What States Allow Sports Betting?

The American gambling landscape is changing rapidly, and more and more states are legalizing sports betting. So what states allow sports betting? Here’s a quick rundown.

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as of May 2019, only four states allow sports betting within their borders. Nevada has been the only state with legal sports betting since the federal ban was put in place in 1992 with the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Delaware, Montana, and Oregon all had pre-existing sports lotteries and were grandfathered in when PASPA was enacted.

The recent decision by the Supreme Court to strike down PASPA has paved the way for other states to offer sports betting, and many are already considering legislation. The list of states that allow sports betting will continue to grow in the coming months and years.


Nevada was the first state to legalize sports betting, and it has been operating legally since 1949. Sports betting is big business in Nevada, generating nearly $250 million in annual revenue for the state. The vast majority of sports bets placed in Nevada are done so through the state’s many casinos, which offer sports books where guests can place bets on a variety of sporting events.


Delaware’s regulations for sports betting were already on the books when PASPA was struck down, so the state was able to offer legal wagering on single games almost immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision.

New Jersey

New Jersey was one of the first states to pass legislation legalizing sports betting after the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018. Betting on sports became legal in New Jersey in June 2018, with Gov. Phil Murphy placing the first bet at Monmouth Park Racetrack.

There are now several land-based and online sportsbooks operating in New Jersey, including DraftKings, FanDuel, bet365, Caesars, and more. Bettors must be 21 years of age or older to place a bet, and they can do so either in-person or online.


Pennsylvania became the seventh state to legalize sports betting when the state’s gambling law was amended in October 2017. The law allowing sports betting was passed as part of a comprehensive gambling expansion bill that also legalized online casino games and poker.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board began accepting applications for sports betting licenses in April 2018, and the first sportsbooks began operating in the state in November 2018. There are currently more than a dozen retail sportsbooks operating in Pennsylvania, and online and mobile sports betting is also available through licensed operators.

The Pennsylvania Legislature authorized a number of different types of gambling under the 2017 gambling expansion law, including:
-Horse racing
-Slot machines
-Table games
-Casino-style gaming at airports
-Sports betting
-Online casino games
-Online poker

Rhode Island

Rhode Island was the first state to offer legal online sports betting in the US. The state’s two casinos, Twin River Casino and Lincoln Park, began taking bets in November 2018. Rhode Island offers both mobile and retail sports betting.

West Virginia

West Virginia became the fifth state to offer legal sports betting on August 30, 2018. The West Virginia Lottery Commission oversees all sports betting in the state. WV sports betting is available at four casinos — Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort, The Greenbrier, and Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack. All four casinos offer both retail and online/mobile sports betting.


Mississippi sports betting is live at several casinos. Legislature authorized wagering on professional and collegiate sporting events in 2017, thenlargely left the regulatory process up to the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

New Mexico

New Mexico has a long history of gambling, dating back to the days of the Wild West. Horse racing, lottery games and social gambling were all popular pastimes in the state. In recent years, the state has expanded its gambling offerings to include tribal casinos and racetracks with slot machines.

Now, New Mexico is one of the states that allow sports betting. There are several tribal casinos in the state that offer sports betting, as well as a number of racetracks. Online and mobile sports betting are not currently available in New Mexico.


Arkansas is one of a handful of states that recently legalized sports betting. The state has not yet launched sports betting, but it is expected to do so in the near future. Arkansas does not have any professional sports teams, but it does have a few racetracks where bettors can place wagers on horse races.


Illinois is one of the few states that already had a law on the books allowing sports betting, so it was able to move quickly to start offering wagering once the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey. Sports betting in Illinois launched on March 9, 2020, with physical locations open at casinos and racetracks and online/mobile wagering available through licensed operators.


Yes, sports betting is legal in Indiana. The Indiana Gaming Commission regulates sports betting in the state.


In May 2019, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law a comprehensive bill to regulate sports betting in the state. The bill legalized wagering on all professional and collegiate sporting events, except for those taking place within the state of Iowa. Betting is also not allowed on any individual athlete or team competing in a collegiate sporting event. The law went into effect on August 15, 2019.


Montana is one of a handful of states that has not legalized sports betting as of 2019. This may soon change, as the Montana Legislature is considering a bill that would allow sports betting in the state. However, there are some roadblocks in the way of this bill becoming law. First, the Montana Lottery must approve any sports betting bill before it can be considered by the Legislature. Second, any sports betting bill must be approved by two-thirds of both the Montana House and Senate before it can become law.


In Oregon, the only legal form of sports betting is the state lottery’s sports wagering game, Scoreboard. The game, which is run by the lottery in partnership with Intralot, allows Oregonians to bet on professional football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and golf. Bets can be placed online or at any of the state’s retail lottery locations.

South Dakota

In November 2020, South Dakota voters overwhelmingly approved Measure 26, which legalizes sports betting in the state. The measure allows sports betting at Deadwood casinos and tribal casinos, as well as through mobile apps. The state’s lottery will also offer sports betting.


Although Washington has shown no recent inclination to regulate sports betting, this may change in the future. In early 2019, the House introduced a bill that would have made sports betting illegal, but it ultimately failed. If the state does eventually choose to regulate sports betting, it seems likely that it would be done through the Washington State Gambling Commission.


At the time of this writing, the only states that have legalized sports betting are Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi. There are many other states that are considering legislation to allow sports betting, but have not yet passed any laws. It is important to check with your state’s gaming commission to find out the most up-to-date information on which states allow sports betting.

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