United States Federal Online Sports Betting Legislation
To tell the tale of online sports betting legislation in the United States, we start in Nevada, way back in 1931. On March 19, 1931, Nevada Governor Fred Balzar signed Bill 98 into law, which legalized gambling for the first time in any U.S. state’s history. This put Nevada, and more specifically, Las Vegas, on the path to becoming the sports betting destination we know today.
So why was Nevada the only state in the US where people could legally bet on sports for nearly a century?
First, that’s not quite true. There is one state that had something in common with Nevada: Delaware. While no other state offered legal sports betting until 2018, Delaware featured parlays of three or more NFL games. Still, Nevada was entirely on its own in offering full-scale sports betting.
For the reasons why sports betting remained sequestered in Nevada until 2018, enter the Big Bad in this story: the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, better known as PASPA. In 1992, PASPA – a law put in place by the US federal government in order to curtail corrupt sports gambling – essentially banned sports betting across the U.S., except in states where it already existed (Nevada and Delaware).
When Congress voted PASPA into law, there was a clause which gave states that operated casinos a one-year window during which they could pass legislation to allow sports betting. None did, and many would go on to rue this missed opportunity over the next 25 years.
Nevertheless, 17 years after PASPA, the battle for online sports betting in the U.S. began anew. In 2009, Senator Ray Lesniak rallied support to question the constitutionality of PASPA. In 2011, a constitutional amendment that would allow sports betting in New Jersey was given the thumbs up by 64% of voters. Soon after, Lesniak introduced the Sports Wagering Act, the first step toward fully legalized NJ sports betting.
In 2012, NJ lawmakers approved the Sports Wagering Act, which Governor Chris Christie signed into law. Progress stalled, however, when the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA sued Christie and NJ in order to prevent legalized sports betting.
2013 was a bad year for the fight against PASPA. A judge ruled in favor of the leagues, and PASPA was upheld. Every appeal yielded the same result, and the Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear the case.
In 2014, Christie switched tactics by proposing to end the self-imposed ban on sports betting outright. Christie claimed that because there would be no regulation by the state, it didn’t violate PASPA. He introduced and signed the bill, and by October, 2016, casinos began preparing to launch sportsbooks.
In 2021, Canada legalized single-event sports wagering. The province of Ontario is set to open its doors to the biggest US sportsbook players in December 2021.
Supreme Court Sides With Sports Betting
When the professional sport leagues didn’t back down, NJ’s Sports Wagering Act was denied a second time by both the US District Court and Third Circuit Court. In a surprising and encouraging move, SCOTUS agreed to hear the case – a massive turning point for online sports betting in the US.
On December 4, 2017, oral arguments were heard in the officially named Murphy vs. NCAA case. By all accounts, the hearings went extremely well for the pro-sports betting side, and optimism swelled. In May 2018, SCOTUS announced a 6-3 win for Murphy and New Jersey, striking down PASPA once and for all, and paving the way for legal online sports betting in the United States.
State-by-State U.S. Online Sports Betting Update
Below we’ve created an up to date table that includes every state that has some sort of online sports betting.
