In May 2018, the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). This opened the door for US 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.
Six other US states have jumped into the fray with their own sports betting legislation. Many more will pass new gaming laws in 2019.
Current list of states with legal sports betting
The following states all have legal sports betting in some form or other:
Michigan(NO vote on 12/28/2018)
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
States expected to introduce sports betting in 2019 include:
New York, California and possibly another 20 states should follow in 2020 or later, according to predictions made by Kindred.
What sports betting is allowed in each state?
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 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 gambling. 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 live 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 pole position to win any contract for online sports betting. 888 is already operating online sports betting in New Jersey.
New Jersey was second to launch state-regulated sports betting on June 14, 2018. There are currently 9 locations offering live sports betting.
The next to open will be the Hard Rock Atlantic City which is also one of the newest casinos in the state.
It is expected to launch its sports book early in 2019.
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 8 online sports betting apps available, and unlike Nevada customers can sign up online.
The old riverboat gambling traditions of Mississippi are alive and well. 23 of 28 licensed casinos currently offer sports betting.
The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians launched sports betting at the Pearl River Resort in September. 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.
Pennsylvania was early to the starting gate with its new gaming laws. However, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has taken a measured approach to regulating live sports betting and online gaming.
The first sportsbook opened in November at the Hollywood Casino on the Penn National Race Course. The Sugarhouse and Rivers casinos joined with their live sports betting offering on December 13.
A total of 8 casinos have agreed to pay the $10 million license fee which authorizes both live and online sports betting.
The remaining casinos will launch sports betting in early 2019. Harrah’s is forecasting a go-live date sometime in January 2019.
No online sports betting is yet available. The regulator and the casinos are taking a cautious approach to bed in their live sports betting first.
Earliest launch date for online sports betting is the first quarter of 2019, but some are likely to delay until later.
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. William Hill powers the other two sports betting facilities.
Two more casinos will open sports betting operations although launch dates have not been announced:
- Mardi Gras Casino & Resort
- Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack
West Virginia gambling is regulated by the state lottery. Online and mobile sports betting is legal, but no operator has yet launched.
Expect announcements of the first online sportsbooks early in 2019, although the Hollywood Casino might just get its mobile app out before the end of the year.
Sports betting in Rhode Island is restricted to just 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 new gaming laws don’t allow online or mobile sports betting. There is some indication that this may change in the future. Until then sports betting in Rhode Island will require a trip to the casino.
New Mexico has only one casino where sports betting is allowed. The Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel opened its sportsbook for business on October 16.
Another unusual situation, as New Mexico has not passed new laws authorizing sports betting.
The Santa Ana Star is on tribal land. The state compact between New Mexico and the Tamaya people permits the tribal members to offer sports betting even without a new state laws.
No online sports betting is available.