Where Is Sports Betting Legal in the US?
There’s a reason why the global sports betting market is expected to be worth $179.3 billion by 2028. As more and more states and countries legalize this form of gambling, we can only expect this figure to get larger.
Unfortunately, knowing where the legal sports gambling states are in the US can be a challenge. That’s because legislation is changing every month.
So, where is sports betting legal in the US? And what states are expected to have legal sports betting in the US soon?
If you want to learn the answers to these questions, and more, then you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about legal sports betting in the United States.
Which States is Sports Betting Legal?
These days, legal sports betting in the US has grown a lot. For this, you can thank a 2018 decision made by the United States Supreme Court. Specifically, the ruling from the case Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association.
For years the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (also known as PASPA) has prevented legal gambling from occurring in both professional and college sports.
This law was passed in 1992 to prevent sports gambling from spilling out of Nevada. However, it ended up giving Nevada a monopoly on sports gambling.
Thankfully, after the Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association ruling, justices found this law unconstitutional. So, from 2018 onward states have been given the right to decide whether or not sports betting can be legal in their local sports betting laws.
And many states have opened up their laws to accommodate this lucrative industry. So, in what states is sports betting legal? Here are the ones that allow online sports betting:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
So, if you live in any of these areas, then you can start taking advantage of weekly bets right away!
In-Person Legal Sports Betting in the US
Unfortunately, not every state is lucky enough to have online betting. The good news is that five states that don’t allow online betting still allow in-person betting.
So, what are these in-person legalized sports gambling states? Let’s start with Delaware. In this state, sports betting initiatives are tied directly to the state’s lottery.
So, in an attempt to make more money for the lottery, they’ve outlawed mobile betting. Next, there’s Maryland, which has been running in-person sports betting since 2021.
Unfortunately, mobile operators are in a bit of legal limbo, though that could change soon. Mississippi has always had a strong sports betting industry. That being said, it’s not likely to expand to mobile betting.
However, there is an important caveat. As long as you’re in one of the casinos in Mississippi, then you can bet online. In North Carolina, sports betting is legal at retail locations.
But, these are limited to two tribal casinos in the state. Sadly, the issue of expansion will likely be tabled until 2023.
Lastly, there’s South Dakota, which has one brick-and-mortar casino sportsbook that you can currently take advantage of.
Potential Legalized Sports Gambling States
Sadly, if you haven’t seen your state listed so far, then it means sports gambling is currently illegal. However, all hope isn’t lost! Many states have upcoming legislation that could change the legality of sports gambling.
Let’s start with California. Currently, there is both in-person gambling and mobile betting legislation on the ballot this year. However, whether or not it will get passed ultimately comes down to voters.
Florida is also primed for gambling legislation. In fact, for two months in 2021, sports betting was legal in the state. However, that ended when a federal judge struck down the agreement.
For the time being, an appeal has been issued, but no decision has been reached. Next, there’s Kansas. This state-approved legalized sports betting in 2022. However, further action is required by regulators before action can take effect.
Expect the first bets to take place in the early fall of 2022.
Massachuschet, Nebraska, and Maine also fall in the category of states that have approved sports betting but are still waiting on regulation. Hopefully, this purgatory period will end as soon as possible.
States That Aren’t Likely to Legalize Sports Gambling
We’ve covered some states where the legality of sports gambling could change soon. Unfortunately, some states have no plans to make sports gambling legal any time soon.
Let’s start with Alaska. Here, there is absolutely no movement toward legal sports gambling. The same goes for Idaho and Utah, which currently have laws actively preventing gambling.
Some states, like Alabama, have legislation hearings on the horizon. But, the outlook for them doesn’t look very promising. And Alabama isn’t alone.
Here are some of the states that won’t have any possible action until 2023 or later:
- South Carolina
Hawaii has some sports betting legislation that’s currently under consideration. Sadly, it’s considered by many to be a long shot.
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