US States With Legal Sports Betting

There are many US states with legal sports betting in there legislation following the repeal of the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, better known as PASPA. Now sports betting operations are able to operate in several states. These sportsbooks offer full-service sports betting to all residents and tourists alike. Full-service means these sportsbooks offer a Las Vegas-style betting experience with all the betting lines, odds, wagers, and wager types that would be found in Las Vegas. With the repeal of PASPA, residents in many states are able to wager on sporting events without having to buy a plane ticket and head to Sin City. New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Illinois, and many more have already garnered there booming sports betting market following the fall of PASPA. Sports betting will only continue to grow as more and more states approve regulated sports betting in their legislation.

Thanks to PASPA, many state economies were placed squarely behind the 8-ball but consider the numbers involved and you’ll understand how abjectly disastrous PASPA was – and why the future is so bright. In the simplest terms, US sports bettors are estimated to wager astronomical amounts of money each year, with plausible research pegging the annual American sports betting handle at $300-$400 billion. Without a system in place to tax sportsbook revenue, the dramatic majority of that action went (and continues to go) untaxed. In the quarter-century that PASPA was in effect, the US state and federal governments have lost – by multiple reliable accounts – more than a trillion dollars. Thankfully, with states now able to engineer their own rules and regulations regarding sports betting, something can start to be done about that massive shortfall.

How The Supreme Court Ruling Affects US Sports Betting

The repeal of PASPA in May 2018 was a watershed moment in sports betting history. Basically, it allowed the states to make their own decisions when it comes to the legality and regulation of sports betting, as long as those decisions are limited to the state in question. As of right now, eighteen states have fully functional legal sports betting, and there are more on the way - some states have even approved it already, and are just working out the kinks in their regulatory systems. The federal restrictions on sports betting are gone, but it takes time to develop a regulatory framework for managing an industry as large as sports betting.

So, what does this mean for all of the sportsbooks that are located out of the country? The effects are twofold. First, the main push to legalization has been the revenue-generating potential of the sports betting market. Currently, a lot of this revenue is diverted overseas to the sportsbooks that allow bettors from all 50 states. This might not change entirely - it seems unlikely that the legal betting market will capture all of the overseas bettors - but it could expand betting within the states. Second, online sportsbooks are actually still pretty useful. They tend to not suffer from hometown hero syndrome, where the local sportsbooks are biased towards their local teams. Basically, you'll get better odds on the Dallas Cowboys at a sportsbook that isn't located in Texas, because there won't be a bunch of Cowboys fans betting on their favorite team. Overall, the repeal of PASPA has been great for sports betting and should continue to be so.

So, what does this mean for all of the sportsbooks that are located out of the country? The effects are twofold. First, the main push to legalization has been the revenue-generating potential of the sports betting market. Currently, a lot of this revenue is diverted overseas to the sportsbooks that allow bettors from all 50 states. This might not change entirely - it seems unlikely that the legal betting market will capture all of the overseas bettors - but it could expand betting within the states. Second, online sportsbooks are actually still pretty useful. They tend to not suffer from hometown hero syndrome, where the local sportsbooks are biased towards their local teams. Basically, you'll get better odds on the Dallas Cowboys at a sportsbook that isn't located in Texas, because there won't be a bunch of Cowboys fans betting on their favorite team. Overall, the repeal of PASPA has been great for sports betting and should continue to be so.

States With Legalized Sports Betting

Following the repeal of PASPA, many states have begun legalizing domestic sports betting. Now there are 18 states that offer sports betting to residents and tourists alike. In these states, you can find land-based operations in which you can go and physical wager on your favorite sports teams. With these states already seeing a major boom in revenue from legal sports betting, this number is only expected to increase in the coming years.

Arkansas

Arkansas

Approved through a November 2018 ballot initiative, sports betting in Arkansas became legal after the voters supported the measure. Both online and land-based sportsbooks are legal within the state, which was launched on July 1, 2019. Oaklawn Racing became the first sportsbook in the state to open its doors and the Southland Casino wasn’t far behind. Two other licenses have been approved for Jefferson and Pope Counties, though the Arkansas Racing and Gaming Commission must approve which venue shall be fortunate enough to offer it.

Colorado

Colorado

On November 5, 2019, voters in Colorado approved sports betting, thus making sports wagering legal in the state. The sports betting measure first needed a statewide referendum due to the fact that sports betting technically raises taxes. Any raise on taxes needs to be voter-approved before it can be implemented in Colorado. The voters looked at the measure and decided that since the rise in taxes were only for those who wagered on sports, they approved the measure. With sports betting officially legal, the next step was to open sportsbooks, which happened just before the NFL season started in 2020. Colorado’s sports betting is now up and running.

