Is Online Gambling Legal in the United States?
Yes, in many states across the country some form of online gambling is completely legal. The world of legal online gambling is constantly evolving across the U.S. with each passing year.
Playersbest.com compiled all of the information that you might need when it comes to states with legal gambling, legal online gambling, legal online casinos, and legal gambling age. As these laws and legislation continue to evolve, look back to this article for updates on different states with legal gambling.
States With Legal Online Gambling
|State||Online Casino||Landbased||Legalized||Legal Gambling Age||Sports Betting|
|Arizona||Yes||Pending||April 15th 2021||21||No|
|Arkansas||No||Yes||July 1st 2019||21||No|
|Colorado||Yes||Yes||May 1st 2020||21||Yes|
|Delaware||No||Yes||June 5th 2018||18||Yes|
|Illinois||Yes||Yes||March 9th 2020||21||Yes|
|Indiana||Yes||Yes||August 30th 2019||21||Yes|
|Iowa||Yes||Yes||August 15th 2019||21||Yes|
|Mississippi||Yes||Yes||August 1st 2018||21||Yes|
|Montana||Yes||Yes||March 9th 2020||18||Yes|
|Nebraska||Yes||No||May 25th 2021||21||Yes|
|New Hampshire||Yes||Yes||December 30th 2019||18||Yes|
|New Jersey||Yes||Yes||May 15th 2018||21||Yes|
|New Mexico||No||Yes||October 16th 2018||21||Yes|
|New York||No||Yes||June 16th 2019||18||Yes|
|North Carolina||No||Yes||March 18th 2021||21||Yes|
|Oregon||Yes||Yes||August 27th 2019||21||Yes|
|Pennsylvania||Yes||Yes||November 15th 2018||21||Yes|
|Rhode Island||Yes||Yes||November 26th 2018||18||Yes|
|South Dakota||Yes||No||2nd Half of 2021||21||Yes|
|Tennessee||Yes||No||November 1st 2020||21||Yes|
|Virginia||Yes||Yes||January 21st 2021||21||Yes|
|Washington||Pending||Pending||March 25th 2020||21||Yes|
|Washington D.C.||Yes||Yes||May 28th 2020||18||Yes|
|West Virginia||Yes||Yes||September 1st 2018||21||Yes|
|Wyoming||Yes||Pending||September 1st 2021||21||Pending|
There are currently 29 states with legal online sportsbetting of some type. Washington D.C. also has legal online gambling within its area. Some of these states with legal gambling have been around for decades, while others are brand new to the game, and are currently establishing legal online casinos. Certain gambling legal states have fully regulated online betting markets, while others only allow in person betting when at a casino or other establishment. Even more are trying to become the next states with legal sportsbetting. Bills look to establish gambling legal states in many different ways. The landscape is constantly shifting under our feet, but we will be here to update you on all of the latest up-to-date information!
States Without Legal Online Gambling Legislation
It is likely that most, if not all states in the U.S. will legislate and regulate gambling at some point in the future. The truth is most of these will be gambling legal states sooner rather than later. For some that future looks a whole lot closer than others. As you can see, the lion’s share of places on the list below are considering becoming gambling legal states, or want a state run legal online casino. Still though, there are some in which even a state lottery is forbidden, and any sort of gambling laws besides prohibition seem like a long ways off.
