Since the US Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on single-event sports wagering back in 2018, individual states have been allowed to pass their own legislation to legalize sports betting. As lawmakers push through legislation in their respective states, the sports betting industry in the US is an ever-changing landscape.
With this in mind, we’ve created a USA legal sports betting tracker to give a snapshot of where each state currently stands in terms of legislation for legal sportsbetting.
Where is sports betting legal in the United States?
In-person and online
The first state to have a legal sports betting market, Nevada’s sportsbooks have been in operation since the state legalized sports betting in 1949. However, while it is certainly the oldest market, it’s no longer the leader as New Jersey has taken that mantle in recent years.
One aspect of the Nevada sports betting market that is currently holding it back is the need for in-person registration at a retail sportsbook before placing bets online.
Delaware became the second state to allow sports betting on June 5th 2018 when single-event betting was introduced at three of the state’s casinos. This was less than a month after the Supreme Court ruled that the federal law that restricted single-event sports wagering to the state of Nevada was unconstitutional.
However, despite the state’s early passing of sports betting, Delaware still lags behind newly established markets as there are no online sports betting options available.
3. New Jersey
In-person and online
June 11th 2018 saw New Jersey become the third state with a regulated sports betting market as Governor Phil Murphy signed Bill 4111 allowing single-event sports betting at casinos and racetracks. William Hill sportsbook accepted the state’s first sports bet on June 14th, a bet that was placed by Governor Murphy himself.
In the years since, New Jersey has become the leader in sports betting with the state posting a handle of $6,016,968,399 in 2020, easily beating Nevada.
In-person and online in designated casinos
On August 1st 2018, Mississippi sportsbooks began taking bets thanks to a sports betting law that was enacted in 2017 pending a favorable decision from the Supreme Court.
While in-person sports betting has been a success, the stipulation that those wishing to place bets online must do so when in a physical sportsbook has limited market growth.
5. West Virginia
In-person and online
August 30th 2018 saw West Virginia become the fifth state to launch a regulated sports betting market. The West Virginia Lottery Commission serves as the regulator for the market with the Hollywood Casino the first retail sportsbook in operation.
Mobile sports betting hit a few obstacles prior to launch but has been running successfully since 2019.
6. New Mexico
On October 16th 2018, New Mexico saw its first legal sports bet even though the state had yet to pass any specific sports betting legislation. This is because the New Mexico tribal gaming compact allows “any or all forms of Class III Gaming”. According to federal regulations this includes sports betting and pari-mutuel wagering.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see any online sports betting options in New Mexico unless the state introduces sports betting legislation.
In-person and online
In mid-November 2018, the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course started taking sports bets. The state has previously passed legislation in 2017 that covered sports betting, online poker, and daily fantasy sports (DFS). The bill then came into effect once the Supreme Court made its ruling in May 2018.
In 2020, Pennsylvania had the third highest sports betting handle for the year at $3,580,864,477.
8. Rhode Island
In-person and online
On November 26th 2018, Rhode Island’s casinos launched their retail sportsbooks. This followed five months after Governor Gina Raimondo had included sports betting in the state budget. The state lottery became the sports betting regulator with only two physical locations allowed to offer sports wagering services.
In 2019, the law was amended to allow for mobile betting allowing.
Arkansas became the ninth state to establish a regulated sports betting market on July 1st 2019. The Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort launched the state’s first sportsbook immediately while two more retail sportsbooks launched in the following months.
The state is historically conservative with regards to gambling and while online wagering was considered by some lawmakers, a lack of support means that legislation is unlikely to be introduced any time soon.
10. New York
In-person only, online pending
On July 16th 2019, Rivers Casino in Schenectady took the state’s first legal sports wagers. Interestingly, this was six years after the state had passed a law that would allow four retail sportsbooks to open in New York. It was only after the Supreme Court ruling in 2018 that the state started to make concrete plans to establish a regulated market.
