US States Offering Licensed Online Sportsbooks and Sports Betting Apps
Let’s take a closer look at which US states offer licensed online sports books and sports betting apps:
Legalized sports betting in Colorado has completed one year as the state legalized the activity in May 2020. The first year of legalized sports betting has given the state tax revenues exceeding $6.6 million.
All 33 casinos in Colorado have licenses to offer sports betting services. Two-thirds of them have received special licenses to offer mobile sports betting while 16 of them have received licenses to offer in-person sports betting. However, more than 80% of the sports bets in Colorado are placed on mobile devices and computers.
Licensed sportsbooks have to pay the state 10% tax on their profits. The state spends $130,000 of its tax revenue on gambling addiction services including counseling and hotlines. The rest of the money is used for the benefit of community colleges, storage projects, water conservation projects, and other social welfare projects.
Legalized sports betting options were available in Delaware long before 2018 as it was one of the few US states that were exempted from the PASPA. The state’s attempts to legalize sports betting date back to 1976 when the Delaware Lottery started offering parlay betting on football games including at least three teams.
Today, Delaware offers legalized sports betting services through its racinos—Delaware Park, Harrington Raceway, and Dover Downs. But you can place bets on sports events only in person at these three racinos as the state does not offer online sportsbooks or sports betting apps.
A capital bill providing for the legalization of sports betting was passed into law in the state legislature on June 3, 2019, enabling Rivers Casino to accept the first legal sports bet on March 9, 2020.
Illinois laws permit online and retail sports betting at racetracks, venues housing professional sports teams, off-track betting parlors, and casinos state-wide. When Illinois authorized sports betting apps on June 18, 2020, BetRivers was the first to go live.
Joilet, Hollywood Casinos, Rivers Casino Des Plaines, Grand Victoria Casino, FanDuel, DraftKings Sportsbook, and Argosy Casino Alton offer legal sports betting services to Illinois residents. The Hawthorne Race Course is the only horse racing track offering retail sports betting in Illinois. The state also has five mobile operators including William Hill and PointsBet.
The laws require residents to register in person at the casino to use its sports betting app. Also, operators of online sportsbooks have to wait for 18 months after receiving a license to launch sports betting apps, although FanDuel and DraftKings Sportsbook have managed to get around this law.
Sports betting became legal in Indiana in September 2019, and the next month, online sportsbooks went live throughout the state. Today, sports bettors can bet legally at DraftKings Sportsbook, Bet MGM, William Hill Sportsbook, FanDuel, PointsBet, Unibet, and others.
Indiana’s sports betting laws require operators to partner with one of its land-based casinos to offer sports betting services. Licensed operators have to pay the state 9.5% of their gross gambling revenue as taxes. Also, the laws prevent you from betting on amateur athletes under 18 and impose restrictions on live betting.
Online and retail sports betting went live in August 2019 in Iowa after the state legalized sports wagering in May 2019. Today, Iowa residents can place sports bets at DraftKings Sportsbook, BetMGM, PointsBet, and others.
Iowa’s sports betting laws allow operators can launch sportsbooks only in partnership with a local casino. Till Jan 2021, bettors had to register in person at the casino to use its sports betting app; but today, bettors can register from anywhere in the state.
Iowa imposes a tax of 6.75% on gross gambling revenues, which happens to be the lowest in the US.
Online and mobile sports betting went live in Michigan in January 2021 after the state legalized sports betting on December 20, 2019. The laws also permit college sports betting. The state accepted its first legal bet at 1:00 p.m. on March 11, 2020. As long as you are physically present in Michigan, you can bet through a sports betting app.
The Gaming Control Board bears the responsibility of overseeing sports betting activities across the state. So far, it has approved 15 mobile gaming licenses.
Sports betting operators have to pay the state a revenue tax of 8.4%. Plus, commercial casinos holding sports betting licenses have to pay a tax of 1.25%.
Mississippi legalized and regulated its sports betting industry in August 2018, enabling sports bettors to legally place sports bets in-person at casinos licensed to offer sports betting services. But mobile sports betting is still not legal in the state.
The Mississippi Gaming Commission oversees sports betting activities in Mississippi.
