Legal US Gambling – Which States Currently Allow Sports Betting in 2021?
Huge sports and casino fan
Huge sports and casino fan
Michael McKean is an experienced writer with a portfolio that includes work on the subjects of sport, gambling, travel and finance. With a background rooted in journalism, Michael first ventured into the professional writing world based in Switzerland, where he wrote for a number of language and travel sites and magazines before moving into the world of sports writing and gambling sites.
As an avid soccer fan, who follows everything from the Scottish lower leagues to the European elites, he has earned himself a solid reputation as a reliable football betting tipster and predictor. Outside of work, Michael has always gotten involved with grassroutes football everywhere he has worked and lived - UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil - and still isn’t shy when it comes to pulling the boots on himself. As well as soccer, he has also developed a love of North American sports, particularly ice hockey - a love which began in Switzerland and saw him venture across the pond to follow the NHL. Moving away from dry land, he’s also a keen longboard surfer and is happiest when writing with a view of the ocean.
It’s been three years since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1992 PASPA Rule that criminalized betting on professional and amateur sporting events. The landmark ruling, passed in May 2018, paved the way for individual states to regulate the market, ushering in a new era for sports gambling enthusiasts in the country.
The American sports betting market has witnessed a flurry of activity over the last three years, with more than 20 states pushing ahead to legalize the offering and commence operations. Some like New Jersey, allow both in-person and online wagering while others like Mississippi are yet to embrace mobile betting outside of the physical sportsbooks.
As we celebrate the milestones achieved by the industry since the momentous ruling, CaptainGambling is here to tell you everything you need to know about legal US sports betting. Let’s start by looking at which US states allow sports betting and the options available to bettors in each precinct.
Which US States Allow Sports Betting?
Sports wagering became legal in the United States on May 14, 2018, following the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 by the SCOTUS. The ruling, which found the law unconstitutional, marked the end of a seven-year legal tussle between the State of New Jersey and the NCAA.
As of December 2018, eight states and the District of Columbia had legalized sports gambling, with Delaware being the first to allow the market. The past two years have seen close to twenty more states enact laws to authorize regulated wagering, and several others are expected to follow suit in the near future.
Here is a list of the jurisdictions that currently allow sports betting within their precincts:
The Silver State was the only jurisdiction allowed to offer sports betting before the annulment of the PASPA Rule. Sportsbooks in Nevada offer both on-site and mobile betting, allowing bettors to place wagers from any locations within the state.
Delaware sports betting took off on June 5, 2018, making it the first jurisdiction to accept a legal sports wager post-PASPA. Unlike in Nevada, residents of Delaware can only place bets at the retail sportsbooks located inside the state’s three racetracks – Dover Downs, Delaware Park, and Harrington Raceway.
The Garden State joined the legal US sports betting market on June 2018, shortly after Delaware. The state’s gambling law allow in-person wagering at casinos and racetracks, as well as online via licensed websites and mobile apps.
Bettors in the Keystone State have a choice between physical sportsbooks and mobile sports betting apps like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, and Unibet. PA launched retail wagering operations on November 17, 2018, with the online market taking off in May 2019.
Arkansas began offering in-person wagering at Oaklawn Casino Resort in Hot Springs on July 1, 2019. The other physical sportsbooks in the state are located at Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff and Southland Gaming & Racing in West Memphis, and a fourth venue is set to open soon in Pope County. The state is yet to allow online sports betting.
The state of Mississippi began taking in-person bets on sports in August 2018. The jurisdiction boasts 26 retail sportsbooks, most of which are located in the casino city of Biloxi and along the Mississippi River. Mobile wagering is only allowed in-premise.
Michigan has one of the biggest and most exciting sports betting markets in the United States despite being a later entrant into the scene. Legal wagering began at retail sportsbooks in March 2020, with mobile betting following in January 2021. Some of the online operators dominating the Michigan market include BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings, Golden Nugget, and FanDuel.
Colorado sports betting kicked off in May 2020 following the approval of Proposition DD by popular initiative in November 2019. Residents of the state can place both in-person and online bets with one of the licensed operators in the jurisdiction as long as they are 21 years or older.
The Empire State legalized regulated sports betting in 2013 but operations did not commence until July 2019. Currently, New York only allows in-person wagering at physical sportsbooks located within commercial and tribal casinos across the state. However, this could change soon following the approval of mobile sportsbooks in April 2021.
District of Columbia:
The Capital became the eighth precinct to allow regulated wagering post-PASPA following the enactment of the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act in December 2018. The market is regulated by the DC Lottery, and both retail and online wagering is permitted.
The state of West Virginia passed laws to authorize sports betting in March 2018, and the law became effective on May 14 following the annulment of the federal ban. The state has four mobile sportsbooks apps and five retail betting locations as of May 2021.
NH joined the legal US sports betting bandwagon with the launch of the DraftKings app in December 2020. Apart from the DraftKings Sportsbook App, residents of the Granite State can place in person wagers at various retail betting venues run by the operator.
Other states offering regulated wagering as of May 2021 include Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia, while the likes of Maryland, Washington, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Louisiana are on track to launch operations soon.
You can bookmark this page to find out which US states allow sports betting next.
Betting Types Offered by Legal Sportsbooks
Regulated bookmakers have a lot to offer to US bettors in terms of betting markets, whether you’re placing your wager online or in-person at one of the retail sportsbooks in your state. All the above-mentioned states allow operators to offer single bets and parlays on both professional and collegiate sports. Featured leagues include the NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, NFL, PGA, and the NCAA, as well as major events in Tennis, Cricket, Boxing, Rugby, Table Tennis, Handball, and Darts.
When it comes to the betting types, you can choose from a variety of markets including moneyline, point spread, over/under, teasers, parlays, proposition bets (props), and in-game wagers.
How to Get Started with Legal Wagering
Now that you know which US states allow sports betting and the available odds, in this section we will tell you how to get started with placing wagers on your favorite league.
On-site wagering is pretty easy and straightforward, since all you have to do is visit a retail sportsbook in your state and get your ticket at the betting counter or self-service terminals within the facility. Placing wagers at the betting counter is highly recommended for new customers who require the assistance of a live sportsbook writer. You can then relax at the lounge and watch matches as you wait to cash in on your ticket.
For mobile betting, you have to start with finding the best app in your state. If you live in a state that allows multiple apps like NJ, PA, IN, IA, or MI don’t hesitate to use our free guide to find the best legal US sports betting sites and apps in your jurisdiction. Next, register an account and place a deposit to start placing bets.
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.