Find Out Which States Have Legally Approved Sports Betting

Recent changes in legislation have brought sports betting out of illegal and into a fully-regulated industry. Many states across the U.S. have now legalized sports betting, with more following suit. This opens up a world of opportunity for sports fans and avid gamblers alike.

However, before you place any bets, it is essential to be aware of which states currently allow sports betting. Understanding the legal landscape will ensure that you stay within the confines of the law and avoid any penalties.

In this guide, we will take a closer look at the status of sports betting in various states across the U.S. We will also provide you with information on the key points to keep in mind while wagering on sports. So, whether you are a seasoned gambler or a newcomer to the world of sports betting, this guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to know.

Understanding Sports Betting

Sports betting is a form of gambling where individuals wager money on the outcome of sporting events. It is a highly popular activity in many countries around the world, with millions of people regularly placing bets on their favorite teams and athletes. While it may seem like a simple concept, there are many factors to consider when engaging in sports betting.

One of the most important aspects of sports betting is understanding the odds. Odds represent the likelihood of a particular outcome, with higher odds indicating a lower probability of that outcome occurring. For example, if a team is heavily favored to win a game, their odds may be listed as -150, meaning that a bettor would need to wager $150 to earn a profit of $100 if the team does indeed win LeoVegas.

Another factor to consider in sports betting is the type of bet being placed. Some common types of bets include moneyline bets (simply betting on which team will win), point spread bets (betting on the margin of victory for a team), and over/under bets (betting on the total number of points scored in a game). Each type of bet has its own set of rules and strategies for maximizing profits.

Overall, sports betting can be a fun and exciting way to engage with your favorite sports and potentially earn some extra money. However, it is important to educate yourself on the various factors involved in sports betting and to exercise caution when placing bets. Always remember to bet within your means and to never gamble with money that you cannot afford to lose.

The Legality of Sports Betting

For many years, sports betting was illegal in the United States. However, in May 2018, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that had banned sports betting in most places outside of Nevada. Since then, states have been able to legalize sports betting on their own terms.

As of 2021, sports betting is legal in more than two dozen states. These states have established regulations around the industry to ensure the safety and fairness of betting operations, as well as to generate revenue for the state.

While some states have fully legalized and regulated sports betting, others have only allowed it in certain locations or for certain types of events. For example, in some states, sports betting is only legal at casinos or through online platforms affiliated with casinos.

It's important to note that although sports betting is legal in many states, it's still prohibited in some. It's also important for individuals to understand their own state's regulations around sports betting before participating, as well as to engage in responsible gambling practices.

  • In Summary:
  • The legality of sports betting has changed in recent years due to a Supreme Court ruling in 2018.
  • More than two dozen states have legalized sports betting, though regulations vary.
  • Individuals should research their state's laws and engage in responsible gambling practices.

States That Have Legalized Sports Betting

New Jersey

New Jersey was the first state to legalize sports betting after the Supreme Court overturned the federal ban in 2018. Since then, the state has seen a tremendous growth in the sports betting industry, with several online and offline operators offering various sports betting options.


Nevada is a pioneer in the sports betting industry, having legalized it in 1949. The state has a long history of offering sports betting options to its residents and tourists as it is home to Las Vegas, which is known as the gambling capital of the world.


In November 2019, Colorado became the 19th state to legalize sports betting. The state allows both online and offline sports betting, and operators are required to pay a 10% tax on their gross revenue.


Pennsylvania legalized sports betting in 2017, but it became operational in 2018. The state has several online and offline sports betting operators, and the tax rate for operators is set at 36%. The state also allows betting on college sports events, which is not allowed in some other states.


Indiana legalized sports betting in September 2019 and started operations in October of the same year. The state has several online and offline operators, and the tax rate for operators is set at 9.5%. The state also allows prop bets on college sports events.


Illinois legalized sports betting in June 2019, but it started operations in March 2020. The state has several online and offline operators, and the tax rate for operators is set at 15%. The state also allows betting on college sports events, except for games involving Illinois-based teams.

  • Other states: There are several other states that have legalized sports betting or are in the process of doing so. These include Delaware, Rhode Island, Iowa, Mississippi, West Virginia, New Mexico, New York, Arkansas, Montana, and Oregon.