Sports betting received the legislative nod in Montana in March 2020, but only Intralot, which operates the state lottery, is permitted to accept sports bets. The state permits residents to bet up to $1000 on sports events online and up to $250 at kiosks.
As Montana’s sports betting industry is monopolized by its lottery, residents can use only one sports betting app—Sports Bet Montana. Only on-property mobile betting is permitted in Montana, which means that bettors can place bets on their mobile devices only on the premises of retail sports betting facilities.
As one of the US states that enjoyed exemption from the PASPA, which outlawed sports betting throughout the US till 2018, Nevada has been offering legal sports betting for the past several years. In 1949, Nevada became the first state in the US to legalize sports betting. As a result, Nevada’s sports betting industry is one of the healthiest in the country.
Also, the credit of being the first US state to offer mobile sports betting goes to Nevada. The state’s first sports betting app went live in 2010. Today, almost every land-based casino in Nevada, ranging from Caesars to MGM, offers a sports betting app.
However, you have to visit the casino offering the sports betting app to register and get started.
The 17th US state to legalize sports betting was New Hampshire. This happened on July 12, 2019, when Chris Sununu, the governor of New Hampshire, signed a sports betting bill into law and legalized both retail and mobile sports betting. As New Hampshire sports betting laws permit remote registration, a larger number of bettors could register from home during the pandemic.
New Hampshire has granted DraftKings Sportsbook the monopoly to offer sports betting services within its jurisdiction. In return, DraftKings offers 51% of its gross gambling revenue to the state government.
New Jersey was quick to legalize sports betting after the PASPA was outlawed in 2018. Sportsbooks cropped up at racetracks and casinos all over the state. The first sports bets were accepted on June 14, 2018, during a ceremony organized at the William Hill Race and Sports Bar.
The NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) regulates all forms of sports betting in New Jersey. Residents can choose from a wide range of sports betting brands that operate from NJ’s land-based casinos and racetracks. The state also permits each licensed casino and racetrack to offer up to three sports betting apps. The first company to launch a sports betting app in NJ was DraftKings Sportsbook on August 6, 2018.
The state doesn’t permit college sports betting.
The Santa Ana Casino in New Mexico accepted the first sports bet in October 2018 and New Mexico became the 6th US state to legalize sports betting. Later, four more tribal casinos in New Mexico started offering sports betting services.
New Mexico hasn’t legalized online sports betting and doesn’t plan to do so soon.
The New York State Gaming Commission approved a regulatory framework for sports betting in January 2019. As a result, retail sportsbooks started operating legally in the state in July 2019.
A deal to legalize mobile sports betting in New York got the legislative nod in April 2021. Bettors can expect online and mobile sportsbooks to go live in New York late in 2021 or early in 2022.
The mobile sports betting industry in New York has the potential to become one of the biggest in the US. Several brands including Bet365, BetRivers, DraftKings, and others are expected to launch sports betting apps in the state.
North Carolina legalized sports betting in 2019, enabling William Hill to partner with the Eastern band of Cherokee Indians to launch a couple of retail sportsbooks on March 18, 2021. However, the laws permit only in-person betting at licensed tribal casinos.
Sports betting is legal in Oregon, but the only sports betting facility in the state is the Scoreboard sports betting app and website, which is run by the state. The law also permits tribal casinos to offer in-person sports betting.
Pennsylvania’s robust and fast-growing sports betting industry went live in 2018 and expanded into online and mobile sports betting in 2019. Today, bettors can choose from a variety of brands like BetMGM, FanDuel Sportsbook, Unibet, BetRivers, FoxBet, and others to place sports bets online.
The state has legalized in-person, mobile, as well as online sports betting. The tax rate for operators, however, is as high as 36% of the gross gambling revenue.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board oversees sports betting throughout the state. It bears the responsibility of licensing and testing online sports betting sites before permitting them to go live. The board also handles responsible gambling enforcement and compliance issues.
Rhode Island became the 8th US state to legalize sports betting in 2018, shortly after the PASPA was outlawed. Early in 2019, the state legalized mobile sports betting and online sportsbooks as well. Late in 2019, sports betting apps requiring in-person registration appeared in Rhode Island.
The Rhode Island Lottery in partnership with IGT and William Hill offers sports betting apps in the state. Bettors have to be physically present in the state to place bets through this app.