|State||Sports Betting Legality||Retail / Online||Market Launch|
|New Jersey||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||Jun. 2018|
|West Virginia||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||Aug. 2018|
|Mississippi||Legal & Live||Retail, online is available on site at casinos||Aug. 2018|
|New Mexico||Legal & Live||Retail, only at a few tribal casinos||Oct. 2018|
|Pennsylvania||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||Nov. 2018|
|Rhode Island||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||Nov. 2018|
|New York||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||July 2019|
|Iowa||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||Aug. 2019|
|Oregon||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||Aug. 2019|
|Indiana||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||Sep. 2019|
|New Hampshire||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||Dec. 2019|
|Illinois||Legal & Live||Retail & Online - in-person registration required||Mar. 2020|
|Michigan||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||Mar. 2020|
|Colorado||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||May 2020|
|Tennessee||Legal & Live||Online Only - TN will not have retail betting||Nov. 2020|
|Virginia||Legal & Live||Retail & Online, though retail has not launched||Jan. 2020|
|Montana||Legal & Live||Retail, online is available on-site at lottery retailers with alcohol licenses||Mar. 2020|
|North Carolina||Legal & Live||Retail, only at two tribal casinos. Online coming in 2024.||Mar. 2021|
|Arizona||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||Sep. 2021|
|Wyoming||Legal & Live||Online Only - WY will not have retail betting||Sep. 2021|
|Washington||Legal & Live||Retail, online is available onsite at tribal casinos in the state||Sep. 2021|
|South Dakota||Legal & Live||Retail, only in Deadwood||Sep. 2021|
|Connecticut||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||Oct. 2021|
|Nevada||Legal & Live||Retail & Online, though registration must be done in-person||May 2018|
|Kansas||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||September 2022|
|Maryland||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||November 2022|
|Ohio||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||January 2023|
|Massachusetts||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||January 2023|
|Maine||Legal, Not Live||Retail & Online||TBA|
|Kentucky||Legal & Live||Retail & Online||Sep. 2023|
For the purposes of this page, we’ll break each state down into the following categories:
UP IN THE AIR – States where plans for sports betting are in flux.
PLACE YOUR BETS! – States that offer full-scale online sports betting.
HALFWAY THERE – States that offer full-scale live, retail sports betting, but online sports betting hasn’t been approved yet.
GETTING CLOSER – States that don’t offer sports betting yet but are working on legislation and/or regulations.
PLACE YOUR BETS!
After a long debate between Arizona tribes and the state government, an agreement was reached and legislation to bring sports betting to the state was signed in April 2021. Everyone hustled to get the regulatory structure in place before the start of the NFL season, with the first bets being placed at 12:01 a.m. local time on September 9.
Arizona’s sports betting law created room for up to 20 different online books. Ten will be set aside for federally recognized in-state tribes, the remaining ten will be open for Arizona sports teams to claim. Heavy hitters like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars have already cleared a pathway into Arizona.
Sports betting is now live in Colorado! Colorado voters approved the measure in early November 2019 by a narrow 2.5 percentage points leading to what is now statewide retail and online sports betting. Each of the state’s 33 casinos is eligible to hold a sports betting license, and host one online skin.
The first online sportsbooks launched in the state on May 1, 2020. DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, and BetMGM were all there to open the market. In the time since, Colorado has been exceptionally busy with 20+ online sportsbooks now accepting wagers in the state. Betfred, FOX Bet, Circa Sportsbook, SuperBook Sports, and WynnBET are just a few of the current options.
Illinois online and retail sports betting are a go. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed SB 0690 into law on June 28, 2019. It took nearly 9 months of prep, but the state’s first retail sportsbook opened for business on March 9, 2020. Rivers Casino Des Plaines had the honors. Online sports betting began in the state on June 18, 2020, with BetRivers again accepting the first wagers. In-person registration is required.
DraftKings was second to market, with sites like, FanDuel, PointsBet and Caesars Sportsbook following. Penn National, and their recently acquired Barstool Sportsbook brand, have also landed Illinois. With such a large population, expect a lot of online competition in Illinois.
Indiana sports betting kicked off on Sunday, September 1, 2019. That day, Gov. Eric Holcomb placed bets on the Colts and Pacers to win 2020 championships, and on Indiana’s WNBA team to win their game that night. Holcomb signed the Hoosier state’s sports gambling bill into law on May 8, 2019.
On October 3, 2019, just a month and two days after retail sports kicked off, BetRivers online sportsbook and DraftKings online sportsbook launched giving Indiana bettors the option to bet from anywhere in the state, including their own living rooms. FanDuel launched its online sportsbook on October 22, 2019 and with 12 casinos in the state, the industry is growing quickly.
Iowa online and retail sports betting went live on August 15, 2019, becoming the first state to launch both simultaneously. To place bets online, you can sign up online.
