United States Sports Betting (February 2024)
Let’s dive in and take a look at some of the states that have legalized sports betting in the United States.
Illinois legalized sports betting on June 28, 2019. The legalization process began in 2018. After multiple proposed bills, the Sports Wagering Act was signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker.
The Illinois Gaming Board was granted the power to be the governing body over legal sports betting in the state. The first bet was made on March 9, 2020 at BetRivers Sportsbook at the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. Online sports betting didn’t launch until the early summer months.
There are a total of five online sportsbooks with more expected in the near future. There are also eight retail sportsbooks in the state. There has been close to $1 billion in bets placed since March 9, 2020.
This substantial figure was supported by a summer and fall sports betting surge in Illinois.
Colorado sports betting was passed in early November of 2019 and launched on May 1, 2020. Legalization was a two-part process in CO that almost didn’t occur.
A bill was proposed in the House of Representatives during the 2019 legislative session. The bill was approved on the final day of the session which gave state residents the ability to approve sports betting.
They did this on November 5, 2019 by a very slim margin. The Colorado sports betting market has grown at a record-breaking pace. CO sports betting is becoming one of the largest markets in the state.
This is no surprise because of the number of companies that are operating in the state. CO sports betting includes retail and online betting. There are currently 17 online skins in the state and 12 retail sportsbooks.
Both these numbers are expected to continue growing in 2021. The betting handle in the state has gone up every month since May of 2020 so expectations are very high for Colorado sports betting in 2021.
Michigan sports betting discussions began prior to the Supreme Court’s decision on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. PASPA was overturned in 2018 by the Supreme Court, but the MI legislature began working on sports betting bills in 2015.
No real progress was made until 2019, but sports betting conversations in the state started earlier than other areas of the country. Representative Robert Koswoski was the first legislator to propose a sports betting bill. His effort didn’t do much in the state government, but Representative Brandt Iden took charge in 2017.
In 2019, Governor Whitmer signed a sports betting bill into effect. The sports betting bill was one piece of a large gaming package. Sports betting launched in a retail format on March 11, 2020.
If it wasn’t for New Jersey, sports betting may not be legalized in the United States. NJ began the fight to legalize sports betting back in 2009. It took nearly a decade for a sports betting bill to be passed in the state.
This was due to professional leagues who were trying to keep sports betting illegal in the United States. NJ ended up winning the sports betting battle when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned in 2018 by the Supreme Court. NJ sports wagering was legalized less than one month following this decision.
Since Governor Phil Murphy signed the state’s wagering bill into law in 2018, the NJ sports betting market has exploded. In 2020, New Jersey surpassed Nevada for the largest sports betting market in the United States.
This is thanks to 17 mobile books that operate in the state including FanDuel, DraftKings, PointsBet and BetMGM. Retail sportsbooks are popular in NJ, but the majority of the handle every month comes from mobile wagers.
Tennessee has always had conservative values so it’s surprising that sports betting was legalized in the state. The TN sports betting legislative process began in 2018 following the Supreme Court’s decision to end the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.
The TN legislator who provided the initial sports betting impetus was Representative Rick Staples. Staples proposed the first sports betting bill in 2018 and sponsored the legislation that was eventually passed in 2019. Once Tennessee sports betting passed, the state almost killed the form of gambling before it even started.
Regulators were calling for a 15% hold, limited betting on Sundays and holidays, as well as no wagering on single player sports. Luckily, this didn’t end up being the case in the state, but TN still has some of the strictest gambling laws in the nation.
There are no casinos in TN so only mobile sports betting is legal. TN was the first state to only legalize mobile sports betting. TN didn’t cap the number of sportsbooks that could operate in the state so this could become a large market in the next few years.
The Indiana legislature began a sports betting bill before the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned in 2018. Indiana has a strong gambling culture. Legislators in the state knew the benefit that sports betting could provide so they acted swiftly to enact a sports betting bill.
IN became the tenth state to legalize sports betting in America. Sports betting was signed into law by Governor Holcomb on May 8, 2019. The bill passed in the House and Senate with ease. The government’s support of sports betting has allowed the industry to take off in the state.
There are 10 mobile books and 15 retail betting locations in the Hoosier state. More operators have already been approved to enter the state in 2021. Sports betting compliments Indiana’s horse racing culture perfectly.
The Indiana sports betting handle is continuing to grow every month with no sign of slowing down. This has caused the tax revenue from sports betting to truly benefit the state in limitless ways.
West Virginia was a sports betting pioneer in the United States. New Jersey led the legal battle to enact sports wagering, but WV supported the state every step of the way. West Virginia began discussing sports betting in 2017 when Delegate Shawn Fluharty introduced a bill.
His sports betting legislation did not pass, but it started the discussion for the form of gambling in the state. He reintroduced his legislation in 2018, but it still did not pass. However, a sports betting bill did pass during the year that was more detailed than Fluharty’s bill. Once sports betting passed, it was monumental because WV was the first state to reach a deal in 2018.
WV Sports betting launched in August of 2018. Mobile betting did not go live until the winter for a temporary period. Even though there are no professional sports teams in the state, WV still has a thriving sports betting market. Between the avid sports fans and the college athletic programs, there are plenty of bets being placed.
A sports betting bill was first presented in Iowa in 2018 prior to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. This bill did not pass because time ran out during the year’s legislative session. In the next year’s legislative session, a sports betting bill passed with ease.
The 2019 bill was proposed by Senator Bobby Kaufman and Representative Roby Smith. The bill was debated close to twenty times, but it passed with bipartisan support. Sports betting was signed into law in May 2019.