Sports betting became legal in Tennessee on Nov 1, 2020, and sports betting apps like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, William Hill, and Action 24/7 are now available to Tennessee residents. Tennessee laws permit only mobile and online sports betting, leaving no option for retail sports betting.
Virginia legalized sports betting in April 2020 and granted 12 sports betting licenses to enable sportsbooks like FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings, and others to go live in the state early in 2021. The law permits only up to 12 sports betting apps in its jurisdiction.
The state doesn’t offer in-person sports betting as it approved land-based casinos only in 2020. Once the land-based casinos are constructed, they may start offering retail sports betting services to residents.
As West Virginia has legalized in-person, mobile, and online sports wagering, FanDuel Sportsbook could make an appearance in the Mountain State in August 2019. DraftKings and BetMGM soon followed FanDuel into the newly regulated market.
West Virginia was the fifth US state to legalize retail sports betting in August 2018 soon after Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Nevada did the same. It legalized online sports betting a few months later.
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US States That Have Recently Legalized Sports Betting
The following US states legalized sports betting recently, but sportsbooks and sports betting apps are scheduled to go live at a later date:
Early in 2021, Arizona lawmakers legalized fantasy betting and sports betting by passing a bill that included provisions for the expansion of the state’s tribal casinos. The task of regulating sportsbooks operated by tribes and professional sports teams was entrusted to the Department of Gaming. The state is expected to accept its first sports bets on September 9, 2021.
The Department of Gaming has released draft rules for games and fantasy sports, which will legalize money-line bets, over-under bets, straight bets, in-play bets, in-game wagering, and pool betting. However, betting on high school sports and inter-game play in college sports will continue to be illegal.
Arizona will grant licenses to only 10 sportsbooks, and the Gaming Department has requested the public to help them decide which operators to license. The Arizona Diamondbacks, the Phoenix Suns, and TPC Scottsdale intend to launch sportsbooks in the state.
Sports betting became legal in Connecticut when the state passed a bill legalizing online casino games, lottery sales, and sports betting in May 2021. However, betting on college sports events will continue to be illegal.
Connecticut’s two casinos and the CT Lottery will share the rights to offer online sports betting services when they launch later this year. DraftKings Sportsbook in partnership with Mashantucket Pequot and Kambi in partnership with the Mohegan are all set to grab their share of Connecticut’s sports betting market. In addition, legalized sports betting services will also be available in 15 sports bars and lottery-licensed facilities.
The state will impose a tax of 13.75% on fantasy sports and sports betting profits and use the tax revenue to fund problem gambling services. The bill also provides for player protection measures like self-exclusion, reality checks, and credit limits.
Sports betting became legal in Florida in May 2021 when Ron DeSantis, the governor of the state, signed a gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe. The new sports betting law permits retail sportsbooks and sports betting apps to start operating from October 15, 2021.
The signed compact, however, still requires the legislative nod. Also, Florida has several anti-gambling groups that do not want any form of gambling to be legalized. If everything goes well, Florida residents can start betting on sports events legally from Oct 15, 2021.
Lawmakers approved sports betting in Louisiana in June 2021, which means that residents may be able to place legal sports bets this fall.
Louisiana’s new sports betting laws permit residents to place sports bets in person at bars, racetracks, and casinos. The state plans to issue 20 licenses and to permit the Louisiana Lottery to hire a company to operate a sportsbook.
The state’s four racetracks and 16 casinos will get the first opportunity to offer sports betting services. If they don’t want to do so, video poker outlets can grab the opportunity.
The Louisiana Lottery bears the task of overseeing sports betting kiosks in bars and restaurants. The laws permit an unlimited number of bars and restaurants to offer on-site sports betting. However, they prohibit betting on high school sports events and athletes under 18.
Sports betting is now legal in Maryland and may go live in the next few months. On June 10, 2021, PointsBet Sportsbook partnered with the Riverboard on the Potomac to gain access to Maryland’s newly regulated sports betting market. Residents may be able to place sports bets legally in the state during the NFL Season this September.
Maryland is issuing two categories of licenses. Ten of them are reserved for the state’s six casinos, the Maryland Jockey Club, and the state’s three professional sports teams. Thirty licenses are reserved for businesses based in Maryland. Both categories of licenses permit mobile sports wagering.
