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The Legality of Sports Betting in the United States of America


Sports betting in the United States is becoming more widespread as more and more states are starting to legalize it. The legislation of betting in the US mainly started after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act or PASPA of 1992 was struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States in May 2018.

Currently, almost half of the United States has already signed betting into law and it is predicted that by 2024, over 40 states will already have a sports betting law in place. Last year, many states have already launched sports betting including the state of New York.

However, New York only launched in-person betting in July of last year. This means that placing bets online or on apps like SportingBet app is still prohibited at the moment. Online sports betting supporters in New York were hoping to have something in place for online betting this year, but they now might have to wait. New York is now facing a big problem that concerns COVID-19.

Meanwhile, states like Colorado, Illinois, and Tennessee have only passed a bill concerning this last year. The state of Illinois in particular was excited to see how sports betting will do once it is launched this year. The state was planning to have this available by March Madness, but due to recent events concerning the coronavirus pandemic, the launch may have to wait.

It is the same with most states right now as many casinos and bookies were forced to temporarily shut to help contain the 2019 coronavirus. The year 2020 was expected to be a great year for the sports betting industry, but things are different right now as the whole world faces the pandemic.

Basically, the rise of the sports betting industry may have to be paused at the moment as the US deals with the coronavirus pandemic. However, there still are bookmakers that remain operational amidst all this. Now, if you are someone who is considering to start betting while you’re home quarantined, here is a breakdown of the legality of betting in some states.

States with Full-Scale Legalized Betting

There are already 17 states with full-scale legalized sports betting. Here they are and what you should know about them.

  • New Hampshire – this state allows in-person and online sports betting, but collegiate sports betting here is banned.
  • Montana – It Was in 2019 when a bill was signed to allow betting in this state but it’s just in March of 2020 that it finally went live. Online gambling is prohibited here unless you’ll be placing bets with an offshore site.
  • Illinois – Online and in-person betting are allowed here, but currently, only in-person betting is what’s ready to be rolled out. It is likely that online betting in this state will go live next year.
  • Michigan – Sports betting in Michigan was launched in March of this year. Online betting is allowed, but it may not be available until next year.
  • New York – Only in-person betting is allowed in New York at the moment. Bettors have to go to authorized upstate casinos here to place their bets.
  • Oregon – online sports betting this state was launched in August 2019. However, the state only has one betting app and that is the Scoreboard. The Oregon Lottery controls the sports betting industry in the state.
  • Nevada – this state has always offered sports betting opportunities even when PASPA was in effect. It was exempted from PASPA because of a pre-existing law concerning gambling and sports betting. Online betting here is allowed, but in-person registration is required.
  • Iowa – both in-person and online betting are allowed in this state. Collegiate sports wagering is also allowed but game prop bets are banned here.
  • Indiana – in-person and online betting on professional and college games are allowed here. However, esports and high school sports betting are prohibited in Indiana.
  • Pennsylvania – this state allows in-person and online betting on both professional and collegiate games.
  • New Jersey – this state is the reason why PASPA was struck down as it was the one who challenged it. It only took around a month before it launched local betting opportunities to its locals. In-person and online betting are allowed here.
  • Rhode Island – initially, online two casinos were allowed to accept sports wagers in this state. It was just in early 2019 when online betting was finally allowed in Rhode Island.
  • West Virginia – This is the fifth state that legalized sports betting since May 2018. West Virginia allows both in-person and online betting within its borders.
  • Delaware – this is one of the first states that legalized sports betting after PASPA was stricken down in 2018. Both in-person and online betting is allowed here.
  • New Mexico – there are tribes in New Mexico that offer sports betting thanks to an existing Class III gaming compact. Online betting is still not available in this state.
  • Arkansas – Only four bookies are operating and accepting wagers in this state. Online betting is still prohibited here.
  • Mississippi – Even before PASPA was stricken down, Mississippi already had something in place in case betting became federally legal. For now, Mississippi only allows in-person betting.

Those are the states where sports betting is already legal. A few more states are expected to launch betting this year. States like Colorado, Washington, and Tennessee all have bills passed that concern betting. However, it is likely that these states will postpone any movements concerning betting while the coronavirus pandemic is still a problem.