Which States Have Legalized Sports Betting? A Comprehensive Guide

Are you a sports fan who enjoys a little bit of betting here and there? Do you live in the USA and are wondering where you can legally place your bets? You’ve come to the right place. Sports betting laws in the United States have undergone a lot of changes in recent years, and it can be hard to keep up with which states have made it legal and which haven’t.

That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate guide to the states where sports betting is legal in the USA. We’ll cover everything you need to know, from the states where online sports betting is legal to the ones where you can only place bets in-person. Whether you’re a seasoned sports bettor or just getting started, this article will give you all the information you need to know to make the most of legal sports betting in the USA.

So, sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of legal sports betting in America.

Understanding Sports Betting

Sports betting is the act of placing a wager on the outcome of a sports game or event. This practice has been popular for centuries, and it is still a popular pastime around the world. In the United States, sports betting has become more mainstream in recent years, with the legalization of the practice in several states.

There are many types of sports bets that gamblers can make, including moneyline bets, point spread bets, and totals bets. Moneyline bets are the most straightforward type of bet, where a gambler simply wagers on which team will win the game. Point spread bets involve a margin of victory, where a gambler must guess whether a team will win by a certain number of points or lose by less than a certain number of points. Totals bets involve the total number of points that will be scored in a game LeoVegas.

While sports betting can be exciting and potentially lucrative, it is also important to practice responsible gambling. This includes setting a budget for how much money you can afford to lose, avoiding betting on impulse, and only participating in legal sports betting in states where it is allowed. With the right approach, sports betting can be a safe and enjoyable way to add excitement to your favorite sports games.

The History of Sports Betting in the USA

Sports betting has a long and complicated history in the United States. While it has been a popular pastime for centuries, it has also faced significant legal challenges. In fact, until recently, sports betting was illegal in most parts of the country.

One of the earliest attempts to regulate sports betting in the USA was the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992. PASPA made it illegal for states to allow sports betting, with the exception of a few states that were already grandfathered in. This law remained in place until it was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2018.

Over the years, there have been several attempts to legalize sports betting throughout the country. In 2020, there are now more states that have legalized sports betting than ever before. However, the legality of sports betting varies from state to state, and it is still illegal in some areas.

  • 1930s - Nevada legalizes sports betting in an effort to boost the state's gambling industry
  • 1950s - Sports betting becomes more popular, leading to increased scrutiny and stricter laws
  • 1992 - PASPA is passed, effectively banning sports betting throughout the US
  • 2018 - The Supreme Court strikes down PASPA, paving the way for states to legalize sports betting
  • 2020 - Sports betting is legal in more than 20 states, with more expected to follow in the coming years

The history of sports betting in the USA has been a rocky one, but it's clear that attitudes are changing. As more states legalize sports betting, the industry is expected to continue to grow and evolve in the coming years.

The Legal Landscape of Sports Betting in the USA

In May 2018, the US Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting, giving individual states the power to legalize and regulate sports betting within their borders. Since then, a number of states have passed laws legalizing sports betting, while others are still in the process of crafting and implementing their own regulations.

Each state has its own unique set of laws and regulations regarding sports betting, which can be confusing and overwhelming for both bettors and operators. Some states have only legalized online betting, while others have allowed in-person betting at casinos or designated sportsbooks. Additionally, there are restrictions on the types of sports that can be bet on and the types of bets that can be placed.

It's important to note that even in states where sports betting is legal, it's still illegal to place bets on college and youth sports. There are also strict regulations in place to ensure that sports betting is conducted in a fair and transparent manner, with measures in place to prevent problem gambling and protect vulnerable individuals.

  • As of 2021, the following states have legalized sports betting:
    1. Nevada
    2. New Jersey
    3. Delaware
    4. Maryland
    5. Michigan
    6. Pennsylvania
    7. Virginia
    8. West Virginia
    9. Tennessee
    10. Illinois
    11. Iowa
    12. Rhode Island

It's worth noting that the legal landscape of sports betting in the USA is constantly evolving, with more states expected to legalize and regulate sports betting in the coming years. This means that it's important for bettors and operators alike to stay up-to-date with the latest laws and regulations in their state.

Which states have legalized sports betting?