Iowa Sports betting launched three months later in August. The governing body over IA sports wagering is the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. They put emergency orders in place to guarantee that sports betting would go live prior to the start of the 2019 football season.
There are no major professional sports franchises in IA, but bettors are allowed to wager in-state college teams like the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Iowa State Cyclones. Sports betting is growing in popularity throughout the state. In January 2021, the state set a handle record, totaling $149,524,789.
New York sports betting has an extensive history that dates all the way back to 2009. Sports betting was first discussed in the State Senate in 2009. A referendum bill was later passed in 2013 by state voters which legalized retail sports betting and called for the construction of four new casinos in upstate New York.
Legislators in the New York government have been trying to expand sports betting since the referendum vote took place in 2013, but there has not been much progress. New York is one of the largest states in America, but mobile sports wagering has not been legalized.
The state is losing a lot of tax revenue because of this fact. Border states like NJ and PA offer mobile sports betting. Governor Cuomo has stated that he wants to legalize a mobile sports betting bill in 2021 so this is positive news for bettors in the state that don’t live near a casino.
New York has thirteen major professional sports teams and 22 Division I colleges that participate in Division I athletics.
Arizona sports betting was legalized in April of 2021. The legalization process began in 2019 following the Supreme Court ruling the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was unconstitutional in 2018. Senator Sonny Borelli and Representative Steve Pierce were the first legislators in the state to begin the sports betting push.
The two congressmen proposed bills in 2019 and 2020, but none of the legislation was accepted. Sports betting seemed to be dead in the water after the 2020 legislation, but Governor Ducey changed this belief. Ducey and the tribal nations who operate casinos passed a new gaming compact, which opened the door for legal sports wagering. Once the compact was signed, the legislature was able to craft a bill that legalized sports wagering.
Sports betting is now legal in AZ in an online and retail format. It’s expected to go live by September 1st so the state can take advantage of the revenue from professional and NCAA football. Major books like DraftKings and FanDuel will be two of the 20 Arizona online betting platforms.
Florida sports betting is not active, but the Seminole Tribe and Governor Ron DeSantis have updated the tribal gaming compact. The tribal compact was the thing keeping sports betting out of the state, so the hard part for legalization has been accomplished.
The state legislature must pass a bill legalizing sports betting, which is expected to be finished during the 2021 legislative session. Florida has the potential to be one of the largest sports wagering states in America.
Early projections have shown that FL will be able to rival Nevada. The population in FL, the large group of retirees, and the surging tourism industry will be three primary reasons why sports wagering will explode.
Additionally, Florida has a multitude of professional sports teams across all four of the major sports leagues. The exact details of FL sports betting are still unknown, but the form of gambling is coming to the state soon. There will be online (Hard Rock Sportsbook) and retail betting allowed in the state.
Wyoming sports betting is a market that many operators have attempted to secure market access to because of low tax rates. WY betting was legalized in April of 2021 after an extended legislative process. Lawmakers began discussing WY sports betting in 2020, but they were met with multiple failed attempts.
In 2021, HB133 was passed, which brought sports betting to the state. The bill was signed by the governor without any issues, making betting legal. The Wyoming Gaming Commission is currently seeking applicants. There is no cap to the number of operators that can launch in the state.
However, there is a minimum of five, but this number will be reached with ease. The tax rate is only 10%, so sports betting operators want to gain market access. Retail sports betting will be available through the tribal casinos in the state. However, the most lucrative part of sports betting will be the online market in Wyoming.
Virginia sports betting has emerged as a competitor in the national gaming industry. The state was the fastest in America to surpass $1 billion in betting handle in the post PASPA era. This is impressive considering the size of the state.
The Virginia legislature started working on sports betting in 2019. Unfortunately, lawmakers were unable to get a deal done during the year. After some research following the 2019 legislative session, sports betting passed in 2020. Mobile and retail sports wagering are legal in the state. Nevertheless, mobile sports betting is the only option currently.
Five casinos are being built throughout VA that will offer retail betting in the future. The minimum betting age in VA is 21 to bet on sports and 18 to play DFS. There are no professional sports teams in the state, and it’s illegal to bet on college athletics. Despite these facts, the state has still been very impressive for betting handle and revenue figures since the industry launched.
As a state with big sports teams, including the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins, you would expect sports betting in Massachusetts. Yet, there seems to be issues blocking the legalization. But, the state has become pro-sports gambling which is why MA is likely to legalize sports wagering through the Senate and House of Representatives.
With neighboring states legalizing online sports betting, residents from MA are crossing over to indulge in the fun. Meanwhile, those that cannot cross over are placing bets in online sportsbooks accepting players from Massachusetts. These betting sites are packed with welcome bonuses, promotions, and other offers.
But, residents can bet on daily fantasy sports, lottery, play casino games at brick-and-mortar casinos as they are legalized within the MA borders. Find out more about the legality of sports betting and other forms of gambling in Mass.
Pennsylvania was among the first states to introduce legal sports betting and, since then, its market has continued to grow rapidly. There are a number of sportsbooks offering land-based and mobile options, giving sports betting fans plenty of choices to satisfy their needs. Read more about legal Pennsylvania sports betting here.
The world of sports betting in Wisconsin may be little explored, but changes are coming. Currently, the laws of the state have been changed to include sports betting, but there are still no sportsbooks active, as of November 1, 2021.
Despite a lot of gaps in WI sports betting industry and no official launch yet having taken place, the groundwork has been laid to bring sportsbooks to the state. Here you will not only get information that you should read in order to learn everything you need to know about sports betting in Wisconsin, but we will also provide you with videos, listings and bookmaker names so that you can dive right into this topic.
There you have it — we hit on some states that have United States sports betting. You may also want to glance at a few of our other pieces.