In May 2021, Pete Ricketts, the governor of Nebraska, signed into law a bill that permits pari-mutuel race tracks to offer retail sportsbooks. College sports betting, however, will be prohibited. Legal sports betting activities are expected to go live either late in 2021 or early in 2022 throughout the state.
Ohio lawmakers passed a bill legalizing sports betting on June 16, 2021, but sports betting services may go live in Ohio only from April 1, 2022.
The bill permits residents to bet on sports events legally and offers a total of 58 licenses. All businesses including racinos and casinos can apply for a sports betting license. These include 33 retail sports betting licenses and 25 licenses for online sportsbooks and sports betting apps. Each applicant has to pay a licensing fee of $1 million.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission will review and grant sports betting licenses. The state will distribute these licenses based on the population of each county.
Operators have to pay the state a tax of 10% on their gross gambling revenues. The funds thus raised will be spent on education programs and gambling addiction programs.
South Dakota’s Commission on Gaming approved rules for sports betting in May 2021, and the state plans to them into effect from July 1, 2021. Among the rules approved were application fees of $5000 for sports betting licenses and a proposal to deduct federal excise tax and promotional spending.
The rules also prohibit licensees to place wagers on sports and prevent betting on high school sports, college sports, and minor league sports.
Legal sports betting may launch in South Dakota in September 2021.
Although sports betting was legalized in Washington on March 25, 2020, it is heavily restricted. The laws permit only tribal casinos to offer sports betting services on their property. Sports betting apps are still not legal, but the laws permit betting on college as well as professional sports.
Negotiations between the state and tribal casinos are still on, and Washington bettors may have to wait for months for the sportsbooks to go live.
Although Wyoming legalized sports betting in April 2021, residents have to wait for a few more months for the newly regulated sports betting market to launch.
As the state has no commercial casinos, Wyoming will license multiple operators to launch sports betting apps. The state will also give its four tribal casinos the right to offer sports betting services.
If everything goes as planned, licensed sportsbooks will be available in Wyoming by September 2021.
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US States that Have No Legal Sports Betting Options
The following is a list of US states that are either very slow or least interested in addressing the issue of legalizing sports betting.
Attempts to legalize sports betting in the following states have failed, and we may have to wait till next year to find out if there are any chances of sports betting legalization in these states:
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
US Sports Betting Laws FAQs
Can I bet on sports legally in the US?
The answer to this question depends on the state in which you live. If you reside in a state that has legalized sports betting, you can bet legally on sports. Otherwise, you have to travel to a state that has legalized sports betting to place sports bets legally.
Can I make money betting on sports in the US?
Yes, but it is easier said than done. You have to do a lot of research before placing a bet to make a profit. Keep an eye on the latest sports news and updates and get the best sports picks to improve your chances of winning.
Can I bet on college and high school sports legally in the US?
Again, it depends on the state in which you live. Some US states permit betting on college sports while some do not.
How can I choose the best sports betting app?
We suggest reading reviews of the top sports betting apps in your state before making a choice. You can also discuss the app in sports betting forums to find out what other bettors think about it.
How many sportsbooks can I register at?
You can register at as many sportsbooks as you please. However, you cannot open multiple accounts on the same online sportsbook.
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Casino Gaming Laws in Each US State
Two sets of laws have to be considered while talking about the US casino gaming landscape—federal laws and state laws.
Federal laws have a direct impact on individual states’ abilities to frame gambling regulations. For example, the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 gave states the power to sign gaming compacts with native tribes for the establishment of tribal casinos.
To a large extent, individual US states are free to create gambling laws of their own, as a result of which we have different gambling laws and different legal gambling options in each state.
While US states like Nevada, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware have robust regulatory frameworks and have legalized almost all forms of land-based and online gambling, states like Utah and Hawaii hardly have any legal gambling options. Moreover, gambling laws keep changing even as we write.
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US States That Have Legalized Online Casino
These US states have recently legalized online casinos, and the list is expected to grow:
Online casinos became legal in Connecticut when the Connecticut House voted in favor of a comprehensive bill to legalize online casinos and online sportsbooks. In the next few months, residents will be able to play poker and slots legally on their desktops or mobile devices and take advantage of no deposit bonuses and free spins.
