In What States Is Online Sports Betting Legal?

The legal landscape for online sports betting is constantly changing. Keep up with the latest developments by checking out our blog post on In What States Is Online Sports Betting Legal?

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In the United States, sports betting is only legal in Nevada. There are no laws against betting on sports online in any other state. However, there are federal laws that prohibiting the operation of sports betting businesses in most states. As a result, sports bettors in the vast majority of states must place their bets with licensed and regulated offshore sportsbooks.

Sports Betting in the United States

Sports betting in the United States is currently regulated on a state-by-state basis. There are four states where sports betting is legal and operational: Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. There are also three additional states where sports betting legislation has been passed but is not yet operational: Arkansas, Delaware, and Mississippi.

The landscape of sports betting in the US is constantly changing, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. We’ll help you do that by providing the most up-to-date information on where sports betting is legal in the US.

Federal Laws Affecting Sports Betting

Sports betting is currently legal in four states — Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon — and Washington D.C. However, federal laws affect sports betting throughout the United States.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is a 1992 law that prohibits sports betting in all states except for those that already had legalized sports betting industries at the time the law was enacted. PASPA grandfathered in Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon, but it did not allow them to expand their sports betting industries.

In May of 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA as unconstitutional. This ruling paved the way for individual states to legalize and regulate sports betting within their own borders. Since the ruling, eight states have legalized sports betting and more are expected to follow suit in the near future.

State Laws Affecting Sports Betting

Sports betting is currently legal in four states: Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Each state has its own laws and regulations surrounding sports betting.

In Nevada, sports betting has been legal since 1949. The state operates a monopoly on sports betting, with only a handful of licensed casinos allowed to offer it. Delaware legalized sports betting in 2009, but it was limited to parlay bets on NFL games. In 2018, Delaware expanded its sports betting offerings to single-game bets and other sporting events.

New Jersey legalized sports betting in 2018 after the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on it. The state has since seen a boom in sports betting, with many different casinos and racetracks offering it. Pennsylvania legalized sports betting in 2019 and has seen similar success.

There are currently seven states that have pending legislation regarding sports betting: Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, and Tennessee. These states are all moving towards legalizing and regulating sports betting within their borders.

The Future of Sports Betting in the United States

In May of 2018, the United States Supreme Court struck down a federal law that had effectively banned sports betting in most states. This decision paved the way for individual states to legalize and regulate sports betting within their own borders.

Since the ruling, several states have taken steps to legalize sports betting. As of November 2019, online sports betting is legal in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and West Virginia. In addition, retail sports betting is legal in Montana and North Carolina.

The future of sports betting in the United States looks promising. Several other states are currently considering legalization bills, and it is likely that more states will jump on board in the coming years.


At the end of 2019, only eight states had legalized online sports betting. Today, that number has more than tripled to 21 plus Washington D.C. With more and more states looking to legalize online sports betting, it is safe to say that the industry is rapidly expanding.



In what states is online sports betting legal?

There is no federal law against online sports betting, so it is legal in most states. However, some states do have laws against it, so it is important to check the laws in your state before placing a bet.


-Abbreviated odds: These are most popular in horse racing but can be used for all sports. They are displayed like this: 1/5, 4/1, 10/3 etc. The first number is what you would win if you bet the second number. So, a £10 bet at 1/5 odds would return you £2 (£10 x 1/5 = £2).

-Betting exchange: These work by offering odds set by other punters rather than by the bookmaker. The most popular is Betfair.
-Bookmaker (or bookie): A company that offers fixed-odds bets on sporting and other events at a price that represents an estimate of the probability of the event taking place.
-Button: A graphical interface element on online sports betting sites that initiates an action when clicked, such as placing a bet.

-Cash out: This feature allows you to settle a bet before the event has finished. The amount you receive will be less than the original stake and potential winnings, and more or less depending on how likely your bet is to win at that point in time.
-Closing line: The final set of odds offered by a bookmaker on an event. Bets can only be placed up to this point; after it has passed, no more bets can be made and all outstanding bets will stand.
-Coupon: This is a list of all the fixed odds bets available from a bookmaker on one particular day, organized by sport and event. It is also referred to as a ‘betting slip’ or ‘betting sheet’.

-Decimal odds: Also known as European odds or continental odds, these are displayed like this: 1.50, 4.00, 10.00 etc. They show how much money you will get back for every unit (usually £1) staked, including your original stake – so 1.50 decimal odds would return £2.50 (£1 x 1.50 = £2 + your £1 stake). Decimal odds are becoming increasingly popular as they are easy to understand; however, some people prefer fractional odds as they offer slightly better value (e.g., 2/1 is better than 1.50).
-Double chance: A type of bet that gives you two chances to win – either your team will win or they will not lose (i..e., they could draw). So even if they end up losing the match, as long as they don’t lose by more than the points spread (if there is one), then you will still win your bet



As of May 2018, online sports betting is legal in the states of Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Mississippi, West Virginia and Rhode Island are also considering legalization.

Further Reading

Further Reading
-(New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement)

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