The History of Sports Betting in the United States

Sports betting has a long history in the United States, dating back to the colonial era. In the early 20th century, sports betting became more widespread, and many states began to regulate and legalize it.

However, in the mid-20th century, the federal government imposed strict restrictions on sports betting through the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). This law prohibited sports betting in most states, effectively creating a nationwide ban.

Despite this ban, illegal sports betting continued to thrive in the US, with estimates suggesting that billions of dollars were wagered on sports each year. However, this situation changed in 2018, when the Supreme Court struck down PASPA, paving the way for individual states to legalize sports betting.

  • Today, over 20 states have legalized sports betting, and the trend has continued to grow.
  • Many states have developed frameworks for regulating and overseeing the industry to ensure it is safe and fair for consumers.
  • There are now many online sports betting platforms available, which allow users to place wagers on a variety of sporting events from the comfort of their homes.

The legalization of sports betting has brought many benefits, including increased tax revenue for states and new job opportunities for individuals. It has also made sports betting safer for consumers by providing them with access to regulated and reliable operators.

As more states continue to legalize sports betting, the industry is expected to continue to grow, providing more opportunities for individuals and creating new economic benefits for communities across the United States.

The Impact of Sports Betting on the Economy

Sports betting has become legalized in many states across the United States, which has been a major boost to the economy. This industry has created various job opportunities and generated revenue for multiple sectors. It has provided significant increases in tax revenues for the governments of these states and has brought in numerous tourists attracted by gambling.

The revenue generated through sports betting has also helped to increase the funds directed towards education, public services, and infrastructure, among other factors. Additionally, the legalization of sports betting has allowed operators to provide better odds and bonuses to players, which has also increased revenue streams.

With the legalization of sports betting, the government can regulate and control the industry, ensuring that it operates within legal and ethical boundaries. With this new level of regulation, players can be confident that they will not be ripped off or exploited by fraudulent operators. Moreover, the regulation of sports betting has helped to prevent illegal gambling activities, which could be used to fund other illegal activities.

The impact of sports betting on the economy has been significant, and it is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. Several states have already reported a boost in tourism and economic growth following the legalization of sports betting. Furthermore, the expansion of the industry into the digital space has opened up more opportunities for brands and entrepreneurs. In conclusion, the legalization of sports betting has been a boon to the economy, providing revenue streams and job opportunities, while also increasing the tax base of governments.

The Future of Sports Betting

Sports betting is a rapidly growing industry, and many experts predict that it will continue to expand in the coming years. One factor driving this growth is the increasing legalization of sports betting in the United States.

As more states legalize sports betting, the industry is expected to experience significant growth in terms of both revenue and economic impact. The legalization of sports betting has already created new job opportunities and generated tax revenue for state governments.

Another trend that is likely to shape the future of sports betting is the increasing use of technology. Many sports betting companies are investing heavily in technology and developing new platforms to make it easier for consumers to place bets and monitor their results.

Overall, the future looks bright for sports betting, as more and more states legalize the practice and technology continues to improve. Whether you're a seasoned sports bettor or just getting started, it's an exciting time to be involved in this rapidly evolving industry.

Popular Sports for Betting

When it comes to sports betting, there are a few popular sports that people tend to gravitate towards. One of the most popular being football. Whether it's the NFL or college football, football betting has become a staple in the sports betting world. From point spreads to futures bets, there are countless ways to bet on the game.

Another popular sport for betting is basketball. With the NBA being one of the most watched sports leagues in the world, it's no surprise that it's a favorite among bettors. From betting on game winners to player props, basketball offers a lot of opportunities to make some money.

Baseball is also a popular sport for betting, especially during the MLB season. From betting on the money line to over/under bets, baseball offers a variety of ways to bet on the game.

Hockey and soccer are two other popular sports for betting, but may not have as many betting options compared to football, basketball, and baseball. That being said, they still offer plenty of betting opportunities for those looking to bet on their favorite teams.

Overall, when it comes to sports betting, it's important to do your research and find the sport that works best for you. Whether it's football, basketball, baseball, or something else entirely, betting on your favorite sport can make watching the game even more exciting.

