Legal U.S. Sports Betting – State by State
*Updated on December 30, 2019
Sports betting became legal in the United States on May 14, 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). This opened the door for U.S. states to pass their own legislation to authorize sports betting.
PASPA gave Nevada permission to continue the sports betting that it was already operating, so it has not required any new legislation.
19 other US states have jumped into the fray with their own sports betting legislation. More states are expected to pass new gaming laws throughout 2020.
To bet online, visit our article on online sports betting instead.
Current list of states with legal sports betting
Click on the map to read more about each state.
The following states all have legalized sports betting in some form:
More states will legalize sports betting in 2020
California and possibly another 20 states should follow in 2020 or later, according to predictions made by Kindred. Certain states have already taken measures to begin the legislative process in the closing months of 2019.
States such as Washington and Missouri have conducted hearings to get input from industry stakeholders before presenting any bills in 2020. There have also been three bills prefiled in the Florida legislature and Native American Tribes in California have begun the process of making a petition to put sports betting on the 2020 ballot.
Other states such as Massachusetts and Ohio have filed sports wagering bills in 2019 but are more than likely going to pass one in 2020.
Maine actually passed a sports betting bill during the 2019 legislative session, but the Governor held off on signing the bill into law. There is a chance that she could sign sports betting into law within the first week of 2020.
Washington D.C. also legalized sports betting in December of 2018. The District is currently reviewing sports applications submitted by potential operators. The nation’s capital should have its first legal sportsbooks operational sometime by early 2020.
What sports betting is allowed in each state?
Following the PASPA ban, we are going to see each state progress in a different way because local lawmakers decide on what type of betting will be available to their residents.
As Justice Alito puts it when delivering the courts opinion “Americans have never been of one mind about gambling” and this is as true today as it has ever been.
New Jersey was second to launch state-regulated sports betting on June 14, 2018. There are currently 12 locations offering in-person sports betting.
The last casino to open was the Hard Rock Atlantic City which launched its sportsbook early in 2019 and last year we noted a contract between GIG and Hard Rock City International.
Two of the most successful sports books in the state are at racetracks. Monmouth Park actually took the first legal sports bet in New Jersey.
Governor Phil Murphy wagered $20 on Germany to win the soccer World Cup and $20 on the New Jersey Devils to win the Stanley Cup in 2019.
The other racetrack sportsbook is at the Meadowlands little more than half an hour’s drive from central Manhattan.
There are 16 online sports betting apps in the state, and unlike Nevada, customers can sign up online. In-person registration is not required so as long as you are located within the borders of the state you can sign up and put real-money down on sports in NJ.
These are the sportsbook we partner with:
Nevada law imposes one of the lowest sports betting tax rates in the world—just 6.75 percent.
Unsurprisingly the gaming laws are extremely permissive, but counter-balanced by strict and highly competent oversight by the Nevada Gaming Commission and Nevada Gaming Control Board.
The regulators have broad latitude as to what game types are allowed. Not only is sports betting allowed in the many casinos, but customers can also bet on virtual sports and esports.
Online sports betting, casino and poker are available, but sports bettors must register for an account at a casino.
Most casinos offer live sports betting, either at a teller window or an automated kiosk. The first online sports betting app launched in 2010.
Now there are 8 online sports betting options and between them they take between 50 percent and 70 percent of all sports betting action.
Delaware has a population of less than a million, but it was the first state to introduce regulated sports betting outside of Nevada on June 5, 2018.
Three horsetrack/casinos, known as racinos are licensed to accept sports bets:
- Delaware Park
- Dover Downs
- Harrington Raceway
The introduction of sports betting has doubled gambling revenue in the state.
The Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement has not yet authorized online sports betting. The state authorized online gambling in 2013, so there is no legal bar to launching online sports betting.
It appears that the regulator is watching to see how in-person sports betting works out before giving the racinos authorization to launch online sports betting.
Online poker is provided through a state mandated monopoly. Currently 888 has the contract. That puts 888 in great position to win any contract for online sports betting. 888 is already operating online sports betting in New Jersey.
The old riverboat gambling traditions of Mississippi are alive and well. Currently, 23 of 28 licensed casinos offer sports betting.
The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians launched sports betting at the Pearl River Resort in August of 2018. They became the first tribal casino to get into the sports betting market.
Unfortunately the new gaming laws do not allow online gambling outside of casino premises.
However, unlike certain states, The MS gaming laws do allow betting on Ole Miss, Mississippi State and other college teams based in the state. Betting on college teams and professional teams outside the state is also permitted.
MS sportsbooks also have live betting and mobile sports wagering apps available on within their establishment.