All of Iowa’s 19 casinos now hold sports betting licenses and can host up to 2 online skins each. Many of the industry’s top operators have already arrived in the Hawkeye State, including Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, and PointsBet. Iowa is also home to a few well-run ‘local’ online books – Q Sportsbook and Elite Sportsbook.
Sports betting has legally existed in Nevada since 1931. But it wasn’t until 1982, when the federal government further reduced its tax rate all the way down to 0.25%, that sports betting in Nevada flourished. The modern-era of sportsbooks dawned in 1986 when The Hilton opened its Superbook, full of luxurious seats and equipped with many large TVs. The site is now Westgate, which is home to what is widely recognized as the best sportsbook in Las Vegas.
Sports betting in Nevada is alive and well, despite PASPA no longer blocking other states. Almost every casino in Las Vegas has a sportsbook, with many of them featuring large, stadium-like areas with massive screens and plush seating areas.
Las Vegas has also embraced the Digital Age, with many sportsbooks offering online sports betting. A significant amount of the sports betting handle in Nevada now comes from online wagering, with sites like Caesars Sportsbook, Golden Nugget, Wynn, Caesars, and BetMGM leading the way.
New Hampshire launched online sports betting in December 2019. The state took applications for online sports betting licenses, but ended up picking DraftKings to be the lone option. The DraftKings online sportsbook will be the only game in town for New Hampshire bettors. Bet online or at one of two retail locations in the Granite State.
Online sports betting in the United States is now legal thanks in large part to New Jersey and its lawmakers. In May 2018, the SCOTUS announced a 6-3 decision in the Murphy vs NCAA case, thus striking down PASPA once and for all and opening up the online sports betting floodgates.
Shortly after the ruling, New Jersey unanimously passed a new sports betting bill and Gov. Phil Murphy signed it into law. NJ sports betting officially went live on June 14, 2018. The Governor officially launched sports betting by placing $20 on Germany to win the World Cup, and $20 on the NJ Devils to win the 2019 Stanley Cup.
According to the bill, NJ online sports betting was legal 30 days after June 14, although DraftKings Sportsbook – the first operator to offer NJ online sports betting – did not launch until August 2018. More than 20 online sportsbooks are available now within the Garden State.
The main betting restriction in the state of New Jersey surrounds in-state collegiate athletics. It’s not legal to wager on any New Jersey colleges (no matter where they’re playing), nor any college game taking place in the state. Thus, events like NCAAF Bowl games or NCAA basketball tournament action hosted in New Jersey are off limits for in-state sportsbooks.
In 2013, New York passed a law that legalized sports betting at four on-site locations, but the bill stalled due to the presence of PASPA. Even post-PASPA, legislation for legal sports betting in New York had been slow going. 2018 bore no fruit.
2019 finally brought some good news in New York as retail sportsbooks got the go-ahead in January. Rivers Sportsbook at Schenectady and FanDuel Sportsbook at Tioga Downs, plus a number of others began taking bets in-person later in the year.
It wasn’t until January 8, 2022, that New York began allowing online sportsbooks to accept mobile wagers, adding another interesting chapter to their Hudson River rivalry with neighboring New Jersey.
As of August 2019, sports betting is both legal and live in the state of Oregon. DraftKings is the only online sports betting option though, and it operates through the Oregon lottery. For now, Oregon won’t boast the robust marketplaces we’ve seen in other legal states.
On October 30, 2018, Tom Wolf signed a sports betting bill into law, leaving only PASPA in the way of legal sports betting in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is typically in no rush to get anything moving but on November 16, 2018, Hollywood Casino took the first legal sports bet in Pennsylvania. Since then, many new retail sportsbooks have opened their doors.
After a series of delays, on June 1st, 2019, SugarHouse PA made history when they launched the first online sportsbook in Pennsylvania. Sites like, Parx, Rivers and the number one online sportsbook in NJ, FanDuel, all went live soon after. Many others would join the action in the months to follow. Pennsylvania is currently one of the busiest regulated sports betting markets in the country.
