Where Is Sports Betting Legal? Projections for All 50 States

Feb 25, 2020, 10:25 AM EST
  • The latest: Georgia lawmakers introduced a bill in the legislature that would legalize online sports betting without requiring a constitutional amendment ... Illinois legal sports betting will be live before the start of the NCAA Tournament, according to the Illinois governor ... Sports betting bills passed in both the Virginia House and Senate in February 2020 ... A bill officially successfully passed in Washington's House on Feb. 13. It now needs to also pass the Senate. The tribes in the state have lobbied for the bill ... Maine's House failed to overturn Gov. Janet Mills' veto of its sports betting bill, meaning legalization will have to wait until at least 2021 ... New York has reintroduced a mobile sports betting bill after the same bill died in the Assembly last summer ... Two Vermont State Senators introduced a mobile sports betting bill in early 2020, a week after neighboring New Hampshire began accepting mobile bets ... Sports betting is officially legal in Michigan after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the bill into law on Dec. 20. The state, which becomes the 20th U.S. state to legalize sports betting, is expected to launch in time for March Madness.
  • Darren Rovell caught up with two legal experts -- Daniel Wallach and Jake Williams -- to see when they expect online and physical sports betting to be legal in each of the 50 states.

Updated on Feb. 25, 2020

It’s been a year-and-a-half since the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting, allowing states to legalize it if they wish.

So where do we stand now? What states are in business, and how are they doing? What states are imminently coming online? And what states are on the back burner? We’ve compiled a comprehensive look at all 50 states (plus Washington D.C.), with projected legalization dates for every state.

To make this as simple as possible, there’s an interactive map below, and the text for each state is ordered by the projected year we expect them to come online. Two experts — Daniel Wallach, principal at Wallach Legal, the nation’s first law firm solely devoted to sports betting, and Jake Williams, vice president of legal and regulatory affairs for Sportradar — helped me with the projections and sub-categories for every state.

That’s enough of a preamble; let’s dive into the map and the full list. If you’d prefer to navigate directly to your state’s section, please click the links below.

[Check out the best online sportsbooks in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia.]

Where Is Sports Betting Legal?


Ala. | Alaska | Ari. | Ark. | Calif. | Colo. | Conn. | Dela. | Fla. | Ga. | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Ind. | Iowa | Kan. | Kent. | La. | Maine | Mary. | Mass. | Mich. | Minn. | Miss. | Mo. | Mont. | Neb. | Nev. | N.H. | N.J. | N.M. | N.Y. | N.C | N.D. | Ohio | Okla. | Ore. | Penn. | R.I. | S.C. | S.D. | Tenn. | Texas | Utah | Ver. | Virginia | Wash. | Wash. D.C. | W.V. | Wisc. | Wyo.


LEGAL (20 TOTAL STATES + WASHINGTON D.C.)

  • Recently legal; no betting yet (7)
  • Full mobile betting (5)
  • Partial mobile betting (5)
  • Only physical sportsbooks (4)

Arkansas

Only physical sportsbooks

Legal sports betting in Arkansas officially launched on July 1, 2019, at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort.

Voters approved a gaming expansion bill back in November, and Oaklawn was the first casino to be declared legal by the state. Expect more sportsbooks to launch ahead of football season.

Sports betting in Arkansas is all over-the-counter, meaning there’s no mobile wagering whatsoever. This spring, a bill popped up in the state legislature that would have legalized full mobile betting in the state, but it hit a snag with the inclusion of integrity fees for leagues.

Colorado

Recently legal; no betting yet

Colorado became the 19th state to legalize sports betting on Wednesday, Nov. 6, as the final votes from Tuesday’s referendum vote were counted.

The measure, which asked the public to approve a sports gambling tax to support the state’s water initiatives, passed 50.7% to 49.3%, a much tighter margin than anticipated.

Funding will be generated by increasing state taxes by $29 million annually and by taxing the state’s gambling operators a 10% rate on their net proceeds.

Colorado’s general Assembly had already passed House Bill 1327 back in May, which provided that sports betting would be legal in the mountain towns of Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek, if the referendum passed. It’s expected the state will have mobile wagering, which has accounted for more than 80% of the sports betting handle in New Jersey, the most successful state to launch in this new era of legal wagering.

