Online Bookmakers Articles States Where Sports Betting is Legal

States Where Sports Betting is Legal

Author: Yan Zhylinski

States with Legalized Sports Betting

States Where Sports Betting is Legal

State

Abbreviation

Legalized sports betting

Arkansas

AR

Yes

Colorado

CO

Yes

Nebraska

NE

Yes

Delaware

DE

Yes

Oregon

OR

Yes

Maryland

MD

Yes

Louisiana

LA

Yes

Illinois

IL

Yes

Washington

WA

Yes

South Dakota

SD

Yes

Indiana

IN

Yes

Iowa

IA

Yes

Michigan

MI

Yes

Mississippi

MS

Yes

Montana

MT

Yes

Nevada

NV

Yes

New Hampshire

NH

Yes

New Jersey

NJ

Yes

New Mexico

NM

Yes

New York

NY

Yes

North Carolina

NC

Yes

Tennessee

TN

Yes

Pennsylvania

PA

Yes

Rhode Island

RI

Yes

Virginia

VA

Yes

Washington D.C

DC

Yes

West Virginia

WV

Yes

It has been three years since the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting in the United States, allowing states to legalize sports betting if they wish. So where do we stand now? What states are currently in business, and how are they doing? We’ve comprised a comprehensive look at all the 50 states –plus Washington D.C-, on where you can wager on sports and states where you cannot wager on sports.

Nearly every state in the US has at least considered matters to do with legal sports betting, but the reality is that full online sports betting won’t come to more than a dozen states for long due to deep-seated political opposition to gambling and other complex tribal relationships.

Here, we summarize gambling laws by state. We look at the states where engaging in sports betting is legal. We also look at those states where you cannot wager on sports. An interactive map is below, and for the text for states where you can and cannot wager on sports.

  • Arkansas

Legal sports betting began in Arkansas on July 1, 2019. While lawmakers have considered statewide mobile legislation, the move could still be challenging to sell in the nations more culturally and politically conservative state. A ballot measure taken in 2018 allowed 2 sportsbooks to operate in the state, with bettors in the Arkansas now allowed to wager on sports in Arkansas.

  • Colorado

Colorado accepted its first online and retail wagers in 2020 and the state has turned into one of the most robust markets with some of the biggest names in online sports betting now operating in the state. In September 2020, Colorado joined the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Indiana among others to legalize sport betting. Colorado goes in the record as one of the states to record more than $200 million in monthly betting handle. Colorado boasts of one of the most operator-friendly setups in the United States and more than two-dozen digital sportsbooks are expected to go live in Colorado in the coming years.

  • Nebraska

The state of Nebraska authorized some betting. Following the 2020 election, Nebraska allowed some forms of casino betting. In the early months of 2020, state senator Justin Wayne introduced a bill that classified sports betting as “authorized games of skill” and would allow fantasy sports, sports wagering, and poker in the state of Nebraska.

  • Delaware

Delaware became the first state outside Nevada to accept a legal one-game sports wager, beating New Jersey by a few weeks after the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban in sports betting in May 2018.

Delaware’s lottery-run sports betting market still prohibits online sports betting in the state, something that only leaves three retail bookies in the state – and some unimpressive revenue numbers. Delaware’s small size, population and the proliferation of digital sports betting options in its neighboring states will leave it a relative afterthought despite is fast start.

  • Oregon

The state of Oregon did not require to pass new legislation on legalizing sports betting since they already had limited sports betting legality that was established at the state level. However, they didn’t officially begin taking bets up until August 2019.

  • Maryland

Following the results of the 2020 election, Maryland went ahead to approve sports betting in the state. Voters in the state said yes to legalizing sports gambling in the November 2020 election, bringing legal sports betting to the last Mid-Atlantic state without a licensed bookmaker. In April 2021, lawmakers in the Maryland finalized legislation that saw up to 60 bookmakers applying for licenses to operate in the state.

