Legal Sports Betting in 2021
A lot in the United States is changing after the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) by the Supreme Court. Use this page as a state-by-state overview to understand the development of the sports betting industry and find sportsbooks in your state.
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There was a federal ban on sports betting in the United States from 1992 to 2018 under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). The 1992 law granted immunity to four states that had previously allowed sports betting inside their borders. Those states are Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana. The state of New Jersey challenged the legality of PASPA. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in late 2017. On May 14, SCOTUS issued a decision reversing the ban, striking down PASPA in full by a vote of 6-3.
Thanks to the decision, the following states can now offer legal sports betting, once they create and approve regulations, that is: New Jersey – Launched June 14, Mississippi – Launched Aug. 1, West Virginia – Launched Aug. 30, Pennsylvania (established temporary regulations in June 2018), and Rhode Island – Launched Sept. 2019. Delaware was actually the first to the expanded market launching June 5, 2018. The state used its existing sports betting law on the books, established single-game wagering regulations, and began taking bets on June 5, 2018. New Jersey signed its law into effect on June 11. On June 14, New Jersey officially started accepting wagers. Mississippi was next to launch, taking bets effective Aug. 1.
Online Sports Betting Sites in the United States
Legal US online sports betting is now available and fully regulated in a number of other states. This means that for citizens inside those states there is the possibility to wager on sports events. In most cases that person does not need to be a citizen of that state–or even reside there–but just be physically within its borders at the time.
Betting sites and online bookmakers have been able to sign up new customers using promotions and bonuses. They also offer markets on all the big events. The sports betting sites look to annual peaks, like NFL Draft betting, to attract new players.
The number of legal US online sports betting sites will only grow as more states introduce the necessary regulations. But you should keep a close eye on the legality in each state–especially where you live.
States with Legal Sportsbooks
In the following states, you can bet online or at retail sports betting. In the listed states, sports betting is legal in some form or another.
Sports betting in Arizona officially became legal in April of this year. The state is currently working through the regulatory process with the hopes of an official launch on Sept. 9 in conjunction with the start of the 2021 NFL regular season. There are 22 federally recognized tribes in the state.
Of the 22, there are 16 tribes operating 24 tribal casinos. Retail sports betting will be legal at tribal casinos as well as through professional sports entities. This includes the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field in conjunction with Caesars Sportsbook. DraftKings and the PGA Tour have partnered with TCP Scottsdale and FanDuel is tied to the Phoenix Suns Arena. There is also a provision for up to 20 online sports betting licenses through mobile sportsbook apps.
Legalized sports betting in Arkansas was signed into law towards the end of 2018. However, this only permitted retail sportsbooks across four land-based venues. The two biggest facilities with legal sports betting today are Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort Sportsbook and Southland Casino Racing Sportsbooks.
The Quapaw Nation also received a sports betting license for Saracen Casino Resort in Jefferson County. Another license has been issued for a casino and sportsbook in Pope County. The law has made no provision for legal online gambling in the state. However, legislative efforts have heated up in 2021. The legal casino gambling and sports betting age in Arkansas is 21.
Colorado has proven itself to be one of the more progressive legal sports betting states in the western half of the United States. Launched in May of 2020, legal sports betting is available at both commercial and tribal land-based casinos through retail sportsbooks. There are 31 commercial casinos concentrated in Black Hawk, Century City, and Cripple Creek. There are also two tribal casinos located in the southwestern corner of the state. Online sports betting is available through mobile sportsbook apps.
Remote registration for an online account is allowed. Colorado has one of the more extensive lists of online operators led by FanDuel in conjunction with Golden Gates Casino and DraftKings in conjunction with Golden Gulch Casino. BetMGM, Caesars, FOX Bet, and PointsBet are also on the list. The only restrictions in place for legal sports betting cover youth sports and eSports.
The First State was officially the first one (outside of Nevada) to offer legal sports betting in Delaware’s three land-based casinos just ahead of New Jersey in June of 2018. Sports betting was originally approved in 2009 through parlay bets offered by the Delaware Lottery. However, it never went live due to federal restrictions at that time.
The lottery remains in charge of regulating sports betting in the state. William Hill operates the three retail sportsbooks in Delaware casinos. According to lottery officials, mobile sports betting is legal in the state. Yet, there are no operators up and running at this time. Parlay bets can be placed at participating lottery retailers throughout Delaware.
Illinois has quickly grown into a major sports betting market since legal sportsbooks first opened for business in March of last year. Land-based casinos led the way with retail sportsbooks. This was quickly followed by legal online sports betting which launched in June of 2020. The state law requires on-site registration for online betting accounts at land-based books. This provision was waived for much of 2020 but it was back on the books in April of this year.
