If you are looking to offer sports betting, you need to know all about its complex legal issues here in the United States. Sports betting in the US is growing all the time and it is available in over two dozen states right now. However, some still only offer in-person bets.
Here, we will look at legalized sports betting in all 50 states, to see how far they have come and how much it is progressing.
It was back in 2018 that the Supreme Court took the decision to strike down the federal ban on sports bets, allowing each state to decide on their own legalities. So, where are we now? What states are currently allowing sports betting and what ones are in the process of legalization. That’s why we have put together this comprehensive look at all states, so you know exactly where you stand.
Nearly all states have at least considered legalizing sports betting, but in truth, it seems that full online sportsbooks won’t be legal in at least a dozen states for a few years yet, due to political opposition or complexities surrounding the state’s tribal relationship.
Where Sports Betting Is Legal Right Now
Here are the states where sports betting is (and isn’t) allowed in some shape or form.
In April 2021, Arizona passed an inclusive online sports betting bill, allowing for mobile betting and in-stadium sportsbooks.
Online sportsbetting was launched in time for the 2021 NFL season, on September 9th.
Sports betting was legalized in Arkansas and launched at the beginning of July 2019 at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort. It wasn’t until February 2022 that they finalized the rules allowing up to eight online sportsbooks to partner with the state’s casinos. The first online sports betting site was launched on March 5th 2022.
Colorado first started accepting online and physical bets in 2020 and now has one of the most robust markets in the country. In September 2020, it recorded over $200 million in monthly betting handle.
This state offers full mobile betting with multiple options. In 2021, the state Governor and tribes reached a deal allowing for a statewide mobile sportsbook. This can now open up to 15 retail sportsbooks.
Delaware offers in-person sports betting only. It became the first state outside of Nevada to accept a legal single-game sports wager – even before New Jersey. However, the state still does not allow online betting and has only three retail sportsbooks.
The steps towards legalizing sports betting have currently come to a halt and look unlikely to resume in the near future. Currently, it isn’t looking good for Florida – and chances are, it won’t happen for at least another 2 to 3 years.
Currently, Illinois offers full mobile and online betting with numerous options. It originally launched sports betting in March 2020, with online sports betting following in June that same year. This is one of the most sports-crazy states in the US and looks all set to be one of the biggest players in the US betting sphere.
The state voted to get rid of the requirements for in-person registration in March 2022. Illinois prohibits sports betting on in-state colleges.
As of 2022, Indiana is also a state that offers full online and mobile betting with numerous options. Sports betting in Indiana went live in September 2019 and has exploded, often pulling in more than $200 million in handle per month in football season.
This is another state that offers full mobile and online sports betting options to residents. Iowa started taking bets in August 2019 and the industry has continued to grow. In September 2020, the state took an impressive $72 million in bets, even though it is smaller in population and has no professional sports teams.
Another state that offers full mobile betting is Louisiana. Online betting was launched in the state reasonably recently, in January 2022. However, in-person retail betting launched in October of 2021.
Currently, Maryland only offers its residents in-person betting only. They agreed to legalize sports betting in November 2020. This was finalized in April 2021, allowing for 30 retail options and 60 online betting sites. In-person sports betting was finally launched in December 2021 and it is likely that online sports betting may not launch until fall 2022.
As it stands, Michigan allows for full online betting as of 2022. Retail sports betting was first launched in March 2020, with online sports betting going live at the beginning of 2021. This is now becoming one of the biggest sports betting markets in the US.
As of 2022, Mississippi allows for retail sports betting only. It was quick off the mark with this, opening for business in August 2018. Technically it does have online and mobile wagering but this can only be done when at a casino. It seems that passing a statewide online sports betting bill will be difficult.
Another state that allows only for retail sports betting in Montana. Montana started taking bets in March 2020 and has monopolized the industry. As such, it isn’t one of the biggest states for sports wagering.
Nevada is the home of gambling and offers full online and mobile sports betting – although in-person registration is required. So, as of 2022, anyone looking to bet online will need to physically go to a casino to register an account before betting online.
This state offers its residents online mobile betting. This was officially launched at the end of December 2019. They don’t currently have many options for mobile betting, however.
New Jersey was the one to get the ball rolling in the attempt to strike the federal rules on online betting. As such, it offers full mobile and online betting. 80% of the bets made in New Jersey are placed online. The state regularly beats Nevada in monthly sports betting handle.
