In 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on single-event sports wagering with the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Now every US state has the choice to legalize sports betting if they desire to do so.
Our US sports betting bill tracker has been broken up into four different categories, each containing states at different stages of the legislative process. These categories are:
States with legal sports betting – These are states that have legal and live sports betting industries.
States close to launching sports betting – These are states that have legalized sports betting but have yet to launch the activity.
States where sports betting is being considered– These are states where legislation has been introduced and is currently being considered by lawmakers.
States with no action – These are states where there has been no recent activity on sports betting.
States with legal sports betting
Arizona legalized sports betting on 15 April 2021, becoming the largest state in the southwest to legalize the activity. Under the state’s sports betting law online and retail betting is legal and up to 20 operators may operate within the state. Several of the largest betting brands in the US betting space, including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Barstool Sportsbook, have launched in the state.
Back in 2018, Arkansas voters legalized sports betting at casinos in the state via a ballot initiative. The market went live on 1 July 2021, with the launch of a retail sportsbook at Oaklawn Racing Casino. At the time of writing, sports betting in Arkansas is limited to in-person retail betting at land-based casinos.
On 3 May 2019, the state legislature forwarded a sports betting bill to the governor for approval. From there, Colorado voters then approved Proposition DD, legalizing sports betting in the state on 6 November 2019. Colorado’s legal betting market went live on 1 May 2020, despite there being a shortage of sporting events to bet on at the time.
Connecticut became one of the first states to legalize sports betting in 2021 after lawmakers passed sports betting legislation in May 2021. Under the state legislation, the state’s two gaming tribes, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes, as well as the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, can offer online sports betting. Connecticut’s sports betting market went live on 19 October 2021.
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe is partnered with DraftKings for sports betting while the Mohegan Tribe teamed up with FanDuel. Meanwhile, the Connecticut Lottery is partnered with Rush Street Interactive’s SugarHouse brand. The three entities can also offer retail betting in the state.
Following the fall of PASPA, Delaware became the first state outside of Nevada to offer legal sports betting in the US. Delaware launched retail sports betting operations on 5 June 2018 under Title 29 of the Delaware Code. Although the state law allows for online betting, the activity is currently restricted to retail betting at the state’s three racetrack casinos.
In July 2019, Governor JB Pritzker signed the Illinois Gambling Expansion Bill into law, legalizing sports wagering, as well as the opening of six new land-based casinos. Illinois’ sports betting market first went live in March 2020 with the opening of a BetRivers-branded sportsbook at Rivers Casino Des Plaines. Several months later, on 18 June 2020, the state’s online and mobile betting market went live with the launch of BetRivers’ sportsbook app.
Sports betting became legal in Indiana on 8 May 2019 after Governor Eric Holcomb signed the gambling expansion bill, HB 1015, into law. Indiana became the second state to legalize sports betting in 2019.
Under the state’s betting laws, Indiana’s riverboat casinos and other establishments in the state can offer sports betting. Indiana’s legal sports wagering market went live in September 2019 and was followed by the launch of online sports betting in October 2019.
Iowa legalized sports betting on 13 May 2019 when Governor Kim Reynolds signed the state’s sports betting legislation into law. Under the state laws, online and retail betting is legal in the Hawkeye State. Iowa launched its sports wagering market in August 2019.
Up until January 2021, Iowa residents were required to register their online sports betting accounts in-person at the state’s casino sportsbooks. Now, it is no longer necessary for Iowa’s consumers to visit a casino to set up an online betting account.
During the November 2020 US election, voters in 55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes approved legal sports betting. With a clear appetite for sports betting in Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards signed legislation into law in June 2021, legalizing sports betting in the Bayou State. Online and land-based sports betting will only be available in the parishes that voted for legal betting. Louisiana’s sports betting market went live on 6 October 2021 with the opening of a Betfred Sportsbook at the Paragon Casino, a tribal establishment in Marksville.
On 20 December 2019, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the Lawful Sports Betting Act into law, legalizing sports betting in the state of Michigan. The state’s three commercial casinos in Detroit began offering legal wagering on 11 March 2020, however, the state’s land-based operators were forced to halt betting operations for several months due to casino closures during the coronavirus pandemic. Michigan’s online sports betting market went live on 22 January 2021.
