The Gold Rush is on as the country gradually opens up to legalize sports betting on a state-by-state basis.
A Supreme Court ruling in 2018 which struck down a law banning sports betting (outside of Nevada) handed all states the power to put forward their own gambling and betting legislation. For all forms of gambling on sports.
Now, just two years later around 20 states are already open for business with many more in the process of passing bills. There are some stragglers, but you can expect that to change at an accelerating pace in the next four years. The United States has seen the financial value of embracing betting, and importantly, legalizing online…
Even now, astronomical figures are being staked already in states where betting is now legal (more than $37billion between June 2018 and December 2020 with $11billion of that in New Jersey alone). Those figures should get the attention of even the most stubborn states. With the economy in recession, not many states can afford to lose out on the potential tax revenues.
Stay up-to-date with the latest changes in American betting laws.
Your location right now governs your ability to bet legally, so it pays to keep updated about upcoming legislative changes.
OddsCritic’s overview has state betting laws split into three categories:
1 Where you can bet legally already.
2 Where legislation has passed, and you should be able to bet legally soon.
3 Where legislation is has not yet passed to legalize sports betting.
As well as the top-line position, we’ve also produced detailed state-by-state pages that tell you exactly how you can bet on sports in each locale. These are essential reading, since they provide the fine details, including slight local nuances which expand and ease your betting opportunities. Gambling law is complex, so it pays to stay across it.
While some states only allow land-based betting, via casinos and betting offices, many have embraced the future by allowing online and app-based sports betting.
Here’s an Overview of Betting Laws in the USA
States where Sports Betting is Legal and YOU CAN BET NOW
Arkansas: The state passed its initial bill to legalize sports betting in July 2019. For now this means you can only bet on sports at a small and specific list of land-based casinos in the state. There are no signs of online, mobile, or app-based wagering being legalized anytime soon.
Arizona: Massive news in April 2021 when Governor Doug Ducey signed off on HB 2772. Not only did it legalize retail and online sports betting, it also brought a new compact with local tribes. Mobile betting apps were up and running in time for the 2021 NFL season, which started September 9.
Colorado: Legal sports betting in Colorado went live in May 2020. The legislation included not just land-based sites but also online, app-based, and mobile sports betting. The local landscape is already competitive with a number of websites and apps open for business.
Delaware: Within weeks of that landmark 2018 Supreme Court ruling, Delaware moved quickly to make sports betting legal in the state. Online and mobile sports betting is not yet permitted. Instead you can place bets legally in one of three land-based casinos.
Illinois: Sports betting has been legal in Illinois since March 2020. The full suite of gambling options is available – from land-based sites to online/mobile sites and apps.
Indiana: In-person and mobile/online sports betting are both permitted in Indiana since early September 2020. However, there are some events you can’t bet on, so check out the state-specific rules.
Iowa: Spports betting in Iowa went live in August 2020, and this is another state to go all in with land-based sportsbooks as well as online and mobile services.
Maryland: Was expected to join the Gold Rush in 2021 after a November 2020 referendum voted in favor of sports betting. And Governor Larry Hogan signed the new sports betting bill (including) into law on May 18, 2021.
Michigan: March 11, 2020 saw the state of Michigan open its doors to sports betting at both land-based sites and online and mobile outlets.
Mississippi: Despite being early to market with legal sports betting, in August 2018, Mississippi does not allow online or mobile wagering. If you want to bet, you need to visit one of the state’s licensed water or land-based casinos.
Montana: It’s been legal to bet on sports in Montana since March 2020, but there is a hitch if you want to do it online. You have to be at a licensed land-based location to place a bet on your phone. The number of licensed sites is growing, all operated by Sports Bet Montana, a division of the Montana State Lottery.
Nevada: Not the only skin in the game any more. Nevada has been legal for decades and allows in-person and mobile gambling. Despite the increased competition, the thrill of a weekend on The Strip is unlikely to diminish any time soon.
New Jersey: The poster child for embracing the new world of sports betting in the USA, New Jersey was in the game just days after trail-blazing Delaware, in June 2018. NJ has bought in on a much deeper level, allowing both online and mobile gambling, as well as land-based sites. The results are spectacular, with the state handle surging past $800m for October 2020. Despite having Atlantic City at its heart, a huge percentage of revenue is mobile.
New Mexico: There has been no legislation passed to make sports betting legal in NM, but you CAN still bet in person at some tribal land-based sites. More details in our state-specific guide.
New York: Unlike its neighbour New Jersey, New York has not yet gone all in on sports betting. Since NY went legal in July 2019, the action has been limited to a number of upstate casinos, while online and mobile wagering in the state is still prohibited.
Oregon: In-person and online/mobile sports betting have been legal in Oregon since August 2019. You can only bet with the Scoreboard app from the Oregon Lottery, which controls all local sports betting.
Pennsylvania: The first legal sports bet in Pennsylvania was placed in late 2018, while the introduction of online and mobile wagering options followed in May 2019. Like New Jersey, Pennsylvania is expected to be one of the biggest hitters in state betting revenues.
Rhode Island: The original bill in 2018 to legalize sports betting included a small number of land-based sites, but 2019 saw the inclusion of mobile wagering. The only mobile product though is run by the Rhode Island Lottery.