  • Louisiana

In 2020, voters in Louisiana’s 55 of the state’s 64 parishes supported legal sports betting, including all those around Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette. Lawmakers in Louisiana have gone ahead to advance key taxation that would allow online sports betting in all the eligible parishes. Governor John Bel Edwards signed into law the bill shortly after passage.

  • Illinois

The state of Illinois launched sports betting on March 9, 2020, and launched online sports betting in June 2020. One of the country’s most populated (and sports-crazy) states, Illinois is expected to be a major player in the United States online sports betting sphere. However, the market has been somewhat slow, in part due to limited online skin counts along with stiff fees and taxes. More importantly, though, Illinois bettors are required to register at a retail bookie before wagering with an online option. Governor J.B. Pritzker has waived this requirement on a month-by-month basis during the Coronavirus pandemic, but he unexpectedly failed to renew the order beginning in April 2021. Assuming that the Governor or the legislature take no further action, in-person registration will remain up until 2022.

  • Washington

Washington legalized sports betting on March 5, 2020. However, no bets have taken place since the state is in compact negotiations with tribal representatives in a bid to come up with a new agreement to allow sport betting to take place in tribal lands. Officials are targeting a launch soon after the first deal was announced in April 2021.

  • South Dakota

South Dakota legalized sports betting in November 2020 as part of a ballot initiative with lawmakers passing retail-only authorization for certain tribal gaming facilities and Deadwood casinos in the state. The first retail sportsbooks are expected to open in September 2021.

  • Indiana

The state of Indiana went live in September 1, 2019 and has done quite well, pulling more than $200 million a month in handle in their 2020 football season. It just took a few months from matters to do with legalization to the first bet, and since then, Indiana has continued its initial start with a well-rounded market. The biggest players in the market, including DraftKings and FanDuel take up the most of the market share in Indiana, but a dozen or more bookies are expected to make noise in the years to come. With a business-friendly environment, more entrants will begin to begin offering their services in Indiana, something that should help continue Indiana’s sports betting success.

  • Iowa

The state of Iowa began accepting bets on August 15, 2019. Since then, sports betting in the state of Iowa has grown exponentially. The in-person registration requirement set the sunset in 2021, and it’s expected to help the market even further. Iowa is one of those states in U.S. with some of the cheapest licensing fees - $45,000 for the first year to get an initial license and a renewal fee of $10,000 a year. The state of Iowa claimed $72 million in bets in the month of September 2020 alone. Even though it has a small population and no professional sports teams, Iowa could still be among the most lucrative per capita markets in the United States.

  • Michigan

Michigan is another state where wagering is legal. The state of Michigan launched in-person betting at the MGM Grand Detroit on March 11, 2020. Online sportsbooks such as BetMGM are now serving plenty of bettors in the state. Michigan is one of those states with the potential of being one of the biggest sports betting and online gaming markets in the United States, and its legislation allows for a competitive market with several operators.

  • Mississippi

The state of Mississippi was one of the earliest states to launch sports betting, opening for business on August 1, 2018. Mississippi has in place mobile wagering, though you can only place your bets while inside a casino. This is one of those huge factors has technically hurt Mississippi’s market share. This is despite Mississippi being one of the few legal Southern wagering states. The initial retail sport betting legislation in Mississippi was passed as a corollary to a fantasy sports bill at a crucial time when the federal ban on sports betting appeared as if it would not be lifted. Passing a statewide online sports betting bill in conservative Mississippi appears to be a far more difficult task.

  • Montana

The state of Montana began taking bets officially in March 2020 through a sports betting app run by the firm that runs Montana’s state lottery. This state-run monopoly keeps out other top bookmakers in the state and can go ahead to jeopardize competitive prizes. It only functions in licensed gaming properties. Not surprisingly though, Montana’s limited betting options together with its sparse population make it somehow a small part of the overall market in the United States.