Several sports betting operators have signed on in Colorado, including BetAmerica, Wynn Resorts and PointsBet, which is establishing a Western headquarters in Denver.

It’s expected that the state’s operators, which are controlled by Native American tribes, will begin taking wagers around May 2020. That would make it the seventh state west of the Mississippi to do so, joining Arkansas, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana and Oregon.

Colorado casinos pulled in $842.1 million in 2018, a record for the state.

Delaware

Only physical sportsbooks

Was the first legal state after the Supreme Court’s ruling, ahead of New Jersey, which brought the PASPA case to the forefront. But Delaware’s lack of mobile betting and its decision to have the lottery run the show have put it far behind New Jersey in terms of betting volume. Betting handle was $10.5 million in March 2019.

Illinois

Recently legal; no betting yet

It took an extended weekend session by the Illinois legislature in early June, but the state surprised some by getting its sports betting bill to the finish line this year. (We originally had Illinois projected for 2020.)

When Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law on June 28, many expected the state would be up and running in time for football, but that did not materialize. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in his February 2020 budget address that sports betting would be live in the state by March Madness.

Illinois’ bill is unique in this it gives its brick-and-mortar operations — casinos, racetracks and sports venues — an 18-month head start over online-only operators like FanDuel and DraftKings. The licensed brick-and-mortar operations can offer mobile betting right away, but there’s a little more friction in the process, as in-person registration will be required for 18 months.

Under the bill, sports stadiums such as Wrigley Field (Cubs), the United Center (Bulls), Soldier Field (Bears) and Guaranteed Rate Field (White Sox) could apply to have betting kiosks.

Read more on Illinois sports betting here

Indiana

Full mobile betting

Indiana’s sports betting bill was signed into law on May 8, 2019, and officially went live on Sept. 1. Mobile betting launched in the state on Oct. 3. By the end of 2019, FanDuel, DraftKings and BetRivers were all operating mobile apps within the state. In the first two full months after launching mobile betting, Indiana averaged a handle of $154.6 million per month.

Iowa

Partial mobile betting

Iowa’s sports betting law was signed on May 13, 2019, and the state started accepting bets on Aug. 15. The one wrinkle with mobile betting: You have to register in person before being able to bet on your phone. That provision will remain in place until Jan. 1, 2021.

Michigan

Recently legal; no betting yet

On Dec. 11, 2019 a bill passed that legalized sports betting and fantasy sports, and nine days later, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed it into law. The legislation calls for full mobile wagering within the state. Michigan expects to be taking bets at some point in the spring of 2020.

Mississippi

Partial mobile betting

Mississippi, which legalized betting in 2018, has mobile wagering, but it’s very restrictive, only permitted while inside a casino.

Montana

Recently legal; no betting yet

Montana officially legalized betting on May 3, 2019. The state lottery will oversee everything. Bettors will be able to place a wager inside licensed bars and restaurants via kiosks or on their phone, but mobile betting will not work outside of those bars and restaurants. The state initially wanted to get up and running for the start of the 2019 NFL season, but as of February 2020, it still had not launched.

Nevada

Partial mobile betting

Nevada, the gold standard of in-person betting, still hasn’t quite mastered mobile wagering. It requires bettors to come into a casino to register in person before being able to place bets via the Internet.

New Hampshire

Full mobile betting

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed a sports betting bill into law on July 12, and mobile wagering will officially launch on Dec. 30 with DraftKings making a leap in the state. DraftKings will be the only mobile operator in the state besides the New Hampshire Lottery.

Retail sports betting will also be coming to the state, but not until a bit later. Six cities have approved retail locations, according to a report from the Union Leader: Berlin, Claremont, Franklin, Laconia, Manchester and Somersworth.

New Jersey

Full mobile betting

After New Jersey fought the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and NCAA for a decade, the Supreme Court in May of 2018 ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was unconstitutional, and that N.J. and every other state could legalize sports betting at its discretion. New Jersey quickly legalized and is the most advanced state in its online sports betting offerings as of early 2020, bringing in more than $4.5 billion in bets in 2019. More than 80% of sports those wagers were placed online.

New Mexico

Only physical sportsbooks

No bill passed, but Native American tribes have interpreted that their sportsbooks are legal under their state tribal gaming compacts.