The first sportsbook opened in November at the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. The Sugarhouse and Rivers casinos joined with their live sports betting offering on December 13.
A total of 12 casinos have agreed to pay the $10 million license fee which authorizes both live and online sports betting. All but one of them has launched some way to bet on sports in PA.
The Meadows Racetrack and Casino also launched a sportsbook in Pennsylvania in October 2019. Unibet also launched a mobile sports betting app in PA later in the year as well.
Live! Casino & Hotel was the latest to agree to the high licensing fee. Construction of their land-based sportsbook is estimated to be completed at the end of 2020 but their online sports betting app in PA could launch sooner.
Harrah’s forecasting of a go-live date was sometime in January 2019 – in the end they went live just before the Super Bowl.
Online sports betting in Pennsylvania is now live and accessible throughout the state. The first online sportsbook to launch was PlaySugarHouse and they did so in June of 2019.
There are now seven sports betting apps in PA for residents to choose from.
Those include PlaySugarHouse provided by SugarHouse Casino, BetRivers provided by Rivers Sportsbook Pittsburgh, Parx Sportsbook provided by Parx Casino, FanDuel Sportsbook offered by Valley Forge Casino, Fox Bet provided by Mount Airy Casino, Unibet through a deal with Mohegan Sun Pocono, and DraftKings through a partnership with Penn National Gaming.
Presque Isle Downs also offers an online sportsbook in PA through their BetAmerica brand, but an app for mobile devices is still in the works.
Online wagers now already accumulate for two-thirds of all sports bets made in the state. With that being the case, more retail sportsbooks in Pennsylvania are getting ready to launch betting apps of their own in order to remain competitive.
Three casinos have sports betting up and running in West Virginia:
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
- The Greenbrier
- Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort
FanDuel provides the Greenbriar operation. FanDuel is better known for its Daily Fantasy Sports business. Those who are FanDuel DFS members can use their same account to access the Online FanDuel Sportsbook. William Hill powers the other two sports betting facilities. Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races also has a deal with DraftKings as an online partner.
Two more casinos opened sports betting operations in December 2018:
- Mardi Gras Casino & Resort
- Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack
However, the sportsbook at both of those locations and their BetLucky sports betting app were indefinitely suspended in March of 2019. The suspension comes from a contract dispute between Deleware North, the parent company of both casinos, and a third-party sports wagering provider. A timeline for when they will re-launch is not yet clear.
West Virginia gambling is regulated by the state lottery. Online and mobile sports betting is legal and also live in West Virginia.
There are two sports betting apps available in the state. Those are FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook. Residents may register to use these apps from wherever, so long as they are within state lines.
Sports betting in Rhode Island can only be offered through two casinos. The Twin River Casino opened first, on November 26, shortly followed by its sister business, the Tiverton Casino Hotel.
All legal sports betting is operated by the state lottery.
In an unusual arrangement, the state takes 51 percent of sports betting revenue with the sole technology providers IGT and William Hill taking 32 percent. That leaves the casinos with just 17 percent of revenues.
The newest gaming laws allow online and mobile sports betting. The state-wide mobile sports betting app launched on September 4, 2019. Users of the app or online platform must first register in-person at one of the Twin River casino locations. Users must be able to show proof of ID when making an online account. The tax structure for online sports betting in Rhode Island is the same as retail sports wagering.
New Mexico has only four casino where sports betting is allowed. The Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel opened its sportsbook for business on October 16, followed by the Hilton Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino in Santa Fe just before the 2019 Super Bowl. The Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino was the next New Mexico sportsbook to open in July of 2019 and Isleta Resort & Casino is the latest tribal casino to offer sports betting, having done so in August of 2019.
What makes it an unusual situation is that New Mexico has not passed new laws authorizing sports betting.
Every one of the casinos that are offering sports betting are doing so on tribal land. The state compact between New Mexico and the tribal groups permits the tribal members to offer sports betting even without the need for new state laws.
However, in order for the state to have online sports betting outside of tribal casinos, a new law will have to be passed by the state legislature.
Oregon was actually one of four states that were grandfathered into the federal ban on sports betting known as the Professional and Amatuer Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). It is because of this reason that once PASPA was repealed in May of 2018 the state was able to bring about sports betting without the need to pass new legislation. The Oregon Lottery is able to regulate and provide legal sports betting in Oregon under pre existing laws.
Because of the way the state’s tribal gaming compact works, tribal casinos are also able to offer sportsbooks in Oregon. Essentially, tribes can offer any gaming activities that the lottery offers. The first casino to take advantage of this freedom was the Chinook Winds Casino Resort. The only other tribal casino to also introduce a sportsbook in Oregon is The Mill Casino located in North Bend.
