Where is Sports Betting Legal? Find Out Which States Allow Sports Betting

Sports betting has been a popular pastime for many people for decades, but for the longest time, it was illegal in most of the United States. However, with the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018, states have been able to legalize and regulate sports betting on their own terms.

As of now, over 20 states have legalized sports gambling in some capacity, and more are expected to follow suit in the coming years. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of all the states that currently allow sports betting, as well as information on the regulations and limitations that come with each.

Whether you’re a seasoned sports bettor or just curious about the industry, this guide will help you navigate the legal landscape and make informed decisions when it comes to betting on your favorite sports teams and events. So sit back, relax, and let’s dive in to the world of legal sports betting in America.

Why Legalization of Sports Betting Matters?

The legalization of sports betting opens up new opportunities for states to generate revenue and boost their economies. By legalizing sports betting, states can create jobs, increase tourism, and stimulate local businesses.

By allowing sports betting, states can also regulate the activity and ensure that consumers are protected. This means that operators are held accountable for their actions and that consumers have access to fair and transparent markets.

Furthermore, the legalization of sports betting can help to combat illegal gambling. By providing a legal and regulated alternative, states can reduce the influence of illegal markets and the organized crime that can be associated with them LeoVegas.

In addition to these benefits, sports betting can also provide entertainment and excitement for sports fans. By allowing individuals to place bets on their favorite teams and athletes, states can enhance the overall fan experience and increase engagement with sports events.

Overall, the legalization of sports betting offers a range of benefits for states and their residents. By creating a legal and regulated environment, states can generate revenue, create jobs, protect consumers, combat illegal gambling, and enhance the sports fan experience.

The Evolution of Sports Betting in the United States

Sports betting has been a popular pastime in the United States for centuries. The early forms of sports betting can be traced back to the late 1700s when horse racing was a popular sport. People would place bets on the outcome of the race and try to predict the winner.

The 19th century saw the rise of baseball and boxing as popular sports in the United States. Gambling on these sports also increased, but it was mostly done through informal channels like bookies and illegal gambling houses.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 was a federal law that effectively prohibited sports betting in the United States. The law made it illegal for states to authorize or license sports betting. However, a few states were grandfathered in and allowed to continue offering sports betting.

In 2018, the United States Supreme Court overturned PASPA, opening the door for states to legalize and regulate sports betting. Since then, many states have moved to legalize sports betting. As of 2021, more than 20 states have legalized sports betting, while others are considering legislation to do so.

  • Key points:
  • The early forms of sports betting in the United States can be traced back to horse racing in the late 1700s.
  • Baseball and boxing also became popular sports to bet on in the 19th century.
  • The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 prohibited sports betting in the United States, but was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2018.
  • More than 20 states have legalized sports betting since the overturning of PASPA.

The Current State of Sports Betting in the US

Over the past few years, the landscape of sports betting in the United States has dramatically changed. Prior to 2018, it was only legal to place a bet on sports in Nevada. However, this all changed in May of 2018, when the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that banned sports betting in most states.

Since then, many states have taken advantage of this ruling and legalized sports betting. As of September 2021, 32 states and the District of Columbia have laws in place that allow for sports betting in some form or another.

The types of sports betting available vary from state to state, with some offering in-person betting at casinos, while others allow for online and mobile betting. Some states have imposed restrictions on certain types of wagers, such as prohibit betting on college sports or placing bets on esports.

While the landscape of sports betting is constantly evolving, it’s clear that this industry is here to stay in the US. With more and more states legalizing sports betting every year, it’s possible that every state may eventually allow for this popular pastime.

How to Place Your Bets in States Where Sports Betting Is Legal?

Sports betting has exploded in popularity in the United States since the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports gambling in 2018. If you live in a state where sports betting is legal, you can now legally place bets on your favorite sporting events. If you're new to sports betting, here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Understand the Odds

Before placing your bets, it's important to understand how odds work. Odds represent the probability of an event happening. In sports betting, odds are used to determine how much money you can win on a bet. There are three types of odds: American, decimal, and fractional. Make sure you understand the odds format used by your sportsbook.

2. Choose a Sportsbook

There are a lot of sportsbooks to choose from, and each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. Research different sportsbooks to find the one that best meets your betting needs. Look for a sportsbook that offers competitive odds, a wide range of sports to bet on, and a user-friendly interface.

3. Set a Budget

It's important to remember that sports betting should be done for fun, not to make money. Set a budget for yourself and stick to it. Only bet what you can afford to lose. Don't chase your losses by betting more money than you originally planned.

4. Start Small

If you're new to sports betting, it's a good idea to start small. Place small bets on a few different games to get a feel for how it works. As you become more comfortable, you can start placing larger bets.

5. Do Your Research

Before placing your bets, do your research. Look at historical data, injury reports, and any other relevant information that can help inform your betting decisions. Don't be swayed by hype or emotion. Make informed bets based on data and analysis.

