It has been over a year-and-a-half since the United States Supreme Court delivered a landmark decision to strike down the federal ban on sports gambling that prohibited betting on sports in most states. Since that ruling, which left the legality of sports gambling up to state-level government, several states swiftly moved to legalize sports betting.
Prior to the Supreme Court ruling, Nevada was the only state in which a bettor could wager on the results of a game. But since the federal ban was lifted last May, many states have fully legalized sports gambling, with several more in the process of doing so. Many others are introducing new legislation proposals that would open the door to sportsbooks.
Here’s a state-by-state examination of where the country stands on sports gambling. And remember, if you live in a state where sports gambling is legal, check out SportsLine for expert predictions.
Alabama: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
A proposed bill was introduced this April that would create an Alabama Sports Wagering Commission to oversee the regulation of sports betting in the state. Under the proposed bill, bettors would be able to gamble on pro and college sports.
Alaska: Not legal.
In 2020, the state put legalizing sports betting under consideration.
Arizona: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
A bill proposed in January would exclusively permit federally recognized Native American tribes with a gaming license to operate sportsbooks within the state.
The state’s first official sportsbook (Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort) began operating in July, and there will be multiple others on the way, though the state is still prohibiting mobile online wagering.
California: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
There’s currently a proposed constitutional amendment and a pending voter referendum that could make sports gambling legal in the near future.
Colorado became the 19th state to legalize betting and as of May 1, 2020 multiple operators allowed residents to open accounts online and place wagers.
In the 2020 election, Colorado expanded both the number and type of casino games it is able to offer. The state also eliminated some wagering limits.
Connecticut: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
Earlier this year, lawmakers pushed forward two separate sports betting bills — one that would allow sports gambling state-wide at casinos, the lottery and off-track betting sites, and a second that would limit sports betting to the federally recognized tribes that operate the state’s two casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun.
Less than a month after the Supreme Court’s decision, Delaware moved to fully legalize sports betting. Three casinos began operating sportsbooks in June and the state is looking to add additional locations as well as mobile betting.
Florida: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
Florida Man is not allowed to legally gamble in-state. Three bills filed in November 2019 aim to get movement rolling on the legalization of in-state wagering.
Georgia: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
Proposed legislation filed in early 2019 would allow for sports betting on pro and college sports, but with no more than 10 sports gambling licenses handed out in the state.
Hawaii: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
A bill proposed in January of 2019 would allow for the regulation of sports gambling through a newly-established corporation.
Idaho: Not legal.
No legislation proposed.
Legislation was passed in June to allow sports gambling, though in-state collegiate games will be off-limits under the new law. It will make gambling lawful in a variety of locations both in-person (including at Wrigley Field) and online. Bets were allowed in the state as of March 9, 2020.
Wagering on pro and college sports became legal in September of 2019 with both mobile and in-person betting permitted at multiple locations.
Iowa legalized sports gambling in 2019, with multiple sites beginning to take bets at the end of that summer. State law allows for betting on both pro and college sports.
Kansas: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
A total of five sports betting bills have been proposed in the Kansas legislature, but none currently have a hearing date set.
Kentucky: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
Kentucky has had multiple sports gambling bills proposed but likely won’t see any movement until at least 2020.
Louisiana: Approved sports betting
Louisiana approved sports betting in the 2020 election.
Maine: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
Maine nearly passed a law that would have allowed in-person and mobile sports betting on pro and college sports (with the exception of in-state colleges), but the bill was vetoed by the state’s governor. The state’s legislature will likely look to get an identical or similar version passed in 2021.
Maryland: Approved sports betting
Following results of the 2020 election, Maryland approved sports betting.
Massachusetts: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
A number of sports betting legalization bills were introduced in 2019, including one from the governor that would allow residents anywhere in the state to place mobile sports wagers (not tied to land-based casinos) or bet in-person at two newly opened in-state casinos. If passed, the state could see legalized betting as early as 2020.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed bills in late 2019 that allow for both sports betting and online gaming in the state. Casinos in the state started taking wagers in March of 2020.
Minnesota: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
In 2019, a bill was proposed that would have legalized sports gambling at the state’s two horse-racing tracks, its 21 tribal casinos and potentially through mobile devices. That bill did not pass during that legislative session.
The first sports bets in Mississippi were placed on August 1, 2018. The state enacted a law in 2017 that allowed for sports betting.
Missouri: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
Missouri had several sports betting bills introduced this year but the state hasn’t taken action on them yet.
Legal sports betting arrived in the state as of March 2020. Sportsbooks will be regulated through the state lottery.