Sports betting has become more widely accepted in the United States since the Supreme Court lifted the ban in 2018. While it's currently legal in many states, the rules vary between them. Here are some of the states that have legalized sports betting:

  • New Jersey: New Jersey was the first state to legalize sports betting after the Supreme Court overturned the nationwide ban. You can legally bet on sports in person and online in New Jersey.
  • Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania legalized sports betting in 2018, shortly after the Supreme Court's decision. You can place bets at casinos and racetracks or online through sports betting apps.
  • Colorado: Colorado passed a sports betting bill in 2019, allowing both in-person and online sports betting. You must be physically present in the state to place bets.
  • Indiana: Sports betting became legal in Indiana in 2019. You can bet on sports at casinos, racetracks, and online through sports betting apps.

These are just a few examples of states that allow sports betting. Other states, including Nevada, Delaware, and West Virginia, have also legalized sports betting. However, it's important to check the specific rules and regulations in your state before placing any bets.

New Jersey


New Jersey was the first state to legalize sports betting following the Supreme Court decision of May 2018, which overturned a federal ban on sports betting. The state is now one of the biggest players in the sports betting market, and in 2020, they hit a record $931 million in revenue.


New Jersey's Division of Gaming Enforcement is the regulatory body for sports betting. They have issued licenses to both land-based casinos and online sportsbooks. To obtain a license, operators must meet strict requirements in terms of financial stability, integrity, and responsible gambling measures.

Land-Based Sportsbooks

New Jersey has a thriving land-based sports betting industry, with over a dozen casinos offering sports betting. Some of the biggest names in the industry, such as FanDuel and DraftKings, have also launched their own retail sportsbooks in the state.

Online Sportsbooks

New Jersey was also one of the first states to legalize online sports betting, and it has proved to be hugely successful. There are now over a dozen online sportsbooks operating in the state, with a wide range of betting options and competitive odds.

Popular Sports to Bet On

  • Football (NFL)
  • Basketball (NBA)
  • Baseball (MLB)
  • Hockey (NHL)
  • Soccer (MLS)


New Jersey's sports betting industry has gone from strength to strength since legalization in 2018. It has become a major player in the US sports betting market, with a wide range of options for both land-based and online betting. With its strong regulation and a diverse range of sports to bet on, New Jersey is a great destination for sports bettors.

Nevada: The Birthplace of Sports Betting in the USA

Nevada is the state where sports betting was first legalized in the USA. In fact, it has been legal and regulated since 1949. It has become synonymous with Las Vegas and its famous casinos and sportsbooks.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board is the regulatory body in charge of overseeing sports betting activity in the state. They require operators to obtain a license and adhere to strict regulations to ensure the fairness and integrity of the industry.

One unique feature of sports betting in Nevada is the ability to place bets anywhere in the state through mobile betting apps. This allows visitors and locals alike to place bets on their favorite sports teams or events from the comfort of their own home or while on the go.

  • Nevada was the first state to legalize sports betting in the USA
  • The Nevada Gaming Control Board regulates the industry
  • Mobile betting apps are available throughout the state

Today, Nevada remains one of the most popular destinations for sports bettors due to its longstanding history and reputation in the industry.

Mississippi: A Sports Betting Destination in the Deep South

If you're a fan of sports betting, Mississippi offers fabulous opportunities with its vibrant casino industry. You can place your bets legally on a broad range of sports events with your favorite bookmaker or through an online platform.

In August 2018, Mississippi became one of the first states in the South to allow sports betting, opening up possibilities for the development of many casinos. Gambling enthusiasts can enjoy traditional casinos as well as online sportsbooks and mobile apps that let them access live scores, odds, and lines on their favorite sports.

Mississippi law allows both in-person and online sports betting, but a participant must be 21 years or older and physically present in the state to place a bet. Unlike some other states, Mississippi allows betting on local college teams, provided the events take place outside of the state.

  • The state requires all sports bets to take place within a licensed casino, and mobile sports betting is permitted only when a player is on the casino premises or regularly frequents the facility.
  • Mississippi offers dozens of casinos, with many, such as the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, featuring luxury accommodations, and other amenities.

If you're looking for a new sports betting destination, Mississippi has plenty to offer. With its rich cultural heritage and diverse entertainment options, it's a perfect vacation spot for anyone who loves sports and gambling.

West Virginia


West Virginia was the fifth state to legalize sports betting after the Supreme Court overturned the federal ban in 2018. The state's first sportsbooks opened in August 2018, and multiple operators are now offering online and mobile sports betting options.


The West Virginia Lottery Commission oversees sports betting regulations in the state. Sportsbooks must be licensed and operate within the state's borders. The commission also sets the rules for sports betting, including the types of wagers that are allowed and the requirements for player protection measures.


West Virginia has several operators offering sports betting in the state, including FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM. These operators offer a range of sports and betting options, including in-play betting and prop bets.

