Legal Online Betting States in the US - September 2020

Nevada used to be the state to go when you wanted to bet on sports legally in the US. That's no longer the case, and the rise of legal online betting is leading the charge.

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Read more below on all the states that have already legalized online sports betting.

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Legal Betting Arrives in the US – One State at a Time

Supreme Court decision in May 2018 struck down PASPA (The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, set in 1992), which lifted the federal ban on sports betting. Now, the floodgates are open, and states can decide themselves whether to allow legal sports betting.

Some states have been more progressive than others on sports betting legalization, while roughly half of the states in the country are still lobbying for the start of legalized sports betting.

New Jersey the First Mover in 2018

New Jersey was the first state to allow retail and online sports betting, as Governor Phil Murphy signed NJ’s sports betting state into law in June 2018, only a month after sports gambling was legalized on a federal level. The first sports wager in New Jersey was placed in June. Also, Delaware got on board in July by offering single-game retail betting.

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FanDuel Meadowlands in New Jersey was one of the first retail sportsbooks to open outside Nevada.

West Virginia followed suit in August 2018 by opening a retail betting location at Hollywood Casino Charles Town. It did take a good year for them to get their online offering viable, and now you have DraftKings Sportsbook, BetMGM and FanDuel Sportsbook to choose from in the Mountain State.

Mississippi and Arkansas were two other states to legalize already in 2018. However, they only allowed for retail betting and haven’t yet touched on allowing mobile betting apps.

12 More Legal States in 2020

  • New Hampshire (online & retail)
  • Pennsylvania (online & retail)
  • Oregon (online & retail)
  • Rhode Island (online & retail)
  • Indiana (online & retail)
  • Iowa (online & retail)
  • New York (retail)
  • Illinois (online launched 2020)
  • Colorado (online launched 2020)
  • Michigan (to launch in 2020)
  • Tennessee (to launch in 2020)
  • Virginia (to launch late 2020)

Pennsylvania was the most advanced of the new states joining the legal betting ranks. They legalized online betting, retail betting, and even online casino as they were on the gambling topic already.

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DraftKings is the most aggressive sportsbook to move to new states. They’ve already got their online book up and running in six states.

States like Rhode Island and Iowa weren’t quite as advanced in their legislation. To bet online, you have to register in-person at a retail sportsbook before you can place your bets online.

In Oregon and New Hampshire, you’ve just got one option. In Oregon, you can place your bets online through Oregon Lottery’s Scoreboard app. In New Hampshire, DraftKings Sportsbook app owns the monopoly in betting online in Granite State.

What to Expect in 2020?

We’re going to see a couple of big states that already approved their bills in 2019 get their sports gambling in retail and online: Michigan, Colorado, Virginia and Illinois. Of the four, Colorado has already opened on 1st of May and Illinois on 18th of June. The Ohio Senate will also discuss legal Ohio sports betting in late 2020.

Smaller states like Montana and Washington D.C. are both opening retail and online betting. Montana got a head start early 2020, but their launch was watered down by the global health crisis. The global crisis also delayed D.C.’s betting launch as there weren’t any sports to bet on.

Tennessee is a state with a unique approach: They’ll only allow online sports betting with no retail at all. Tennessee is likely to start accepting mobile bets before Christmas.

Legal States to Bet Online

New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy’s signature allowed online betting in New Jersey right after it was legalized in June 2019. Now the Garden State’s got the biggest selection of betting sites and bonuses. The only problem is that you can’t bet on instate college sports.

Read more about New Jersey betting sites & bonuses

Pennsylvania

You can bet online in the great state of Pennsylvania at multiple bookies like DraftKings Sportsbook and BetRivers.

Read more about Pennsylvania betting sites & bonuses

Indiana

The Hoosier State is no stranger to betting online and offline. You can bet at half a dozen online sportsbooks, or go to a casino like French Lick to get some action at BetRivers sports bar.

Read more about Indiana betting sites & bonuses

West Virginia

West Virginia sports betting opened in 2019 and had a failed run of opening their mobile betting process. Now those problems are long gone, and you can get in on the action online, too.

Read more about West Virginia betting sites & bonuses

Colorado

Colorado launched their online betting on May 1st. Physically you can place your bets at three different areas.

Read more about Colorado betting sites & bonuses

Illinois

Illinois launched their online sports betting on June 18th with BetRivers the first mobile sportsbook available with the daily fantasy sports giants DraftKings and Fanduel close on their heels.

Read more about Illinois betting sites & bonuses

Iowa

Iowans need to register physically at a retail sportsbook before they can start betting online, however Iowas sports betting market is quickly growing and the situation might change. PointsBet is one of the biggest operators in Iowa.

New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, you can bet on your DraftKings Sportsbook app. Retail locations will follow in 2020 in 5 cities, including Laconia and Somersworth.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island requires online sports bettors to register first at a physical counter. Then, you can place your bets online.

Oregon

Oregon State Lottery runs Scoreboard app that’s the sole provider of online betting.

Michigan

Sports betting in Michigan launched in early March in physical locations. Online betting is still making its way to the Great Lakes State, but experts hint that optimistically it could be available before the halfway point of the NFL season.

Read more about upcoming Michigan betting sites & bonuses

Tennessee

Tennessee is set to open multiple online sportsbooks by the end of the year. In Tennessee, there’ll be no retail, only online betting.

Read more about upcoming Tennessees sports betting sites & bonuses

Virginia

Virginia sports betting was legalized on April 20th. The launch of online sports betting apps will likely be delayed until December, as they’re still hammering out final details of the legislation process.

Read more about upcoming Virginia betting sites & bonuses

Q&A

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Is it legal to bet in California?

No, it's not. Online sports betting and retail sports betting are both illegal in California. 2024 looks to be the earliest occasion sports betting can go mobile in California, as the change in law would require a change in constitution. That's unlikely to happen before the 2024 ballot.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Is betting legal in New York?

Yes, you can bet in retail locations uptown like Rivers Casino & Sportsbook but online betting is still a no-go. New York can turn things around faster than many other states because they don't need a constitutional change. New York might see legal online betting as early as 2021. However, Governor Andrew Cuomo still sees online gambling as "an irresponsible revenue source".

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ How old do I need to be to bet legally?

In most states the legal betting age is 21, just like with alcohol. However, in 8 states allowing sports betting the legal betting age is 18+.

Here's the list for states with 18 age limit for the states that have already approved legal sports betting:

  • Rhode Island
  • New York
  • Montana
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Washington D.C.
  • Michigan
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Do I have to live in a state where sports gambling is legal?

No, you only need to be physically within state lines. For example, you can cross state lines from Maryland to Pennsylvania, and you can place your bets at a legal PA bookie.