Sports Betting In The US: Where Is It Legal?

By: MRT Desk

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Sports Betting In The US: Where Is It Legal?

It’s been almost four years since the Supreme Court overturned the federal prohibition on sports betting, opening the door for individual states to decide whether they want to legalize the activity, or not. 

Although almost every state has at least entertained the idea of allowing sports betting, it is very unlikely that more than a dozen of those states will go online in the years to come due to the entrenched political resistance and intricate tribal connections.

What Does Legal Sports Betting In The US Offer?

Before learning if your state has legalized online betting or not, it is important to have a thorough understanding of what legal sports betting in the US exactly entails. And, according to Legal Sportsbooks US, amongst the 345 legal online sportsbooks in the US, the top online bookies offer enhanced odds, bonuses and promotions, and even give their users the opportunity to place a few bets for free! 

When choosing a website to bet through in the US, there are a number of factors to consider in order to ensure you’re choosing the best sportsbook possible. Sportsbooks are often ranked by the range of sports they allow their users to bet on, the betting markets they offer, the quality of customer support services, the payment methods which they support, the level of safety and security of their site, and of course, the bonuses and promotions which one may benefit from when using their services.

The Circumstances Of Each State

The following provides an overview of the existing laws in each state.

States where sports betting is legal: 

Arizona

Arizona’s sports betting law passed in April 2021, authorizing online betting and in-stadium sportsbooks. It’s safe to say that Arizona is becoming a popular state to bet in.

On Sept. 9, 2021, the first online sportsbooks launched. Arizona currently has 18 operators and capacity for two more.

Arkansas

On Feb. 22, 2022, the Arkansas Joint Budget Committee approved provisions to allow internet sports betting, extending it beyond three casinos.

On March 5th, Arkansas saw its first online sportsbook being launched.

Colorado

Colorado first accepted legal online and retail bets in May 2020, six months after voters authorized sports betting.

Since then, Colorado’s app market has grown to 26.

Connecticut

In May 2021, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont authorized the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to launch internet sports betting.

Delaware

Delaware became the first state outside Nevada to take a single-game sports bet on June 5, 2018.

Delaware’s lottery-run sports betting industry forbids internet betting, leaving just three retail sportsbooks and hardly any revenue.

Florida

From November to December 2021, Hard Rock accepted Florida’s first legal internet sports bet.

A federal court threw down an agreement giving the Seminole Tribe exclusive power over online betting in Florida. This lawsuit’s appeal is pending, but it won’t be settled soon. We can only hope the two can come together, just like Macron and Sholz did, to legalize sports betting.

Illinois

Illinois authorized in-person betting on March 9, 2020 (before of the cancelled NCAA Tournament) followed by internet betting in June 2020.

Illinois is in the top five jurisdictions in both handle (dollars bet) and tax income.

Indiana

Indiana legalized internet sports betting on Oct. 3, 2019, a month after in-person wagering.

Since Gov. Eric Holcomb legalized sports betting in May 2019, Indiana has done well. It’s the fifth-most-bet state, with almost $7 billion made from bets.

Indiana authorizes over 40 internet sportsbooks, but only 13 operate.

Iowa

Iowa began taking bets on Aug. 15, 2019 and has flourished since.

After an in-person registration requirement disappeared in 2021, its monthly handling rose immediately. It now takes $100,000 to $300,000 in bets every month.

Kansas

Kansas legalized sports betting in 2022, beating Missouri in the legislative race.

Online and in-person betting started on Sept. 1, ahead of the 2022 NFL season. Six internet operators and two casinos started accepting bets, with more to come

Louisiana

55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, including New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette, authorized legal sports betting in 2020.

In 2021, in-person betting had its debut in the state. On Jan. 28, 2022, six online sportsbooks opened.

Maryland

Maryland legalized sports betting in 2020. Maryland’s operators debuted Nov. 23, 2022, following the longest go-live time in U.S. betting history.

Michigan

On March 11, 2020, Michigan inaugurated in-person betting at MGM Grand Detroit. Early 2021 introduced a number of online sportsbooks. The state now  has 15, which is the state maximum.

Mississippi

Mississippi launched sports betting on Aug. 1, 2018.

The state allows mobile betting, but only in casinos. Despite being one of the few legal Southern betting states, this hindered its market share.

Montana

Montana allows mobile betting, but only at retail locations.

Nevada

Nevada is the holy grail for in-person betting, but not online. The state requires online bettors to register in person first.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire launched online betting on Dec. 30, 2019, but only has one mobile operator.

New Jersey

New Jersey, which brought the sports gambling issue to the Supreme Court, is now enjoying its benefits. The third state to legalize sports betting has continued to establish state records thanks to a competitive, operator-friendly framework.

There’s space for at least 20 additional online sportsbooks, with 21 already operating in the state.