When Governor Gina Raimondo signed off on Rhode Island’s 2018 budget, people took notice that it contained language that would allow retail sports betting, but not online. Retail wagering began in November of the same year at both of the state’s brick-and-mortar casinos.
Rhode Island passed an expansion in March 2019 that includes online wagering. Online sports betting officially launched in the state in September 2019. Caesars Sportsbook is the sole sports betting provider in the state, partnering with the state lottery to run the Sportsbook Rhode Island online book and mobile app.
In April 2019, Tennessee passed legislation to allow mobile-only sports betting. Originally slated to be a retail and online bill, legislators decided that the mobile-only option was the best bet for the state. After a lengthy rollout process and significant debate surrounding its betting rules, the state officially launched online sports betting on November 1, 2020.
Tennessee opened the gates with a shotgun-style start. BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel, were all accepting action day 1.
On March 3, 2018, West Virginia legalized sports betting. When PASPA was finally struck down a few months later in May 2018, the state was in a great position to offer full-scale sports betting – and quickly.
On August 30, the first official sports bet in West Virginia was made at Hollywood Casino Charles Town Races – a $50 wager on West Virginia to win the 2019 NCAA championship game.
West Virginia got its first taste of online sports betting in late 2018 with the BetLucky app, but it ran into service provider issues and was taken down soon after. After a lengthy delay, West Virginia got back in the game with the launch of the FanDuel and DraftKings online sportsbooks in late August 2019.
Each of West Virginia’s five casinos is eligible to host up to three online skins. This relatively small state has plenty of options for online sports betting.
Virginia is a welcome addition to this list, and was one of the biggest surprises of the early 2020 legislative sessions. A bill approving both mobile and retail sports betting arrived on the Governor’s desk in March. In April, Gov. Northam sent it back down with a few common sense amendments that eventually received the go-ahead.
VA’s sports betting law officially took effect on July 1st, and the state began receiving applications in October. The first online sportsbooks launched in the state in January 2021.
Virginia has no retail casinos yet, so online betting leads the way. A number of casino projects are in development, and will eventually bring retail betting options to the state.
Michigan got its sports betting legislation over the line in the dying days of 2019. After Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the Lawful Sports Betting Act, both online and retail wagering are now permitted under state law. The MGM Grand Detroit and the Greektown Casino both accepted bets on March 11, 2020, officially opening the market. The first online sportsbooks went live nearly a year later on January 22, 2021.
Michigan has a whopping 26 casinos, 23 of which are run by federally recognized Indian tribes. The online landscape has already begun to take shape. FOX Bet, Caesars, BetMGM, and PointsBet all have a presence in the state.
In a surprising move, the Wyoming state legislature legalized online-only sports wagering in the spring of 2021. The state quickly finalized its regulations and opened for business on September 1, 2021. DraftKings and BetMGM were the first operators to go live in the state on Day 1, but we expect at least three more sportsbooks to open in WY by the end of the year. In an unusual twist, bettors only have to be 18 to place a bet on sports in Wyoming.
Connecticut is now active with both retail and online sports betting. The two major tribes in the state–Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan–each have a sportsbook and online betting license, as does the state lottery. DraftKings and FanDuel are now live in Connecticut. The Lottery had previously partnered with PlaySugarHouse, but they are currently looking for a new sportsbook license partner.
Louisiana launched mobile sports betting in early 2022, and it has been a huge success. Most of the top sportsbooks are available in the state, and many casinos have added large retail sportsbooks. Even the Superdome, home of the Saints and many other events, is getting in on the action, rebranding as the Caesars Superdome.
Maryland passed a sports betting bill in March 2020 and voters approved a referendum at the ballot box in November of that year. It took a long time, but mobile betting finally went live in November 2022. The Old Line State faces serious competition from Virginia and Washington D.C. who are hoping their sports betting-friendly laws will help pry the Washington Commanders away.