A mobile sports betting app in Oregon also launched during the Fall of 2019. The app is called Scoreboard and is available statewide to those who are 18 years old or older.
At this time tribal casinos do not offer mobile apps but they do offer collegiate sports betting in OR. To counter that, the state lottery offers mobile sports betting but does not offer collegiate betting odds.
Sports betting in Illinois was voted on in June 2019. Following more than a year of back-and-forth battles between competing parties, sports betting advocates finally found a way through. Adding sports wagering to an old casino expansion bill, Rep. Robert Rita was able to win enough support for SB690.
A positive House vote on May 31 was matched by the Senate on June 2. The bill was subsequently submitted to Governor Jay Robert Pritzker. Having already signaled his support for legal sportsbooks in Illinois, the votes were considered wins for locals.
Although the industry is still finding its feet, SB690 contains provisions for offline and online betting. This means those within the state of Illinois will be able to access live and online sportsbooks in the future.
A timeline for when sports betting will launch in the state is still a bit unclear. Current provisions allow online sports wagering companies to do business in the state without tethering to a casino, however, they will have to wait 18 months in order to do that. In-person sports betting will be offered in the meantime.
Wrigley Field has already begun to work on sports betting operations. Rivers Casino Des Plaines has also undertaken renovations in anticipation of opening a sportsbook in the near future.
The Illinois Gaming Commission has also begun to accept sportsbook applications and they are vetting through potential operators now. Lookout for Illinois sportsbooks to open in early 2020.
Although the provisions set out in SB16 are less attractive for operators than they are in other states, Tennessee sports betting is now legal. Following a vote in May 2019, the Volunteer State gave online sportsbooks the green light to go live. In fact, what’s interesting about Tennessee’s sports betting bill is that it only has provisions for online operators. As it stands, there are no offline venues where locals can bet on sports.
However, as the law states, licensed operators will be able to offer single, multiway and in-play betting. The only notable clause customers may be interested in is that live betting data will be supplied by an official vendor. In practice, this means the stats and odds will be supplied to by a central source to all Tennessee sportsbooks.
This does raise issues with regards to value. However, the fact remains that you will have access to live bets as well as pre-event wagers within the state. The only other point to note is that operators will have to pay an upfront fee of $750,000 and a tax rate of 20%. They’re high barriers to entry. Even though these conditions won’t affect customers, it could limit the number of sports betting brands that set up camp in Tennessee.
The Tennessee Sports Betting Advisory Council has completed a first draft of rules for the activity. Those rules are now undergoing a 30-day public comment period before being published and sent to the Lottery Board. After that, the Lottery will be able to vet through applications sent by companies hoping to host online sports wagering apps in TN.
Sports fans and gamblers alike have multiple ways in which they can bet on sports in Iowa.
When state lawmakers and Governor Kim Reynolds passed IA SF 617 in May of 2019, it opened the door for both retail sportsbooks to be opened in the state’s casinos and for mobile sports wagering apps to launch in Iowa.
As of right now, every casino in the state has been approved by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commision to offer a land-based sportsbook. Besides Casino Queen Marquette, each of these casinos currently accept sports wagers.
In order to use sports betting apps in Iowa, you will have to register in-person at the casino in which the apps is partnered with. This rule will remain in place until January 1, 2021.
Those who are 21 and up can put money down on just about every sport there is.
Betting on collegiate games is also allowed, however, prop bets on college athletes that are based in Iowa is off limits.
Montana was something of a surprise package in 2019. Unexpectedly breaking the stalemate, the Treasure State struck gold with HB725. Over the course of a year, Montana’s lawmakers weighed up a number of bills. Eventually, HB725 and SB330 made it through the legislative process and onto Governor Steve Bullock’s desk.
For Montana sports betting fans, SB330 would have been the hot pick as it allowed private operators to go live within the state. However, after consideration, Bullock concluded that the state wasn’t quite ready for that yet. With that being the case, he signed HB725 into law. This bill made sports betting legal in Montana but only through sportsbooks owned and operated by the state lottery.
Although the Montana Lottery has a monopoly over sports wagering within the state, the industry is legal, nonetheless. What’s more, there is a chance SB330 could be revived, meaning private companies would be allowed to offer legal sports betting in the future.
HB725 allows restaurants, bars, and taverns in the state to offer sports wagering kiosks. The bill also allows these licensed establishments to offer mobile betting in Montana, so long as it is conducted on-premises. The Montana Lottery is current accepting applications from businesses hoping to open MT sportsbooks inside their establishments. Sports betting in MT is expected to officially launch in late 2019 or early 2020.