By following these tips, you can start placing bets on your favorite sporting events with confidence and ease.

Benefits of Legalized Sports Betting for States

Legalizing sports betting can bring several benefits to states that allow it. One significant benefit is the increase in tax revenue. States can collect taxes on the betting revenue, which can help fund various state programs such as education, healthcare and infrastructure. According to a report by Oxford Economics, legalizing sports betting could generate up to $8 billion in annual revenue for states.

Another advantage is the creation of new jobs. Sports betting requires staff for operations, management, marketing, and security. By legalizing it, states can create new job opportunities and boost their economy. The industry is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs, as per the American Gaming Association.

Legalized sports betting can also help combat illegal gambling. Since it is tough to regulate illegal gambling operations, legalizing sports betting can move bettors towards legal and safe betting options. This reduces the risks associated with illegal gambling, such as fraud and exploitation.

Furthermore, legalized sports betting can boost tourism and attract visitors. Some states allow online betting, attracting customers from other states or countries. It can increase tourism revenue and create new opportunities for businesses, such as hotels and restaurants. According to the American Sports Betting Coalition, 19% of bettors who traveled to other states to place bets would instead stay in their home state if sports betting was legalized.

The benefits of legalizing sports betting are significant for states. Tax revenue, job creation, reduction in illegal gambling, and growth in tourism are some of the benefits that states can enjoy by legalizing sports betting.

Arguments Against Legalizing Sports Betting

While the legalization of sports betting has gained traction in several states, there are still strong arguments against the practice. Here are some of the most common arguments:

  • Addiction: Critics argue that sports betting can be addictive and lead to harmful behavior, similar to how gambling addiction can ruin lives.
  • Integrity: Those opposed to sports betting worry about the potential for match-fixing and other illegal activities that could harm the integrity of sports.
  • Exploitation: Some argue that legalizing sports betting takes advantage of vulnerable individuals, particularly those with gambling addictions or financial struggles.
  • Social Costs: Legalizing sports betting could result in an increase in social costs, such as increased crime and bankruptcy rates.

Despite these arguments against legalizing sports betting, proponents argue that regulation and oversight can mitigate these concerns. They also point to the potential economic benefits, such as increased tax revenue and job creation.

States Where Sports Betting Is Legal

If you're a sports fan who loves to bet on your favorite teams, it's important to know which states have legalized sports betting. In the United States, sports betting is regulated at the state level, meaning that each state has its own laws and regulations regarding sports betting.

As of 2021, there are 24 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized sports betting in some form. These states include:

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Nevada
  • West Virginia
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • Colorado

In addition to these states, several other states have passed legislation to legalize sports betting, but have not yet launched their programs. These states include:

  1. Tennessee
  2. Montana
  3. North Carolina
  4. Illinois
  5. Maryland
  6. Michigan
  7. Virginia
  8. Washington

If you're planning to bet on sports, it's important to check the laws in your state to ensure that sports betting is legal. Additionally, it's important to gamble responsibly and never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Factors Affecting the Growth of the Sports Betting Market

The sports betting market has seen a significant growth in recent years, with an increasing number of states legalizing sports betting. This growth can be attributed to various factors that make the market more attractive to both the operators and the customers.

  • Advancements in technology: The advancements in technology have made it easier for sports betting operators to offer their services to a wider audience. With the increasing use of mobile devices, customers can access sports betting platforms from anywhere and at any time.
  • Changing attitudes towards sports betting: The negative stigma associated with sports betting is gradually fading away. People are increasingly accepting it as a form of entertainment and a way to make money. This has led to an increase in the number of people participating in sports betting.
  • Legalization of sports betting: The legalization of sports betting in more states has been a major factor in the growth of the sports betting market. This has made it easier for operators to offer their services legally and to attract more customers.
  • Increased marketing and advertising: Sports betting operators are constantly developing new ways to attract customers, including offering bonuses, promotions, and loyalty programs. They also advertise their services extensively to reach a wider audience.
  • Expansion of sports betting options: The expansion of sports betting options, including in-play betting and live streaming, has made it more attractive to customers. This has led to an increase in the number of people participating in sports betting.

Overall, the growth of the sports betting market can be attributed to a combination of factors, including advancements in technology, changing attitudes towards sports betting, legalization of sports betting, increased marketing and advertising, and the expansion of sports betting options.

Top Sports Betting Markets in the US


Nevada is known as the sports betting capital of the United States. Las Vegas, situated in the state, is home to some of the most famous sportsbooks in the world. While other states are beginning to legalize sports betting, Nevada remains the premier destination for sports bettors.

New Jersey

Since the Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting in 2018, New Jersey has quickly become one of the top sports betting markets in the US. With a thriving online and in-person sports betting industry, New Jersey has seen millions of dollars in revenue since the legalization of sports betting.