Mississippi passed sports betting legislation back in 2017 prior to the fall of PASPA. Following the repeal of the federal ban on sports betting in May 2018, Mississippi went on to launch sports betting on 1 August 2018, becoming the fourth US state to offer the activity. Under the state law, sports betting is restricted to retail betting at land-based casino sportsbooks. State law does allow for limited mobile wagering, however, mobile sports betting apps may only be used when physically located on the premises of a casino that offers sports betting.
Montana became the first state to legalize sports betting in 2019 after Governor Steve Bullock signed a piece of sports betting legislation into law on 3 May 2019. Montana launched sports betting in March 2020, just before the coronavirus pandemic forced all major sports to shut down. Sports betting is available at more than 100 retail locations and online via the site Sports Bet Montana, however, this is only available when physically located on-site at a retailer that offers sports betting.
Sports betting has been legal in the state of Nevada since 1931 and for several years has been the only US state to offer true single-event sports wagering, up until the fall of PASPA in 2018. Under the Silver State’s betting laws, online and retail sports betting is legal, however, bettors must register their online sports betting account in person at one of the state’s casino sportsbooks.
In July 2019, the state of New Hampshire passed HB 480, legalizing online and retail sports betting in the New England state. Legal sports betting came to New Hampshire On 30 December 2019, when the New Hampshire Lottery and its partner DraftKings officially launched online and mobile sports betting operations in the Granite State
DraftKings was awarded a contract to offer sports betting in the state of New Hampshire on behalf of the New Hampshire Lottery. While the legislation allows for multiple operators to serve the state; it appears that DraftKings will serve as New Hampshire’s sole online sports betting operator.
The state of New Jersey led the charge to bring down PASPA and became one of the first US states outside of Nevada to legalize sports betting. On 11 June 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation authorizing sports wagering in the state. New Jersey bettors can bet on sports both in-person at casino sportsbooks or via online and mobile betting apps.
Since launching sports betting in 2018, the Garden State has now become one of the biggest sports betting states in the entire US, both in terms of money wagered and how many sports betting options are available to consumers.
New Mexico (Tribal)
New Mexico lawmakers have not yet formally legalized sports betting in the state. However, some tribal groups in the state can legally offer sports wagering under their Class III gaming compacts with the state. Back in October 2018, the Tamaya Nation located in the Pueblo of Santa Ana began offering legal sports betting at the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel. Since then, two other tribal groups have launched sports betting operations at their casinos in New Mexico.
Back in 2013, New York passed a law that would allow for legal sports betting at four upstate casinos if the federal ban on betting was ever overturned. After several failed attempts to get sports betting off the ground in 2018 and 2019, New York’s sports betting market went live in July 2019 with the opening of a sportsbook at the Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady.
In 2021, the state of New York began the process of selecting an operator to power online sports betting.
North Carolina (Tribal)
In July 2019, North Carolina legalized sports betting with the passage of a bill that would allow for sports betting at the state’s tribal casinos. The first sportsbooks in the state of North Carolina opened their doors to the public in March 2021. Currently, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians offers sports betting at their two Harrah’s-branded casinos in the state.
The state of Oregon was one of four states that had received some form of exemption from PASPA because sports betting was already legal in the state back in 1992. In 2019, the state of Oregon reintroduced legal sports betting under those existing laws. Oregon’s sports betting market went live on Tuesday 27 August 2019 after the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City opened its land-based casino sportsbook. The Oregon Lottery went on to launch its online sportsbook, Scoreboard, in October 2019.
Pennsylvania legalized sports betting as part of a comprehensive gambling expansion package in 2017. After the Supreme Court repealed PASPA in 2018 Pennsylvania moved forward with sports betting in the state. The Keystone State’s betting market went live on 15 November 2018 with the opening of several land-based casino sportsbooks. After several months of work and preparation, online sports betting in Pennsylvania went live on 31 May 2019.
Back in June 2018, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed the state’s sports betting bill into law. Under the legislation, the state’s Twin Rivers Casino Hotel in Lincoln and the Twin River Tiverton Casino & Hotel were permitted to offer sports betting at land-based casino sportsbooks.