Tennessee: Sports betting became legal in Tennessee in November 2020, but without in-person retail options. You can only bet on sports via online and mobile products – with four operators initially covering the state.
Virginia: One of the latest additions to legal sports betting in the USA, Virginia went live during January 2021 with online and mobile products. FanDuel launched swiftly due to a partnership with the in-state Washington Football Team NFL franchise.
West Virginia: One of the earliest states to adopt via land-based sites in August 2018. Online and mobile options soon followed, through these are limited at present. Check our state-specific guide for more information.
Wyoming: Legalized online sports betting in April 2021 and will allow a minimum of five sportsbooks to open up in-state. Both DraftKings and BetMGM went live September 1 – just in time for the kickoff of the 2021 NFL season.
States where Sports Betting Legislation has been Passed
Connecticut: Thanks to a local 2017 bill and the subsequent Supreme Court strikedown of PASPA, sports betting is technically legal in Connecticut. Lawmakers still have to work through the details of how to roll it out.
Florida: One of the biggest chips in the U.S. fell in April 2021 when Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new 30-year gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe. It allows the Tribe to exclusively operate legal sports betting (including online) in return for at least $500million annually in payments to the state. It will though likely mean a limited offering for bettors.
Louisiana: Sports betting is now technically legal in the state after the public voted in favor of legalization in 55 of 64 local parishes during the November 2020 election. Two of three sports betting bills have passed with the third expected to follow shortly. That should mean legal sports betting in time for the 2021 football season in September.
North Carolina: The state passed a bill in 2019 to allow sports betting at two land-based casinos. However, sports betting is still not available to bettors, since the state needs to conclude negotiations with the tribal jurisdiction that owns the casinos. There will be no online or mobile options in the forseeable future.
South Dakota: Voters did approve sports betting in Deadwood, in November 2020, but now lawmakers must work out the details. Opportunities for bettors will be limited – they need to be on the premises at a licensed Deadwood site to place ANY bets.
Washington: While sports betting is effectively legal now in the state of Washington, it is not live and there are major catches. Only tribal casinos will be allowed to offer sportsbooks, and mobile betting will only be allowed on-site at tribal casinos.
States where Sports Betting Legislation has not been Passed
Alabama: An attempt to legalize sports betting in Alabama failed in 2020. It wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last. For now, though, the wait goes on.
Alaska: A bill on sports betting was put forward in 2020, but so far it’s received little attention. The wait for local legalization could be a long one.
California: A huge market with massive sports betting potential. So far there’s no sign of legalization. There is progress, but it’s slow and difficult, with hostilities between local tribes and cardrooms.
Georgia: A bill including sports betting was filed ahead of the 2021-22 legislative session in Georgia. This is a positive sign, though up to that point progress had been slow.
Hawaii: There have been attempts to legalize sports betting in Hawaii since that 2018 Supereme Court ruling. But they have attracted little support and there is no in-person, online or mobile sports betting allowed.
Idaho: Shows no sign of movement in this state, at all. No bills have been put forward and the appetite for sports betting is lukewarm at best. This could be a long wait.
Kansas: A locale which appears to be in a strong position to legalize in 2021. A bill is already in progress which would allow both land-based and mobile betting, all via a small number of state-owned casinos.
Kentucky: Somewhat surprisingly, the bill to legalize sports betting in Kentucky didn’t didn’t pass in 2020. Advocates will try again in 2021.
Maine: Governor Janet Mills vetoed the bill to legalize sports betting in Maine in 2021 – just when the ball was about to break the plane… Another attempt is expected soon.
Massachusetts: Attempts to legalize sports betting in the state have so far been blocked. Locals hope that the joys of sports betting may finally reach their state later in 2021.
Minnesota: Another state vs tribes standoff which shows no sign of ending any time soon. For now there’s no legal sports betting in Minnesota.
Missouri: Expected to legalize sports betting in 2021, with many question marks. A number of bills have been put forward, so much of the details are still unknown.
Nebraska: A pretty complicated situation locally here. Voters did approve “any game of chance” in late 2020, but the referendum didn’t specifically talk about sports betting. So expect more talking and legal process before the green light (hopefully) arrives.
North Dakota: Aside from a failed attempt to get a bill moving in 2019, there has been little sign of any progress here. Legalized sports betting seems a distant possibility at present.
Ohio: Slow progress is being made in Ohio. While a bill has passed in the State House, the State Senate is proving resistant to the legalization of sports bets. Detail and approval still are still being thrashed out, so bettors must wait while for some local action.
Oklahoma: A really complicated situation with the State Governor and Attorney General at odds over the future. For now it means an deadlock and no legal sports betting options.
South Carolina: We still a ways off here. After failed bids to legalize sports betting in 2019, there was little movement in 2020. The topic is now back on the agenda, but apparently with significant barriers. Check out our state-specific guide for more details.
Texas: Another massive market with huge potential, but no action yet. However, with the state looking at a massive budget deficit and needing to recover from a catastrophic winter, its Congress may start to look at sports betting in 2021.
Utah: Given its strong allegiance to the Mormon faith, sports betting is unlikely to hit Utah in the short term, if at all.
Vermont: Sports betting is not legal as yet in Vermont, but there is a bill in motion to look at how it might be rolled out. Expect progress in 2021.
Wisconsin: One of a very small number of states which haven’t even look at the possibility of legalizing sports betting. No bills yet, and no sign of any.