site stumbles into a major issue they won’t have anywhere to voice their problem and get help. For those who’ve solely set up accounts with legal US sports betting sites, there are people whose job it is to take care of whatever issue the user might encounter.
Do you want to keep your funds and identity secure? Would you prefer that the sports betting site is required to encrypt sensitive information? Are you an advocate of quicker deposits and withdrawals with fewer fees?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you should be betting with legal, regulated, US-based sportsbooks.