• Atlanta will host this year's Super Bowl, but sports betting in Georgia is still likely years away from being a reality.
  • Kentucky, home to the 30th-biggest city (Louisville), is expected to try to keep up with nearby West Virginia and Pennsylvania and legalize sports betting in the next two years.
  • Don't get your hopes up for sports betting trips to New Orleans. Louisiana's initial attempts at legalization stalled in 2018.

It’s been two months since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey, putting sports betting legalization in the hands of state lawmakers for the first time since 1992. Ever since the floodgates opened, we’ve been inundated with one question more than any other: When will I be able to legally bet in my city?

We’re here to help. Below is a list of the 26th through the 50th largest cities in the United States — you can see the top 25 cities here — and the nearest legal sportsbook for residents. We’ve also broken down the timeline for legalization in each city into five categories:

  • Legal now
  • Fewer than 6 months
  • 6 months to 2 years
  • 2-10 years
  • Never (we only foresee this for Utah)

The categories are a rough estimate for when we reasonably believe that state lawmakers will make it possible for bettors to place a legal wager.

As additional states legalize sports betting, this tracker will be updated with new distances and ETAs on legal sports betting.

All data current as of July 21. We have used Politifact’s ranking of the 50 largest cities.

See the closest legal sportsbook to the 25 biggest U.S. cities


26. Portland, Ore.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Winners Inn Casino in Winnemucca, Nev.

Distance: 502 miles (8-hour, 22-minute drive)

More info: Oregon was one of the few states exempted under PASPA, offering an NFL parlay game. The state lottery even tried to expand betting offerings into NBA parlays in the late 1980s, before the NBA sued. The Oregon lottery has maintained that it has some leeway under existing law to launch sports betting, but to date, there has been nothing concrete put in place. The greater Portland area is home to a number of casinos that could serve as sites for sportsbooks, but given that the Oregon lottery shut down its NFL parlay game in 2007, despite having a PASPA exemption, it is unclear how widespread the desire to expand sports betting is in the state.


27. Oklahoma City, Okla.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 6 months to 2 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Horseshoe Tunica Casino in Robinsonville, Miss.

Distance: 495 miles (7-hour, 33-minute drive)

More info: Oklahoma legislators are likely to be busy in the coming months and years. The state has an extensive casino industry, as well as several racinos. Oklahoma lawmakers have introduced bills in each of the past two years to offer sports betting.


Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Russell Westbrook.

While sportsbook betting is likely on the horizon, the state has what is effectively its own version of the Federal Wire Act, which may be an obstacle to mobile betting at the start. The key hindrance to passing a sports betting bill will likely be coming to an agreement with tribal betting interests over what portion of proceeds the state will receive.


28. Las Vegas, Nev.

Legal yet? Yes

More info: Las Vegas has been the gold standard for legal U.S. sports betting since the days of “Turf Clubs.” New Jersey, Delaware and the other states are still playing catch-up and will be for the foreseeable future. Nevada has mobile betting, from anywhere physically within the state, and obviously Vegas has no shortage of sportsbooks if you want to step out of your house, grab a drink and watch a few dozen games at once.


29. Baltimore, Md.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 6 months to 2 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Delaware Park in Wilmington, Del.

Distance: 65.6 miles (1-hour, 29-minute drive)

More info: Baltimore residents are already only about 60 miles from legal sports betting, but the state of Maryland has used the past two legislative sessions to introduce a variety of bills that would legalize sports betting, contingent on a referendum. The efforts earlier this year fell just short, after passage in the Maryland House by a large margin.


>> Sign up for The Action Network’s daily newsletter to get the smartest conversation delivered into your inbox each morning.


The Baltimore area has the casino and racetrack infrastructure necessary to quickly launch sportsbook-style offerings. With neighboring Delaware and Pennsylvania authorizing sports betting, expect Maryland lawmakers to work hard to get something done so that the state doesn’t see too much tax revenue going to its neighbors.


30. Louisville, Ky.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 6 months to 2 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Horseshoe Tunica Casino in Robinsonville, Miss.

Distance: 412 miles (6-hour, 16-minute drive)

More info: Lawmakers in Kentucky’s state house have been working hard over the past several years to get a sports betting bill passed. Three bills were introduced in 2018, laying a good foundation for the immediate future. Kentucky, obviously, has an extensive horse racing history, which would be complemented by the introduction of sports betting.

The key hurdles will likely center on the tax rate (currently proposed at 3% of handle), which may make it difficult for the state to attract operators. Nonetheless, expect Kentucky to try to keep up with nearby Pennsylvania and West Virginia in 2019.


31. Milwaukee, Wis.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Horseshoe Tunica Casino in Robinsonville, Miss.

Distance: 651 miles (10-hour, 27-minute drive)

More info: Wisconsin residents should plan on packing up the car and driving if they want to place a legal wager in the next couple of years. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling, there has been little talk from state lawmakers of bringing sports betting to the Badger State.