New York

Only physical sportsbooks

The New York Gaming Commission voted on June 10, 2019, to allow in-person betting in four upstate casinos — Resorts World, Rivers Casino, Tioga Downs and Del Lago — located hundreds of miles away from New York City. Wagering officially launched on July 16, 2019. So while you can now legally bet in person at the four upstate casinos, bettors can hope that 2020 is the year mobile betting comes to the Empire State, though it’s far from a sure thing.

On Feb. 11, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow joined his counterpart in the Senate, Joseph Addabbo Jr., in advocating for the inclusion of mobile sports betting within the 2020 NY budget. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s lack of enthusiastic support for doing so is still an issue.

A study released in February 2020 estimated that New York is losing $200+ million in revenue by not legalizing online sports betting.

North Carolina

Recently legal; no betting yet

North Carolina wasn’t on our radar in the beginning of 2019, but a bill easily passed the Senate in April, and on July 15, the same bill passed the House with bipartisan support. It officially became law on July 26, when Gov. Roy Cooper graced the bill with his signature.

The legislation allows for legalized sports wagering in-person at two tribal casinos: Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, both of which are located in the western portion of the state, 3-4 hours away from Charlotte and 5-6 hours away from Raleigh.

While the bill does not permit any mobile wagering, the state is expected to launch a gaming commission to study the potential expansion of betting. Perhaps most important to the college-sports-crazed North Carolinians, the bill will allow for betting on college sports teams within the state.

Oregon

Partial mobile betting

No bill passed, but Oregon was one of four states to be grandfathered into legal sports betting prior to the passage of PASPA and on Aug. 27, it became the 12th state to offer legal sports wagering.

The Chinook Winds Casino was the first book in the state to accept sports bets. Mobile betting, which is run by the Oregon Lottery, officially launched on Oct. 16 after multiple delays.

Pennsylvania

Full mobile betting

Mobile sports betting officially launched in Pennsylvania in May 2019, but the first wave of sportsbooks weren’t fully up and running until November. That didn’t keep PA from having a great start to legal sports betting, as the state took in nearly $1.5 billion in wagers last year, the third-largest amount in the country.

Rhode Island

Partial mobile betting

Rhode Island has been offering legal sports betting since 2018. The state, which is the only one to allow people to bet at age 18, runs its mobile betting product through the lottery.

Tennessee

Recently legal; no betting yet

Gov. Bill Lee let a sports-betting bill become law without his signature in late May 2019. Tennessee will be the first legal state to offer online-only wagering, but it’s unclear on when that will occur. Rules still haven’t been written, but a draft of regulations sparked much debate, as the state proposed capping the amount a bettor could win at 85% of his/her original stake, far lower than industry standard. Such a rule would not only limit the number of operators interested in paying the $750,000 licensing fee, but it would also drastically impact the overall betting handle in the state.

Washington D.C.

Recently legal; no betting yet

The D.C. Council approved a bill in December 2018 that would allow for sports betting. It officially became law in late March 2019. The plan was originally to have physical sportsbooks accepting bets by football season, but those efforts stalled amid controversy. Now, D.C. regulators say betting, including mobile wagering via the D.C. Lottery’s app, will be up and running by March 2020.

West Virginia

Full mobile betting

Mobile betting had some initial hiccups in West Virginia, but it’s been fully live since August 2019. A third mobile operator, BetMGM, joined incumbents FanDuel and DraftKings early in 2020. West Virginia took in $129.6 million in bets from September to December 2019.


PROJECTED 2020 (8 total states)

  • Under consideration by legislature (7)
  • Possible referendum required (1)

Florida

Under consideration by legislature

Things looked dead in Florida after voters approved Amendment 3 in 2019, which allows Florida residents to exclusively authorize casino gambling within the state. But sports betting legislation expert Daniel Wallach says that the amendment would not stop the legislature from authorizing sports gambling. Because of that, Wallach says he expects lawmakers to approve sports betting in 2020, without the need for a citizen referendum. To that end, on Nov. 18, 2019, multiple sports betting bills were filed in the Florida legislature.

