U.S. States That Have Legal Sports Betting

If you are on this site, then chances are you are interested in online sports betting in your area, and are seeking out more information about the topic. Well, you have certainly come to the right place. The fact of the matter is that while there are laws and restrictions placed on sports betting sites in the U.S., there are far fewer restrictions, especially at the federal level, against bettors going to sites and laying down a wager on a sporting event. There is some important information to know both at the federal level concerning online sports betting laws, as well as in the state that you live in.

Fortunately, we have all of the answers that you are looking for throughout this site on our individual state pages. Those who live in a particular state, or are curious about the sports betting laws in one state, will have the chance visit a page dedicated entirely to the information we mentioned in the introductory paragraph, plus more. Not only will bettors find out that there are legal ways to place an online wager on sports in their state, but some of the top-rated online sportsbooks that allow this will be detailed.

States Where You Can Bet Online

When it comes to betting sports online in the United States, there are both federal and state laws that come into play. Perhaps the most known type of state gambling laws are ages. The legal age to bet on sports within a state is decided by the local state government. In fact, the majority of online gambling laws are decided at the state level, though there are a handful of federal laws as well.

Just below, you can find your state within our list. Go to those pages where we'll break everything down for you and explain the real nature of online betting laws in your state. This guide to sports betting in the United States will help you connect with the sports betting sites that will currently allow players from your state to wager now.

Is Sports Betting Legal In My State?
Washington D.C.

States Where You Can Bet In-Person

Betting on sports in person at a licensed casino or sportsbook is not as easy to find as it is online. This is simply because there are more online sportsbooks over the Internet, and these are legal because they operate outside of the United States. That type of business model won't work for land-based casinos. However, there are several states where it is safe to gamble on sports. Most notably would be Nevada, obviously with Las Vegas in the state. However, now that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA, 1992) has been overturned by the Supreme Court, other states are also finally allowed to institute and regulate their own sports betting industries.

Currently, there is live sports betting available on-site in these states: Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, and Mississippi. Several more “first-wave” states will be opening their books soon (including West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, and Rhode Island).

Delaware Sports Gambling - Delaware has actually been a state very important to sports betting advocates. Under PASPA, Delaware had a very narrow exception to the wide-ranging sports betting ban, as legal bets could be placed on the NFL. However, the stipulation was that the wagers placed had to be parlay wagers, meaning that no straight bets were legally accepted. With PASPA now gone, Delaware can offer proper sportsbooks to their hundreds of thousands of sports wagering residents, and Delaware indeed became the very first state outside Nevada to accept legal sports wagers (June 5, 2018).

New Jersey's Fight For Sports Gambling - After going as far as to take its sports betting case to the federal courts, New Jersey then got its case pushed to the Supreme Court, where PASPA was eventually overturned on May 14, 2018. Here’s the legal fight’s background, briefly:

In September of 2013, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 against New Jersey stating that its position goes directly against that of the federal laws currently in place. In order for New Jersey to continue its case, the next court would have to be the highest in the land, the United States Supreme Court. With the prior decision coming 2-1, it at least meant there was one judge that saw validity in NJ’s argument against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which NJ claimed to be unconstitutional and that it went against the will of the state's citizens. The SCOTUS agreed, and the law was struck down. All states in the US are now free to regulate their own sports betting industries, just as God intended.

What Is PASPA?

We mentioned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act up above as a federal law that effectively banned sports betting across the United States. But there was important language in the law which allowed for states with at least a 10-years in legally licensed gaming the opportunity to apply for immunity to the law. There were only a few states that decided to go through with it. These were Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and Delaware. New Jersey did not act on it, despite having 11 casinos in Atlantic City. However, only Nevada had anything close to what is today considered a proper sportsbook, with the other states employing very limited forms of glorified, sports-themed lottery and bingo games. Of course, with PASPA now dead, all states can offer Vegas-style sportsbooks to their residents and visitors.

Future Of Sports Betting And Online Sports Betting In The U.S.

Between the two, land-based sports betting and online sports betting in the U.S., the future definitely looks a whole lot brighter for the latter. This is based on a couple of reasons. First, the internet is growing more and more each day, and people are becoming more reliant on it for their everyday activities + leisure. This has trickled over into online sports betting. The fact is that sports betting sites can reach a much larger demographic than land-based, which gives it much more opportunity to grow.

Sports betting is a bit more tricky than other forms of online gambling though, because it relates to live events. There is the possibility of fixing games and having predetermined outcomes. Though slim, the risk is still there and the integrity of sport is on the line when you talk to critics of betting.

That being said though, with the number of American players going to offshore sportsbooks to lay down a wager increasing, you would have to think that the government at some point would want to try and get in on the revenue that could be possible, either through taxation or other forms of fees.

The overturn of PASPA – and the economic windfall it is proving to be for the states who have so far instituted their own sports wagering regulations – has proved that land-based wagering is here to stay, even if online sports betting is clearly more popular, accessible, and convenient. Naturally, of course, these land-based sportsbooks at various state casino venues are also working on implementing their own Internet-based sports betting tie-ins, and the future of sports wagering in the US will be predicated on the synergy between both land-based and online betting. And, of course, if you still wish to wager at offshore books, there is no sign that legal sports betting in the US is slowing down that industry in any way.

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