  • Nevada

The state of Nevada is the gold standard for in-person wagering. The state requires bettors to come into a casino before they can place their bets via the internet. That really hurt the state of Nevada during the COVID-19 pandemic, when casino traffic plummeted. However, the state of Nevada will always hold a special spot when it comes to American gaming, but it’s already just the second-most lucrative sports betting state, it may continue falling down the ranks with more, and populated states –with statewide mobile wagering- launch in the coming years.

  • New Hampshire

Sports wagering began in the state of New Hampshire on December 30, 2019. Now, bettors can engage in legalized sports betting without any fear of persecution. DraftKings remains the sole mobile sports betting operator in the state of New Hampshire, but soon, it’s bound to face some stiff competition. As of now, a handful of other operators have applied for licenses to operate in New Hampshire. New Hampshire has done decently well despite its limited market, though this could end when –or if- Massachusetts launches mobile sports betting.

  • New Jersey

New Jersey is the state that brought sports gambling case to the Supreme Court, and is now fully enjoying the fruits of its labor. “The Gold Standard” for legal sports betting was the 3rd state to accept a legal bet and has continued to set state records thank to a very competitive and operator-friendly system. Even though there are physical books in the Meadowlands and the Atlantic City, more than 80% of wagers taken are online, a number that has significantly risen during the coronavirus pandemic and should continue going forward. New Jersey brought in $4.5 billion in sports wagers in 2019 and it went to reach more than $5 billion in 2020, managing to beat Nevada in handle every month that year. While a New York mobile launch may cut into the massive numbers, New Jersey continues as a Marquee market for years to come.

  • New Mexico

On October 16, 2018, the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel booked its initial sports bet, but in partnership with Nevada-based USBookmaking. While the state of New Mexico hasn’t passed any new forms of sports betting legislation since the decision by the Supreme Court to allow legal sports betting in the U.S., the some by the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel was made through a gaming compact with the state. According to a spokeswoman at the Department of the Interior’s Office of Indian Affairs by the name of Nedra Darling, the state of New Mexico permits “any or all forms of Class III Gaming,” a category in the federal regulations specifically including any type of sports betting and pari-mutuel betting.

  • New York

New York has retail sports betting at several upstate commercial and tribal casinos, though these have generated very little revenue despite New York’s massive population and the interest in gaming. The reason for that is because there’s no online betting. However, Governor Andrew Cuomo for the first time in January 6 embraced full online sports betting as a new source of revenue, though the plan that he signed into law in April 2021 runs sports betting through the state. The limited-operator model could prevent bookies such as FanDuel and DraftKings, and many more from entering. It may harm consumer experience too. State officials in New York are expected to announce winning bids in December. In the meantime though, New Jersey has turned into “Vegas East” –with the help of New Yorkers that come across the border-. This comes even as a study undertaken in February 2020 estimated that the state of New York Loses $200+ million in revenue by not legalizing online sports betting.

  • North Carolina

The state of North Carolina legalized in-person sports betting in July for 2 tribal casinos in the western portion of the state, managing to take its first bet in March 2021. The launch came after Governor Roy Cooper signed a 2019 bill to allow sports and horse wagering on tribal lands. The new betting law allows wagering on both professional and college sports, but all bettors must place their bets in-person at one of two retail locations. While that bill didn’t permit mobile wagering, the state of North Carolina is expected to consider statewide mobile wagering soon.

  • Oregon

Thanks to a limited exemption in the federal ban in sports betting activities that allowed willing states to offer parlay cards, officials from the state of Oregon determined that state lottery could begin accepting wagers without a separate act of the legislature. Oregon’s state lottery app took its first bet in 2019, but with only a single mobile wagering option, it hasn’t been able to match the competitive markets. Most notably, in-state college wagering is prohibited via the lottery app. A handful of Native American casinos have established retail sportsbooks, which allow college wagering as well, though these too are small generators of revenue.

