Wondering if online sports betting is legal in your state? More than 80% of US states have legalized sports betting. However, many only allow in-person wagering, meaning you can’t bet from anywhere.
Read on to find out which states have legalized sports betting.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in the US?
Thanks to the change to US sports betting laws in 2018, there are currently 30 states (including Washington, DC) where sports betting is legal. These states have a sports betting legalization classified as “Live, Legal”—meaning you can place a legal bet through retail or online/mobile bookmakers.
Additionally, three states are classified as “Legal – Not Yet Operational”. This means sports betting is authorized but has yet to commence. Lastly, 11 states have “Active or Pre-Filed Legislation.” In these jurisdictions, bills to legalize sports gambling have been introduced.
Odds Scanner US shows you only licensed bookmakers for US sports betting. Find accurate info on the states where sports betting is legal to ensure a safe gambling experience.
Retail sports betting began in NJ in June 2018. The state was among the first to act after The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, also known as PASPA, was signed into law, effectively lifting the ban on sports betting in the US.
While there are physical locations in Atlantic City and the Meadowlands, over 90% of wagers are made online. DraftKings, FanDuel, and PlaySugarHouse are household names in The Garden State.
PA opened its doors to in-person wagering in mid-November 2018. Online sportsbooks weren’t open for business until May 2019. SugarHouse and BetRivers were the first mobile sportsbooks to go live in the state.
PA is now a full-service sports betting state, accepting online bets on mobile and in person. Notably, this state rakes in close to $500 million in bets during the peak of the football season.
Sports betting laws in Colorado were signed in November 2019, paving the way for Australian-based PointsBet to open its headquarters in Denver.
Other major operators have joined in, including BetMGM, DraftKings, BetRivers, and FanDuel. CO accepts wagers in person and on mobile.
The MGM Grand Detroit opened on March 11, 2020, a few months after the “Lawful Sports Betting Act” was signed into law.
The new law allows bettors to wager on various sports including college contests. You can place a legal bet online or via any retail sportsbook situated in The Great Lakes State.
Indiana legalized both mobile and in-person wagering on September 1, 2019. The law permits players to bet on both college and pro sports.
However, prop betting on in-state college athletics is not allowed. FanDuel and DraftKings are some of the biggest players within the state of Indiana.
IA sports betting started on August 15, 2019, with DraftKings, PointsBet, and Caesars opening their doors to customers on the same day. The in-person wagering requirement was quashed on December 31, 2020.
As a result, online and mobile users can place bets via Iowa sports betting apps from anywhere in the state. Bear in mind, however, that IA currently prohibits prop betting on in-state college athletics.
Legal sports gambling arrived in IL on March 9, 2020, less than a year after the state legislature signed into law a broad gaming bill that permitted both online and physical sports betting.
The Illinois sports betting laws no longer require in-person sign-up at a licensed casino venue. Nonetheless, the law prohibiting wagering on minor leagues or college teams is still in force.
The tribal-state gaming bill was formally approved by the AZ federal Department of the Interior on May 24, 2021. The online sports betting bill permits wagering on both sports and fantasy content.
A handful of commercial sportsbooks launched in AZ on September 9, 2021, the first day of that year’s NFL season. You can now bet on sports in person, online, and on mobile.
VA sports bettors have been placing bets across mobile devices and in person since January 2021. The move came following the legalization of sports wagering by the Commonwealth of Virginia in April 2020.
You can bet with established operators such as DraftKings, William Hill, BetMGM, and FanDuel. Wagering on Virginia-based college sports remains illegal.
The first legal sports bets were placed in person at the Rivers Casino in Schenectady, New York, on July 16, 2019. Online and mobile sportsbooks were subsequently launched on Saturday, January 8, 2022.
Among the first bookmakers to go live in NY are Caesars, FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and BetRivers. Sports bettors are restricted from betting on games involving in-state college teams.
Is Offshore Betting Legal in the US?
