If you’re looking to place a bet on your favorite team, you may be wondering what states is it legal to sports bet? Here’s a quick rundown of the current landscape.
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Federal Sports Betting Laws
The following states have passed laws making sports betting legal within their state borders. This does not mean that sports betting is available nationwide, as there are still federal laws to consider. Here are the states where sports betting is legal:
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA)
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 was a federal law that prohibited sports betting nationwide (with a few exceptions). PASPA effectively made it illegal to operate a sports betting business in the US. But it did not make betting on sports illegal.
In May 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA in a 6-3 ruling. This decision opened the door for states to legalize and regulate sports betting. Prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling, only Nevada had full-scale legal sports betting.
Since the ruling, a number of states have legalized and begun regulating sports betting. Here is a current list of states where sports betting is legal:
A number of other states are in the process of legalizing and regulating sports betting. These states include:
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA)
In 2006, Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) as part of the SAFE Port Act. The UIGEA’s stated intent was to make it more difficult for transactions to be processed by gambling sites in an effort to reduce online gambling. The law did not make online gambling itself illegal, but it did make it illegal for banks and other financial institutions to process transactions for gambling sites.
Since its passage, the UIGEA has had a significant impact on the online gambling industry. Many gambling sites have been forced to close their doors to US customers, and those that remain have had to find alternative ways to process payments. As a result, online gambling has become much less accessible for US players.
If you’re interested in learning more about the UIGEA and its impact on online gambling, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know.
State Sports Betting Laws
In the United States, sports betting is only legal in certain states. These states include Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon. If you want to bet on sports in one of these states, you must be physically present in the state when you place your bet. You also must be 21 years of age or older.
In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a 1992 federal law that had effectively prohibited commercial sports betting in most states. The court’s decision paved the way for individual states to legalize and regulate sports betting if they choose.
Since the ruling, several states have passed laws and launched sports betting operations. Here is a look at the status of sports betting in each state:
Sports betting has been legal in Nevada since 1949. The state’s gaming regulator, the Nevada Gaming Control Board, oversees all sports betting activity in the state.
In 2012, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was struck down by the US Supreme Court, opening the door for states to legalize and regulate sports betting. Since then, many states have taken advantage of this opportunity, with more expected to do so in the near future.
New Jersey was one of the first states to take advantage of the new law, legalizing sports betting in June 2018. The state offers both retail and online/mobile sports betting, with a wide variety of bets available on a variety of sports.
In Pennsylvania, sports betting is legal and regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Betting is available online and at brick-and-mortar casinos and racetracks. There are a number of restrictions in place, including a minimum age of 21 and a ban on betting on collegiate sporting events taking place within the state.
In Rhode Island, sports betting is legal and regulated by the state. Betting on sports is allowed at physical sportsbooks, as well as online and through mobile apps. Rhode Island was one of the first states to offer legal sports betting following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the federal ban on sports betting in 2018.
West Virginia sports betting is legal and available at several online sportsbooks. The state has a rich history with gambling,and was one of the first states to offer casino-style gambling back in 1994. West Virginia also offers a lottery, horse and dog racing, and charitable gaming.
When it comes to sports betting, the state allows for both online and retail wagering on a variety of professional and collegiate sports. There are currently no laws prohibiting residents from betting on sports at offshore online sportsbooks, so bettors in West Virginia have a wide range of options when it comes to where they place their bets.
Sports Betting in Other Countries
Sports betting is legal in many countries around the world. In the United States, it is only legal in Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon. In Canada, sports betting is only legal in the province of Ontario. However, there are many other countries where sports betting is legal and it is a popular pastime. Let’s take a look at some of these countries.
Sports betting is legal and common in the United Kingdom. Football (soccer) is the most popular sport to bet on, but horse racing, cricket, rugby, and tennis are also popular.
Online and offline sports betting are both widely available. Online sports betting is regulated by the Gambling Commission, while offline sports betting is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and the Local Gambling Licensing Authorities. There are no restrictions on how many sports bets can be placed or how much can be wagered on a single bet.
The legal age for sports betting in the UK is 18.
Sports betting is legal in Australia but is subject to strict regulations. All wagering must be done through licensed Sports books, and all bets must be placed on approved events. There are very few restrictions on what types of bets can be placed, and Australians can even bet on international events. The Australian government has also recently begun to allow live betting, which has become extremely popular.
Though there are no federal laws in Canada that make sports betting illegal, most provinces have their own gaming commissions that oversee all forms of gambling, including sports betting. In some provinces, like British Columbia and Alberta, sports betting is available through the provincial lottery commission. In others, like Ontario and Quebec, sports betting is only available through licensed parlay games.
The Canadian Criminal Code does make it illegal to operate a sports betting business without a license from the government, but there are no laws that make it illegal to place a bet with a sportsbook based outside of Canada. So, while you can’t operate a sportsbook in Canada, you can still bet with an offshore bookie.