  • Tennessee

Since it has no casinos in place, Tennessee is the only state in the U.S. that has online-only sports betting. The conservative state’s unlikely launch of an uncapped and digital sport betting market excited stakeholders in the industry, but other restrictions may hurt its potential. Tennessee is also the only state that makes operators return a 10% hold. Since the typical hold, that’s the percentage of the total bets taken in that the bookmakers hold on to, is 5-7% in plenty of states, making sure that 10% is held could mean that bettors within Tennessee should expect some of the words odds around. Also, the state of Tennessee took roughly 18 months to launch its first online sportsbook after its legislature legalized betting in the state. All major operators are free to enter the market in the coming years though Tennessee’s self-imposed restrictions may hurt its potential. 

  • Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania was among a handful of states in the U.S. to accept legalized sports betting in 2018 and began its digital launch in 2019. Since then, the state has been among the biggest online sports betting markets in the country. Despite high fees that operators need to pay to so that they can get into the game, the state of Pennsylvania consistently sees the largest sport betting monthly handles, behind Nevada and New Jersey, despite its large population that pulls close to $500 million in bets, especially during the meat of the football season. The fees and limit of only 14 operator licenses may continue to hinder Pennsylvania’s potential, but it’s large population and high-profile sports teams will help it maintain some of the United States highest-grossing handle totals.

  • Rhode Island

Rhode Island has been offering legal sports betting to its residents since 2018 when the retail sportsbook opened its 2 commercial casinos. The move came after Governor Gina Raimondo signed the state budget, which included language that allowed sports betting in Rhode Island. William Hill is the only legal retail and online sportsbook in the state of Rhode Island. Lawmakers repealed in-person mobile registration requirement, but the small population in Rhode Island and lone legal option keep revenues small, despite Rhode Island’s proximity to Massachusetts and Connecticut. In the early months of 2019, the law was tweaked to give room to mobile sports betting in Rhode Island.

  • Virginia

The state of Virginia took its first online sports bet in January 2021 and as of now, there are more than a dozen bookmakers with licenses to operate in the state. Even though there’s a cap in the number of skins, more brands are expected to enter the market with BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings, William Hill, and FanDuel already having made headway in the state of Virginia.

  • Washington D.C

The state of Washington is a sole-source operator jurisdiction. This lone legal District-wide mobile app, GamBet is administered by the lottery and partially, since it has no legal competition, has managed to offer lines worse than the market averages. Additionally, the app is geofenced out of any federal properties, a big problem in the nation’s capital. Such has allowed the city’s first retail bookmaker, a temporary operating booth in Capital One Are. Anotoble bookmaker, William Hill only allows wagering within the stadium. William Hill’s retail book opened for business on July 31, 2020 in a makeshift sportsbook in the box office of the Capital One Are before to its permanent home building in 2021. Another entrant, Handle 19 has also made headway into the state. While you can bet on sports in the state of Washington D.C, the state hasn’t generated a lot from sports betting due to unfair pricing.

  • West Virginia

On August 30, 2018, the state of West Virginia became the fifth one to offer legalized sports betting. This was after a sportsbook owned by Penn National opened its doors for business. Matters to do with mobile betting had some hiccups in West Virginia, but it has been live since August 2019. The state of West Virginia has a number of mobile operators that include BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and William Hill. West Virginia won’t rival some of the larger markets in place, though bettors at least have several legal to place their bets from anywhere within the state.

States where you can’t bet on sports

State

Abbreviation

Legalized sports betting

Alabama

AL

No

Alaska

AK

No

Arizona

AZ

No

California

CA

No

Connecticut

CT

No

Florida

FL

No

Maine

ME

No

Massachusetts

MA

No

South Carolina

SC

No

Utah

UT

No

Texas

TX

No

Missouri

MO

No

Ohio

OH

No

Vermont

VT

No

Georgia

GA

No

Hawaii

HI

No

Idaho

ID

No

Kansas

KS

No

Wyoming

WY

No

Oklahoma

OK

No

Minnesota

MN

No

North Dakota

ND

No

Kentucky

KY

No

Wisconsin

WI

No

It has been more than a year-and-a-half since the United States Supreme Court delivered a landmark ruling to striking down a federal ban on sports betting, something that had prohibited sports betting in many states. Since the ruling, which left matters to do with sports betting up to the state-level government, several states in the country moved swiftly to legalize sports betting.