Delaware

Delaware

As Delaware’s lottery oversaw the state’s Sports Pick product during the PASPA years, the lotto actually had all the authority it needed to expand that into full, single-game betting without the passage of any legislation. As a result, DE became the second state to offer sports wagering, which is available at its three racino venues. Internet-based sports betting is legal in DE, but the DE Lottery has yet to roll out any associated products. DE sportsbooks have been averaging a low $1.3 million in revenue per month, but this should jump by many times as soon as Internet wagering goes live.

Illinois

Illinois

Illinois approved sports betting in late June 2019 when Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the measure into law. The bill allows for nearly every gambling establishment (casinos, off-track betting parlors, the lottery, etc.) to offer sports betting. The bill granted both land-based and online approval for those who are 21 and older; however, for online access, bettors will need to visit a land-based retailer to sign up for an online account. As of March 9th, 2020, the first sportsbooks are open in Illinois. Mobile betting is on its way but is currently not available at the state-sanctioned sportsbooks yet.

Indiana

Indiana

Shortly after Montana’s news hit the headlines, Indiana was approving their measures as well. Their casinos were given the opportunity to offer sports betting on location as well as through an online platform. With three mobile betting platforms, or skins, allotted to the 13 casinos each, there will be plenty of action occurring in Indiana. Wagering on both professional and collegiate games are allowed for any player 21 and older. Three casinos launched retail sportsbooks on September 1, 2019, the first day they were allowed to do so. Several others joined shortly after and almost every licensed gaming facility is expected to offer legal sports betting by the end of 2019.

Iowa

Iowa

With 19 casinos in the state and the ability for each establishment to have two skins, a total of 38 sportsbooks could make their way to Iowa. The industry launched on August 15, 2019, and both in-person and mobile wagering is permitted, though mobile betting will require in-person registration until the start of 2021. Per regulations, betting on professional and collegiate teams is allowed; however, prop bets for collegiate athletes have been banned. The industry will be overseen by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, which will collect the 6.75% tax on sports betting revenue as well as the $45,000 licensing fee.

Michigan

Michigan

Michigan legalized sports betting in December 2019 with the passage of HB 4916, and casino sportsbooks in Detroit began accepting wagers in early March 2020. Many of Michigan’s tribal casinos have partnered with major sports betting firms like William Hill and FanDuel. Sports betting revenue will be taxed at 8.4% under this new law, which should generate nearly $9 million per year in tax collections for the state. Online gambling was also legalized as a part of HB 4916, but its launch is expected to be delayed until early 2021 as casino and state officials determine how best to regulate it.

Mississippi

Mississippi

Mississippi has the most operational sportsbooks outside of Nevada, but its reach is limited to major gambling destinations like Tunica, Biloxi, and Vicksburg. This is because there is nothing in the state’s sports betting legislation that allows it to offer statewide Internet/mobile wagering. Nevertheless, the casinos are doing well so far, with monthly well in excess of $3 million (and growing rapidly). Internet-based sports betting is not expected to be discussed by the MS Congress until 2020 or 2021 at the earliest.

Montana

Montana

The first state to approve sports betting in 2019 was Montana. Though many states only have one operator in charge of the industry, Montana took a different approach and approved two sports betting bills. However, Governor Bullock only signed one of them into law, HB 725, which gives the power to the state lottery. With this, Montana was able to expand their sports betting laws, permitting 18-year-olds to wager on both professional and collegiate sports. In March 2020, the first Montana sportsbooks opened, meaning it was finally time to bet on sports in Montana.

Nevada

Nevada

Nevada was, of course, the only game in town for decades. With sports wagering formally legalized way back in 1949, NV is still considered the number one place to bet on all the biggest games and sporting events. Las Vegas alone boasts over 50 sportsbooks, and online gaming is available statewide from a selection of world-famous bookmakers. Nevada sportsbooks took in over $5 billion in wagers and earned over $300 million in revenue in 2018.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire

Governor Chris Sununu signed the NH sports betting bill into law in July 2019 officially making the wagering on sporting events legal in the state. Betting on in-state collegiate teams is prohibited as well as any college games played within state lines. According to the law, there will be ten retail locations for sports bettors to go and place wagers. However, NH has no casinos due to strong laws against gambling so trying to come up with the best locations for these facilities will take some time. The mobile/internet aspect of legal sports betting launched in the last days of December 2019 with DraftKings Sportsbook opening the first operation. Residents are able to place all of their sports wagers through the use of the application as long as they are 21 years of age.