Amendment 100 was added to the state constitution in 2018, legalizing casino gaming in the state. Interestingly, the way the law was written also technically allowed for sports betting. Now, the three casino and racino locations in Arkansas are offering in-person betting and just launched mobile sportsbooks available to anyone in the state.
Sports betting in Kansas went live in September 2022, and the revenue generated exceeded all expectations. So far, six sportsbooks are operating in the state, but we expect more to join the party as the market matures.
Ohio was the first state to launch legal sports betting in 2023, ringing in the new year with legal sportsbooks taking bets at 12:01 am on January 1. Ohio will eventually become one of the biggest sports betting markets in the country, and all the biggest sportsbooks are competing for the legions of sports fans eager to wager on their favorite sports and teams.
After the legislature finally approved sports betting, the rules were finalized and sportsbooks in Massachusetts began taking wagers in early 2023. As a Boston company, DraftKings has the early lead in market share, but all the biggest operators will eventually be in the state and bettors will have a full menu of sportsbooks to choose from.
Finally, sports betting is coming to Maine. In an unusual twist, the state’s four tribes are the only entities able to apply for sports betting licenses. This means that any operator wanting to launch in Maine must partner with a tribe, rather than just opening up shop on their own. The first bets are expected to be accepted in the state sometime in 2024.
Sports betting is coming to Vermont! Up to six sportsbooks will eventually be licensed to operate in the state through an application process overseen by state regulators. The regulatory and rulemaking process is ongoing, and we expect sports betting to be up and running sometime in 2024.
Each of the state’s nine horse racing facilities are eligible to partner with up to three mobile sportsbooks, which means that up to 27 sportsbooks may end up in Kentucky. We expect the actual number to be far lower than 27, but most of the big guys will like operate in the state. About 14 retail sportsbooks will eventually open up in the state as well. The first mobile bets are accepted starting from September 28, 2023.
A 2020 deal between lawmakers and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians saw the legalization of a few in-person sportsbooks at existing rural casino locations in NC. After the revenue impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Band saw a clear need to expand their online operations to recoup some of that lost money. Sports betting is legal and live at two casinos in the western part of the state, which is good. But the much better news is that the legislature surprisingly legalized mobile betting statewide during the closing days of the 2023 legislative session. All the biggest operators are expected to launch in NC whenever the regulations are finalized, which should be sometime in late 2023 or early 2024.
On June 5, 2018, Delaware became the first state outside of Nevada to accept a single-game sports bet when Governor John Carney placed $10 wager on the Philadelphia Phillies to beat the Chicago Cubs.
Delaware has three casinos that offer sports betting – Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington. Currently, there are no legislative details for online sports betting in Delaware. Lawmakers have said they are in no rush to get into the online sports betting market and are focused on ensuring the casino sports books are functioning efficiently. That said, it wouldn’t be surprising to see online regulations begin to take shape.
On August 1, 2018, the state of Mississippi began accepting sports bets. Sports betting in Mississippi must take place in one of its land or water-based casinos, even if you’re betting online. Beau Rivage, Gold Strike, Sam’s Town, Horseshoe and IP Casino were among the first casinos taking sports bets in Mississippi. In total there are now more than 20 brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in the state.
Currently, gambling and sports betting in Mississippi must take place on the physical presence of a casino. Some casinos have electronic betting, but it is limited to patrons on the premises. It’s likely full fledged online and mobile sports betting in Mississippi will eventually land, but we aren’t there yet.
The first legal sports bet in the Evergreen was placed by former Supersonic legend Shawn Kemp at the Snoqualmie Casino on September 9, 2021. Sports betting was legalized in WA in 2020, but the regulatory process slowed to a crawl, taking almost 18 months to be finalized. Tribal casinos are allowed to offer retail and online sports betting in the state, but online bets can only be made on casino property. Bettors in WA are going to be waiting a long time to bet from the comfort of their homes, but retail betting is better than nothing.
