Sports betting has been happening in the country for decades. Whether football or horse racing, it is typical for sports betting websites to offer wagers for it all. Millions of sports fans engage in in-person or online sports betting every year. However, until a few years ago, sports betting was illegal in several parts of the country. People often turned to illegal private organizations, or “bookies,” and placed their wagers through them.
Sports betting has had a complex legal history just like Cannabis. Over the years, the U.S. allowed and disallowed the activity several times. Several laws and taxes in the late 1900s brought a curb to illegal sports wagering. However, the activity rose to popularity again with the introduction of the internet and online gambling. While sports wagering was legal in a few states of the U.S., some others had a big illegal sports wagering industry. These states persistently attempted to legalize sports betting in the late 2000s.
After a tireless battle in the Supreme Court, the government lifted the federal ban on sports betting in 2018 after overturning the amateur sports protection act. Since then, sports betting has rapidly risen to fame as more and more states declare the activity legal. However, you may find it hard to determine the current status of sports betting in your state. This article clarifies the matter by describing legal sports betting and its impact across the U.S.
States in the U.S. That Legalized Sports Betting
As of July 2022, about 30 states are offering legal sports betting. However, each state enforces different rules for the activity. 21 states and D.C. allow mobile and in-person sports wagering. Further, two states permit only mobile sports betting. Similarly, eight states permit only retail sports betting. While betting is legal in Kansas, the exact rules are unclear. Lastly, four more states are legalizing sports betting, while 12 are unlikely to do it soon.
Legal Mobile and In-Person Sports Betting
These states permit both in-person and mobile sports betting:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Legal Online Only Sports Betting
The online sports like NFL betting market has shown immense growth after the pandemic. These states allow you a wider portfolio and ease of accessing your online sportsbooks from anywhere within the state. Here’s the list of states that permit only mobile sports betting:
Only In-Person Legal Sports Betting
Retail sports betting, or in-person wagering, is the oldest form of sports wagering. Retail betting is popular since people find it easier to control their bets and get instant winnings. Here is the list of states that permit only retail sports betting:
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
States Looking To Legalize Sports Gambling
Several states are currently in the process of legalizing sports betting. These states include:
- Nebraska Ohio
Sports betting is not currently legal in the state of Alabama. However, the state has made several attempts to legalize sports betting over the years. The last attempt was as recent as 2021 when the sports betting bill was a part of a state lottery package. While this bill passed the Senate, it could not proceed to the House for a final vote.
The state also has only three local casinos. So, if the law allows sports betting in Alabama, the market should mainly focus on online betting and mobile wagering sites.
Alaska is another addition to U.S. states where you can’t even place an online sports bet. In 2020, Gov. Mike Dunleavy suggested legalizing sports betting and lottery in the state to increase the state revenue. However, the prospects of sports betting in Alaska are slim due to its small population.
There are also no major sports leagues or other events held in the state that would interest the sports betting world. This lack of major sports makes it tough to ignite any form of sports wagers. Moreover, since the Senate declined the sports betting bill in 2021, the state has made no further attempts to legalize sports wagering.
The Arizona sports gambling market is going strong. The state legalized the activity in late 2021, and the business has been growing since. There are 18 online sportsbooks in the state, each offering unique benefits and bonuses.
The state offers both mobile and in-person sports betting. Further, you need a sports betting license to operate in the state, and sports betting is legal even in college sports.
Sports betting has been legal in the state of Arkansas since November 2018. It is one of the first states in the country to legalize mobile sports betting.
The law allows up to eight online sportsbooks in Arkansas. However, the only online sportsbook currently operating in the state belongs to the Southland Racing Casino. Due to the complex revenue laws, major sportsbooks have not yet joined Arkansas sports betting.
Currently, California has not made sports betting legal. However, the state has scheduled a vote for November 2022 for online sports betting. Online sportsbook betting is likely to earn hefty revenue in California because many professional sports teams operate in the state.