Then in 2019, the state legislature approved legislation that would allow the Rhode Island Lottery to offer state-wide mobile app sports betting. However, consumers were required to register their online betting accounts at one of the state’s casinos. A separate bill authorizing remote registration was approved and signed into law in 2020, allowing consumers to create sports betting accounts from anywhere within the state.
During the November 2020 US election, South Dakota voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment B, paving for legal sports betting in the historic city of Deadwood and at existing tribal casinos in the state. After several months of preparation, South Dakota’s sports betting market went live on 9 September 2021 with the opening of sportsbooks at four Deadwood casinos. Sports betting in South Dakota is currently restricted to retail sports betting.
In May 2019, Tennessee legalized sports betting and became the first US state to authorize an online-only sports wagering market. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee allowed the proposed legislation to pass into law without his signature. There are no physical casinos in Tennessee and therefore, sports betting will remain as an online-only activity for the foreseeable future. The Volunteer State launched its sports betting market on 1 November 2020.
Virginia legalized sports betting in April 2020 after the state legislature passed a comprehensive sports betting bill. After several months of preparation, Virginia’s sports betting market went live on 21 January 2021, with the launch of FanDuel and DraftKings’ online sportsbooks. Under the state’s sports betting laws, licenses for at least four sportsbook apps but no more than a dozen will be available.
At the end of December 2018, the DC Council passed the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Ac, a sports betting bill that would allow the DC Lottery to offer mobile betting. The legislation also permitted sports betting at four professional sports venues and at licensed establishments across the District. The DC Lottery launched its GamBet DC sports betting app in May 2020. Commercial sports betting operations launched in July 2020 when William Hill opened a sportsbook at the Capital One Arena.
On 25 March 2020, Governor Jay Inslee signed HB 2638 into law, legalizing retail sports betting at casinos on tribal lands. The law only permits mobile wagering while on the premises of existing tribal casinos that offer sports betting. The Snoqualmie tribe opened its retail sportsbook on 9 September 2021, taking the state’s first legal sports wagers.
West Virginia legalized sports betting in March 2018 and came into effect after the Supreme Court struck down PASPA later that year. Under the legislation, sports betting would be available at land-based casino sportsbooks and online via mobile sports betting apps. West Virginia sportsbooks began accepting wagers in August 2018. Now, all five of West Virginia’s casinos host a physical sportsbook, and a total of six online sportsbooks are operational in the state.
On 5 April 2021, Governor Mark Gordon signed HB 133 into law, legalizing online and retail tribal sports betting. As there are no commercial casinos in the state, the state’s commercial betting market will be entirely online, similar to Tennessee. Wyoming’s online betting market went live on 1 September with the launch of DraftKings and BetMGM. There are four tribal casinos operated by two Native American tribes, which are expected to offer sports betting in the state.
States close to launching sports betting
In 2021, Florida lawmakers approved an amended gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe that legalized sports betting in the Sunshine State. Under the amended compact the Seminole Tribe would be given a monopoly over sports betting in the state. The new tribal gaming compact was signed in April 2021, approved by the legislature in May 2021, and the compact was published in the federal register in August 2021.
Despite the progress made, multiple lawsuits await in federal and state court, which could delay the launch of sports betting in Florida.
Maryland is on the verge of launching legal and regulated sports wagering. Back in November 2020, voters approved sports betting and the legislature passed a sports betting bill in April 2021. Maryland’s Governor then signed the bill into law in May 2021. Under the sports betting legislation, two types of licenses will be available.
There will be 10 Class A licenses reserved for Maryland’s six casinos, three professional sports teams/stadiums and the Maryland Jockey Club. Language in the bill would allow for future clients for potential MLS, NHL and NBA teams. Meanwhile, 30 Class B licenses will be available for other businesses with physical locations in Maryland. Holders of both types of licenses can apply for one of the 60 mobile wagering licenses.
Voters in the state of Nebraska approved a sports betting measure during the November 2020 US election. The state legislature then passed a betting bill in May 2021 which was then signed into law in June of that year. Under the legislation, sports betting will be limited to retail betting at casinos in the state. Unfortunately, lawmakers chose not to legalize mobile sports betting.
Sports betting in the state of Wisconsin is not yet legal and although there haven’t been many attempts to legalize the activity since the fall of PASPA in 2018, Wisconsin could have a form of legal betting during the 2021 NFL season.