New Jersey

New Jersey

New Jersey is the reason PASPA was overturned, and their perseverance in the 6-year legal challenge has already paid off in spades. Or rather, in sports betting revenue. (Card-based gambling was already legal in the state, after all). New Jersey has world-class sportsbooks in operation at every Atlantic City Venue, at The Meadowlands, and at Monmouth Park. Additionally, NJ residents can wager on sports over the Internet, which is legal statewide through locally-licensed operators. NJ sportsbooks have been performing well, with monthly projections of over $15 million in revenue.

New Mexico

New Mexico

New Mexico sports wagering is a unique phenomenon, at least in terms of how it was born. Instead of going through the state legislature, the Pueblo of Santa Ana (Tamaya) simply began offering the product at their Albuquerque-area Santa Ana Star venue. Because the state’s tribal compact did not exclude sports wagering from its general definition of Class III gaming, the tribe is offering the pastime at its brick-and-mortar location. That said, in order for Internet-based betting to go live, a new law will have to be passed, as such is currently explicitly prohibited. There are no reported revenue figures for sports betting in NM.

New York

New York

Sports betting was technically legal in 2013 when voters approved a measure supporting the hobby in the four upstate commercial casinos. After PASPA was repealed, the state took a little over a year to set regulations and discuss the possibility of mobile sports betting. Though the latter was not approved, New York sports betting launched on July 16, when Rivers Casino Schenectady accepted the first wager. The addition of mobile betting will likely require another voter referendum, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Oregon

Oregon

As one of the few states exempt from the oversight of PASPA, Oregon never took legal sports betting off of their books. Before PASPA was in effect, the state offered 3-team or more parlay cards for their residents but with threats from the professional and collegiate sports organization, they stopped offering the program. Because of this, the first sportsbook in Oregon, the Chinook Winds Casino Resort, accepted the state’s first legal post-PASPA wager on August 27, 2019. The Oregon Lottery is working towards launching an online industry sometime in the near future as well.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania took a little longer than most expected to roll out sports betting to eager bettors in the state. However, since the activity went live in November 2018, it has been immensely popular. Online sports wagering was a late addition to the legal sports betting market, having launched in the last days of May 2019.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island

Rhode Island was the last of the “first wave” of states to offer legal sports betting in the US, and you can wager at either of Little Rhody’s two casino venues right now. Online sports wagering is not yet legal in the state, however, and the monthly revenue figures will reflect that until the legislature decides to move forward with a plan to roll out such a product. Right now, revenue figures show earnings of only about $80,000 a month, which dramatically undersells what the eager RI clientele are willing to spend on the popular activity.

West Virginia

West Virginia

West Virginia was quick to legalize sports betting, but the rollout was slow, and the state only recently legalized and launched online sports wagering. With only five brick-and-mortar venues where residents and visitors can wager in person, this online presence is considered key to the industry’s success and long-term growth. WV sportsbooks are projected to top $30 million in revenue next year.

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

While not a state, Washington, D.C., has effectively the same pseudo-sovereign status as the states in the US. As such, it has legalized sports betting within its borders thanks to a December 2018 City Council vote (11-2 in favor). There are no casinos in D.C., but sports betting is offered at venues like stadiums, restaurants, and liquor stores, as well as via a mobile app geo-fenced within the city’s borders. Sports betting is life in DC as of the 2020 NFL season, just in time for the Washington Football Team’s ‘inaugural’ year.

Washington

Washington

Washington became one of the most recent states to legalize sports betting when Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill allowing sports betting to take place in the tribal casinos that exist in the state of Washington. Sports betting has not gone beyond that, yet, although there is mobile betting access if you are on the grounds of one of the tribal casinos. The infrastructure is not up and running yet but look for Washington’s tribal casinos to open sportsbooks in the near future.

States Where Sports Betting Is Legal But Currently Unavailable

There are, unfortunately, a fair few of these states. Generally speaking, the situation these states find themselves in is that they have legalized the concept of sports betting, but have not installed infrastructure or legislative framework for it. The good news is that many of these states are working on installing the said framework and infrastructure to get sports betting up and running as soon as possible. Michigan, for example, legalized sports betting in December of 2019 and expects to have it up and running by March of 2020. So, ideally, many of these states will soon be moving from this section to the section above!

Connecticut

Connecticut

Connecticut legalized sports betting in 2017, pending PASPA’s overturn. The bill, HB 6948, opened the door to lawful in-state wagering, but it has taken close to two years – and counting – for the state to come to terms with the existing Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes’ gambling exclusivity rights and the commercial interests (MGM et al.) campaigning to open casinos in the state. Sports betting has been a contentious issue thus far between Connecticut and the state’s Native American tribes. It is unclear if issues will be resolved in time to guarantee a 2019 sports betting launch.