However, there are some other states with pending bills on matters to do with legalize sports betting, while there are other states where it’s illegal to engage in sports betting. At this point, we examine states in the U.S. where sports betting is illegal.

  • Alabama

Even though it is illegal to engage in sports betting in Alabama, there’s a legislation that has been proposed to give room to legalized sports betting in the state. The proposed bill will create an Alabama Sports Wagering Commission, a body that will oversee the regulation of sports betting within the state of Alabama. Under the proposed bill, bettors will be allowed to place bets on pro and college sports.

  • Alaska

If you reside in the state of Alaska, you cannot place bets on sports. In 2020, the state of Alaska put matters to do with sports betting into consideration. But as of now, Alaska is pretty much nowhere on matters to do with sports gambling. However, the 49th state might actually be 49th to have legalized sports betting, it ever.

  • Arizona

In the state of Arizona, sports betting is not legal, but there’s a legislation proposed to legalize sports betting. A bill that was proposed in January would go along to exclusively allow Native American tribes with a gaming license to operate sportsbooks with the state of Arizona. While key details would still need the approval of regulators, officials are bullish on a launch by September 9, 2021. If the bill sails through, those residing in Arizona will also be able to engage in mobile sports betting too.

  • California

Sports betting in California isn’t legal, but there has been a legislation proposed to allow legal sports betting in the state. California has a proposed constitutional amendment along with a pending voter referendum that could make sports gambling in California legal. California sport betting appears that it will be a reality, but mostly at tribal casinos and most likely, not until the year 2023.

  • Connecticut

Sports betting in Connecticut is legal, but legislation has been proposed. Earlier this year, lawmakers in the state of Connecticut pushed forward two separate sports betting bills, one that would allow sports gambling at state-wide casinos, and another one that would limit sports betting to the federal recognized tribes that do operate in Connecticut’s two casinos, Mohegun Sun and Foxwoods. A few months ago, lawmakers in Connecticut finalized the regulatory language that will allow wagering on sports to start with bipartisan support. FanDuel, DraftKings, and Rush Street Interactive will be the legal online bookmakers in Connecticut.

  • Florida

Florida Man isn’t allow to legally gamble in-state. However, three bills that were filed in 2019 aim at getting the movement rolling on the legalization of in-state betting. Multiple legal and logistical hurdles face Floridians before wagering legally can begin there. Fortunately, the biggest hurdle has been cleared. A Miami-based sports legislation expert Daniel Wallach said that a 2018 constitutional amendment that prevented lawmakers from passing any sort of gaming legislation without voter referendum wouldn’t stop the legislature from authorizing sports betting. However, federal regulations could still be a big legal obstacle. 

  • Maine

Passed by legislature, Maine is still awaiting to have legalized sports betting in the state. A Maine online sports betting bill seemed like a sure bet until Gov. Janet Mills refused to signed the bill into law on the grounds that the proposal lacked protections for gambling addiction. While a veto override fell a few votes short, sports betting backers in Maine are hoping to work with Mills on a new sports betting bill.

  • Massachusetts

The red state of Massachusetts and members of both parties in the Democrat and controlled General Court support sports betting. However it still has not passed. Elected officials are yet to reach to an agreement on crucial issues such as which entities would be allowed to take bets should legalized sports betting include placing bets on in-state college teams.

  • Missouri

In the state of Missouri, several bills flouted through the legislature in 2020 and 2021 but fell short due to larger concerns regarding video gaming terminals. We expect to see some action in 2022 for both in-person and online wagering, especially if Kansas is so much close to doing the same.