Bettors in Big Sky Country have limited access to online sports wagering. Similar to Rhode Island and Oregon, the state lottery is the sole provider of mobile bets (though that might change for the previously mentioned states– we’ll update you as the situation develops).
Also, like Mississippi, the Sports Bet Montana service requires you to be in-person at a casino location even if you’re wagering online. Supposedly this saves you a bit of time waiting in line or interacting with a human being (the horror!), but it’s not true online wagering. There’s no indication that Montana will open up the market, but time may tell.
South Dakotans voted in November 2020 to amend the state constitution to legalize sports betting exclusively within the city of Deadwood, SD. Retail betting went live in Deadwood in September 2021. As that passed, now other SD residents are wondering when they’ll have access to legal, regulated betting.
Some of the impetus for South Dakota has come from the loss of potential sports betting revenue to other states. Neighbor Iowa has full mobile online sports betting, allowing South Dakotans to cross the border and immediately place legal wagers. There’s some linguistic gymnastics happening with the Deadwood law as it’s currently written, and the legislature is in talks about how legal sports betting might work statewide– fingers crossed.
Similar to other states, sports betting is legal in New Mexico, but it is limited to a handful of tribal casinos across the state. There doesn’t seem to be any push to change the laws to expand sports betting, and bettors in the state seem content to bet in person at tribal sportsbooks.
It took a while after legalization, but retail sports betting is now available in Nebraska. Ok, it’s available at just one casino in Lincoln right now, but eventually, retail betting will expand to the existing horse tracks and casinos in the state. Mobile betting seems a long ways off right now. Like in many other states, retail sports betting isn’t perfect but it’s better than nothing.
North Dakota flirted with sports betting in 2019, but efforts died in the state Senate. However, local tribal casinos are moving forward on their own. The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians inked a deal with tech provider IGT in September 2020 to provide retail betting options at its two in-state casinos. A few other sportsbooks opened up at tribal casinos in the state, but the legislature still hasn’t formally approved sports betting. The tribes just did it on their own without legislation, and so far, no one has objected.
Debate surrounding legal online sports betting has accelerated quickly in the state of Georgia. Traditionally one of the more gambling-averse states in the country, Georgia has now emerged as a promising prospect. There’s bipartisan support, and bills have been introduced this year. through both the House (HB 86) and Senate (SB 142). Unfortunately, momentum is still limited due to significant opposition to gambling as a whole, but there is always hope that Georgia will see the light and legalize sports betting one day.
Florida sports betting is complicated, but still moving. Florida lawmakers have OK’d a a tribal compact with the Seminoles, and even a potential sports betting law. There are still significant road blocks that could trip things up. The Department of the Interior gave its approval, as is required for any tribal gaming compact, but there are many lawsuits that are still in the process of being resolved. We are cautiously optimistic that sports betting will be available sometime before the end of 2023. There’s a long way to go, but there’s real momentum behind Florida online sports betting.
U.S. Sports and Sports Betting
Over the years the relationship between sports betting and the major sports leagues in the US has been tenuous, at best. Then NBA commissioner David Stern even testified for the implementation of PASPA, which effectively banned sports betting in the U.S. in 1992. Today, its not just the law that’s changed. Many leagues have come full circle and have embraced sports betting as a new, exciting way to engage with fans. Major sports networks like ESPN and FOX now have regular programming dedicated to sports betting. Let’s have a look at each of the top leagues in the U.S., and their current sports betting stance.
National Basketball Association (NBA)
We mentioned in the intro to this section that former NBA commissioner David Stern testified in favor of PASPA in the early 90s, fearing the impact of sports betting on his league. However, his successor has had the opposite effect. Soon after taking over as commissioner from Stern, Adam Silver published an opinion piece in the New York Times calling for the legalization of sports betting. With a look to the future, Silver saw the potential impact of a regulated sports betting market on the NBA.
The NBA now has official authorized sports betting partners that include DFS/sports betting titans like FanDuel and DraftKings, digital media company’s like theScore, famous online gaming operators like Unibet and Stars Group, and traditional B+M giants like MGM. It’s a night and day difference from the Stern-era NBA.