One of the main obstacles is the need to renegotiate gaming compacts with the state’s 11 tribal governments, who operate casinos across Wisconsin. The good news is that Illinois is likely to be in the next wave of states to legalize betting, which will substantially cut down on travel time to place a bet.


USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo


32. Albuquerque, N.M.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nev.

Distance: 504 miles (7-hour, 18-minute drive)

More info: Do not expect sports betting to come to New Mexico soon. Informal polls show that large numbers of residents do not support legalization, which will make a push in the legislature difficult. New Mexico-based sports bettors will likely be traveling to Nevada for a while.


33. Tucson, Ariz.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Tropicana Laughlin Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nev.

Distance: 340 miles (5-hour, 6-minute drive)

More info: Hopes of legal sports betting in the Tucson area appear to be a distant dream at the moment. State legislators have not introduced a bill in recent terms, but there is reason for hope, as some Arizona lawmakers have cited sports betting’s revenue potential.

One major obstacle would be for the state to negotiate with the Native American tribes, which operate Arizona’s 23 casinos, and determine how sports betting fits within existing tribal compacts. The Tucson area is home to an established casino industry and a horse racing track, Rillito, which would serve as another possible site for a sportsbook.


Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Arizona coach Sean Miller


34. Fresno, Calif.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Topaz Lodge and Casino in Gardnerville, Nev.

Distance: 218 miles (4-hour, 17-minute drive)

More info: In 2017, California legislators introduced a bill that would amend the state constitution to allow sports wagering if the federal prohibition was lifted, but progress on the bill has stalled.


>> Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds, track your bets and follow all of our experts’ picks.


Legal sports betting in California faces meaningful challenges because of the years it would likely take to renegotiate tribal gaming agreements, as well as the need to amend the state’s constitution. If sports betting is viewed like online poker in California, it will likely take several years for lawmakers to generate the support necessary to get sports wagering operational.

35. Sacramento, Calif.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nev.

Distance: 105 miles (2-hour, 5-minute drive)

More info: See above.


36. Kansas City, Mo.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 6 months to 2 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Horseshoe Tunica Casino in Robinsonville, Miss.

Distance: 480 miles (8-hour, 8-minute drive)


Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

More info: Kansas City residents can currently flip a coin as to whether they want to drive to Delaware or Nevada to place a legal wager (both are roughly the same driving distance), but good news is likely on the horizon for those who don’t want to venture far away.

Six different sports betting bills were introduced in Missouri in 2018, though the Show Me State came up short of fully authorizing it. I’d expect this momentum to continue into 2019.

Missouri would be well-positioned for legalized sports betting with casinos across the state, including in both Kansas City and St. Louis. Key obstacles are likely to center around whether sports leagues receive a royalty payment, along with the tax rate and mobile betting.


37. Long Beach, Calif.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nev.

Distance: 239 miles (3-hour, 36-minute drive)

More info: See above.


38. Mesa, Ariz.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Tropicana Laughlin Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nev.

Distance: 243 miles (3-hour, 50-minute drive)

More info: See above.


39. Atlanta, Ga.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Harrah’s in Biloxi, Miss.

Distance: 386 miles (5-hour, 25-minute drive)

More info: Many in the Atlanta area are chomping at the bit for legal sports betting. Sadly, they’ll likely be chomping for a long time. Georgia’s gambling infrastructure, beyond the lottery, is well behind most of the rest of the country.

No bills to legalize sports betting have been introduced in the Georgia legislature in recent years, but there is an outside hope that a sports betting measure may be connected to a push for a constitutional amendment authorizing casino gambling. This is likely a few years away, so Atlanta bettors should continue making other arrangements to wager legally for the time being.


Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Matt Ryan


40. Colorado Springs, Colo.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Peppermill Wendover Hotel and Casino in Wendover, Nev.

Distance: 705 miles (10-hour, 43-minute drive)

More info: Colorado lawmakers did not initiate any sports betting legislation during the 2018 session, but considering the state has the most advanced marijuana industry in the country, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see that change in coming years.

Colorado will require a piece of legislation and a referendum of state voters to expand gambling offerings. While these are formidable obstacles, Colorado has been progressive in this area since the legalization of casinos in 1991.

While there are no casinos in the state’s largest city, Denver, it does have a horse racing track in the metro area that could service sports bettors, should voters approve expanded wagering.


41. Virginia Beach, Va.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Harrington Raceway and Casino in Harrington, Del.

Distance: 178 miles (3-hour, 41-minute drive)

More info: Despite advanced discussion in many neighboring states, including West Virginia, Delaware and Maryland, Virginia has been relatively quiet since the Supreme Court’s ruling on May 14. At the moment, the state’s only form of legal gambling is the lottery, which arrived in 1987 (years after many other states). While likely years away, there has been some early discussion of looking into the issue from a variety of state politicians, including the governor.