Although the state doesn’t yet allow online sports betting, in April 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo included mobile sports betting in the state budget. A launch date has yet to be confirmed.
In-person and online
On August 15th 2019, Iowa sportsbooks launched three months after Governor Kim Reynolds signed a sports betting bill into law. The bill sees the Iowa Racing Commission regulate the industry with certain in-game prop bets on college games not permitted.
Mobile betting is allowed but with in-person registration required. However, this is set to end some time in 2021.
In-person and online
Oregon sportsbooks began taking sports bets on August 27th 2019. Interestingly, Oregon is another state that didn’t need to pass any specific sports betting legislation as the existing state laws allow for some forms of sports betting. As a result, the state’s tribal casinos didn’t even need to renegotiate their gaming compact in order to take sports bets.
Online sports betting arrived just two months later when the Oregon Lottery launched its sports betting app and website.
In-person and online
Indiana’s sport betting market opened for business on September 1st 2019. While wagering on pro and college sports is permitted, betting on high school sports or esports isn’t allowed. Regulations also allow providers to prohibit wagers at a sporting event through the use of a geofence.
The industry is regulated by the Indiana Gaming Commission.
14. New Hampshire
In-person and online
Legal sports betting came to New Hampshire on December 30th 2019 with Governor Chris Sununo placing the state’s first wager on the New England Patriots. The state lottery oversees the regulation of the industry and while betting on college sports is allowed, betting on college teams within the state is not permitted.
With such a small population, it’s unsurprising that there is only one online provider. DraftKings is the sole online sportsbook, an exclusive right the operator won after promising the state 51% of its sportsbook revenue.
In-person and online
On March 9th 2020, Illinois launched retail sports betting and launched online betting just a month later. Mobile sports betting required in-person registration that slowed down market growth particularly during the pandemic. However, Governor J.B. Pritzker waived this process allowing for online registration.
The market has since grown from strength to strength with the state’s operators posting an impressive sports betting handle of $509.8 Million for February 2021.
In-person and online
March 11th 2020 saw two casinos in Detroit launch the first legal sportsbooks in Michigan. The launch was just three short months after Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the ‘Lawful Sport Betting Act‘.
The act allows for betting on all professional and college sports along with online sports wagering options that has seen multiple operators enter the local market.
In March 2020, Montana sportsbooks began taking their first sports wagers. The launch came after Governor Steve Bullock signed a sports betting bill in May of 2019. The sports betting market is regulated and run by the state lottery and there are no provisions for mobile betting.
As a result, the sports betting market in Montana is a state-run monopoly and with such a small population and low revenue figures, this is unlikely to ever change.
In-person and online
Legal sports betting launched in Colorado on May 1st 2020. This was less than six months after Colorado voters had decided by ballot that sports betting would be allowed through licensed casinos. The state allows both in-person and online betting and has quickly become a high revenue market.
The state’s multiple retail and online sportsbooks now regularly handle over $200 million in bets each month joining a select few that includes New Jersey and Nevada.
19. Washington, D.C.
In-person and online
The D.C. Lottery launched GameBetDC in June 2020. The platform allows sports fans to wager on major sports across the world while in the district of Washington. William Hill currently has a temporary retail booth at Capital One Arena that allows mobile betting.
The lack of competition for the state-run GameBetDC has seen the market suffer and a locally run company, Handle 19, had hoped to open a retail location to compete. However, the company’s application for a permit has run into many problems and the operator has since withdrawn its application.
Online sports betting launched in Tennessee on November 1st 2020 with four online sportsbooks taking the state’s first legal sports wagers. Unlike many other states. Tennessee’s law has no specific requirement for an online sportsbook to be tied to a bricks and mortar establishment so there are no retail sportsbooks in the state.
Tennessee’s sports betting law also requires that all operators use only official league data for live betting.
Online sportsbooks launched in Virginia in January 2021 and reported a sports betting handle of $58 million for the first 11 days of operation. While retail sports betting is allowed by law, there are no physical locations in the state as there are no casinos. Sports fans can bet on all major sports and college events with the exception of Virginia-based college teams.
