States With Legal Sports Betting Available
While there are multiple states with legal sports betting available, the legality of the practice is still quite confusing for residents in the majority of the U.S. There are federal laws along with state laws that affect the popular gaming activity, but we’ll run through all of the major areas of concern over the following sections. There are states that have land-based sports wagering, online sports betting apps, and in some cases both. While it is true that each state can form its rules and regulations on sports betting to the way they see fit, access to sports betting odds can be found in all 50 states when choosing the proper legal method.
We’re talking of course about using online offshore sportsbooks. If you’re using one of these types of sites then you don’t have to worry about whether or not you live in one of the states with legal sports betting available. Because of the location of these site’s operations, they are able to bypass both federal and state laws. This allows them to provide you with some of the best odds in the world. We’ll go over a couple of these sites down below, but first, you should read to see how federal laws may affect your sports wagering experience and read to check if you already live somewhere that currently has state-regulated sportsbooks.
There are three laws that bettors should be familiar with. They are the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), and the Federal Wire Act.
Let’s start with PASPA. This law was enacted in 1992 and essentially banned all state lawmakers from enacting sports betting laws in their home region. Only four states were pardoned from this law, but they were only able to keep the sports gambling activities that they already had. They were not allowed to expand any further than that. However, this law was repealed by the US Supreme Court in May of 2018. This ruling has opened the door for states to legalize and regulate their own sports betting industry the way they see fit. Over a dozen states have chosen to take advantage of this new freedom and many others are in the process of doing the same.
The UIGEA takes a unique perspective into tackling the online sports betting marketplace. The law holds financial institutions and payment processors accountable for handling transactions that involve unregulated gambling websites. After this law was signed into law in 2006, many domestic sports betting sites ceased their operations. But, online sports wagering sites that are based overseas were not affected by this law. They are still able to process sportsbook deposits and withdrawals. They are able to work around this law by providing multiple payment methods including, money orders, checks, and even cryptocurrencies.
The Wire Act of 1961 is the oldest sports betting federal law. It was originally intended to stop mobsters from sending inter-state sports gambling information over the use of wire communication such as a telephone. The law was then reinterpreted to include online sports gambling sites. This is why residents who use state-regulated online sportsbooks have to be physically located within that state to place a bet. This law is enforced on U.S. based sports betting operators and not ones located offshore. It also is not enforced on the casual sports bettor who uses these sites.
Since the repeal of PASPA more and more states are beginning to open their own sportsbooks. Each state has its own method of offering these sportsbooks and each state comes with its own set of rules for both the operators and sports bettors. Some states impose a higher tax rate on operators than others. Some states won’t allow for certain types of collegiate bets. Some states chose to pay sports leagues, while most have not. In any case, these rules change depending on where you are. Below you’ll find a list of all of the states that have legal sports betting and active sportsbooks.
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- New York
Nevada – This state has long been known as the go-to place to find legal sports betting. Nevada already had full-fledged sportsbooks by the time that PASPA was signed into law. It is because of this that they were grandfathered into the law and were thus able to have a head start on all other states. Nevada has retail sportsbooks as well as state-wide mobile sports wagering apps. They also have no restrictions on which teams you can bet on.
New Jersey – New Jersey was actually the state to take the NCAA to the US Supreme Court and get PASPA repealed. Since then the state has fully embraced sports betting and allows for brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, online sports wagering sites, and even state-wide mobile sports betting apps. The apps have worked to lure many NYC residents to visit and place wagers. Ironically enough though, NJ does not allow betting on in-state college teams or in-state college events.
Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania sports betting is a market that seems to be growing by the day. This may come as a surprise given the fact that Pennsylvania assesses one of the highest tax rates in the world when it comes to sportsbook provider revenue. Casinos that are looking to provide the amenity have to pay a $10 million licensing fee and 35% tax on all revenue they generate from the activity. Still, with all of the sports fans in the state in only makes sense to pay this cost. Sportsbooks have opened in retail locations as well as through statewide mobile sports wagering apps. There are no restrictions on who you can bet on.
Delaware – The state of Delaware was also one of the four states that were grandfathered into the former federal sports betting law PASPA. However, after it was repealed, Delaware became the first state in the nation to expand it’s gaming activities to be similar to Nevada. Delaware now has three sportsbook locations spread throughout the state. There are no mobile sports wagering apps, but the silver lining is that no matter where you are in the state, a retail sportsbook is only a few hours away or less.