The state allowed regulated sports betting in early 2020 on online and retail platforms. The official CDOR site has also provided details and guidelines for sports wagering.
After sports betting legalization, several online betting sites officially added the state to their online sports betting list. Further, the state has over 30 casinos that offer online sports betting services using these sites.
State Governor Lamont permitted online sports betting in the state in October 2021. Moreover, the state has over 130 games on which you can place legal sports bets online.
Governor Lamont placed the first legal sports wager in state history. The online betting began with a soft launch of iCasino seven days before the statewide allowance.
After Nevada, Delaware was the first state to carry out a statewide sports betting launch. The state had permitted betting in early 2009, but the act could not materialize due to federal law.
Once the Supreme Court repealed PASPA, the state instantly became one of many sports betting states. Presently, the state offers limited sports betting as mobile wagering is yet to launch despite being legal.
Florida does not offer sports betting. While the state is trying to legalize the activity, a lawsuit against the motion prohibits it.
After the lawsuit was filed, a federal judge made sports betting illegal in the state. However, the state has currently motioned to overturn the ruling. If the motion is successful, sports betting in Florida will soon be legal.
Georgia is yet to legalize sports betting. While some senators have tried to pass a lawful sports betting act, they have not acquired enough votes. Further, some believe that sports bets require a constitutional amendment to be legal. This factor makes it tough to legalize online sports betting and in-person sports betting in the state.
The state of Hawaii strictly prohibits all types of betting and gambling. Due to several state gambling laws, sports betting cannot become legal in Hawaii for the foreseeable future. Moreover, since the state earns most of its revenue from tourism, it does not need profits from wagering.
Like Hawaii, Idaho also has several laws against gambling. The state permits casinos but no retail sports betting. While you can place wagers on online sites in the state, it is risky due to the lack of licensing.
Illinois permits both in-person and mobile sports betting. After a tedious battle, lawmakers finally passed the betting legislation for the state in June 2019.
With the new state laws, you can place wagers at casinos, horse racing racetracks, online sites, and betting parlors. Lawmakers also regulate sports betting, with only three initial licenses for online betting sites.
Indiana launched sports betting legislation in May 2019, after the State Governor signed HB 1015. This sports betting bill permits wagering at satellite facilities, racinos, and riverboats. It also imposes an initial and annual fee for any vendors who wish to acquire a license to conduct betting. Lastly, the bill also states that any online sportsbook must partner with a casino in the state.
Iowa was the first state in the upper midwest region to declare legal sports betting. Further, the state permitted retail and online sports wagers in August 2019.
You can choose from several options if you plan to place wagers on sports in Iowa. There are over a dozen sportsbooks available in the state, but retail betting is more popular.
Kansas recently permitted legal sports betting after the State Gov. signed sports betting legislation in May 2022. The bill officially passed in July. However, the state has not launched any guidelines discussing the issue further. This lack of discussion makes it unclear whether Kansas allows online or retail betting.
Betting on sports is not legal yet in Kentucky. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court repealed PARSA, there have been attempts to legalize the activity in the state. However, the motion has been unable to pass.
The State Rep. nearly legalized betting in Kentucky in early 2022. However, he passed away before the Senate could take a final vote on the matter.
Louisiana launched its retail betting program in October 2021. In January 2022, six major sites entered the state taking in their first online bets. Further, seven more betting sites joined the state with various discounts and offers for their users. The state earns a huge share in the revenue from over a dozen online and retail sportsbooks.
State Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill permitting sports betting in the state of Maine in May 2022. The sports bill is currently under process. Since the Senate and the House passed the bill, the Governor is expected to do the same. Once that happens, sports betting will officially launch in Maine.
Sports betting is legal in the state of Maryland. The state launched retail betting in December 2021. However, online sports betting is still under processing. The state expects online betting to be available to the public before 2022. Currently, the state is signing the approval of various physical sportsbooks.