The market is regulated by the Virginia State Lottery.
22. North Carolina
In March 2021, legal sports betting came to North Carolina. The launch followed signing of a 2019 bill that would allow sports wagering on tribal lands in a similar compact to that of New Mexico. With Sports betting designated as a Class III gaming activity, two of the state’s tribal casinos opened retails sportsbooks.
Although there are no online betting options as of yet, lawmakers are set to discuss the possibility of statewide mobile wagering with the introduction of Senate Bill 688 that would see 12 new sports wagering license issued that include mobile betting options.
Which states are next?
Maryland voters approved the introduction of sports betting to help raise funds for education in a ballot during the November 2020 election. While state officials have targeted a launch date of September 1st 2021, the regulatory framework has yet to be put in place.
Once sports betting does launch within the state, gamblers will be allowed to place wagers both in person and online.
Washington’s sports betting bill was signed into law on March 25th 2020 allowing sports wagering at Class III tribal casinos. The legislation allows for mobile sports betting but only when the player is on-site at a licensed tribal casino. Although Governor Jay Inslee signed the legislation into law over a year ago, we have yet to see any sportsbooks launch within the state.
However, this could be about to change as the Washington State Gambling Commission and Tulalip Tribes of Washington have agreed to amend the tribe’s gaming compact to include sports betting. This paves the way for a launch in the not too distant future.
25. South Dakota
South Dakota voters approved a November 2020 ballot measure to permit sports wagering in Deadwood. However, there’s an indication that other tribal casinos within the state could also be allowed to open their own sportsbooks following Governor Kristi Noem’s signing of follow-up legislation in March 2021.
Sports betting is expected to launch in South Dakota by the end of 2021.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt agreed a new gaming compact with two Oklahoma state tribes in April 2020. The new compacts were approved by the Department of the Interior allowing the industry to launch once the compacts are published in the Federal Register. However, there has been some opposition to the compacts that has seen the prospect of sports betting in Oklahoma become a lot less certain.
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed a sports betting bill into law on April 5th 2021. The law allows for mobile sports betting across the state with operators not requiring a partnership with a bricks and mortar casino.
Sports betting in Wyoming is expected to launch in late 2021.
Maine lawmakers passed a sports betting bill back in 2019 on the last day of the legislative session. However, Governor Janet Mills let the bill lie on her desk for quite some time before finally decided to veto it. Since then, sports betting advocates have had a tough time reintroducing the bill and have tried several different tacks. The latest effort could see a veto-proof bill introduced but it is unclear as to whether or not this could actually work.
In November 2020, Louisiana voters approved a ballot measure to allow sports betting to take place in the state.
On June 7th 2021, Governor John Bel Edwards signed the first of two sports betting bills. HB 697 places the Louisiana Lottery Corporation in control of the local market and is now signed into law.
The legislation places a 10% tax rate on net proceeds from retail sportsbooks while online sportsbooks will pay 15%.
SB 247 will enact sports betting in Louisiana and has passed through the House by a vote of 78-15. The bill will need amendments before it gains Senate approval.
In the November 2020 election, voters in Nebraska approved an amendment to the state constitution that would legalize all games of chance. Since then, Nebraska lawmakers have approved a sports betting bill that excludes mobile betting or betting on home games of in-state teams.
The bill has since been signed into law by Governor Pete Ricketts, however, a definite launch date has yet to be decided.
The Kansas House Committee of the Whole voted against a sports betting bill that was passed by the senate in early March 2021. Although this doesn’t mean that sports betting won’t happen in the state, it does mean that it’s unlikely to happen this year. Members of the House and Senate have different views on how the industry should be regulated and how many licenses can be issued.
However, there is certainly some middle ground that suggests that it’s just a matter of time before sports betting is legal in Kansas.