Kansas

Under consideration by legislature

The Kansas Senate passed a sports betting bill, which would allow for mobile wagering in the state, on Feb. 26, 2020. It will now go to the House, which is working on a sports betting bill of its own and appears to have conflicts with the measure that passed the Senate. Kansas had previously introduced a bill in 2019 that would have called for a steep tax rate and the required use of official league data.

Kentucky

Under consideration by legislature

A sports betting bill zoomed through a legislative committee in the Kentucky House in early 2020, but quickly hit a snag as Republican lawmakers called the issue “divisive.” Damon Thayer, the majority leader of the Kentucky Senate, said he thinks the bill would pass his chamber if it makes it through the House. The Governor is a big proponent of sports betting legalization, so the biggest hurdle in Kentucky appears to be a divided House.

Louisiana

Possible referendum required

The Louisiana legislature tried to get some steam behind a sports betting bill in May 2019, but the efforts failed in the House.

Not long after, though, the Senate passed a new bill on fantasy sports regulation, which also includes some language around sports betting, according to AP reporter Melinda Deslatte. That bill went no where. If/when a sports betting bill ever gets passed by lawmakers, each municipality in Louisiana will have to approve of it for wagering to become legal.

Massachusetts

Under consideration by legislature

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has long been pushing for legalized sports betting, going so far as to file legislation in early 2019. It was one of nine bills introduced last year. Daniel Wallach, an expert in the space, expects Massachusetts to legalize betting in 2020, saying the state “does not have any unique legal barriers such as tribal compacts or constitutional prohibitions.”

Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12).

Missouri

Under consideration by legislature

As of February 2020, six sports betting bills had been filed to the Missouri legislature. They unsurprisingly come in all shapes and sizes, as the state attempts to keep up with neighboring Iowa and Illinois, which have legalized sports betting, and Kansas, which appears poised to do so in 2020.

Ohio

Under consideration by legislature

Ohio is surrounded by states that have legalized sports betting (or appear poised to do so in 2020), so it’s no surprise that state lawmakers are trying to advance legislation. The issue is that there are two different bills competing with each other — one in the House, the other in the Senate. Both bills call for mobile wagering but have key differences in the state agency tasked with regulating sports betting.

Virginia

Under consideration by legislature

Sports betting bills passed in both the Virginia House and Senate in February 2020, but there’s still a long road before legalization. The bills appear to have their fair share of issues, including a steep tax rate that could turn off operators.


PROJECTED 2021 (12 TOTAL STATES)

  • Under consideration by legislature (9)
  • No movement (2)
  • Governor vetoed bill (1)

Alabama

Under consideration by legislature

Lawmakers introduced another sports betting bill in early 2020, marking the second consecutive year of doing so. The legislation calls for the tribes to be permitted to offer sports betting within their 24 casinos in the state and would not allow for mobile betting within the state.

Arizona

Under consideration by legislature

Lawmakers introduced another sports betting bill in early 2020, marking the second consecutive year of doing so. The legislation calls for the tribes to be permitted to offer sports betting within their 24 casinos in the state and would not allow for mobile betting within the state.

California

Under consideration by legislature

Legalization in California has two hurdles: It would likely require a change to the state constitution, and all gaming is controlled by tribes. On June 27, we got a surprise: California assemblyman Adam Gray and State Senator Bill Dodd introduced a sports betting bill. The legislation calls for a November 2020 ballot question, but would need two-thirds support from the legislature to be put on the ballot. And while 18 tribes said they would be interested in backing the measure, it still appears to be a longshot to happen in 2020.

Connecticut

Under consideration by legislature

Connecticut is nearly surrounded by legal sports betting states, and while bills were introduced in 2019, tribal conflicts proved to be too tough to overcome. Connecticut lawmakers are again set to introduce a sports betting bill in February 2020, which would legalize mobile wagering and in-person betting at the two tribal casinos.

Georgia

Under consideration by legislature

Polls in Georgia say that voters are in favor of legalized sports betting. Executives from the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta United also came out in support of sports betting in late 2019. On Feb. 20, legislation was filed to allow online sports betting in the state. This proposed bill would NOT require a constitutional amendment, which has been a topic of much debate as the state discusses legalized wagering. Even with the recent developments, it’s far from certain Georgia will get legalized wagering any time soon. The state doesn’t have casino gaming of any kind.

[Check out the best online sportsbooks in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia.]

