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United States of Betting. Where in the US is sports betting legal?

On May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the federal ban on sports betting. Since then, each state has the right to decide whether to allow it or not. The process of legalisation has been very dynamic, and the new states are passing different regulations. STATSCORE takes a closer look at the situation!

Is betting in the US legal?

The United States has always had a complicated relationship with gambling and betting, and prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Nevada had been the sole state allowing sports betting. Since May 2018, however, every state can pass its own regulations in that area. At this moment (February 20, 2020), sports betting has been made legal in 20 states, and many more are in the process of joining!

That’s why what’s happening right now can be called a real revolution!

Let’s take a closer look at the map of states which had already legalised betting, and learn more about specific regulations they applied.

American sports betting map

States where sports betting is legal

Here are the 20 states (and Washington D.C.) that made betting legal:

  • Arkansas
  • New Mexico
  • West Virginia
  • Delaware
  • Iowa
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Oregon
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Tennessee
  • Washington D.C.

Since each state passes its own regulations, the actual scope of what’s legal, for example when it comes to online/mobile betting, may differ.

Let’s now find out more about the situation in each state that has already made betting legal.

ARKANSAS

Sports wagering in Arkansas is legal, but it is currently limited to physical grounds of casino properties. Mobile or online betting has not been authorised, which means that the only legal way to place a bet is to do it over-the-counter.

NEW MEXICO

Betting on sports is allowed, but it is only possible to legally place bets at one of the officially recognised land-based casinos.

WEST VIRGINIA

Sports betting is legal, and since August 2019 bettors are allowed to bet via their mobile devices.

DELAWARE

Betting is legal but it is limited to physical sportsbooks. Currently (Feb 20, 2020), bettors can wager at any of three land-based casinos, which all have sportsbooks on their premises.

IOWA

Sports betting is legal in Iowa. However, in order to place bets mobile bets, you have to first register in person with a participating casino.

COLORADO

Colorado legalised sports betting on November 6, 2019, when the votes from a referendum were counted (50.7% to 49.3% in favour of legalisation). State regulators say that wagering will be available by May 2020. Sports betting in Colorado is legal both physically and online. The state is soon expected to issue first betting licenses.

ILLINOIS

Sports betting is legal, and it is expected that bookmakers will open for business by March Madness. Users will be allowed to bet at casinos with a sportsbook, and on mobile apps offered by those casinos.

INDIANA

Sports betting in Indiana has been officially legal since September 1, 2019. Mobile betting is allowed.

NEW YORK

Sports betting is currently permitted only via physical sportsbooks (at the four upstate casinos). There are hopes, however, that mobile betting will be made available in 2020.

NEW JERSEY

Betting is legal physically, online, and via mobile. New Jersey belongs to the leading states when it comes to sports betting.

MICHIGAN

Sports betting and fantasy sports were legalised on December 11, 2019, and signed into law on December 20, 2019. It will probably be available in the sporing of 2020.

MISSISSIPPI

Sports betting has been legal in Mississippi since August 1, 2018. However, you can only bet when you are physically present in a licensed casino.

MONTANA

It is legal to bet on sports in Montana, however, it is not yet available. Betting will be only legal in licensed bars and restaurants via kiosks or on phones. Mobile betting outside of those places will be illegal.

OREGON

Sports betting is legal. Mobile betting is officially run via official Oregon Lottery.

NORTH CAROLINA

Sports wagering is legal, it is currently available in-person at two tribal casinos. Mobile wagering is not permitted.

PENNSYLVANIA

Betting is allowed physically, online, and on mobile devices.

RHODE ISLAND

Sports betting has been legal since 2018. The state has the lowest age limit for betting in the US, you can bet at age 18.

NEVADA

Betting is legal, but if you want to bet via your mobile device, you first have to register in person in a legal casino.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Sports betting is fully legal – physically, online, on mobile devices.

TENNESSEE

Betting has been formally legalised, but it is still unavailable.

WASHINGTON D.C.

Sports betting was approved in December 2018 and became law in March 2019. It is expected that physical and mobile betting via a licensed app will be available by March 2020.

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