New Mexico 

Native American tribes have offered in-person sports betting at their casinos since October 2018.

They did so by interpreting its state gaming agreement to allow Class III gambling, which hasn’t seen any intervention from the Department of Interior.

New York

New York introduced online sports betting on Jan. 8, 2022, leaving most other states adrift.

North Carolina

North Carolina authorized sports betting in 2019 at two tribal casinos far from major cities, taking its first bets in March 2021.

North Dakota

North Dakota has had no legislative effort to legalize sports gambling, but state tribes have operated retail sportsbooks under federal permission, a similar legal approach to New Mexico’s sports betting startup.

Oregon

Oregon’s authorities concluded the state lottery could start accepting bets without a separate legislative act, thanks to a small loophole in the federal sports betting prohibition. In 2019, the state lottery app accepted its first lawful mobile bet.

Pennsylvania 

Pennsylvania was one of just a few states to accept a legal retail sports bet in 2018 and, since its online debut in 2019, sports betting has been one of the state’s leading markets.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s two commercial casinos introduced retail sportsbooks in 2018. William Hill is the only licensed retail and online sportsbook in the state.

South Dakota

In September 2021, the state saw its first retail sportsbooks opening

South Dakota legalized sports betting in 2020 by voter initiative and approved retail-only authority for casinos and tribal gaming facilities.

Tennessee

Tennessee offers online-only sports betting, due to the lack of casinos in the state.

Virginia

Virginia accepted its first online sports bet in 2021 and currently has over a dozen operators.

Washington

Washington legalized sports betting on March 25, 2020, and accepted its first bet in 2021. However, only tribal casinos accept bets.

West Virginia

West Virginia mobile betting experienced some early snags, but it’s been in fully operational since August 2019.

Wisconsin

The Oneida Nation and Gov. Tony Evers reached an agreement in 2021 to allow retail sportsbooks at its casinos. Unfortunately, the deal prohibits statewide mobile betting.

Wyoming

Lawmakers authorized statewide mobile betting, becoming the second state to do so without traditional sportsbooks. The first online sportsbooks opened on Sept. 1, 2021.

Maine

In 2022, Maine legalized sports betting.

Gov. Janet Mills approved a measure in April allowing Maine’s four native tribes to provide internet sports betting.

Massachusetts

On Aug. 1, 2022, Massachusetts approved a sports betting bill.

While the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has established first sports betting regulations, there’s still a lot to accomplish before first bets, so don’t anticipate them in 2022.

Ohio

Ohio seems to be another sports-crazy state that hasn’t legalized sports betting, unlike its Midwestern neighbors.

On Jan. 1, 2023, all forms of legal betting will commence.

Nebraska

In November, voters approved three constitutional amendments legalizing “games of chance” at a licensed horse racetrack in Nebraska.

A legislation permitting retail sportsbooks was passed, and in-person sports betting might commence in 2022.

Alabama

Alabama is one of the few states with no lottery.

A measure to allow a state-run lottery and mobile wagering had a chance in 2022, but legislators didn’t vote on it.

Alaska

Legalization of sports betting is pretty much non-existent in this state, though we hope to see some movement soon.

California

Both sports betting ballot initiatives in California’s November election failed, so sports betting in California won’t be expected to happen for years, if ever.

Georgia

Georgia’s legislators wrapped up 2022 with yet another failed last-minute effort to legalize sports betting.

Hawaii

Hawaii is one of two states without major gaming industries, so legalizing betting is going to be a challenge.

The May legislative session concluded without any progress on the issue, although legislators may push it in future sessions.

Idaho

State laws prohibit gambling, and there seems to be no intention to change this any time soon.

Kentucky

Kentucky almost legalized sports betting in 2022, but a plan to grant racetracks authority over retail and internet markets failed.

Minnesota

Minnesota almost legalized sports betting in 2022 and may attempt to do so again in 2023.

Missouri

Missouri legislators battled with their Kansas counterparts to approve a sports betting measure in 2022.

The House passed a measure to allow up to 39 sportsbooks, but it failed in the Senate despite a last-minute effort.

Oklahoma

Native American organizations dominate Oklahoma gambling, and most are hesitant to allow sports betting until other state difficulties are overcome. Two tribes signed sports betting arrangements in 2020, but they were too voided.

South Carolina

South Carolina has tried to legalize sports betting, but failed.

In 2022, bipartisan legislators sponsored a measure that would have authorized up to 12 internet sportsbooks, though just like in 2019, this attempt failed.

Texas

Changing demographics and investment from foreign gambling interests make Texas a prospective target for legal sports betting in 2023.

Utah

Utah is another state where legal sports betting seems to be an impossibility. 

Vermont

Attempts to allow sports betting in Vermont have stalled for years, and we can only hope for a change in the coming year.

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