West Virginia – Sports betting in West Virginia was introduced in the following months after PASPA was repealed. Although, the sports betting market has not yet fully developed into its full form. The state allows for both land-based and online sportsbooks, but online sportsbooks have not been approved by the state’s gaming commission as fast as other states. Two of the states 5 casino sportsbooks has also had difficulty in keeping its sports wagering offerings going. The state does embrace college sports betting. The tax revenue collected from betting on sports in WV is used to help fund colleges in the state.
Mississippi – The state of MS has always been the rare exception to southern states who oppose gambling. Mississippi has long had prevalent casinos in places such as Biloxi and Tunica, so it only made sense that those casinos get the ability to open sportsbooks. An important aspect to note is that mobile betting in MS is restricted to those casino locations. Any bets you try to place outside of those properties will not work. There are retail sportsbooks scattered throughout the state so it should not take you too long of a drive to place a sports wager if you have a good feeling about an upcoming game.
New Mexico – In a bit of a wild west approach, Tribal casinos in the state of New Mexico chose to open sportsbooks even without the need for the state to pass a sports betting bill. They claimed that the activity was already included in the Class III games that they are allowed to offer. While several tribal casinos have taken on this stance, they are still restricted to offering land-based sports wagering only. Their brick-and-mortar locations will still offer odds for almost any team in the country, college or professional.
Rhode Island – The smallest state in the county still has big plans for their sports betting industry. Originally sportsbooks were only allowed to be opened at the state’s two Twin River Casino locations. But, due to their overwhelming popularity, state lawmakers went back and legalized state-wide mobile sports betting. Residents of the state are now waiting for those apps to launch. Rhode Island also has one of the youngest sports wagering age requirements, allowing bettors to be as young as 18 years old.
New York – In what could potentially be the largest sports betting market in the country, New York sports betting has taken a small step approach to launch the amenity. Currently, only four up-state casinos, as well as tribal casinos, can offer the activity. They are restricted to only on-site sports wagering since mobile sports betting has been argued to need the approval of a voter referendum. That process would take years, but if state lawmakers are able to do so, they would see a much greater return on sports betting revenue. NYC residents usually favor using mobile sports betting apps in NJ rather than traveling up-state.
Other states have recently legalized sports betting in some method but have not launched any sportsbooks as of yet. Those states include Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Many other states have recently introduced sports betting bills but have not been able to get them signed into law. It’s important to note that every one of the states that have officially legalized gambling on sports so far has failed to address the use of online offshore sportsbooks. Those books continue to serve residents of those states and often times can provide better odds because they avoid any home town bias.
One of the biggest sports betting law to watch out for is the legal betting age. Some states have taken the approach of keeping that requirement the same as their casinos and will only allow those 21 and up to place a wager. Other states, such as Rhode Island, have a lowered age and will allow for bettors as young as 18 to enjoy their state-regulated sportsbooks. Online offshore options will generally require you to be 18 years or older to use them, but if your state requires you to be older than you should abide by that law. The age set by your state is the one you should follow, and if your state has not set a sports betting age, then we recommend you stay on the safe side and wait till you’re 21.
There are quite a few online sportsbooks that specialize in American bettors and the sports that are most popular in the United States. There are a couple of those sites directly below, with some information on the bettors they accept and the betting lines that are formed. But more importantly than that, they are here because they are legal for American sports bettors to sign up and bet real money at them.
Bovada Sportsbook represents everything great about legal online sports betting for bettors in the U.S. This sportsbook was created specifically with USA bettors in mind and is a great legal option. There are 46 states that are able to legally create an account and bet here. Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland are unable to create accounts, but aside from that bettors are good to go.
Sports across the United States and the rest of the world can be found at Bovada, but bettors will instantly recognize the extensive selection dedicated to leagues in the U.S. You’ll be able to find an extensive range of betting lines and will most likely find lines for your favorite teams at this site.
There are few online sportsbooks that resonate through to U.S. sports and U.S. sports bettors than BetOnline. It starts with the fact that the site accepts players in the United States from all 50 states. BetOnline is located in Panama and operates outside of any federal legislation, which makes it legal to create an account and place real-money bets.
BetOnline makes it very easy for American bettors to wager because funding sportsbook accounts is easy thanks to the wide variety of payment options that are available. Furthermore, there are numerous leagues and sports featured here that have betting lines available for all types of wagers include straight bets, parlays, live betting and much more.