Types of Sports Bets

Sports betting fans have a variety of options when it comes to placing their wagers. Here are some of the most popular types of sports bets:

  • Money Line Bets: This is the most common type of sports bet, and it involves picking the team that will win the game. The odds assigned to each team reflect their chances of winning, and the payout is based on those odds.
  • Point Spread Bets: These bets involve picking a team to cover a specific point spread. The favorite team must win by more than the point spread, while the underdog team must lose by less than the point spread or win outright.
  • Over/Under Bets: Also known as totals betting, this wager involves predicting whether the total points scored in the game will be over or under a pre-determined number.
  • Proposition Bets: These are fun, novelty bets that can involve predicting the outcome of specific events within a game, such as which player will hit the first home run in a baseball game.
  • Futures Bets: These bets are placed on the outcome of a season or tournament before it starts. Examples include picking the winner of the Super Bowl or the World Series before the season begins.

Each of these types of sports bets has its own unique set of rules and strategies for winning. It's important for bettors to understand the different options available and to choose the bets that best suit their skills and preferences.

How to Place a Sports Bet

Placing a sports bet is a fun and exciting way to engage with your favorite sports teams and players. However, it's important to understand the process and the rules before putting your money on the line. Here are some steps to help guide you through the process:

Step 1. Choose a reputable sportsbook

Before placing a bet, make sure you choose a reputable sportsbook. Look for a bookmaker with a valid gambling license and a history of paying out winnings to its customers. You can do some research online to find the best options available.

Step 2. Choose a sport and a game

Next, decide on the sport and the specific game or event that you want to bet on. Whether it's football, basketball, baseball, or any other sport, make sure you have a good understanding of the rules and the teams involved.

Step 3. Choose your bet type

There are several different types of bets you can make, such as moneyline bets, spread bets, and over/under bets. Choose the bet type that you're most comfortable with and that meets your betting goals.

Step 4. Place your bet

Once you've made your decision, it's time to place your bet. Follow the instructions on the sportsbook's website or app to submit your bet and confirm the details. Make sure you double-check all the information before submitting your bet to avoid any mistakes or miscalculations.

Step 5. Monitor your bet

After placing your bet, keep an eye on the game and the betting lines to see how it's progressing. You can monitor your bet on the sportsbook's website or app. If you win, your winnings will be automatically credited to your account.

Following these steps can help you place a successful sports bet and have a great time while doing it. Remember to gamble responsibly and only bet what you can afford to lose.

Understanding Sports Betting Odds

When it comes to sports betting, understanding odds is crucial for making informed decisions. Odds represent the likelihood of a certain outcome of a game or event.

There are three main types of odds used in sports betting: decimal, fractional, and American. Decimal odds represent the potential payout for every $1 wagered, while fractional odds show the amount of profit relative to the stake. American odds use a plus or minus sign to show underdogs and favorites, respectively.

It's also important to consider the implied probability of the odds. The implied probability is the likelihood of the outcome based on the odds presented. For example, if the odds for a team to win are 2.50, the implied probability is 40% (1 divided by 2.50).

Understanding odds and implied probability can help bettors make informed decisions and increase their chances of winning. It's important to always do research and consider all factors before placing a bet.

Sports Betting Strategies

When it comes to sports betting, there are many strategies that can be used to increase your chances of winning. One popular strategy is to research the teams and players involved in the game and analyze their past performances. This information can help you predict the outcome of the game more accurately.

Another strategy is to focus on a specific sport or league and become an expert in that area. This will allow you to better understand the nuances of the game and make informed bets based on your knowledge.

It is important to keep track of your bets and maintain a budget to avoid losing too much money. Setting a limit on the amount of money you are willing to bet each week can also help prevent overspending and emotional decisions.

Some bettors also use the "fade the public" strategy, which involves betting against the popular opinion. This can be risky but can pay off if the underdog team wins.

  • Research the teams and players involved
  • Focus on a specific sport or league
  • Maintain a budget and track your bets
  • Consider the "fade the public" strategy

Ultimately, there is no guaranteed strategy for sports betting success. However, by understanding the various strategies and doing your research, you can increase your chances of making informed bets and coming out ahead.