Future of Sports Betting

West Virginia has seen steady growth in sports betting since it was legalized, and it is expected to continue to expand. The state has shown a willingness to embrace new forms of betting, such as online and mobile betting options. In the coming years, it is likely that more operators will launch in the state, leading to increased competition and a wider range of betting options for consumers.

Pennsylvania: A State with Legalized Sports Betting

Pennsylvania is one of the many states in the USA where sports betting is legal. The legalization of sports betting in Pennsylvania started in October 2017 when Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill that allows sports betting activities in the state.

Since then, many land-based casinos and betting facilities have set up shop in Pennsylvania. Moreover, online sports betting has also been legalized and regulated in the state. Sports enthusiasts in Pennsylvania can place their bets on various sporting events online from the comfort of their homes.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regulates sports betting activities in the state. As a player, you can place bets on sporting events such as football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and many others. For instance, you can bet on the NFL, NHL, MLB, and NBA among other professional leagues.

  • The minimum age limit for sports betting in Pennsylvania is 21 years.
  • Pennsylvania imposes a 36% tax rate on sports betting revenue. This is one of the highest tax rates in the country.
  • Several sports betting establishments have set up shop in Pennsylvania, including Rivers Casino Philadelphia, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Parx Casino, Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack, and many others.

Overall, Pennsylvania is an excellent state for sports betting enthusiasts. With many establishments offering legal sports betting services, players can enjoy a variety of betting options and bonuses.

Rhode Island: A State Where Sports Betting is Fully Legal

The Background of Sports Betting in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is a state that has been on the forefront of legal sports betting in the United States. The state legalized sports betting in 2018 after the Supreme Court lifted a federal ban on sports gambling, which paved the way for individual states to legalize the practice. The state became the eighth state to legalize sports betting in the country.

Where Can You Place Sports Bets in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island allows sports bets to be placed at two casinos, the Twin River Casino in Lincoln and the Twin River Tiverton Casino. Both casinos have their own sportsbooks with a variety of options for sports bettors to take advantage of. In addition, the state also has online sports betting, which can be done through the state-run platform, the Rhode Island Lottery Sportsbook App.

What Types of Sports Bets are Legal in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island allows for a variety of sports betting options, including straight bets, moneyline bets, totals, parlays, and more. Bettors can place bets on a wide range of sports, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, college football, and basketball, and more.

The Future of Sports Betting in Rhode Island

Since Rhode Island legalized sports betting, it has been successful in generating revenue for the state. However, there is always room for improvement. The state has expressed interest in allowing for mobile sports betting to be offered by private operators in the near future, which would increase competition and potentially boost revenue. Overall, Rhode Island is one of the most progressive states in terms of sports betting, and sports bettors in the state have a wide range of options to choose from.

New York: A State with Limited Sports Betting Options

New York is one of the states that has recently legalized sports betting. However, the state's laws and regulations only permit sports betting at four upstate commercial casinos and tribal casinos.

While New York has a large population and potential for a thriving sports betting market, the limitations on where bets can be placed have hindered its growth. Additionally, online sports betting is not yet legal in the state.

Despite these restrictions, New York sports betting enthusiasts can still place bets in person at the approved casinos. These casinos offer a variety of betting options, including moneyline bets, point spread bets, and futures bets.

The state of New York has expressed interest in expanding sports betting to include online options and mobile apps, but there is no estimated timeline for when this might occur. Until then, sports bettors in the state will have to continue making the trip to one of the approved casinos to place their bets.


Iowa is one of the latest states to legalize sports betting, with Governor Kim Reynolds signing the bill into law in May 2019. The first sportsbooks began opening in August of the same year, and by September, residents and visitors could place bets on professional and college sports through their smartphones, tablets, and personal computers.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is in charge of regulating sports betting in the state, and it has approved several operators to offer their services to Iowans. These include established brands like Betfred, William Hill, and DraftKings, as well as local casinos such as the Wild Rose Casinos, Hard Rock Sioux City, and Catfish Bend Casino.

To participate in sports betting in Iowa, players must be at least 21 years old and physically located within the state's borders. They also need to create an account with a licensed sportsbook and deposit funds into it using a variety of payment methods, including credit cards, debit cards, and electronic wallets like PayPal.

Iowa's sports betting market has been steadily growing since its inception, with operators reporting millions of dollars in revenue each month. The state has also collected hefty tax revenues from sports betting, which go towards funding programs for veterans, public safety, and infrastructure projects.

If you're visiting Iowa and want to place a bet on your favorite team, you'll find plenty of options to choose from. Just make sure to do your research and compare the odds and promotions offered by different sportsbooks before making your wager.