Land-based casinos are allowed to operate up to three online sportsbook skins which have expanded the variety of online books in the state. Most of the major online operators such as FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, and PointsBet are up and running in Illinois. BetRivers is another popular option in this state.
Legal sports betting at land-based casinos and racinos in Indiana was first made available in September of 2019 and there are currently 12 retail sportsbooks up and running. A month later, the first online sports betting sites launched their mobile sportsbook apps.
This has become one of the biggest sports betting markets in the country in terms of its monthly betting handle. Easy access to online betting apps such as FanDuel and DraftKings has driven this rapid growth.
Iowa first legalized sports betting in May of 2019 and the state was up and running three months later. This state should be considered a full-service sports betting market with land-based retail sportsbooks connected to casinos and racinos as well as online sports betting through mobile sportsbook apps. Up until the beginning of this year, legal-aged bettors 21 and older had to register for an online account at a retail sportsbook anywhere in the state. That provision has since been dropped.
DraftKings launched its mobile betting app in February of 2020 and has quickly become a market leader. FanDuel partnered with Boyd Gaming to launch its betting app in September of last year. Other prominent online operators include Caesars, BetMGM, and PointsBet.
Legal retail sports betting at Michigan land-based casinos started in March of 2020. In January of this year, the first online sportsbooks launched their mobile betting sites. This has quickly become a very attractive market for all the major players in the industry. FanDuel and DraftKings lead the way with BetMGM, Caesars through William Hill, and PointsBet also enjoying early success.
This is another state where online operators partner with land-based venues to offer legal sports betting. Three of the earliest retail locations were Greektown Casino, MGM Grand, and MotorCity Casino & Hotel in the Detroit area. FanDuel has partnered with MotorCity while DraftKings aligned itself with the Bay Mills Indian Community. BetMGM and Caesars had natural ties with their land-based casino properties. Michigan allows remote registration to open online sports betting accounts.
One of the oldest markets in the country for legal casino gambling outside of Nevada is Mississippi with multiple land-based venues located in the state’s Gulf Coast region. Legal sports betting was launched in 2018 to also make this one of the older markets for this type of gaming activity.
Tied to the existing land-based casino network, the change in law did not provide for legal online sports betting. Efforts to expand into mobile online betting have gained some traction in 2021. However, the only form of legal online sports betting in Mississippi at this point is inside a licensed retail casino/sportsbook.
Montana offers legal sports betting through the state’s lottery system. It was first authorized in 2019 and later launched in March of 2020. Legal wagers by anyone 18 or older can be placed online through the use of the Sports Bet Montana app which is operated by INTRALOT. The state also offers stand-alone sports betting kiosks in retail establishments with liquor licenses that are also tied to the state lottery.
A list of participating retailers can be found at the official Sports Bet Montana website. Actual land-based retail sportsbooks are not available in Montana at this time. Maximum bets are capped at $1000 through the mobile app and $250 at a betting kiosk.
Nevada was the only state in the United States with legal land-based sportsbooks going all the way back to 1949. These books were known as Turf Clubs at the time. Modern sports betting in Nevada expanded to casinos and other retail locations through the addition of land-based sportsbooks in those venues. The state’s monopoly on legal sports betting came to an end in 2018 when Delaware opened its first retail book.
The state enacted Title 41 of the Nevada Revised Statutes to set all the specifics tied to casino gaming, sports betting, and horse racing. Online sports betting is available through mobile operators such as Caesars and BetMGM. However, the state still requires in-person registration at a land-based sportsbook to access an operator’s mobile betting app.
New Hampshire legalized sports betting in July of 2019. DraftKings was given the approval to launch its online mobile sportsbook app towards the end of that year. This was the company’s first launch through the use of its own online betting platform. In the absence of any land-based casinos, DraftKings also received a license to operate a retail sportsbook in Seabrook and Manchester.
More retail locations are on the way with a total of five separate towns approving a land-based sportsbook. Sports betting in the state is regulated by the New Hampshire Lottery. Remote registration for an online betting account has always been permitted on a state-wide basis. Through an exclusive deal with the state, DraftKings continues to hold a monopoly on sports betting in New Hampshire.
New Jersey led the court battle against the federal government when it came to an individual state’s right to govern and regulate legal sports betting within its borders. This was also one of the first states outside of Nevada to offer legal sports betting going back to June of 2018.
The combination of land-based sportsbooks in Atlantic City casinos and the state’s three horse racing tracks along with a large number of online betting sites with partnership ties to those retail licenses has made New Jersey the biggest legal sports betting market in the nation. This is based on the monthly volume of sports bets placed. The state is poised to break the $1 billion-dollar monthly plateau in total betting handle after coming close a few times last year.
