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 US, 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 to 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.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

Betting on sports in-person at a licensed casino or sportsbook is not as easy as online sports betting is at overseas sportsbooks. This is simply because there are more offshore sportsbooks available over the Internet than there are land-based venues for most US residents, and these are legal because they operate outside of the United States where US federal and state laws on bookmakers do not apply. That type of business model won't work for land-based casinos inside the United States, of course. However, there are several states where it is safe to gamble on sports, with more being added to the list frequently now that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act has been overturned. The most notable of these states would be Nevada (obviously, with Las Vegas in the state), but other states like Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Mexico, and more now have brick-and-mortar sports wagering venues for residents and visitors. Still, the dramatic majority of US bettors cannot afford the time to travel to these states to place their wagers, which means that online, offshore sportsbooks remain their number-one option for legal sports betting.

New Jersey's Fight For Sports Gambling

The reason that sports betting in enjoying a renaissance of accessibility and interest in the US is because of New Jersey’s fight for sports gambling over the last couple of decades. The last six years of effort culminated in the Supreme Court overturn of PASPA, opening the door for all states to offer their own legal sports betting products, both on land and online (though the former always rolls out first, as the latter lingers behind).

Nevertheless, full on-site and online sports wagering is now possible in every state that chooses to legalize the practice, immediately ushering in a new dawn for sports betting in America. The US states that have legal sports betting already number into the double digits, and it is speculated that the vast majority of states, perhaps as many as 40-45 of them, will have some form of legal sports wagering installed within the next few years.

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. Upon its passage in 1992, there was important language in the law which allowed for states with a history of at least 10 consecutive years of legally licensed gaming the opportunity to apply for immunity from the law. Nevada obviously qualified, but so did only one other state: New Jersey. In fact, PASPA was essentially devised by NJ senator Bill Bradley as a gambit to guarantee an East Coast sports betting monopoly for the financially-troubled Atlantic City, NJ. Amusingly, of course, the state did not legalize sports betting in PASPA’s one-year grace period, and on January 1, 1994, New Jersey was banned from offering sports betting to its residents and guests, as were all other states (save for Oregon, Delaware, and Montana, though they were not allowed to offer full-service single-game betting and could only continue to let residents buy glorified sports-themed NFL parlay tickets and punch cards). Thus, for the last 25 years, Nevada has been the only land-based legal option for US sports betting. But with PASPA’s elimination in 2018, all that has now changed.

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

For now, the future of sports betting and online sports betting in the U.S. is pretty bright. Individual states are proving to be efficient and competent overseers of their sports wagering industries, and other states are obviously encouraged and aim to follow suit. In all states that have legalized sports wagering in the wake of PASPA’s demise, the passed legislation also acknowledges the need for Internet-based local sports betting in order to really increase revenue (and the state taxation thereof, naturally).

Still, there is a bit of trouble on the horizon, at least potentially. Now that the federal government has been kicked out of the sports betting equation, the institution is attempting to reclaim oversight of the industry across the board. Various national-level legislators have been pushing for new legislation that would set up an inflexible, one-size-fits-all (aka one-size-fits-none) sports wagering “framework,” which would totally return full oversight and power to regulate sports wagering to the same federal government (and in some cases the same actual politicians) who so catastrophically and unconstitutionally abused their power in creating PASPA more than a quarter-century ago. If the federal government has its way, the US states that have legal sports betting will again be artificially limited per the whims of the pols in power. Hopefully, the free market will prevail, but that seems – ultimately – somewhat unlikely. Still, the government will never be able to control participation at offshore sports betting websites, so these should continue to be your go-to destinations for the foreseeable future.

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