Nebraska: Authorized some betting
In the 2020 election, Nebraska authorized adding casino games at its horse racing tracks. Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, Columbus and South Sioux City will allow casino games at racetracks.
In early 2020, state senator Justin Wayne introduced a bill classifying sports betting as “authorized games of skill” and would allow sports wagering, fantasy sports, and poker in Nebraska.
New Hampshire: Legal.
New Hampshire joined the list of states with legalized sports betting on the second day of 2020. The state agreed to a six-year contract with DraftKings, so mobile sportsbooks can be utilized throughout the state.
New Jersey: Legal.
New Jersey long advocated for legalized sports gambling and was responsible for the case that led to the federal reversal from the Supreme Court. As such, they wasted no time in legalizing sports gambling after the decision, opening the state’s first sportsbooks on June 14, 2018. Atlantic City and the Giants/Jets NFL stadium, among other locations, now offer legalized sports wagering.
New Mexico: Legal, kind of.
New Mexico’s case is rather unique, as the state hasn’t passed legislation specifically allowing sports betting, but it’s possible to legally bet in-state thanks to a loophole. Under the current state laws, sports betting isn’t explicitly prohibited, nor is it a prohibited Class III game in the gaming compacts shared between tribes and the state. This has allowed the Pueblo of Santa Ana tribe to open their own not-outright-legal-but-also-not-technically-illegal sportsbook at its in-state casino.
New York: Legal.
New York actually passed a bill in 2013 that made sports gambling legal at the state level, but the state didn’t open its first official sportsbook until July of 2019. As of now, a majority of the legal sports wagering comes via upstate casinos, but the state legislature is looking to pass a wider bill that also permits mobile/online wagering.
North Carolina: Legal, but not yet started.
Gambling in North Carolina is run exclusively through the Cherokee tribe, and the state passed a bill in July of 2019 that will permit sports gambling (including horse racing) to be part of that monopoly. As it stands, sports bets will only be accepted in-person at the tribe’s two casinos, both of which would like to start taking bets n 2020.
North Dakota: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
Lawmakers emphatically rejected a bill to legalize professional and collegiate sports betting in 2019.
Ohio: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
Legislation has been proposed in Ohio but lawmakers are at odds over the regulation and oversight of sports gambling. It’s not close at the moment.
Oklahoma: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
A proposed bill would expand the tribal-state gaming compact to include sports betting, but no action has been taken yet.
Oregon didn’t need to pass new legislation because they already had limited sports betting legality established at the state level, but they didn’t officially start taking bets until August of 2019.
Six months after the Supreme Court reversal, Pennsylvania took its first legal sports bet at a casino sportsbook in 2018. Additional licenses have since been handed out and mobile/online wagering is also accepted in-state.
Rhode Island: Legal.
Rhode Island also opened its first sportsbook six months after the U.S Supreme Court’s decision and currently offers sports gambling exclusively at two in-state casinos, but online/mobile betting is on its way.
South Carolina: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
Gambling in South Carolina is restricted solely to casino riverboats but state legislature has proposed bills in consecutive years that would open the door to sports gambling. No action has been taken yet.
South Dakota: In the 2020 election, South Dakota approved sports betting.
Tennessee: Legal, to lauch soon.
The Tennessee state legislature approved a sports betting bill in the spring of 2019 that will only allow betting online and on mobile apps. The state expects to launch its gambling operations no later than November 1, 2020.
Texas: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
A proposed bill would allow mobile and online wagering on pro and college sports, but it will require a referendum amending the state constitution to be approved by voters.
Utah: Not legal.
And very unlikely to happen.
Vermont: Not legal, but legislation proposed.
Very little gambling is permitted in Vermont to begin with, but there is a proposed bill to legalize mobile sports wagering in-state. There hasn’t been much movement on the proposal yet.
In April of 2020 sports betting was legalized in Virginia and the bill passed by state legislature should lead to Virginia sportsbook apps going live by the end of 2020. In. the 2020 election, Virginia approved casino gambling in four locations.
Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth and Norfolk all approved ballot measures authorizing casinos in the 2020 election.
The state passed legislation in early 2020 to permit sports gambling at tribal casinos in-state. The state does not allow for mobile/online wagering.
Washington D.C.: Legal.
The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 became effective as of May of 2019, and the city has launched its sports wagering app and website that is rin by the DC Lottery.
West Virginia: Legal.
In August of 2018, West Virginia became the fifth state to legalize sports gambling. The state offers both in-person and online sports wagering.
Wisconsin: Not legal.
The state has not begun the process of legalizing sports gambling.
Wyoming: Not legal, bill voted down.
In early 2020 a bill was voted down that would’ve authorized online-only sports wagering in Wyoming.
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