Along with the 12 retail locations, the list of mobile betting providers in the state continues to expand.
State lawmakers are close to legalizing sports betting on in-state college teams. That change will still require the approval of voters in this November’s general election.
New Mexico was one of the earliest states to offer legalized sports betting going back to October of 2018.
Land-based sportsbooks are owned and operated by in-state tribal casinos. There are a total of 21 tribal casinos in New Mexico along with six commercial racinos that combine horse racing with casino gaming.
The three biggest tribal casinos with sportsbooks are Santa Ana Star Casino, Buffalo Thunder Casino, and Isleta Resort & Casino. More recently, the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort joined this list.
Lawmakers in New Mexico have yet to pass legislation to formally authorize legal sports betting in both commercial retail establishments and through online sportsbook apps. However, there has been some movement in that direction this year.
Legal sports betting in New York was launched in July of 2019 in a very limited capacity. The state’s gaming laws were amended to allow land-based sportsbooks in around a dozen tribal and commercial casinos located in upstate New York. This excluded most of the heavily populated sections, including New York City.
Backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, additional gaming laws were approved in April of this year to add online sports betting through mobile sportsbook apps.
The state is now going through the regulatory process under the guidance of the New York State Gaming Commission. This process is expected to take several months before approved operators can launch their mobile betting platforms. Next year’s NFL Super Bowl has been circled as a target date.
North Carolina approved legislation permitting legal sports betting in land-based retail sportsbooks in July of 2019. Online sports betting was not approved at the time. To date, there are two in-state tribal casinos offering legal sports betting .
The first is Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and the other location is Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River. Both of these sportsbooks are located in the western portion of the state and operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Lawmakers’ efforts to add legal online sports betting throughout the state have yet to gain enough traction to move forward in the legislative process.
Oregon launched its first legal retail sportsbook in August of 2019 through the state’s tribal casino network. There are nine land-based tribal casinos located throughout the state. The first and only online sportsbook was launched in November of that same year. Named Scoreboard, it is controlled and operated by the state lottery.
Oregon partnered with SBTech as its gaming partner. More recently, House Bill 2127 was introduced this year to expand legal online sports betting to third-party operators. Under this legislation, Scoreboard would remain its own regulated lottery sports wagering platform. Other online sportsbooks offering a mobile betting app would be regulated by the Oregon Racing Commission.
Pennsylvania has always been a very progressive state as it pertains to the expansion of legal gambling. As part of gaming legislation passed in 2017, legal sports betting at both land-based retail sportsbooks and online sportsbooks were approved.
Online sportsbooks formed partnerships with the existing land-based network of casinos as part of the regulatory process. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has oversight on the state’s sports betting industry. All the major US sportsbooks have established a business presence in Pennsylvania as the third-largest sports betting market in the US based on monthly betting volume.
This was Barstool Sportsbook’s initial launch in conjunction with Penn National Gaming as an in-state company.
Legal sports betting in Rhode Island is available at two land-based retail sportsbooks. The first location is Twin River Casino in Lincoln and the other gaming venue is Twin River Tiverton. Both of these casinos are owned and operated by Bally’s Corp which used to be known as Twin River Holdings Worldwide.
Legal online sports betting is connected to the Rhode Island Lottery. It is powered by William Hill on the IGT platform. Remote registration for the mobile betting app is now permitted anywhere within the state’s borders.
Previously it was limited to in-person registration at either of the two retail sportsbooks. Gov. Dan McKee recently signed legislation that extends the current agreement between the Rhode Island Lottery, Bally’s Corp, and IGT for online sports betting services.
Launched in November of 2020, Tennessee was the first state to only offer sports betting online through mobile sportsbook apps. There are no land-based casinos or racetracks in the state, so the laws were written to legalize sports betting solely through the internet.
The big three of FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM were first to market and they have held onto the lion’s share of the monthly betting handle. In March of this year, Caesars entered the Tennessee market through the company’s acquisition of William Hill. This was one of TwinSpires first expansion markets as a sportsbook and WynnBet made its debut in Tennessee towards the end of April. The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation provides industry oversight as the regulatory body.
Legal online sports betting in Virginia was launched on January 22 of this year. The state is also in the process of building its first land-based casinos which would also qualify for a license to run a retail sportsbook. Casinos are expected to be built in four or five areas across the state including Richmond as the capital city.
FanDuel was the first mobile sportsbook app to go live through a partnership with the NFL’s Washington Football Team. DraftKings, BetMGM, BetRivers, and Caesars through William Hill quickly followed suit. Future expansion includes Bally Bets, Barstool Sportsbook, and Golden Nugget to produce one of the more extensive lists of legal online books in the US market.