Minnesota has yet to make any formal moves towards sports betting legislation, but there is definite support among both representatives and senators for some form of sports betting within the state. Most of those in favor support limiting sports betting to the state’s tribal casinos. However, the state’s tribal nations aren’t quite on board with this as they feel that it’s inevitable that the industry will at some point move towards mobile wagering.
This one may take some time, but we fully expect some movement on this in the near future.
There is a lot of support for sports betting in Massachusetts with an incredible 19 sports betting bills filed in both the House and Senate, a number that seems to grow every week. Although this may seem like good news for sports betting advocates in the state, the sheer volume of bills has made it a confusing topic for representatives.
It may take a little longer than expected, but Massachusetts will likely legalize sports betting at some point in 2021.
Kentucky seemed to be on the verge of legalizing sports betting after House Bill 137 was approved by a House committee. However, when the pandemic struck, the state had other more pressing concerns and sports betting was left to the wayside. While there has been no significant action taken since, the legislation is expected to pass when it is finally put to a vote.
When this will actually happen though is anyone’s guess.
Missouri’s lawmakers’ latest attempts to legalize sports betting within the state have seen four bills advance to the Missouri House of Representatives Emerging Issues Committee. The most notable of these bills is HB 1024 which, if passed, will see the state establish a regulated sports betting market that limits wagering to licensed premises.
It’s highly likely that at least one of the bills will advance and we could see the launch of sports betting by the end of 2021 or in early 2022.
Senators in Connecticut passed a sports betting bill on May 26th that will allow the state’s tribal casinos to launch both retail and online sports betting products and services. The bill will be signed by Governor Ned Lamont before heading to the Department of the Interior for approval.
The hope is that once given the green light by the federal government, sports betting will be live in Connecticut by the start of the 2021 NFL season.
Sports betting is a hot topic in California with the idea of a regulated industry garnering quite a lot of support from both the general public and representatives. While most attempts to establish a market have been shot down by the state’s tribal nations, the most recent effort could see sports betting become legal in tribal casinos.
An initiative to have the legalization of sports betting placed on the 2022 ballot has gained quite a lot of momentum with upwards of 1 million people signing the petition. It remains to be seen whether or not this will succeed, but with so much public support, it seems that it’s just a matter of time before sports betting goes live in the state.
Governor Ron DeSantis agreed a new gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe that would allow the tribe to offer sports betting at its Florida casinos. The deal will see the Seminole have exclusive rights to sports betting within the state for 30 years and was ratified by the house and senate.
Once the legislation is signed by Gov. DeSantis, the Seminole expect to launch sports betting by the start of the NFL season.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed an amended compact with the state’s tribal leaders on April 15th 2021. That compact has now been ratified by the Department of the Interior and sports betting is expected to launch by September 2021.
As part of the deal, professional sports teams and groups within the state have also been given permission to launch retail sports betting outlets at or near to their stadiums and premises.
Ohio lawmakers are on the cusp of approving sports betting as they deliberate over the latest sports betting bill to come before the house. The latest bill will allow up to 20 online sports betting mobile licenses to be issued to the state’s 11 casinos and racinos. Proponents of the bill would also like to see the state’s professional sports teams and groups allowed to apply for licenses but this is something of a contentious issue.
Perhaps because of this, the bill has yet to progress, although local advocates believe that it’s simply a matter of time before sports betting goes live in Ohio.
In March of 2021, HJR 133 was introduced that would put the fate of sports betting in Texas in the hands of the voters. There are hopes that a vote can take place on the resolution before the end of this legislative session so it can be put on the ballot for 2022.
A related bill, HB 2070, that was backed by the Sporting Alliance, had gained some momentum in recent months but that seems to have stalled and there’s little hope that it will be discussed again before the end of the year.
All that said, the outlook remains positive for sports betting in Texas as both public sentiment and that of the state’s major sports teams are fully behind a regulated market.