The new law is expected to boost the state’s revenue by $30 million next year, touching $83 million by the end of 2026. Online casino operators have to pay a tax of 18% on their gross gaming revenue.
Connecticut has legalized several forms of gambling including casino gaming, pari-mutuel betting, daily fantasy sports, lottery games, and charitable gaming. The state is home to two large tribal casinos—Foxwoods Resorts Casino and The Mohegan Sun. There are also several off-track betting (OTBs) locations belonging to Sportech PLC.
Despite its small size, Delaware is home to a large and thriving gambling industry, which presents options ranging from casino gaming to parlay betting. Also, the state organizes lottery games and permits charity gambling.
Delaware was the first state in the US to legalize online gambling. The state passed an Internet gaming bill in June 2012, as a result of which its three gambling establishments—Harrington Raceway, Dover Downs, and Delaware Park—offer full-fledged casino sites.
Delaware gets most of its gambling revenue from the Delaware Lottery, which rakes in more than $450 million every year. The state uses 30% of this income to fund higher education, public safety, health & social services, child & family programs, and other social welfare programs.
Online poker rooms, online casinos, and online sportsbooks became legal in Michigan in December 2019. As many as nine online and mobile casinos went live in Michigan in January 2021 and more will arrive shortly.
Michigan’s gambling history has its roots in the early thirties, and today, the state has 26 licensed casinos that offer a total of 30,000+ slot machine games. Three of these casinos are commercial casinos located in Detroit and all the others are tribal casinos operating on reservation land.
Casino gaming became legal in New Jersey as early as 1976. The state’s major casino gaming law is the New Jersey Casino Control Act. New Jersey’s first casino, the Resorts International Casino, was established in 1978 in Atlantic City. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and the New Jersey Casino Control Commission oversee online and land-based casino gaming activities across the state.
NJ has nine commercial casinos, the biggest of which is the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, which offers 3000+ gambling machines. The second-biggest casino is the Resorts Casino Hotel, which offers 2,500 gambling machines. There are no tribal casinos in New Jersey.
On February 26, 2013, New Jersey legalized online gambling, enabling its commercial casinos to partner with online gambling operators or software providers to offer online casinos to NJ residents. All US residents above 21 can play at these licensed online casinos provided they are physically present in New Jersey.
Pennsylvania legalized online gambling in 2017, as a result of which residents can choose from a wide range of legal online casinos and sportsbooks.
Online gambling became legal in the state when Tom Wolf, the governor of Pennsylvania, signed H271 into law. As a result, several forms of online gambling including online lottery games, online poker, tablet gaming, VGTs, and mini-casinos became legal in the state.
Parx Online and Hollywood Casino Online were the first to go live in July 2019. Today, Pennsylvania casino players can choose from several licensed online casinos including Unibet, BetMGM, Stars Casino, DraftKings Casino, and others.
However, only state-licensed operators can legally offer online casino services to residents. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) is the gambling regulator in the state.
West Virginia has legalized online casinos and online poker, becoming the fifth US state to do so. The first online casino, DraftKings Casino in partnership with Hollywood Casino Charlestown, went live in July 2020. BetMGM went live in 2020 and BetRivers launched a casino app in 2021. More online casinos are expected to go live in West Virginia in the next few months.
State-run lottery games, charity games, casino gaming, and sports betting are also legal forms of gambling in West Virginia, which offers five land-based casinos, out of which four are racinos. Also, the state offers charity games, social games, and several off-track betting facilities and uses its gambling tax revenue to improve its education system.
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US States That Have Banned Gambling
These states have banned gambling completely, whether it be online or land-based:
All categories of gambling are illegal in Hawaii. The state doesn’t have any land-based commercial casino or tribal casino or online gambling site. The state allows residents to play social games in private as long as no profits are made.
According to the state’s laws, gambling is a misdemeanor, but it may become a felony if a gambler wins $1000 on lottery games or $500 on sports betting per day.
Utah doesn’t even have lottery games and charity bingo games and raffles. Even Indian tribes cannot operate casinos in Utah because casino gaming is illegal in the state and no governor is willing to sign a gaming compact with the tribes.
Utah, however, permits playing casino games for fun. Residents can hold casino parties and sign up on social gaming sites.
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