Home of the Pacers, Indiana sports betting has been legal since May 2019. Following Montana as one of the first states to pass a law in 2019, Indiana was also one of the first states in 2019 to open legal sportsbooks.
The first retail sportsbooks in Indiana to open did so during the first days of September 2019. The first online sports betting sites in Indiana launched only one month later during the first week of October 2019.
In general, sports betting in the Hoosier State is fairly unrestricted. As with the likes of New Jersey et al, the legal age to bet on sports in Indiana is 21+. For those that are legally allowed to bet, both live and mobile sportsbooks will offer single and multiway wagers on a variety of sports.
The main restrictions locals will have to note when they place bets at places such as Hoosier Park are certain in-play restrictions. Additionally, customers are not able to speculate on eSports and amateur competitions where the participants are under the age of 18.
There are 15 casino sportsbooks in the state as of now, but only four mobile sports betting apps in Indiana. Those three apps are DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, BetRivers Sportsbook, and BetAmerica Sportsbook.
With online sports wagering in Indiana becoming more popular, lookout for more major brands entering the market.
New York may have been a legal sports betting state before many of its peers but it only started accepting bets in July 2019. When local lawmakers passed the New York Gaming Economic Development Act in 2013, they couldn’t foresee the downfall of PASPA five years later.
Under the terms of the Act, New York outlined provisions for four casinos to be built and for them to have the power to offer sports betting.
Although, without any previous provisions in place, the state had to review bids from prospective casino operators. This, coupled with the subsequent building process, meant New York missed the PASPA revolution and fell behind the likes of New Jersey and Delaware with regards to sports betting.
However, by July 2019, new casinos were in place and things officially got underway.
Rivers Casino Schenectady was the first New York sportsbook to accept bets, while Tioga Downs Casino and its partner FanDuel followed suit just a few days later. All four commercial casinos approved in 2013 now have sportsbooks.
As well as four commercial casinos offering legal sports betting in New York, tribal entities are also entitled to join the party.
As of December 2019, three tribes have exercised their ability to open a sportsbook in New York. The first tribe is the Oneida Nation and they have begun to offer sports betting at Turning Stone, Point Place, and the Yellow Brick Road casino.
The Seneca Tribe also brought three more N.Y. sportsbooks to Western New York. Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in Buffalo, Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino, and Niagara Resort & Casino opened their sports wagering area in December 2019.
Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort also launched its retail casino in December of 2019 as well.
When it comes to mobile sports betting, the state battled back and forth on the issue during the 2019 legislative session.
While many lawmakers tried to pass a bill in order to legalize mobile sports betting apps in New York, Governor Cuomo and the Administration argued that an amendment to the state constitution would be needed.
The issue can be put on the 2020 ballot and Senator Joseph Addabbo has signified that he will try to pass it through the legislature in order to do just that. If everything goes according to that plan, the soonest sports betting apps in N.Y. could launch is in 2021.
Sports betting in North Carolina was legalized in July of 2019, though, in a very limited fashion. NC SB 154 simply extended the types of gambling activities that the state’s tribal casinos could offer.
This meant that Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Resort along with Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel could now open a sportsbook in N.C. and even accept pari-mutuel wagers on horse racing.
However, those casinos are not allowed to offer sports betting apps outside of their establishments. Another bill will have to be signed into law in order for that to happen.
Neither casino has opened a sportsbook yet and a timeline for when they will open one has not been set.
Although not yet live, New Hampshire sportsbooks have been legal since July 16, 2019. Following positive House and Senate votes on House Bill 480 (HB480), Governor Chris Sununu gave his blessing in mid-July. By signing HB480 into law, Sununu gave the New Hampshire Lottery control over the local betting industry.
According to Governor Sununu, he expects sportsbooks in New Hampshire to go live by January of 2020. As per HB480, the New Hampshire Lottery will license five online/mobile operators. Additionally, 10 offline venues will be given the ability to offer pre-event and in-play wagers.
Finally, perhaps the most unique aspect of New Hampshire’s bookmaking law is that patrons can be 18+ instead of 21+ which is common in most states.
At the time of this writing, only two companies have been awarded N.H. sports betting licences. Those companies are DraftKings and Intralot, which is the current operator of New Hampshire Lottery games.
DraftKings launched the state’s first mobile sports wagering app in December of 2019. Retail books are expected to open in spring of 2020.
Legal Arkansas sportsbooks became a reality in 2018 when voters gave a thumbs up to Issue 4. Part of a state referendum, the legal amendment made sports betting within the state legal and put the Arkansas Racing Commission in charge of the industry.