Sports Betting Tips

Here are a few tips for those looking to try their luck with sports betting:

  • Do your research: Before placing any bets, it's important to research the game, the teams, and the players involved. Look at past performance, injuries, and any other relevant information that could impact the outcome of the game.
  • Set a budget: It's important to set a budget and stick to it when placing bets. Don't bet more than you can afford to lose, and never chase your losses by betting more than you originally planned.
  • Shop around for the best odds: Different sportsbooks offer different odds. Take the time to shop around and find the best odds for the bets you want to place.
  • Consider the home team advantage: The home team has a natural advantage, so consider this when placing bets. However, remember that this isn't always the case, and sometimes the underdog team can pull off a surprise win.
  • Don't get emotional: When betting on your favorite team, it's easy to get emotional and let your heart overrule your head. Try to stay objective and base your bets on the facts, not your emotions.

Remember, sports betting is a form of gambling and should be done responsibly. Always gamble within your means and never let it get in the way of your personal or financial responsibilities.

Responsible Sports Betting

While sports betting is legal in certain states, it is important for individuals to approach it responsibly. There are a few key steps that can be taken to ensure that sports betting does not become an addiction or financial burden.

  • Set a budget: Before placing any bets, establish a budget for how much money you are willing to spend on sports betting. Stick to this budget and do not exceed it.
  • Do not gamble with borrowed money: Never gamble with money that you have borrowed or cannot afford to lose. This can lead to financial issues and possible addiction.
  • Know when to quit: If you find yourself losing money consistently or it is negatively impacting other areas of your life, it may be time to take a break or quit altogether.
  • Stay informed: Stay updated on the latest news and statistics regarding the sport or team you are betting on. This can increase your chances of making informed decisions.

Overall, responsible sports betting involves being aware of your actions and keeping a level head when making bets. By following these tips, individuals can enjoy sports betting as a fun hobby without the negative consequences.

Sports Betting Glossary

Point Spread

The point spread refers to the number of points a team is expected to win or lose by. Bettors can either bet on the favorite to win by more than the point spread or the underdog to lose by less than the point spread.


A moneyline bet is a wager on which team will win the game outright, regardless of the point spread. The odds are expressed in terms of a $100 bet.

Total or Over/Under

The total, or over/under, is the combined number of points that both teams are expected to score in the game. Bettors can bet on whether the actual score will be over or under that total.

Prop Bet

A prop bet (short for proposition) is a wager on a specific aspect of the game, such as the first team to score, the total number of sacks, or the MVP of the game.

Futures Bet

A futures bet is a long-term wager on an event that won't be decided until the future, such as which team will win the championship or which player will win a specific award.

In-Game Betting

In-game betting, or live betting, allows bettors to place wagers during the game, adjusting their bets based on the score and other live game conditions.


A parlay is a combination of two or more bets into a single wager, where all of the bets have to win in order for the parlay to win. The payout is higher for parlays, but the risk is also greater.


A teaser is a type of parlay where the bettor can adjust the point spread or total in their favor, but at the expense of a lower payout.


The handle is the total amount of money wagered on a particular game or event.

Vig or Juice

The vig, short for vigorish, is the commission that the sportsbook takes on each bet. The juice refers to the portion of the vig that goes to the bookmaker's profit.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sports Betting

What is Sports Betting?

Sports betting is the practice of placing wagers on the outcomes of sporting events. This can include betting on the winner of a game, the total score, or individual player performances.

Is Sports Betting Legal?

The legality of sports betting varies by state. As of 2021, over 20 states have legalized sports betting in some form. Check the laws in your state to see if sports betting is legal.

How do I Place a Bet on Sports?

Most sports betting can be done online through licensed sportsbooks or through a casino sportsbook. You will need to create an account and deposit funds to place a bet. Follow the instructions provided by the sportsbook to place your bet.

What is a Point Spread?

A point spread is a handicap given to the underdog in a game to make the betting more even. The favorite team must win by a certain number of points to "cover" the spread and pay out winnings to those who bet on them.

What is a Moneyline Bet?

A moneyline bet is a wager on which team will win a game outright, regardless of the point spread. The odds for moneyline bets are based on a $100 wager, with negative odds indicating the favorite team and positive odds indicating the underdog.

What is an Over/Under Bet?

An over/under bet, also known as a totals bet, is a wager on the total number of points that will be scored in a game by both teams combined. Bettors can bet on whether the final score will be over or under the total set by the sportsbook.

How do I Know if I Won a Bet?

The outcome of a sports bet will be determined by the final score or outcome of the event. If you win your bet, your winnings will be deposited into your account with the sportsbook. Check your account or contact customer service for further information.