There is an ongoing battle to legalize betting on sports in Massachusetts. While the House favors passing the bill, the Senate does not seem to do so. The main issue prohibiting the ban from being lifted is whether betting on college sports should be permitted. Legal sports betting does not seem likely for the state in 2022.
The state of Michigan has been making consistent progress in legalizing sports betting. The state officially legalized sports wagering in 2019. Next, in March 2020, it began licensing retail bookies and vendors. Further, the state launched online betting in 2021, which became a huge success.
There are currently no legal options in Minnesota to place wagers on sports. The legislators attempted to legalize the act several times. However, the Indian tribes that operate the state casinos are concerned that it may adversely affect their revenues. Even though the tribes initially supported the motion, they backed out when it reached the Senate.
Mississippi is one of the few states permitting offline and online sports betting in early 2018. The state was ready to launch the act before the federal law was issued. So, when the Court lifted the ban, the state proceeded with the launch.
Retail betting has been prevalent in the state since 2018. However, you can only bet online using the bets you place at a casino.
Sports betting is not yet legal in Missouri. However, several casino owners and stakeholders have unanimously supported bills legalizing it. There have been several attempts to launch the activity in the state over the year, with each failing. The current bill has reached the Senate and is expected to pass due to its huge backing.
Betting initially began in this state with the state lottery in March 2020. However, the launch soon reached a standstill due to the global pandemic. With the lack of online betting options, the sports betting market has not made much progress in the state.
Betting on sports has been legal in the state since the bill’s passing in May 2021. However, legislators asked the state to improve its casino offerings before launching sports betting officially. The state is also working on setting up racinos for revenue. Regulators expect the bill to be approved by the end of next year.
Nevada is the casino central of America. It has a long history of sports gambling. It was also the first state to start legal sports betting offline in the country. Further, Nevada has been taking online sports bets since 2010. The state has over one dozen betting sites offering quality services to their customers.
New Hampshire allowed betting on sports in July 2019. It launched online betting in early 2020 with two of the top sports betting sites in the country. After that, retail betting soon followed. Since the legalization, N.H. has seen immense growth in revenue and tourism.
New Jersey had a big role in getting the U.S. Supreme Court to lift the federal ban against betting on sports. After nearly a decade of pursuit, the state successfully got the Court to repeal PARSA. N.J. was one of the earliest states to start sports betting in 2018 after the lift.
The legal status of betting on sports in New Mexico has always been unclear. However, currently, you can place wagers on sports in the state’s tribal casinos. You must be of legal age and within state limits as per law. Moreover, you can bet online, but the platform must only use bets you placed at a casino.
New York has permitted placing bets in its commercial casinos since 2013. However, after the federal ban was lifted, the state introduced in-person sportsbooks and betting. Recently, the state launched its first online wagering site in January 2022. There are currently nine betting sites available in New York.
North Carolina has legalized sports betting with only two in-person books in the state. A bill to permit online wagering in the state is also under review. However, there are not many retail betting platforms within state limits. The two tribal casinos with licenses are located on the northwest end of the state.
After the Senate passed the bill for online bets, the House could not vote on the same. So, the legislation is now delayed, with online bets limited to in-person casino bets. The Senate expects the bill to pass by the end of 2023, which postpones the online launch to early 2024.
North Dakota made betting on sports legal in December 2021. However, only tribal casinos can take in wagers and conduct betting. There are only three tribal casinos in the state. Moreover, since online betting is not legal yet, it is difficult for residents to enjoy sports betting fully.
While betting on sports is not currently legal in Ohio, the laws to pass the bill have been signed. The state regulators say the bill will go into effect on January 1, 2023.
There are over 140 tribal casinos in the state of Oklahoma. However, the state still does not permit betting on sports within state limits. The State Gov. came close to launching sports wagering in the state in 2020. However, the Supreme Court overturned the package before it progressed. As per the Court, the Gov. did not have the power to enforce any laws regarding the matter.