In July 2021, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed an agreement with the Oneida Tribe to amend the state’s gaming compact to allow for in-person and mobile app betting while at the Oneida Nation’s gaming facilities. The Oneida Casino in Green Bay, located near Lambeau Field, is expected to launch sports betting during the 2020 NFL season.
States where sports betting is being considered
Since 2018, California has considered several bills that aim to legalize online sports betting, but at the time of writing, none of them have materialized. This is largely due to the fact that all gambling legislation in California requires a two-thirds majority to come into effect.
The most recent sports betting attempt came in August 2021, after several sportsbooks announced an initiative to bring mobile betting to California. The initiative titled “California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act.” aims to legalize online sports betting in California, with a percentage of revenue going to support mental health services and fight homelessness.
Kansas has made slow progress on sports betting in recent months. The State Senate approved a sports-betting legalization bill on 28 February 2019. However, the state’s House refused to consider the bill. The most recent attempt to get sports betting off the ground failed in the spring of 2021.
Several attempts to bring legal sports betting to Kentucky have failed in recent years. In 2017, the legislature chose not to pass legislation that would have “encouraged sports wagering in the state.” More recently, an attempt to pass legislation in 2020 failed after a successful lobbying campaign prevented it. Despite the lobbying campaign against betting, the activity had strong support from the governor and Democratic lawmakers.
In 2020, a bill that would bring legal sports betting to Maine was vetoed by Governor Janet Mills during the 2020 legislative session. Now in 2021, lawmakers are considering a new bill. LD 1352, which appears to address Mills’ concerns over sports betting in Maine.
There is an appetite for sports betting in Missouri, but so far every attempt to legalize the activity has failed. Nearly every proposed sports betting bill aimed to allow sports wagering on Missouri’s existing riverboat casinos, however, all of these attempts have stalled in the state legislature and failed to make any real progress.
The state of Ohio is currently considered a piece of legislation that would allow for online and retail sports wagering. After more than a dozen committee meetings, the sports betting proposal SB 176 was passed out of the Senate and into the House in June 2021. The Senate wanted to get the bill approved by 30 June, but the House said it would not address the measure until the fall of 2021 at the earliest. This means that the state of Ohio will not have legal sports betting until at least 2022.
Lawmakers in Georgia considered sports betting legislation during the 2020 legislative session but this ultimately failed to progress and died in the House. Lawmakers revisited the issue in 2021 but this effort also died in the House. Supporters of sports betting in Georgia have said they will try again in 2022.
Since the fall of PASPA in 2018, several sports betting bills have been introduced and all have failed to make any significant progress in the legislature. Despite this, Governor Charlie Baker has expressed a desire to bring legal sports betting to Massachusetts in 2021. However, even with Baker’s blessing, the sports betting bills have continued to stall in the legislature.
Lawmakers in the state of Oklahoma have made several unsuccessful attempts to legalize sports betting over the years. Despite this, Oklahoma could see the launch of sports betting at tribal gaming locations in the state.
Two tribal groups in the state, with existing gaming compacts, have reached an agreement with the state’s governor to include sports betting in their compacts. The updated compacts were approved in June 2020, and retail sports betting may launch once new rules are published in the federal register.
The state of Texas is currently considering sports betting after a piece of legislation that would legalize the activity was introduced in early 2021. However, the measure will not be considered in this legislative session. As a result, Texan sports fans will have to wait at least another year until the state makes progress on sports betting.
Vermont lawmakers made unsuccessful attempts to legalize sports betting in 2019 and 2020. Lawmakers in the state took another stab at sports betting in 2021 with the introduction of a bill that would authorize sports betting through the Vermont Lottery. Under the proposed bill, up to six mobile sports betting operators will be able to offer betting in Vermont.
States with no action
Although the fall of PASPA paved the way for each US state to legalize sports betting, not every state is interested in legalizing sports betting. As a result, bettors in some states have been forced to sit on the sidelines while their neighboring states have moved much quicker to legalize sports wagering.
While almost every state is likely to legalize sports betting at some point in time, some states may take longer to do so. The timeline for each state depends on several factors such as the political climate in the state, the level of support from citizens, and the lawmaking process.
Below is a list of US states that have taken no action to legalize sports wagering.
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
For more information on the legality of sports wagering in your state be sure to check back with GamblingSpotlight.