42. Raleigh, N.C.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Harrington Raceway and Casino in Harrington, Del.

Distance: 367 miles (5-hour, 36-minute drive)

More info: North Carolina has been quiet since May 14, when the Supreme Court turned the power to legalize sports betting over to the states. That isn’t surprising: The state has typically shied away from any sort of gambling expansion.

North Carolina has one casino and a lottery for gaming operations, leaving it lagging behind other states from an infrastructure perspective. It’s unlikely it will be the first mover in the region, but legislators may feel pressure if neighboring Virginia or South Carolina takes a step toward legalization. The good news for North Carolina bettors is they will soon only have to travel to West Virginia to place a bet.


43. Omaha, Neb.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Horseshoe Tunica Casino in Robinsonville, Miss.

Distance: 664 miles (10-hour, 31-minute drive)

More info: When will you be able to bet on the sports in the home state of the College World Series? Not soon. Lawmakers in Nebraska, especially Gov. Pete Ricketts, have come out in opposition of sports betting expansion. The state will require voter approval to offer sports betting, meaning that logistically we are likely at least a couple of years away. Opinions may change, however, if neighboring Iowa successfully legalizes betting in the next year or so.


Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Pat Casey.


44. Miami, Fla.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, Miss.

Distance: 782 miles (11-hour, 39-minute drive)

More info: Floridians are likely several years away from legally betting on sports at home. Florida’s casino infrastructure is tightly controlled by gaming compacts between tribal governments and the state; modifications often take months, sometimes years, of negotiations. As a result, it’s unlikely that a snap vote in the Florida legislature would bring betting to the Sunshine State.

The silver lining? Mississippi will begin taking legal bets soon, and Biloxi is about half the distance of Harrington, Del. (previously the closest legal destination), and there are fewer tolls.


45. Oakland, Calif.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nev.

Distance: 189 miles (3-hour, 38-minute drive)

More info: See above.


46. Minneapolis, Minn.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Horseshoe Tunica Casino in Robinsonville, Miss.

Distance: 636 miles (13-hour, 8-minute drive)

More info: In 2018, a bill was circulating in the Minnesota legislature that would have allowed sports betting, including via mobile devices, but the legislative session closed without any vote on the bill. Minnesota lawmakers will likely make additional efforts in coming years.

This year’s session ended just six days after the Supreme Court’s decision, leaving little room to build a consensus. The Twin Cities area has a variety of casinos that would be ideal sites for sportsbooks, but first, lawmakers will need to put pen to paper in coming months.


Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports


47. Tulsa, Okla.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 6 months to 2 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Horseshoe Tunica Casino in Robinsonville, Miss.

Distance: 431 miles (6-hour, 32-minute drive)

More info: See above.


48. Wichita, Kan.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Horseshoe Tunica Casino in Robinsonville, Miss.

Distance: 606 miles (9-hour, 3-minute drive)

More info: Kansas lawmakers introduced a variety of sports betting bills in 2018, but nothing advanced to a vote. Lawmakers were closely tied to bills endorsed by the sports leagues, which lack substantial support in the casino industry. Given Kansas’ current plan to confine sports betting to casinos and racetracks, the opposition of the casino industry is a major roadblock.

As other states have backed off the integrity fee and the type of legislation leagues would like to see, Kansas may follow suit. However, until lawmakers are on the same page as those who are going to open sportsbooks, don’t expect too much movement. Kansas residents will likely be able to wager legally in Missouri and Iowa before they can at home.


49. New Orleans, La.

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, Miss.

Distance: 90.6 miles (1-hour, 31-minute drive)

More info: Louisiana lawmakers introduced a bill in 2018 that would legalize sports betting at racetracks in the state, but the bill failed to advance very far. Future bills will likely need to include offerings at casinos to gain traction.


Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Drew Brees (9).

While Louisiana is likely several years away from launching sports betting, the groundwork is beginning to be laid. When it gets done, the Big Easy would instantly become one of the country’s best sports betting destinations.


50. Arlington, Texas

Legal yet? No

ETA on becoming legal: 2-10 years

Closest legal U.S. location: Horseshoe Tunica Casino in Robinsonville, Miss.

Distance: 500 miles (7-hour, 56-minute drive)

More info: Sports betting in Texas is a long way from reality. State legislators have not introduced a bill to legalize it in recent years, and it is unclear if there is anything that will change that in the near future.

Sports bettors in Texas are likely better off hoping for movement in Louisiana or Oklahoma, which would significantly cut down the drive to the nearest legal destination. While Texas does have horse and dog racing, which would be a logical site for sports betting, wagering expansion in Texas has not been popular historically.


More Sports Betting Legalization Coverage

Credit:

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Follow John Holden on Twitter
@johnsportslaw