Betting with gaming providers operating outside of the US is illegal under US law. Unlike legal sports betting sites, offshore sites are not subjected to regular checks and restrictions by the relevant gaming authorities.
Offshore betting sites are often used by players in states where sports betting is still illegal. Odds Scanner US supports responsible gambling and discourages betting with casinos and sportsbooks operating in the gray legal area.
How Does Sports Betting Work?
The sports gambling industry revolves around predicting the outcome and placing wagers on competitive sports. You can wager on games in the NFL, NBA, NHL, etc.
Understanding the different types of sports bets is crucial for successful betting. Below, sports betting is explained in detail.
Odds are numbers compiled by bookmakers to represent the likelihood of an event happening. Odds are represented as a fraction (2/1) in the UK and as a decimal (3.0) in Europe. American odds have a plus (+) or minus (-) sign in front of a number (e.g. +200).
In American odds, 100 is the base stake to calculate the possible winnings. To calculate your possible winnings in American odds, divide the actual stake by the American odds stake and multiply the result by the odd winnings (actual stake/American odds stake) x American odds winnings.
For example, imagine a game between Miami Dolphins @-145 and New England Patriots @+130.
If you bet on the Dolphins to win, the -145 implies that you win $100 for a $145 stake. Thus, a $10 stake would return: $10/$145×100= $6.90.
Meanwhile, if you think the Patriots will win, the +130 implies that you win $130 for every $100 stake. Therefore, a $10 stake will be $10/$100×130= $13.
Odds Scanner US recommends comparing the odds before placing bets. By comparing the odds and selecting those on the higher side, you can significantly increase the possible winnings from a bet.
Picks and Predictions
Sports betting picks are suggestions of the most popular types of sports wagers, such as moneylines, spreads, over/unders, etc.
For example, Odds Scanner US may predict New Orleans +180 to beat the Tampa Bay Bucks. That is considered a pick.
Sports betting predictions are valuable insights from professional tipsters. Expert predictions are backed by data, such as a team’s win-loss records, the latest news, and manager statements.
A moneyline is a bet on who will win the game. As explained earlier, American odds have a plus and minus sign in front of a number.
The negative odds represent the favorite and indicate how much you have to risk to earn a $100 profit. The underdog has positive odds which show how much you could win if you bet $100.
Spreads are wagers that a team will win by a specific number of points.
Sometimes the spread is a whole number and the team ends up winning or losing by that exact number. In that case, the bookmaker applies a “push” and then refunds your stake.
Live Sports Betting
Live sports betting involves placing wagers on a sporting event that has already started. Odds will typically be released during the event, and bookmakers update the odds every few seconds. The good thing about live sports betting is that bettors are not required to bet on the entire game.
How to Bet on Sports Online?
With lots of legal sportsbooks spread across America, online betting has never been easier. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to gamble on sports for real money:
Step #1: Choose a top-rated sportsbook
The first step is to choose a reliable bookmaker for a safe and enjoyable betting experience. When choosing a sportsbook, consider factors like safety and security, variety of betting options, ease of navigation, odds and betting limits, and payment speed.
Step #2: Sign up for an account
After finding a sportsbook that you are comfortable betting with, it’s time to register a new account. The details required of you may vary from site to site. Most sportsbooks will ask for your full name and date of birth, email address, postal address, phone number, username, and password.
Step #3: Deposit money for online betting
Make a deposit to start placing wagers online for real money. Most reliable sportsbooks offer a variety of banking options, such as credit or debit cards, e-wallets (PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller), wire transfer, Play+, ACH eCheck, and online bank transfer.
Step #4: Familiarize yourself with the promotions
It is important to keep an eye on promotions that could increase your bankroll. Some sites offer sign-up bonuses, risk-free bets, enhanced odds or reduced juice, betting rebates, etc. Take advantage of those promotions when placing your online sports wagers.
Step #5: Place your online wagers
At this point, you should be ready to place online wagers. Make sure you always compare different bookmakers to find the best odds for a given game.