The NBA has been one of the leading advocates for integrity fees. With an integrity fee, the sports betting operators essentially pay the league a percentage of their revenue in exchange for official licensing materials and data. The NBA can then use those funds to more closely monitor sports betting and its impact on the league.
National Football League (NFL)
The NFL is the most popular sport in the country by a wide margin and where it goes, others will follow. TV agreements prevented the slightest mention of sports betting during broadcasts for years, but that’s over. Announcers are now able to organically discuss betting as they see fit.
On the east coast, Washington Football owner Dan Snyder has created a legislative arms race in the DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia). Snyder wants the teams new stadium to be a licensed sports betting operator, which has prompted the entire region to aggressively pursue legislation in hopes of landing the team. The writing is on the wall – retail sportsbooks will be coming to NFL stadiums in the very near future.
Major League Baseball (MLB)
Betting scandals have loomed over baseball’s head for more than 100 years. In 1919 the White Sox allegedly threw the World Series in exchange for cash from an underground gambling syndicate. With sports betting now in vogue, the league has been strongly in favor of integrity fees to help prevent any future issues with additional investment in security.
Similar to the NBA, Major League Baseball has now partnered with numerous sports betting companies. FanDuel, FOX Bet, and MGM have all signed on with the league.
National Hockey League (NHL)
FanDuel, MGM, and Caesars Sportsbook are now official partners of the National Hockey League. Like with basketball and baseball, they can use official NHL data and marketing tools.
The NHL was also the first professional sport to bring a team to Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Golden Knights made their debut in 2017 and greatly increased the overall sports betting handle for the league. The Knights paved the way for the NFL’s Raiders, who have moved into a brand new facility just a mile down the road. The NHL has transformed Las Vegas into one of the most relevant sports cities in the country.
College Sports (NCAA)
College sports are some of the most popular events to wager on, but unfortunately the NCAA isn’t the biggest fan of sports betting. PASPA, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act sought specifically to protect amateur college athletes from any unwanted pressures that may come about from illegal wagering.
As an added safety measure, some states have begun building restrictions on college wagers into their betting rules. For example, in New Jersey you can’t wager on any local, in-state college teams – no matter where the game is taking place. Similarly, you can’t bet on any college events taking place inside the state. Not every state has taken such extreme measures, but it’s not uncommon to see strict rules on college wagering.
The NCAA has backed off a bit from its wholehearted opposition of sports betting. In 2019, as more and more states began to legalize, it removed its ban on any championship games taking place in states with legal sports betting.
United States Online Sports Betting FAQs
Is sports betting currently legal in the United States?
Yes it is, but only in certain states. Since May 2018 each state has been free to individually pursue betting legislation. As of August 2023, over 2/3 of the states in the country have some sort of legalized sports betting, with more to come.
Where can you bet on sports in the United States?
The first avenue for a state to get into the sports betting market is thru its existing land or water-based casinos. Any state looking to legalize sports betting will start with brick and mortar sportsbooks.
From there, mobile apps and online sportsbooks may follow, much to the delight of bettors everywhere. However, there are two main hurdles for online sports betting in the United States.
First, states must determine online sports betting license fees, tax rates and regulations. Some states are flying through this process while others, like New York, struggled before their launch.
The other thing sports fans and bettors should know is that due to the Federal Wire Act of 1961, online sportsbooks are prohibited from accepting out-of-state wagers. Sports betting in each individual state is completely tethered to its lawmakers and regulators, which is why it’s so important keep up to date with the latest news, like what we’ve got here at RotoGrinders.
What kind of sports bets are legal to place in the US?
The following types of bets (and more!) are commonly accepted in US states with regulated sports betting:
- Point Spread
- Over/Under (Totals)
Do DFS sites offer sports betting?
Yes, both FanDuel and DraftKings have online sportsbooks up and running in many states throughout the country.