October 28, 1992, was a sad day for sports bettors in the United States. The passing of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, officially put an end to legal online sports betting in all but four states. Twenty years later, then-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spearheaded an effort to see the controversial act overturned.
On May 14, 2018, after years of legal wrangling, the United States Supreme Court determined PASPA was unconstitutional, and the act was struck down. As a result, individual states now have the authority to determine the legality of sports betting. Legal online sports betting in the United States is back.
As expected, New Jersey acted quickly. Within a month of PASPA’s overturning, Monmouth Park and Borgata Casino became the first New Jersey sportsbooks to accept bets. Since then, several other states have followed suit and many more are in the process of doing the same. The dream of legal American online sports betting is now a reality.
Which states have legalized online sports betting?
As it stands, eight American states, including Nevada, offer legal online sports betting. Seven other states have recently passed legislation to legalize it and are on the verge of officially offering it. Meanwhile, legal United States online sports betting appears to be on the radar in several other states.
States offering legal American online sports betting:
|State||Betting Online||Mobile Betting|
* Online and mobile betting is legal in West Virginia but neither are currently offered.
Online Betting USA: Legislation passed but sports betting not yet launched
|Washington D.C.||December 2018|
|New Hampshire||June 2019|
Online betting in America: Who’s next?
After sports betting legislation failed to pass in the summer of 2018, the issue has been re-introduced. Many expect the bill to pass. In the meantime, DraftKings and FanDuel offer daily fantasy sports for those who know how to bet responsibly.
Maine passed a bill to legalize sports betting in the state but Governor Janet Mills refused to sign it. Legalized sports betting and the expected betting site offers are therefore on hold. Unless a special legislative session is called, it looks like the issue won’t be addressed until the next regular session.
States on the verge of legalizing sports betting:
The Colorado General Assembly passed a bill which paves the way for legalized online sports betting. Coloradans will decide on the matter when they vote on it in November. If approved by the electorate, Colorado will likely be able to bet on sports in early 2020.
Online Betting in America: States that have introduced legal online sports betting bills
California legislators recently proposed amendments to the state’s constitution to allow legal sports betting. There are several barriers including tribes in the state. Even if the legislation passes, voters would ultimately decide through a referendum.
Kansas got a lot done before the legislative session concluded. Many expect sports betting will be approved early in the next session.
Legislation has been introduced but it appears to have stalled. It will be revisited during the next session.
A pair of recent bills failed to make through the house. Even if the legislation passes, the state will need to put the issue to the voters in a referendum.
Despite pressure from residents who love online football betting, Massachusetts doesn’t appear to be in any rush to legalize sports betting. It has been rumored that a new proposal will be put forward to grant licenses to operators that have no partnerships with land-based casinos.
A bill was put forward in February 2019 but it failed to go anywhere. It looks like the issue will have to wait until next year. A referendum would likely need to be held if residents want to take part in spread betting.
Minnesota has introduced a bill to legalize sports betting but the proposed legislation has a long way to go. One of the biggest challenges will be coming to agreements with 11 tribes who have a monopoly on online gambling.
The future of legalized sports betting and new betting sites in Michigan looked bright until outgoing Governor Rick Snyder vetoed the bill. A new bill is expected to be introduced in mid-July 2019 and things are looking up for those who want to try out their football betting systems for real money.
Missouri has introduced a couple of bills. However, these bills apparently propose fees that would be a deterrent to potential operators.
House Bill 1254, which would have legalized sports betting in the state, died on the Senate floor in a crushing 38-7 vote. A second bill also recently failed. Don’t expect legalized sports betting or betting exchanges in North Dakota any time soon.
North Carolina’s stalled bill proposed legalized sports betting at tribal casinos but completely omitted any mention of legalized online sports betting. It doesn’t look like anything will happen this session but the proposed legislation can be put forward again next year. Baseball betting and horse betting aren’t a lost cause yet.
Things are looking up in Ohio although nothing is imminent. The House’s bill calls for the state lottery to oversee sports betting while the Senate wants the Ohio Casino Control Commission to do it. 2020 looks good for those looking for free picks, best bets, and football betting tips.
Washington State has introduced several bills but none have yet passed. Legalized sports betting has a lot of opposition in the state although residents can still dream about football odds today.
Online Betting: States where legal online sports betting has a long way to go
Be it conflicts with gaming rights of local Native American tribes or lack of demand, the future of legalized sports betting in many states is shaky at best. In some cases, there really is no future.
While the state’s constitution prohibits fantasy sports, the House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize them. A best-case scenario would have legalized sports betting and parlays/teasers in Alabama no sooner than 2021.