Maine

Governor vetoed bill

A bill zoomed through the House and Senate on June 19, 2019, as the legislative session neared its end. But Gov. Janet Mills opted not to sign it, and then vetoed it on Jan. 10, 2020 after the new legislative session opened.

In a last-ditch effort, the Senate overturned the veto, but the House was unable to do the same, killing the bill until at least 2021.

Maine’s bill would have allowed for full mobile betting throughout the state, and given operators the option to be online-only.

Maryland

Under consideration by legislature

Maryland has two sports betting bills filed in the House as of February 2020, one of which calls for 16 online sports betting licenses. That bill calls for a steep 20% tax, which will likely become a more contentious point if the bill continues to advance through the legislature.

North Dakota

No movement

Two separate sports betting bills died in the North Dakota legislature in 2019. It’s a longshot to see significant movement here in 2020.

South Dakota

Under consideration by the legislature

South Dakota is one step away from allowing its citizens the chance to approve sports betting in the state. On Feb. 11, the Senate passed a sports betting measure; if the House does the same, the proposal will go on the November 2020 ballot. But don’t get your hopes up: The House failed to push forward a similar bill last year, and according to the Rapid City Journal, Gov. Kristi Noem opposes sports betting expansion. The tribes in the state will also have to get on board eventually.

Texas

No movement

Texas lawmakers introduced a sports betting bill in 2019, but it didn’t go anywhere. Don’t expect that to change anytime soon, as the state still does not have a fantasy sports bill. Texas lawmakers have also shown a hesitancy to support any kind of casino expansion legislation.

Vermont

Under consideration by the legislature

Early in 2020, two Vermont State Senators — Michael Sirotkin and Dick Sears — filed a mobile-only sports betting bill in Vermont. The movement, unsurprisingly, comes on the heels of neighboring New Hampshire launching mobile sports betting at the end of 2019.

That’s quite a change from when PASPA was overturned, and the executive director of Vermont’s lottery said he didn’t know of a single person who wanted sports betting in the state.

Given the previous skepticism in the state surrounding sports betting — and Vermont’s lack of commercial gambling of any kind — we’ll be conservative with its projection and bump Vermont only up to 2021.

Washington

Under consideration by the legislature

Washington has some of the least gambling-friendly laws in the country, but lawmakers are still trying to push through a bill that would legalize sports betting in the state’s tribal casinos. A bill officially successfully passed in the House on Feb. 13. It now needs to also pass the Senate. The tribes have lobbied for the bill, as it restricts mobile wagering to within their casinos.

Because of the state’s history of opposing gambling expansion, we’ll keep Washington in the 2021 bucket for now.


PROJECTED 2022 & BEYOND (10 TOTAL STATES)

    • No movement (7)
    • Tribal gaming conflicts (2)
    • Under consideration by legislature (1)

Alaska

No movement

Alaska is pretty much nowhere on sports gambling. The 49th state might actually be the 49th to legalize it.

Hawaii

No movement

Hawaii is one of just two states currently without gambling of any kind, so sports betting will not be coming to the state for the foreseeable future.

Idaho

No movement

State laws as written are currently against gambling, save for horse racing. State doesn’t allow fantasy.

Minnesota

Tribal gaming conflicts

The state’s 11 federally recognized tribes do not want expansion of gaming. That’s an issue.

Nebraska

Under consideration by legislature

Lawmakers in Nebraska have introduced three different bills, but they appear to be a longshot, especially considering the state turned down the right to expand casino gambling at its racetracks years ago.

Oklahoma

No movement

If anything is to happen, it has to go through the tribes. So while we’ve seen lawmakers express interest in raising sports betting legislation in the past, it will always be harder to get it to the finish line compared to states without tribes.

South Carolina

No movement

Several bills have been introduced in the past in South Carolina, but none have gained any traction. This appears to be a longshot to happen any time soon.

Utah

No movement

Sports betting is likely never coming to Utah.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Russell Wilson

Wisconsin

Tribal gaming conflicts

State’s constitution prohibits gambling. Tribes are said to want to keep the status quo.

Wyoming

No movement

There are only three licensed casinos in the entire state, and while multiple bills were proposed in February 2020, Wyoming isn’t on the short list of states to pass legalization anytime soon.

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