Oregon permitted Sports Action betting from the late 1990s until the 2000s. However, this activity was stopped when the state could not host the NCAA basketball match. Oregon is one of the few states with a gambling history dating back to the 1990s. So, residents were very joyful when PASPA was overturned, and the state permitted legal betting in 2019. The state currently permits online and physical betting within state limits.
Pennsylvania permits betting on sports at racetracks, satellite facilities, and racetracks all over the state. While the state began retail betting first, it soon introduced online wagering in May 2019.
Rhode Island is the eighth state to allow betting on sports in 2018. Soon after the Supreme Court took PARSA down, the state passed the bill. The state only offered retail betting until early 2020. Lawmakers approved the legalization of mobile betting in the summer of 2020.
While sports betting is not yet legal in South Carolina, the state continues trying to change that. However, it seems unlikely that the bill will pass before 2022 ends. The deadline to approve the law is nearing, but the lawmakers have not decided yet. The bill will allow mobile betting in South Carolina if it passes.
Betting on sports is legal in South Dakota. However, there are several restrictions to it. Initially, only four casinos in the state allowed retail sports bets. The state only permits retail betting within the limits of Deadwood city. Any attempts to make retail betting statewide have failed. Currently, there are nearly 25 casinos with betting vendors in the city of Deadwood.
Tennessee is one of the two states that only permits mobile sports betting. The state launched online sites for betting in November 2020. While the state does not offer the benefits of retail betting, you can enjoy several incentives using the betting apps.
Texas is one of the most populous states in the U.S. If sports betting were launched in the state, it would be highly beneficial to the sports market. But, there is no prospect of that happening soon. However, some sports fans are hopeful due to the legalization of betting in several other Southern states.
Utah is one of the only two states in America, along with Hawaii, with strict laws that allow no gambling. The state has also made no moves to legalize betting on sports after PARSA was lifted. Moreover, the state has no casinos, lotteries, charitable gaming events, or gambling.
There are no options for placing bets on sports in Vermont. A study bill in the 2020 legislature likely started a legal appeal to legalize the act. However, the movement died out after the pandemic broke out. The state has made no attempts to engage in sports betting since then.
Virginia permitted online sports betting in early 2021. There are over 14 betting apps set to enter the state. Moreover, the state will also launch retail betting and casinos over the next couple of years. The law requires these casinos in the state as they will host these betting apps and sportsbooks later.
Washington State introduced sports betting after March 2020. Several tribal casinos within state limits backed this bill before approval. Further, many online apps and bookmakers are set to join the state to partner with these casinos. Legal betting will likely see enormous growth in Washington by the end of next year.
West Virginia has both online and retail betting sites. The state bookmakers have accepted bets since late 2018 after Delaware legalized betting. The state has five casinos, each partnered with a mobile betting app.
Wisconsin only permits retail betting as of July 2022. However, the state plans on expanding its sports betting market very soon. Lawmakers have ordered the making of several casinos within the state. The state does not have a mobile betting market yet, and there have been no bills requesting to launch these platforms.
Wyoming legalized betting in late 2021. However, the state only permits online bets. It allowed two popular betting sites to enter the state server on launch day. After that, more sites joined the state in the summer of 2022. Currently, over three betting apps are waiting for license approval by the state.
Final Thoughts: Is Sports Betting legal In Various States?
The United States of America has a confusing history with sports betting. Ever since the Supreme Court overturned PARSA, each state has had the liberty of declaring its legal status of sports betting.
Since every state has different rules about sports betting, it can make things confusing for somebody who wants to place a wager. If you are new to sports betting, this article will clarify the legal status and form of betting in your state. While most states offer online and offline betting services, several states in the U.S. do not permit sports betting. Moreover, some states may have permitted sports betting but may not allow every city to offer retail betting at their casinos.
You can also travel to other states to place online bets if your state does not permit it. After reading this article, you can place safe bets on sports from any state you reside in.