States With Legal US Sports Betting

As of Summer 2019, there are well over a dozen US states that have legal sports betting coming soon or have the industry already up and running. Land-based betting is the more popular option for states considering legalization, though this is likely a temporary phenomenon. Typically speaking, states like to introduce and roll out land-based wagering first, as this drives traffic to their existing casino and racino venues. Such infrastructure-building is key to maximizing existing investments in pro-gambling states, and once sports wagering is firmly established, you can expect these states to expand betting to domestically licensed online sportsbooks.

However, there is a big caveat with all the current sports wagering legalization going on in the US, and that’s that most residents will still not have access to local betting options in the near-term future. The US is large and spread out, and there are significant population centers that haven’t yet legalized sports betting. For example, California and Florida have yet to proffer any meaningful legislation on the matter, while states like Texas, Louisiana, Michigan, and North Carolina are considering bills but have no definite timelines by which we can expect to see legal sports betting within their borders. Most analysts suggest that there will be upwards of 40 US states with legal sports betting by 2023 or so.

Legal Land-Based Sports Betting In The US

Land-based sports betting is the favored variety of wagering for most states seeking legalization, though more and more states are adding online wagering considerations to their law proposals. This is because the first states to think about legalizing Vegas-style single-game betting have been states with established gambling industries. Many such states have been experiencing lulls in business in their various casino districts, too, which has made lawmakers more interested in boosting revenues at these venues.

The main concern for lawmakers is that if land-based sports betting is offered alongside mobile sports betting right out of the gate, these struggling venues – and the massive local economies supported or tied to them – will actually see foot-traffic cannibalized for more convenient online betting options. That’s a fair approach, and it makes a lot of sense. Once traffic and participation are boosted and casino locales are able to garner more “regulars” among their clientele, you will see such states approach online sports wagering with more seriousness. Trust the process!

Legal Online Sports Betting In The US

Of the first wave of states to legalize sports betting, only three have active online sportsbooks. Nevada has had such for years, with online sports betting being legalized all the way back in 2010, while New Jersey – the second state to offer legal online sports betting in the US – has only been offering the option since August 2018. West Virginia was the third state to legalize online sports wagering, but a legal dispute has temporarily sidelined the initiative (though online books are set to open once again by Q2 2019).

All that said, the so-called “second wave” of states to offer legal sports betting – that is, those states that have passed measures in the 2019 legislative session – have mostly embraced both land-based and online wagering. And one state in particular, Tennessee, has legalized only mobile betting, with no retail considerations or brick-and-mortar venues to speak of.

US States That Have Legal Sports Betting

The following 16 states have all legalized sports betting as of mid-2019. Each has different rules and standards in place, but they all offer the same kinds of wagering. Namely, they each offer full-service single-game sports betting. This means that bettors inside their borders can make straight bets, spread bets, totals bets, prop bets, futures wagers, and assemble high-risk, high-reward parlay tickets on both US and international sporting action.

Legal Nevada Sports Betting

Nevada legalized land-based sports wagering in 1949 and online betting in 2010. Nevada casinos and sportsbooks process roughly $5 billion in wagers each year, and the state’s 2018 revenue haul of $300 million set an all-time record. There are over 100 betting venues in NV, and the legal age to bet on sports there is 21 years old.

Legal New Jersey Sports Betting

New Jersey’s challenge of PASPA is what led to the Supreme Court overturn of the federal sports betting ban. New Jersey legalized sports betting on June 11, 2018, and accepted the first online sports wager on August 3. New Jersey posted a record sports betting handle in April of over $400 million. In order to wager on sports in NJ, you have to be 21 years of age.

Legal West Virginia Sports Betting

West Virginia legalized land-based sports wagering in March 2018, before the PASPA overturn. The state approved online wagering in June of the same year. The first brick-and-mortar bet was accepted on August 1, 2018, though online wagering has been temporarily suspended amid contract disputes between vendors. Bettors have to be 21 years of age in order to bet on sports at any of the five retail venues in the state.

Legal Pennsylvania Sports Betting

Pennsylvania is the second largest gambling market in the US. Land-based sports betting was legalized on October 30, 2017, before the PASPA overturn. The first bets were accepted on November 16, 2018. Online wagering is legal in PA, but no mobile betting platforms have launched yet. The first online sportsbooks are expected to go live sometime in Q2 2019. PA bettors have to be 21 or older, and state books are taxed at 36%, the highest rate in the nation.on sports at any of the five retail venues in the state.

Legal New York Sports Betting

New York sports betting was actually legalized way back in 2013. With PASPA gone, the state can now host sports betting at its four upstate NY casinos. Currently, sports betting is limited to these four land-based books only, as online betting would need to be legalized by the legislature and/or public referendum. Legal NY sports betting is scheduled to launch in Q3 2019. Bettors aged 21 and older can wager on sports in the Empire State.

Legal Arkansas Sports Betting

Arkansas legalized sports betting via public referendum on November 6, 2018. While no sportsbook has opened within the state yet, a total of four casino venues (two of which have yet to be constructed) will be able to offer the pastime to those 21 and up. The first AR sports wagers are expected to be taken sometime before the start of the 2019-2020 NFL season, which kicks off in September.

Legal Montana Sports Betting

Montana was the first to legalize sports betting in 2019 (May 4). Currently, MT sports betting is overseen by the state lottery, which will launch a mobile, Internet-based sportsbook by September. It is not clear what land-based options will be available. A bill to legalize wagering at the state’s many taverns was vetoed but may receive enough support to override the governor’s decision. MT law requires bettors to be at least 18 years old.

Legal Iowa Sports Betting

Iowa was the third state to legalize sports betting in 2019 (May 13). The state will allow those 21 and older to wager online statewide and at its 19 retail casino venues. In-game NCAA props are not allowed under the Iowa sports betting laws, and online betting requires in-person registration through the end of 2020. Betting should go live before the 2019-2020 NFL season.

