What States Have Legalized Sports Betting?
As of May 2019, eight states have legalized sports betting in the US. Here’s a quick rundown of which states have made sports betting legal, and what the current status is in each state.
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In 1949, Nevada became the first state to legalize sports betting, and it has been the only state where sports betting has been legal since then. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was passed in 1992, which made it illegal for any state other than Nevada to offer sports betting. In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down PASPA, clearing the way for other states to legalize sports betting if they choose to do so.
In 2012, New Jersey voters passed a referendum that authorized the state to offer legal betting on sports. The first sportsbook in the Garden State opened in June 2018, and since then, numerous other books have followed suit. currently, there are over a dozen operational sportsbooks in New Jersey.
On October 26, 2017, Pennsylvania became the seventh state to legalize sports betting when the state’s gaming control board approved sports betting regulations. The first bets were placed on November 15, 2017 at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. Sports betting is also now available online and through mobile apps.
On November 26, 2018, Rhode Island became the eighth state to legalize sports betting when Governor Gina Raimondo signed off on the state budget, which included language allowing sports betting at two casinos operated by Twin River Management Group. Sports betting launched at Twin River Casino in Lincoln on November 26, 2018, and at Tiverton Casino Hotel on December 1, 2018.
The state’s lottery is in charge of regulating sports betting, with William Hill US chosen as the official provider of sports betting technology. Bets can be placed in-person at the casinos, online, or via mobile app.
On March 27, 2018, West Virginia became the fifth state to legalize sports betting, with Gov. Jim Justice signing a bill into law that allowed for both retail and mobile sports betting. The state’s lottery commission will oversee the industry.
In 2017, the Mississippi Legislature passed a gaming bill that included language authorizing sports betting. The bill was signed into law by then-Gov. Phil Bryant.
The state’s gaming commission then adopted regulations governing sports betting, and the first sportsbook opened in August 2018 at Gold Strike Casino in Tunica. Then in March 2019, a second sportsbook opened at Beau Rivage in Biloxi.
Since then, a number of other casinos have launched sports betting operations, including Hollywood Casino in Tunica, Hernando’s Hideaway in Greenville and Bok Homa Casino in Sandersville.