Once you choose the lines you want, enter the amount you’d like to bet and hit the “OK” or “confirm” button. Then, wait for Lady Luck to smile on you!
Step #6: Cash out your winnings
If you placed a winning bet, it’s time to withdraw your winnings. In most cases, you’re required to use the same banking option you used to deposit. Withdrawal times vary by the payment method used.
Most Popular Sports in the US Betting Industry
The sports betting industry is rapidly growing in the US and there are plenty of sports bets to consider. Here’s a look at the most popular sports to bet on.
Football is deemed the most popular spectator sport in America. The Super Bowl is the biggest annual championship and most US books get very busy during this single-day event. In addition to the moneylines, spreads, and totals, there are hundreds of prop bets for bettors to take advantage of.
Basketball is the third most popular sport in the USA after football and baseball. There are many ways to wager on basketball depending on the league or tournament. Betting on the total points scored is the easiest and most popular bet in basketball.
Ice hockey is the fourth most popular sport in the US. It’s more popular among Canadians than Americans. Because it’s a very fast-paced game, ice hockey is one of the best sports for live betting. Bettors can also place puck line wagers or handicap bets in ice hockey.
Long considered America’s national pastime, baseball is the second most popular sport in the US and the seventh in the world. Interest is high at the start of the MLB and during the playoffs and World Series. Moneylines and the totals are popular types of bets in baseball.
The best part about sports betting is that you never run out of choices. You can shop around for the best bets in sports and eSports. Diversify your betting portfolio and wager on MMA, boxing, golf, soccer, tennis, and pretty much any other sport.
Major Sports Leagues in the US Betting Industry
Legal sports gambling has surged in popularity over the last decade. Below are the major sports leagues in the US and the types of wagers allowed.
National Football League (NFL) betting is becoming more and more available, with the largest volume of bets taking place during the Super Bowl. Top US bookies have a wide variety of markets to wager on.
NFL bets range from spreads, moneylines, and totals to player props, game props, and special markets. Some bookies feature generous odds boosts and exclusive promotions for new and existing users.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is home to some of the greatest teams and players on the planet. Bettors can wager on match outcomes, team props, and player props.
There are markets for the lowest-scoring team in any game, match-winning run or streak, teams to win the first game, and many others for legal basketball betting.
Major League Baseball (MLB) is the biggest competition that Americans love to watch. With The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, and Toronto Blue Jays in the action, you can expect bets to yield big wins.
MLB bookmakers use run lines, moneylines, and totals rather than traditional spreads. That shouldn’t scare you off as MLB lines are very easy to read.
The National Hockey League (NHL) is one of the “Big Four” sports in the US. The NHL action is fast, and so are NHL bets.
The most common types of bets are moneyline, against the spread, and over/under. Betting gets even better during the Stanley Cup playoffs, with markets extending to parlays, futures, player props, and daily fantasy.
Some NHL betting sites offer bonuses such as early payouts if your team is two goals ahead or cashback returns on a winning parlay. Others offer free bets and promotions which can make a huge difference to your overall betting experience.
Other Popular Sports Leagues
Many seasoned punters shift their attention to other sports and eSports after the regular season has wrapped up in the US. You’ll find them betting on UFC, MLS, College Basketball, College Football, and many other events.
FAQs About Sports Betting
Read the following frequently asked questions for more insights on sports betting in the US. Still not sure about how sports betting works? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Is sports betting legal in the US?
Sports betting is currently legal in about 30 states. Bettors can place wagers online, on mobile, and in person. Though not a recommended practice, sports bettors in unregulated states often create accounts with offshore betting sites and bet online.
Is it difficult to place sports bets?
Wagering on sports is easy as long as you can understand the odds. American odds are represented with a plus (+) and minus (-) sign. The team with the plus sign is the underdog while that with a minus sign is the favorite.
Why bet on sports?
Getting involved in sports betting can be entertaining and rewarding. It’s fun to watch games unfold live. But nothing compares to the excitement that you get when you have money on the line.