Indiana Legalizes Sports Betting


Indiana is one of the states that have recently legalized sports betting. This move was prompted by the Supreme Court's decision in 2018 to strike down the federal law that prohibited sports betting in most of the United States. In May 2019, Governor Eric Holcomb signed a bill legalizing sports betting in Indiana. The law allows for both online and in-person sports betting.


The Indiana Gaming Commission was responsible for the regulation of sports betting in the state. It oversees the licensing of operators and ensures that they comply with the state's regulations. Sports betting operators are required to pay a 9.5% tax on their revenue, with an additional 1% tax going to the local government where the operator is located.


As of 2021, there are several sports betting operators that have been authorized to operate in Indiana. These include DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, PointsBet, William Hill, and BetRivers. Each operator has its own unique features, including sign-up bonuses, betting options, and odds. It is important for bettors to compare these features before choosing an operator.

Sports Betting in Indiana

Sports betting has become increasingly popular in Indiana. The most popular sports to bet on are basketball, football, and baseball. Bettors can bet on a variety of outcomes, including the winner of a single game, the point spread, and the total number of points scored. In addition to traditional sports betting, some operators also offer in-play betting and prop bets.


Indiana is a state that has embraced sports betting, and it has become an important part of the state's gaming industry. With a diverse range of sports betting operators and a wide variety of betting options, bettors in Indiana have many choices. However, it is important for bettors to always gamble responsibly and within their means.

Oregon: A State Where Sports Betting is Legal


Oregon is one of the several states in the USA where sports betting is legal. Legislature passed a bill in 2019 legalizing sports betting in the state. The Oregon Lottery Commission oversees the sports betting market in the state.

Options for Betting

In Oregon, you can place bets on professional and college sports at retail sportsbook outlets throughout the state. You need to be physically present at the location to place your bets. Additionally, you can also bet online through the Oregon Lottery mobile app, Scoreboard. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices.


The state of Oregon has some regulations in place for sports betting. For example, you cannot place bets on college sports events featuring teams from Oregon. The Oregon Lottery Commission has also set limits on the maximum amount you can bet per day.


The sports betting industry in Oregon is taxed at a rate of 9.5%. This tax revenue goes towards funding state programs and services.


Located in the southern region of the United States, Arkansas is known for its scenic beauty as well as being home to many outdoor activities. The state legalized sports betting in November 2018, with the passage of Issue 4. The Arkansas Racing Commission regulates all sports betting activities in the state.

Currently, retail sportsbooks are operating at four locations within the state: Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis, Saracen Casino Annex in Pine Bluff, and the River Valley Casino in Russellville. These casinos offer a range of sports betting options including moneyline, point spread, and totals bets as well as future bets.

In Arkansas, betting on collegiate sports is permissible, but there are limitations. Bets cannot be placed on any Arkansas collegiate teams, regardless of where the game is being played.

Online sports betting is not yet available in Arkansas, but lawmakers are discussing its potential implementation in the near future.



Delaware was the first state to legalize sports betting after the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018. Sports betting is regulated by the Delaware Lottery, which oversees three casinos in the state that offer on-site sports betting.

Types of Sports Betting

Delaware offers several options for sports betting, including point spread, moneyline, and over/under bets for professional and collegiate sports. Betters can place wagers on football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, golf, and more.

Online Sports Betting

Delaware currently does not offer online or mobile sports betting options. However, betters can use the Delaware Lottery's Sports Lottery Retailer locations to place bets in person.

Future of Sports Betting in Delaware

Delaware has been at the forefront of sports betting legalization and will likely continue to offer expanded options as the market grows. The state has already shown interest in expanding online sports betting options, and other states may look to Delaware as a model for their own sports betting legislation.

New Mexico: A State with Legalized Sports Betting

New Mexico is one of the states in the USA that has legalized sports betting. The Pueblo of Santa Ana tribe opened the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel, becoming the first in the state to accept sports bets. The casino offers a sportsbook that accepts bets on various sports, such as football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and racing.

However, despite the legalization of sports betting in the state, New Mexico has yet to establish any legislation to regulate the activity. As a result, online sportsbooks are currently illegal, and sports betting is only allowed at licensed tribal casinos.

The minimum age to participate in sports betting in New Mexico is 21 years old, and all sports betting activities are closely monitored by both the tribe and the state gambling regulators to ensure transparency and fairness.

Overall, New Mexico's legalization of sports betting marks a significant move towards a more progressive stance on gambling, bringing several benefits to the economy while providing a safer and more regulated environment for sports bettors.