Pennsylvania quickly followed New Jersey in legalizing sports betting after the federal ban was overturned. With a large population and multiple major sports teams, Pennsylvania has become a popular destination for sports bettors in the Northeast.


Iowa was one of the first states in the Midwest to legalize sports betting, and the market has been steadily growing since. Many of the state's casinos now offer sports betting, and the industry is expected to continue to expand in the coming years.


Indiana legalized sports betting in 2019, and the industry has exploded since then. The state's casinos and mobile betting apps have seen significant revenue, and many professional sports teams have partnered with sportsbooks to increase visibility and fan engagement.


Colorado legalized sports betting in 2020, and the industry is already showing considerable promise. With a large number of professional sports teams and a population of avid sports fans, Colorado is positioned to become one of the top sports betting markets in the US.

  • Other notable sports betting markets:
  • Michigan
  • Tennessee
  • Illinois
  • Virginia

As more and more states legalize sports betting, the landscape of the industry is constantly changing. However, these states are currently home to some of the most thriving sports betting markets in the US.

Famous Sports Betting Scandals in the US

Sports betting scandals are not new to the United States and have been happening for many years. Some of the most well-known scandals have involved professional athletes, coaches, and even team owners. These scandals have rocked the world of sports and have led to harsh punishments for those involved.

One of the most infamous scandals occurred in the early 1900s, known as the Black Sox Scandal. Eight Chicago White Sox players were accused of throwing the 1919 World Series in exchange for money from gamblers. All players involved were found guilty, banned from baseball for life and four of them were even sent to prison.

In more recent years, the Tim Donaghy scandal shook professional basketball to its core. Donaghy, a former NBA referee, was found to have bet on games he officiated and even provided inside information to gamblers. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison and the NBA worked to repair its image and restore trust in the league.

The New England Patriots were also embroiled in a betting scandal in 2007 known as "Spygate". The team was caught filming the hand signals of the New York Jets coaching staff during a game. The Patriots were fined and lost a draft pick as a result.

Perhaps the most recent and ongoing sports betting scandal is the investigation into college basketball recruiting, where coaches and players are accused of taking money from agents and shoe companies for their commitment to certain universities. This scandal has yet to fully play out, but it has already led to the firing and resignation of multiple coaches and has brought attention to the issue of amateurism in college sports.

Overall, sports betting scandals can have a lasting impact on the reputation of sports and can also result in severe punishments for those involved. It is important for the integrity of sports to continue to fight against illegal betting and unethical behavior within the industry.

Responsible Gambling

While sports betting can be an enjoyable and exciting activity, it is important to recognize that it can also lead to addiction and financial strain. Thus, responsible gambling practices are crucial in ensuring that individuals do not develop a harmful relationship with sports betting.

One way to practice responsible gambling is to limit the amount of money and time spent on betting activities. Setting a budget and sticking to it can help prevent overspending and accumulating debt. Additionally, taking breaks from betting can prevent excessive involvement and the development of addiction.

It is also important to seek support and resources if sports betting becomes a problem. This can include speaking with a therapist or counselor, joining a support group, or speaking with a trusted friend or family member. Many states offer resources and helplines for individuals struggling with gambling addiction.

Finally, it is the responsibility of sports betting providers to promote responsible gambling practices. This can include offering resources and support to customers, providing information about the risks and potential harms of sports betting, and implementing measures to prevent underage gambling or excessive betting.

  • Set a budget: Determine an amount of money that you are comfortable spending on sports betting activities and stick to it.
  • Take breaks: Give yourself time away from betting activities to prevent excessive involvement and addiction.
  • Seek support: Reach out to a therapist, counselor, support group, or helpline if sports betting becomes a problem.
  • Provider responsibility: It is the responsibility of sports betting providers to promote responsible gambling practices and prevent harm.

The Future of Sports Betting in the US

The legalization of sports betting has been a hotly debated issue in the United States, with opinions divided on its impact on society. However, the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018 has opened up opportunities for states to decide their own laws and regulations on sports betting.

Currently, over 20 states have legalized sports betting, and many others are considering introducing legislation. The industry is growing rapidly, with projections suggesting that it could be worth up to $8 billion by 2025.

As more states legalize sports betting and the industry continues to grow, it is likely that there will be increased competition among sportsbooks. This may lead to advancements in technology and more innovative ways to engage customers, such as virtual and augmented reality experiences.

However, there are also concerns about the potential for problem gambling and addiction, and it will be important for states to implement effective measures to address these issues. Education and awareness programs, as well as responsible gaming initiatives, can help to mitigate the risks associated with sports betting.

  • Overall, the future of sports betting in the US looks promising, with many opportunities for growth and innovation. However, it is important for states to approach the industry with caution and take steps to minimize its negative impacts.