2020 saw multiple sports betting bills fail to garner enough support in the Vermont legislature painting what seemed like a bleak picture for proponents of the industry. However, 2021 has once again seen the matter discussed in both the house and the senate. Senator Dick Sears and co-sponsors Senator Michael Sirotkin, Senator Christopher Pearson, and Senator Richard Westman filed senate bill S. 77 in February.
The bill would allow sports betting in Vermont through the lottery and allow up to six mobile sportsbook operators to enter the market. The bill has since been referred to the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs where it is currently under review.
In early 2021, there was the general feeling that Georgia would be one of the first states to legalize sports betting in 2021. However, despite the continued efforts of lawmakers to find a way forward both HB 86 and SB 142 have failed to pass as of yet. Both bills would allow professional sports franchises to partner with sports betting operators with a minimum of six sportsbooks opening within the state.
The senate and house had opposing views on college sports and couldn’t seem to find any way to compromise. But while sports betting may be impossible in 2021, there’s still a strong possibility that it will be put to the electorate in the 2022 election.
Three bills relating to sports betting were approved by the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee in May of 2021. The main bill SB319 would put the decision on the establishment of a regulated sports betting market in the hands of the electorate. Unfortunately, while there was much hope that both chambers would discuss the bills before the end of the legislative session, it was decided not to move forward with either bill.
It came as a bitter blow as there seemed to be quite a lot of positivity surrounding the potential of a sports betting market. However, there is still time to reintroduce a similar bill in late 2021 or early 2022 so it can be included on the 2022 election ballot.
According to Alaskan state law, fantasy sports contests are games of chance and so are perfectly legal within the state. Sports betting, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter. The state has tried and failed on several occasions to pass sports betting legislation and the most recent attempt was unfortunately thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2020, Governor Mike Dunleavy proposed two bills — SB 188 and HB 246 — that would allow multiple forms of legal gambling, including sports betting. The bills were known as The Alaska Lottery Corporation Act but as the legislature session closed early, both expired before being discussed by either chamber.
However, as Gov. Dunleavy is quite pro-gambling, we expect to see another bill in the very near future.
Which states are on the fence?
Hawaii is one of the few states that has a complete ban on all forms of gambling. That means no gambling or games of chance whatsoever. There isn’t even a lottery or any charitable bingo halls.
In a state with such strict laws, you’d expect stiff opposition to any talk of sports betting but that’s not quite the case. Although attempts to legalize sports betting in both 2019 and 2020 ultimately failed, there wasn’t quite as much opposition as expected.
2021 has seen several bills relating to gambling and sport betting introduced but none have gained enough momentum for us to call it one way or another.
For now, the state seems to be on the fence.
47. North Dakota
North Dakotan senators recently voted against putting the question of legal sports betting to the electorate by a narrow margin of just one vote. Even though there seems to be quite a lot of public support for the establishment of a regulated sports betting market, this latest defeat has put the brakes on any progress for the time being.
With so much public support though, there could be another attempt next year.
48. South Carolina
South Carolina has some pretty strict gambling laws and opposition to sports betting runs deep in the state. However, there have been some attempts in recent years to get those opposed to gambling on board with legal sports betting. In fact, the general public is starting to come around to the idea that a regulated market could have a positive impact on the state’s economy.
The most recent attempt to legalize sports betting came in 2020 when House Joint Resolution 3395 was brought before the house. This would amend the constitution to allow for sports betting. A similar resolution — Senate Joint Resolution 98 — was brought before the senate and both were referred to committees. Since then there has been no movement but advocates live in hope that sports betting in South Carolina may become a reality some time in the future.
Which states are unlikely to legalize sports betting?
There has been no indication whatsoever that Idaho lawmakers will introduce or even discuss the possibility of sports betting although this may change in the future.
Wisconsin lawmakers have made no effort to discuss sports betting in any shape or form.
Utah’s state constitution specifically mentions the state’s stance against gambling. Any introduction of gambling in any form at all would require a massive shift in attitude not only from the state’s lawmakers but also the electorate. This is highly unlikely to happen any time soon.