What States Can You Legally Bet on Sports?

We take a look at the states where you can legally bet on sports and how the industry is growing.

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Sports betting is currently legal in a handful of US states, with more states expected to join the list in the coming years. If you’re interested in placing a bet on your favorite team, here’s a quick guide to the states where sports betting is currently legal.

As of 2019, sports betting is currently legal in Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. In 2020, Illinois and Montana are also expected to join the list of states where sports betting is legal.

These states have all passed legislation authorizing sports betting, and most have already launched legal sports betting operations. In some cases, such as Delaware and Nevada, sports betting has been legal for many years. In other cases, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, sports betting only became legal in 2018 or 2019.

West Virginia was actually the first state to launch legal sports betting in 2018 after the US Supreme Court struck down a federal law that had prohibited states from legalizing sports betting. Since then, numerous other states have followed suit and passed their own legislation authorizing sports betting.

So if you’re interested in placing a bet on your favorite team, be sure to check whether sports betting is legal in your state first. With more states expected to legalize sports betting in the coming years, it’s likely that you’ll soon be able to place a bet on your favorite team no matter where you live in the US!

What is sports betting?

In its simplest form, sports betting is the process of predicting the outcomes of sporting events and placing wagers on the results. If your predictions are correct, you will earn money from your bets. If not, you will lose money.

Sports betting is not just about picking winners and losers. There are many different types of bets that you can make, and each one has its own set of rules. The most common types of bets are moneyline bets, spread bets, parlay bets, and prop bets.

Moneyline bets are the simplest type of bet. You simply pick a team or player to win an event and if they do, you win your bet. Spread bets are a little more complex. In a spread bet, you are betting on whether a team will win by more than a certain amount of points or not. For example, if the spread for a basketball game is 6 points and you bet on the favorite to win by more than 6 points, they would need to win the game by 7 or more points for you to win your bet. If they only win by 6 points, or if they lose the game outright, you lose your bet. Parlay bets are combinations of two or more individual bets into one larger bet. The downside to parlay bets is that all of your predictions must be correct in order for you to win your bet but the upside is that you can win a lot of money from a small bet if all of your predictions are correct. Prop bets are bets on things that happen during a game that are not related to the final outcome of the game such as how many points a particular player will score or how many yellow cards will be shown during a soccer match.

The legality of sports betting

States are now able to offer legal sports betting following a 2018 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. So far, Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia have all passed laws to allow sports betting. There are also a number of states that have legalization laws pending, including Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana and Tennessee.

Federal laws on sports betting

The federal government has not enacted any laws specifically pertaining to sports betting. However, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) effectively banned sports betting nationwide. The law prevented states from authorizing or licensing any sports wagering within their borders. In May of 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down PASPA, clearing the way for states to legalize and regulate sports betting.

As of September 2019, eight states have legalized and begun regulating sports betting: Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Arkansas. Several other states have passed laws legalizing sports betting but have not yet launched their operations. These states are Oregon, Montana and Indiana.

There are also a number ofNative American casinos that offer sports betting under the terms of their compact with the state in which they are located.

State laws on sports betting

In the United States, sports betting is legalized in only a handful of states. Nevada was the first state to legalize sports betting in 1949, and it remains the only state where full sports betting is available.

Oregon, Delaware and Montana also have some form of legalized sports betting, but each state has different laws governing it. For example, in Oregon, you can bet on sports through the state lottery, but only on certain types of events. In Delaware, you can bet on single games, but not on parlays.

Montana allows sports betting through its licensed casinos only. The Navajo Nation in Arizona also offers regulated sports betting at its casinos.

The laws governing sports betting are always changing, so it’s important to stay up to date on the latest developments if you’re interested in placing a bet.

Why is sports betting illegal in some states?

According to a report from the American Gaming Association, as of 2019, only four states have laws that specifically allow sports betting: Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon. The other 46 states have laws that either expressly prohibit sports betting or are silent on the issue.

The federal government also plays a role in sports betting legality. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) made it illegal for state-licensed casinos to offer sports betting. However, in May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down PASPA as unconstitutional, clearing the way for states to legalize and regulate sports betting.

So why is sports betting illegal in some states? There are a variety of reasons, but the most common ones are:

-A state’s constitution may expressly ban gambling or gaming activities (such as Nevadans For Protecting Their Rights’ failed ballot initiative to amend the Nevada Constitution to ban sports wagering).
-A state may want to wait and see how other stateshandle legalization and regulation before taking action on its own.
-A state may be concerned about the potential for negative social ills associated with gambling (such as addiction or crime).

What happens if you bet on sports illegally?

When it comes to gambling on sports, the law is not always clear. There are a number of gray areas that can make it tricky to know what is and is not legal. In general, though, it is illegal to bet on sports in most states. There are a few exceptions, however, and these are generally limited to horse racing and some forms of strictly regulated poker.

If you bet on sports illegally, you could be subject to a number of penalties. These could include fines, jail time, or both. In some cases, you might also have to forfeit any winnings that you earned through illegal gambling.

How to bet on sports legally

In the United States, betting on sports is only legal in Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana. There are a few other states with limited gambling options as well.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 made it illegal for the other 46 states to offer sports betting. This act was overturned in 2018 by the Supreme Court, but it will take some time for other states to get up and running.

You can bet on sports legally in Nevada at any of the state’s licensed sportsbooks. These are typically located in casinos, but there are also some stand-alone sportsbooks. You can also bet online through one of the many offshore sportsbooks that accept US customers.

Oregon has a limited sports betting law that only allows wagering on professional and amateur sporting events that take place outside the state. The law specifically prohibits betting on Oregon college teams or any events that take place within the state.

Delaware was one of the first states to take advantage of the new law and offer legal sports betting. The state offers single-game and parlay betting on a variety of professional and collegiate sports at its three racetrack casinos.

Montana also has a limited law that allows for sports betting at bars and taverns with a liquor license. The bets must be made through electronic devices such as tablets or phones, and there is a $50 limit per bet.

Sports betting FAQ

Sports betting is currently not legal in every state, but more and more states are considering legalization. The following FAQ will provide some guidance on the current status of sports betting in the United States.

Q: What states can you legally bet on sports?
A: Currently, you can legally bet on sports in Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Q: How old do you have to be to bet on sports?
A: You must be at least 21 years of age to bet on sports in most states.

Q: What types of bets can you make on sports?
A: There are many different types of bets that can be made on sports, including but not limited to spreads, moneylines, totals (over/unders), parlays and prop bets.

Q: Where can I place bets on sports?
A: Sports betting is currently only available through brick-and-mortar casinos and racetracks in most states. However, some states offer online and mobile betting options as well.


In conclusion, here are the states in which you can currently bet on sports:

Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and West Virginia.

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