Legal Delaware Sports Betting

Delaware was the second state to legalize sports betting, accepting its first land-based wager on June 5, 2018. The legal age to bet on sports in DE is 21, and there are currently only three venues where residents and visitors can do so. The DE Lottery is legally able to offer online sports betting, but the platform has not yet rolled out.

Legal Mississippi Sports Betting

Mississippi legalized sports betting in March 2017, well in preparation of the 2018 PASPA overturn. The state took its first land-based wagers on August 1, 2018. Online wagering was not legalized, however, and MS legislators will have to pass new legislation to allow state-licensed online sportsbooks to set up shop. You have to be 21 to wager on sports in MS.

Legal New Mexico Sports Betting

New Mexico has not technically legalized sports wagering, but the PASPA overturn allowed tribal casinos to offer sports betting per their state compacts. Online wagering is not available in NM, as this would require affirmative legislation. There is no timetable for when online betting will be legalized in the state. The Santa Ana Star was the first casino to open a sportsbook (October 16, 2018). In New Mexico, bettors must be 21 years of age or older to wager.

Legal Rhode Island Sports Betting

Rhode Island sports betting was legalized in mid-2018 with the first bets taken on November 26. Sports wagering is legal at both of the state’s two Twin River casino venues. The Rhode Island Lottery oversees sports wagering in the state. Mobile betting is legal, but no online RI book has launched to date. The first Internet sportsbook in Rhode Island should go live sometime in mid-2019. RI bettors only have to be 18 years old.

Legal Connecticut Sports Betting

Connecticut sports betting was legalized on July 10, 2017. However, the state has considerable work ahead of it as it seeks to establish the rules and regulations surrounding the pastime. Currently, there is no timetable for when the state and tribal agreements will actually allow sports betting to go live in the state. The legal age requirement and status of online betting in CT is not yet known.

Legal Washington DC Sports Betting

Washington DC legalized sports betting on December 18, 2018 in an 11-2 vote at the DC Council. The legislation allows for citywide mobile betting, wagering at sports venues, and betting at restaurants and liquor stores. The current age to legally wager on sports in Washington DC is 18 years old (though the DC Lottery or City Council could change this). Most analysts think DC sports betting will launch in Q3 2019.

Legal Indiana Sports Betting

Indiana was the second state of 2019 to legalize sports wagering (May 8). Statewide online betting is legal, as is sports betting at the state’s 13 casino and racino venues. Bettors in IN have to be at least 21 years of age in order to participate. The first brick-and-mortar sportsbooks are scheduled to open in time for the upcoming NFL season starting in September (2019-2020).

Legal Tennessee Sports Betting

Tennessee was the fourth state of 2019 to pass sports betting into law (May 14). The law is the first in the nation to mandate books pay leagues for “official league data”. Sports betting will be limited only to online wagering, with the potential for self-serve betting kiosks to be available in the future. TN lawmakers expect the first bets to be taken before September. Bettors in TN must be 21 years old to wager.

Legal US Sports Betting FAQs

When will I see legal betting venues in my state?

You will likely see a local, land-based wagering option in your state sometime before the end of 2023. Most analysts and industry insiders believe that up to 40 US states will have legalized sports wagering by then. However, if you use an offshore sportsbook, you can actually wager online right now, and it’s 100% legal to do so in all 50 states. Depending on how averse your state is to gambling expansion in general, you can gauge how likely sports wagering is to be legalized. For example, Utah is unlikely to broach the subject of legal betting, as is Hawaii. Large, sparsely-populated states like Wyoming or Alaska are also less likely to legalize sports betting in the near future.

Is it better to bet at a casino or with an online sportsbook?

This is a matter of personal preference. If you live near a casino or other gambling venue that offers sports betting, it may be best to wager at the retail venue. This is especially true if you want to go out and enjoy the atmosphere of a sports betting lounge, which is always a great place to watch the game. However, if you’re after sheer convenience, nothing beats legal offshore sportsbooks or state-licensed online sportsbooks. Additionally, if you live in a big city with a heavy “home team” fan presence, you will usually get much better odds at offshore books than in those cities’ local sportsbooks.

What is the best way to deposit into a legal US sportsbook?

If you are using a state-licensed local book (in person or online), you will have a variety of deposit options like credit, cash, checks, and various other services like PayNearMe or PayPal. If you are using an offshore sportsbook, you will have similar options, including checks, money orders, wire transfers, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Offshore books do no support cash, PayNearMe, or PayPal services, while domestic books do not support crypto.

What is the fastest way to collect my payouts from a legal US sportsbook?

If you are using a local sportsbook that has been approved and licensed by your state, withdrawing payouts is easy enough – just visit the cashier window with your ticket, select how you wish to be paid, and walk away with your money. Transfers are instantaneous, and you can have your cash in hand as soon as you request it. With offshore sportsbooks, the process is a bit different. Usually, payouts from overseas books can take up to two weeks if you select a courier check or a wire transfer. However, if you use Bitcoin or an altcoin, you can get your funds transferred within just a day or so.

Do legal US sportsbooks accept Bitcoin?

There are no domestic US sportsbooks that currently support Bitcoin payments or any other cryptocurrency banking options. If you wish to gamble on sports using crypto, you will have to use a reputable offshore sports betting site. While domestic books could accept crypto payments in the future, right now your only option for Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Cardano, and other supported altcoin deposits and withdrawals is to use an overseas sportsbook. However, if you do use overseas books, crypto is always going to be the best possible banking method with the fastest transfers and the lowest associated fees. Just remember that in order to withdraw in crypto, all the top books ask that you make your associated deposit via the same method.

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