As is the case in several other states, coming to agreements with tribes is a huge barrier.
Tribal conflicts are also a problem in Connecticut’s bid to legalize sports gambling. The easiest solution would have the tribes running it but residents are in for a long wait.
Once again, conflicts with tribes pose a problem for those who want to do their football betting online. On top of that, sports betting failed to get voters’ approval in a referendum.
How does it look for Texans who want to bet moneylines and point spreads in time for the 2019 NFL betting season? Well, the fact that the state doesn’t even allow fantasy sports should answer that question. Maybe we’ll see some movement in the next legislative session but don’t hold your breath.
Online Betting: States that have an even longer way to go
There hasn’t been much movement on sports betting at all in Alaska. While there is a bit of demand to allow betting on sports, it’s not enough to make the state’s politicians act.
The state’s constitution would need serious amendments to give sports betting sites a chance of operating.
Conducting studies into legalized sports betting might look like a move in the right direction. However, residents who want to take advantage of online betting offers and free bets promotions at legal betting sites are in an infinite holding pattern.
State laws in Idaho are very anti-gambling. Even fantasy football betting is banned although they allow horse racing betting.
Legalized sports gambling is so far beyond the back burner in Nebraska that it’s almost fallen off the stove.
Here, we have a tribal gaming problem again. If the state’s resident ever get the permission to place wagers at the best football betting sites, it will most likely be done through the tribes.
South Carolina’s politicians are hesitant to broach the subject. A referendum would need to occur and there doesn’t appear to be much voter support for sports gambling.
More conflict with the state’s tribes on top of constitutional issues. If sports gambling ever does become legal in South Dakota, it will be tribes who run it.
No proposed legislation has been put forward yet and there doesn’t appear to be any interest from the state’s politicians or the public. There won’t be any golf betting going on in Vermont for quite a while, if ever.
Utah is one of the states that strongly stands on the opposite side of legal sports betting. It is not just sports, any type of gambling is illegal in this state. Here’s a free bet: It won’t change in the near future.
Wisconsin’s constitution specifically prohibits gambling outside of tribal lands. Don’t expect this to change.
The odds might be better than one in a million but they are still tremendously long.
Legal American online sports betting
It’s important to remember that states in which sports betting is offered don’t necessarily offer online sports betting or mobile betting apps. Those in some states, including Delaware, Rhode Island, and Arkansas, are only able to place sports bets at brick-and-mortar retail outlets. For the time being, at any rate. Of course, at least residents of these states who know how to bet have the freedom to do their football betting and horse racing betting without any worries.
Which sportsbooks are legal in the United States?
With the expansion of sports betting, several sportsbooks have opened their doors over the past year and many more will be opening soon.
Sportsbooks in New Jersey
Is Betting legal in New Jersey? When it comes to retail, the following are legal in New Jersey: Borgata Race & Sports Bar, DraftKings Sportsbook, William Hill Sports Book, Monmouth Park Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, The Book at Harrah’s, Hard Rock Sportsbook, Golden Nugget Sportsbook, Wild Wild West Sportsbook, and Tropicana Sportsbook.
Sportsbooks in Pennsylvania
The following are land-based operators that are available: Hollywood Casino, SugarHouse, Parx Casino, Valley Forge, Rivers Casino, Harrah’s, Presque Isle Down, and South Philadelphia Turf Club.
There are also those that are available online.
Sportsbooks in West Virginia
Retail sportsbooks include:
- Hollywood Casino
- The Greenbrier
- Mountaineer Casino
Sportsbooks in Mississippi
This state has one of the biggest collections of available land-based sportsbooks.
These include: 1st Jackpot Casino Ameristar, Beau Rivage, Boomtown Casino, Fitzgerald’s Casino, Gold Strike, Golden NUgget, Hard Rock, Harlow’s, Harrah’s, Hollywood Casino, Hollywood Casino Bay, Horseshoe, Island View Casino, Magnolia Bluffs, Palace Casino, Riverwalk, Sam’s Town, Scarlet Pearl, Silver Slipper, Treasure Bay, and WaterView.
Sportsbooks in Rhode Island
The following two are available in retail:
- Twin River Casino
- Tiverton Casino
Sportsbooks in New Mexico
Only one sportsbook is available in New Mexico in retail, the Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel.
Sportsbooks in Delaware
You can find the following land-based sportsbooks available:
- Delaware Park Casino
- Dover Downs
- Harrington Raceway and Casino
Sportsbooks in Arkansas
● Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort
Sportsbooks in Nevada
Nevada is home to dozens of retail sportsbooks. Las Vegas sports betting enthusiasts can find the best betting odds, free sports picks, and online betting offers using their mobile sports betting apps.