Currently, no bills have been passed in the state. However, it does offer in-person sports betting. To date, there are only a handful of retail sportsbooks in the state – and it was the first state to take votes without legislation being passed.
New York state allows for full mobile betting and has lots of options. Online sports betting in the state opened up for business in January 2022. Previous to this, there were a few tribal casinos upstate, but nothing that gained much traction. However, as of the start of 2022, sports bettors can start placing wagers from the comfort of their own homes. This means that state residents no longer have to head over to New Jersey to place their online bets.
The state of North Carolina has legalized in-person sports betting only, as of July 2019. However, it wasn’t until March 2021 that they started taking their first bets.
In terms of online betting, some state lawmakers are optimistic that it could launch in time for the 2022 NFL season. However, the state Governor is pushing for an earlier launch.
This is one of the states that allows only for in-person retail sports betting. Because of tribal pacts, this is one of the few states that has been allowed to accept sports wagers without the need for legislation. There have been attempts to push for online sports betting sites, but it failed by just a few votes in 2021, although it may be revisited in 2022.
In the state of Oregon, residents can only access one single online betting option. Legal sports bets can only be made via the state lottery app, which launched in 2019. This is currently the only legal online sports betting option of any kind.
It is worth noting that in-state college betting is not allowed at this point in time.
In the state of Pennsylvania, residents can enjoy complete access to full mobile betting – with many options. It was amongst just a handful of states that started accepting legal retail sports bets back in 2018. It was followed in 2019 with its online sports betting launch. Now, it is one of the biggest sports betting markets in the US.
Up until 2022, it has regularly boasted the third-highest monthly sports betting handle, behind Nevada and New Jersey.
Residents of Rhode Island have access to just one mobile betting option. The state has been offering legal sports betting since 2018. However, currently, there is only one legal online and retail sportsbook in the state.
Lawmakers repealed the in-person mobile registration requirement. However, there is still limited revenue, given its size and population.
South Dakota is another state that allows only for retail sports betting, with the first one opening its doors in September 2021. Sports betting in the state was initially legalized in November 2020, but retail only. Currently, sports wagers can only be made within Deadwood and tribal lands. However, some policymakers believe that there is a chance of statewide mobile wagering being approved, as long as servers are located in Deadwood. There has been little traction in 2021 up til now, but it might be an interesting market in the future.
State residents in Tennessee can enjoy full online and mobile betting options. However, there are no casinos located in the state, so it is online sports wagering only. It took around 18 months to launch its first sportsbook after the legislation was passed, however, it looks set to grow in the future, as long as restrictions are loosened.
The state of Virginia allows for full online and mobile betting options and took its first sports bets in January 2021. It currently has a cap on how many skins can enter the market.
Washington first legalized sports betting in March 2020 and allows only for in-person retail sports betting, only at certain tribal casinos. There is only mobile sports betting allowed if it happens whilst actually located within a casino facility. Statewide mobile betting looks unlikely in the near future.
There are limited mobile betting options in DC. As it stands, there is one legal District-wide mobile app, which is run by the state lottery – and there is no legal competition. This means that betting odds and lines aren’t great as there is no reason to be generous.
The state also has one retail sportsbook, and they allow mobile wagering, but only in that venue.
West Virginia has legalized full mobile betting. Although there were some hiccups initially, it has been alive and kicking since 2019.
Similarly, Wyoming has also legalized full online and mobile sports betting. The first mobile sports betting site took its first bet in September 2021.
States Where Sports Betting is Pending
These are the states where sports betting isn’t yet allowed but is looking like it might be legalized – possibly by the end of 2022.
In Ohio, sports betting has been approved, but it is still awaiting further action, required by regulators. This has the potential to be a very lucrative market as it is full of sports-crazy residents.
In late 2021, state legislators passed an online sports betting bill, which has been approved. Optimistically, it may launch by the start of the NFL season 2022, but pessimistically, it may not happen until closer to the end of 2022. However, the law states that it must launch before January 2023.
This is another state where sports betting has already been approved and is awaiting further action. Currently, the bill permits retail sportsbooks only at brick and mortar facilities. It could happen at any time in 2022. However, betting on in-state college teams will not be allowed.
The third on the list is Wisconsin, which again has approved sports betting but has yet to take its first bet. The bill, signed in July 2021 allows tribes to open sportsbooks at their casinos. However, it does not include statewide mobile betting or wagers on in-state college teams.