North Carolina

North Carolina took the entire 2019 legislative session to legalize sports betting in the state. Finalized and signed by the governor in July 2019, North Carolina sports betting allows both of the tribal casinos in the state to offer full-service sportsbooks. Along with sports wagering, this bill authorized the permission for the casinos to offer fixed horse racing odds as well. Both of the Harrah’s casinos in western North Carolina will be the only places where residents can wager legally.

Tennessee

Tennessee

Near the end of May, Tennessee became the fourth state in 2019 to authorize sports betting, but not like any other state we have seen. Tennessee does not have any casinos; therefore, they permitted a statewide online betting platform to be the industry standard, without the backing of any gambling facility. The bill also came into law in an interesting way. Instead of signing off for approval, Governor Bill Lee allowed his 10-day veto period to expire, ultimately turning the bill into law without his approval or veto. Sports betting is on track to launch by the fall of 2019 and will be available to those aged 21 and up.

Virginia

Virginia

Virginia has legalized sports betting, and the law will be put into effect on July 1st, 2020. However, the state will not have any sports betting until the regulatory system - which has a deadline of September 15th, 2020 - gets set up by the Virginia Lottery. Virginia has sports betting around the time the NBA season starts, although it seems unlikely. Right now, optimistic projections suggest that Virginia could have sports betting before the end of the year.

States That Will Legalize Sports Betting In The Near Future

It is safe to say that about three-quarters of the states have entered into debates about sports betting legalization at the congressional level – some more seriously than others. In some regions, sports betting is championed largely by Democrat interests, while in others it seems squarely in the domain of Republican lawmakers. Naturally, the states where such initiatives had the best chance to pass were those that had wide bipartisan support.

With major elections coming up in 2020, the outlook of each state’s senators and representatives is up in the air. Many interests of the current legislators will be brushed aside by the (potentially) new lawmakers who want to impose their power. However, from the actions of the legislative sessions of 2019, we can see which states took sports betting more seriously than others. You should expect to see another handful of states legalize the pastime 2020 and 2021. The states looking to legalize sports betting include Massachusetts, Louisiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, and a few others as well. Certainly, not all of these states will pass sports betting laws before the end of the year or may not at all, but they are far more likely to do so than states like Hawaii, Utah, Idaho, Alaska, and Wyoming.

States With Legal Sports Betting Bills Pending

There are a few select states that have sports betting bills pending in their legislations. These bills are either awaiting senate approval, voting, or final decisions by state governors. These bills pending do not automatically mean they will pass into legislation as several bills have made it all the way to governor approval and have been unfortunately vetoed. It is good to be optimistic as sports bettors in these states, however, as the pending stage is just one step closer to the launch of legal sports betting. These are the states with potential sports betting bills in the works:

Alaska: HB 246, SB 188
Alabama: HB 354, HB 336, O 79, HB 418, S 282
Arizona: SB 1158, SB 1525
California: ACA-16
Connecticut: HB 7331, SB 21, HB 5168
Florida: S 968, S 970, S 972
Georgia: HR 380, HB 570, SB 403
Hawaii: HB 1007
Kansas: SB 283
Kentucky: HB 12, HB 171, HB 175, HB 190, SB 23 HB 37
Massachusetts: HD 2628, HD 2629, SD 903, SD 908, SD 908, SD 1110, H68, S 882, HB 4879
Maine: S 553
Minnesota: HF 1278, SF 1894
Missouri: S 767, H 2320, S 1013, S 1009, H 2535  *), H 2406, HB 2088
North Dakota: HB 1295, HB 1254
Nebraska: LB 990, LB 971
Oklahoma: HB 3375, SB 1175
South Carolina: S 57, HB 3409, S 71
South Dakota: SJR 2, SJR 501
Texas: HB 1275, HJR 61
Vermont: S59, H 0484, H 0046
Wyoming: HB 0225

Betting At International Sportsbooks In The US

Regardless of the sports betting laws in your state, you have the option to bet on sports at international sportsbooks. These online betting operations bring sports betting to every sports bettor in the country and allow for full-service sporting betting to be accessible at the palm of sports bettors' hands. International sportsbooks offer some of the best odds that even rival the domestic sportsbooks. No matter where you are or your state's sports betting laws, you can legally bet on sports at international sportsbooks.

Why International Sportsbooks Are Legal To Use

What makes international sportsbooks legal regardless of individual state legislation is the fact that they operate overseas. These sportsbooks are not affected by US legislation and there are no US laws that outright banned them. In addition, money garnered from betting on sports at international betting sites are considered taxable income. Sports bettors are still required to submit their winnings when filling out their taxes. If the federal government is still collecting taxes from international sportsbooks, then that’s further proof that it is entirely legal to bet on sports at international sportsbooks.

USAOnlineSportsbooks.com knows that no matter where you wager, you never have to worry about covering your butt. All you really need to worry about is whether or not your team will cover the spread.