Under the terms of Issue 4, Oaklawn Jockey Club and the Southland Racing Corporation were granted sports betting licenses. These operators now have the ability to run legal sportsbooks inside their existing facilities or via adjacent properties. Oaklawn is the only one out of the two to open a sportsbook in Arkansas to date.
Alongside the two established operators, Arkansas’ sports betting law allows for two additional license holders. The new casinos must be built within Pope County and Jefferson County. The Quapaw Nation will build and operate the Jefferson county gaming facility. The Pope County license is still up for grabs. For successful applicants, there is a licensing fee of $250,00. For all legal Arkansas bookmakers, an annual levy of 13% on net revenue up to $150 million and 20% for amounts over that are applicable.
Mobile sportsbooks in Arkansas were not initially legalized when Issue 4 passed in 2018. However, the Arkansas Racing Commission is considering updating its rules so that mobile sports betting can come to Arkansas. The rule change would have to be approved by a legislative committee so be on the lookout in early 2020 for this to happen.
Sports betting in Colorado officially became legal on November 6, 2019, when CO voters passed Proposition DD by a margin of 51% to 49%. The thin margin that seperated local voters was not shared by state lawmakers when they passed HB1327 through the state legislature and put the issue on the ballot.
Lawmakers passed a Colorado sports betting bill with ease due to the fact that the 10% tax on sportsbook revenue is going to be used to fund the Colorado water plan. The state estimates that it will generate $29 million a year by allowing casinos in towns of Black Hawk, Cripple Creek, and Central City to offer the activity.
Any one of those casinos can open a land-based sportsbook in Colorado or offer a statewide mobile sports wagering app. Once mobile sports betting apps in Colorado launch, anyone above the age of 21 can register and use them so long as they are physically located within state lines.
As of now it seems as though DraftKings and FanDuel will work to become online operators in the state. Smarkets also signed a deal with Full House Resorts in order to offer their mobile platform in the state.
PointsBet and BetAmerica have also signed deals with colorado casinos in order to offer sports betting once they can apply for licences. Sportsbooks in CO can officially go live on May 1, 2020.
Major League Sports Betting
So, if you are interested in placing a wager on sports, here are some of the more popular sports punters bet on in the U.S.
Betting on games in the NFL
One of the great features of the NFL is the sheer number of betting opportunities that it creates. Popular bets include the moneyline bets where you predict the outcome of the game, NFL totals where you bet the final score will go over or under a predetermined amount.
Other popular NFL bets include prop bets, such as how many passing yards or touchdowns a quarterback will make; these are extremely popular during the Super Bowl where online bookmakers almost always have several special offers.
Parlay bets are also common in NFL betting, as are futures, the latter revolving around something that will happen in the future like winner of a particular conference, a team reaching the playoffs and the team who wins the Super Bowl.
Sports betting in the National Hockey League
Betting on NHL gives you ample opportunities to place wagers thanks to the massive number of matches taking place during the season. You can make NHL prop bets based on teams, individual games, and season outcomes. Other NHL bets that are popular are the futures market, parlay betting and live Betting where you can place bets while the action unfolds in front of you.
NHL betting on individual matches differs from other American sports in there are two types. There is the moneyline where you simply predict the outcome of the game and the Puck Line, also known as the Canadian line, where the favored team is normally given a spread of 1.5 goals.
Sports wagering in the NBA
NBA lends itself to betting and there are dozens of different bets to make during a typical game or season. The most popular NBA bets are the points spread bets where the favored team starts with a points deficit that they have to win by in order for your bet to pay out. These points spread bets even up the teams and generally sees both teams start at the same price.
Moneyline betting is a straight bet on the outcome of the game where the favored team will have a shorter price than the less fancied teams. Also look for NBA Total bets where you bet on the over/under of a predetermined overall points tally in the game, prop bets, parlay bets and futures bets such as who the NBA MVP will be, the winner of each conference and the overall NBA Finals champions.
Placing bets on MLB games
If you thought the NBA played a lot of games during a season, wait until you check out MLB betting because those guys manage to fit in 162 regular season games between the first Sunday in April and the first Sunday in October! Imagine how much MLB betting you can do!
Ten teams progress to the postseason playoffs once the regular season is completed and four rounds are played culminating in the World Series a best-of-seven series between the pennant winners in each league.
MLB Run Line betting is popular with sports bettors because it gives the favored team a run deficit it must make up in order for the bet to pay out, evening the game significantly. You can also bet on the MLB moneyline which is a straight bet on who will win the game, parlay betting where you choose several teams to win, prop betting and futures betting.