  • Ohio

Ohio is another sports-crazy state in the U.S. that’s lagging behind when it comes to legalizing sports gambling, especially given the action taken by many of its Midwestern neighbors. Lawmakers in Ohio held out hope for a bill in the final moments of 2020, though a fresh set of legislators have pushed a new bill for the 2021 session. Until now, nothing has changed a lot with lawmakers working through the details of the latest bill.

  • Vermont

Vermont is one of the few remaining states that lack casinos, but it may be legal with legal bookmakers, at least online. The state of Vermont is considering a study bill and may soon feel pressured to accept wagering especially with the growth of the greater New England Market.

  • Georgia

Proposed legislation filed way back in 2019 would allow for sports betting on college and pro sports in Georgia, but with no more than 10 sports gambling licenses handout out in the state. But as of now, you cannot wager on sports while in the state of Georgia.

  • Hawaii

It’s illegal to engage in sports betting in Hawaii but a legislation to do so has been proposed. A bill that was proposed in 2019 would allow for the regulation of sports gambling in Hawaii through a newly-established corporation.

  • Idaho

It’s not legal to wager on sports in the state of Idaho. However, like plenty of other states where sport betting is illegal and have legislation passed, the same isn’t the case with Idaho. Sports betting remains illegal and no legislation has been proposed.

  • Kansas

Sports betting in Kansas is illegal but a legislation to allow legalized sports betting has been proposed. A total of 5 sports betting bills have been proposed in Kansas legislature, though none have a hearing date set.

  • Wyoming

You cannot be allowed to engage in sports betting while in the state of Wyoming. In the early moths of 2020, a bill to do so was voted down by the lawmakers in the state.

  • Oklahoma

It’s illegal to engage in sports betting in the state of Oklahoma, but a legislation to do so has been proposed. The proposed bill would see the expansion of tribal-state gaming compact to include everything about sports betting. However, there’s no action that has been taken so far.

  • Minnesota

In 2019, a bill was proposed that would have seen the legalizations of sports betting in Minnesota at its 2 horse racing tracks, casinos, and potentially through mobile devices. Unfortunately, that bill didn’t pass during that legislative session.

  • North Dakota

Lawmakers in the state of North Dakota emphatically rejected a bill to bet on sports in the state. The bill would have seen legalized sports betting in both professional and collegiate sports. While legislation has been proposed, lawmakers are awaited see if they’ll pass the bill into law.

  • South Carolina

Gambling and sports betting in the state of South Carolina is restricted solely to casino riverboats though the state has proposed bills that would see sports betting become legal sooner rather than later. However, as things stand, no action has been taken yet.

  • Utah

Sports betting may likely never come to the state of Utah, the only state in the U.S. that lacks a major legal form of gaming. In fact, sports betting in Utah is very unlikely to happen.

  • Kentucky

The state of Kentucky has had several sports gambling bills passed but likely won’t see any movement soon. A sports betting bill in Kentucky zoomed out a legislative committee in the early months of 2020, but quickly hit a snag with the Republican leadership in the state of Kentucky shooting the bill despite bipartisan approach. Conservative, anti-gambling sentiment runs deep in the state of Kentucky and it remains a massive political barrier. The 2021 follow-up received too little interest. Kentucky will now have to wait until the year 2022, for legal sports betting.

  • Texas

The state of Texas would appear to be an unlikely sports betting adopter, though investments and shifting demographics from outside gaming interests make it a possible target come 2023. The Lone Star State remains a longshot, though some momentum in the 2021 season could help move the state of Texas past its long-standing sports betting opposition in 2023.

  • Wisconsin

The Oneida Nation announced a deal in July 2021 that would permit online sports betting in the state. As of now, everything awaits federal approval. The deal doesn’t permit statewide mobile betting or wagering on in-state college sports. Assuming federal approval, the tribe hopes to launch sports betting in the state of Wisconsin by fall 2021.

Published: 09/02/2021

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