The District of Columbia is one of the few US markets that offer legal online sports betting through its lottery. The mobile app is called Gambet DC and it is powered by INTRALOT. It was first launched in May of 2020. DC also offers legal retail and mobile sports betting at two land-based sporting venues.
William Hill, as part of Caesars Entertainment, offers legal sports betting at Capital One Area including a two-block radius around the physical location. BetMGM has partnered with Nationals Park with the same type of arrangement. Gambet DC remains the only online sports betting platform outside of these two areas within the district. The legal age for placing sports bets in DC is set at 18.
West Virginia passed legislation legalizing sports betting in March of 2018 just ahead of the landmark US Supreme Court decision that paved the way for a state’s right to govern and regulate sportsbooks within its borders. Legal sports betting is available at five land-based casinos and racinos located throughout the state.
This includes The Greenbrier as a noted resort. In August of 2019, online sports betting made its debut in West Virginia. FanDuel has ties to The Greenbrier and DraftKings partnered with Hollywood Casino at Charles Town for its online mobile app. The state’s regulatory body is the West Virginia Lottery Commission.
States With Pending Sports Betting
As a result of a new tribal gaming compact between Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe, sports betting has been legalized in Florida. State lawmakers were quick to create legislation that approved the new 30-year deal. The new compact is currently under review by the US Department of Interior.
Provisions of the new compact allow for retail sportsbooks in land-based casinos as well as online betting through mobile apps. In return for a guaranteed $500 million revenue share with the state, the Seminole Tribe will retain its gaming monopoly in Florida including control of mobile sports betting platforms.
The timeline for launch hinges on federal approval of the new compact. There is also the threat of possible lawsuits challenging the new state law. The earliest date would be Oct. 15 according to the terms of the deal.
Legal sports betting in Louisiana was approved on a parish by parish basis through a voter referendum in the 2020 November general election. State lawmakers have been working through the regulatory process since that point. Of the 64 different parishes in the state, sports betting will be legal in all but nine. Recently, legislation gained final approval to create 20 sportsbook licenses.
They will be offered to the state’s 16 land-based commercial casinos and the four in-state horse racing tracks. A retail license holder can also offer online betting through mobile sportsbook apps. The regulation of legal sports betting falls under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana Lottery Corporation. Plans still call for a launch sometime this year.
Maryland was another state that approved legal sports betting through a voter referendum in the 2020 general election last November. In May of this year, Gov. Larry Hogan signed legislation into law. The goal is to launch legal betting in time for the new football season or possibly in time for the 2021 MLB World Series. The new law calls for 10 retail sportsbook licenses covering the state’s six land-based casinos, the Maryland Jockey Club, and three professional sports stadiums.
Class B licenses will be issued for other gaming establishments such as OTB locations, commercial bingo halls, and the Maryland State Fairgrounds. Any entity with a Class A or B license can apply to offer online sports betting through a mobile sportsbooks app.
Legal sports betting in South Dakota gained approval by means of a voter referendum in the 2020 November general election. Further legislation defined the terms resulting in legal retail sportsbooks in land-based casinos located in the city of Deadwood as a resort destination. Federal law dictates that this would also have to include South Dakota’s 11 tribal casinos.
While online sports betting was not included in the new law, Deadwood casinos are authorized to run their own mobile server. In-state registration would have to take place at one of those locations. The South Dakota Gaming Commission is in charge of regulating legal sports betting. The timeline for launch is still planned for some time this year.
The state of Washington has approved legal sports betting in the state and it continues to move through the regulatory process. Retail sportsbooks in land-based tribal casinos will be available. Yet, online sports betting through mobile sportsbook apps was not part of the approved legislation. Gov. Jay Inslee signed HB 2638 into law on March 25 of last year. Yet, Washington has yet to go live due to numerous delays in the regulatory process.
Part of the delay can be attributed to negotiations of a new tribal gaming compact. There are 29 federally recognized tribal casinos in the state of Washington representing 25 different tribes. As many as 15 different tribes have expressed an interest in offering legal sports betting through their casinos. Current plans still call for a launch by the end of this year.
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon signed sports betting legislation into law on April 6 of this year. The new law paves the way for both retail and online sports betting. There are no commercial casinos in the state but land-based retail sportsbooks can be added to the four tribal casinos operated by two different tribes.
Online gaming will be run by US sportsbooks such as FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM through mobile betting apps. Remote registration for an online account has been approved. The Wyoming Gaming Commission is currently going through the regulatory process with the goal of launching legal betting in early September to coincide with the start of the new football season.