|State||Possible Legalisation||Latest Legal Info|
|Alabama||No||No domestic sports betting. No current legislative movements towards legalization. One of the most conservative states with no state lotteries or horse racing allowed.|
|Alaska||No||No domestic sports betting. No current legislative movements towards legalization.|
|California||Yes||No domestic sports betting. No current legislative movements towards legalization.|
|Florida||Yes||Legal in-person sports betting was recently signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis. Sportsbook locations are expected to open soon, possibly even October.|
|Georgia||Yes||No domestic sports betting. Georgia historically has been against legal online casinos but recently introduced legislation that if passed would add it to the growing groups of states with legal sportsbetting.|
|Hawaii||No||No domestic sports betting. No current legislative movements towards legalization.|
|Idaho||No||No domestic sports betting. No current legislative|
|Kansas||Yes||No domestic sports betting available yet in the state. It will be a long time before any gambling laws are put on the books.|
|Kentucky||Yes||No domestic sports betting. Bills have been put forward in the state for years now to allow legal online gambling and sports betting.|
|Maine||Yes||No domestic sports betting. Several bills have been put forward and one even made it all the way to the Governor’s desk before being vetoed.|
|Massachusetts||Yes||No domestic sports betting. New bills have gained steam in 2021 so perhaps Mass. will be the next among states with legal gambling.|
|Minnesota||No||No domestic sports betting. Minnesota has considered putting legislation forward that would allow for legal online gambling.|
|Missouri||Yes||No domestic sports betting. For the last several years Missouri has been trying to become another one of the states with legal sportsbetting, but unfortunately has not been able to succeed.|
|North Dakota||Yes||No domestic sports betting. Laws to allow domestic sports betting have been considered, but up to this point nothing looks like it will pass.|
|Ohio||Yes||No domestic sports betting. For several years Ohio has been trying to establish legal online gambling with no success.|
|Oklahoma||Yes||No domestic sports betting. Though legislation has been considered in the past, most Oklahoma lawmakers still hold conservative views when it comes to legal online gambling.|
|South Carolina||Yes||No domestic sports betting. Several bills regarding legal online gaming have been brought forward in the past, but all have been shut down.|
|Texas||Yes||No domestic sports betting. Multiple Texas lawmakers have backed the movement to allow legal online casinos, however nothing has passed yet.|
|Utah||No||No domestic sports betting. No current legislative movements towards legalization. Utah seems unlikely to become one of the states with legalized sportsbetting anytime soon.|
|Vermont||Yes||No domestic sports betting. Lawmakers have yet to pass any pro gambling laws; the general assembly currently has two bills pending. Either of these could move legal online gambling forward in the state of Vermont.|
|Wisconsin||No||No domestic sports betting. Wisconsin’s state constitution currently prohibits state sponsored gambling.|
A Short History of Gambling Laws in the United States.
Gambling has been around in the United States before it was even officially the United States. Before there were states with legal sportsbetting, there were colonies that participated in legal sportsbetting. Historian Neal Millikan has even found that close to 400 lotteries were held across the 13 colonies. The local newspapers were used to advertise them. In 1769 the British criminalized the lotteries. This was another justification for tension between the colonies and the British, which we know would lead to the American Revolution years later.
Gambling legal states fluctuated greatly with the times and people’s religious attitudes. Betting stayed common throughout the country in wealthy cities like New Orleans, New York, and San Francisco especially during and after the Gold Rush. The Great Depression only sped up the gambling movement when Nevada, like plenty of other states in 1931, saw casinos as a way to bring in more revenue.
States with Legal gambling on sports were getting more popular until the 1992 Congress passed the Bradley Act, or PASPA. The Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 got rid of states with sportsbetting and in turn many of the previously gambling legal states. Nevada was spared from this law, and a few other exceptions were carved out in certain states, but this effectively ended gambling legal states in most of the country. PAPSA remained in place until 2018.
Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association 2018
Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association was a tenth amendment case that went through the legal system and to the Supreme Court. Governor Philip D. Murphy represented the State of New Jersey and challenged to have PASPA overturned, which would allow for the return of more states with legal sportsbetting. The case started arguments on December 4th 2017 and on May 14th 2018 the Supreme Court ruled on a 7-2 to reverse a lower court ruling, and again on a 6-3 vote that the entire PASPA law was unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court agreed with New Jersey that the Federal Government was commandeering power that the states had to regulate their own gambling industries. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion stating that, “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own.”
The anti-betting side was unable to hold up their argument which relied on the Supremacy Clause. The Clause argues that the Federal Government has supreme right over individual states and in this case can take priority over state laws.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor was joined in dissent with Justice Ruth Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg wrote the dissent in which she gave her opinion that overturning PASPA entirely was not only excessive, but based solely on the desire to establish states with legal gambling.
Gambling Legal States post 2018
Many states assumed the Supreme Court case would finish PASPA being repealed and therefore started legislation to establish gambling legal states even before the case was over. Delaware became the first new state to legalize sports gambling less than a month after the Supreme Court decision on June 5th 2018.
Not even a week later New Jersey signed a bill into law on June 11th 2018. Since then more states have been bringing forward legislation to legalize sportsbetting in their state in different ways. Even the major pro sports leagues have been trying to make sure the new legislation is a benefit for them. The NFL is the only major American sports league that still publicly opposes sports gambling.
After New Jersey numerous states across the country began putting together bills to become the next gambling legal states.There are currently many states who have passed gambling bills into law, but are organizing how to implement the laws and have yet to open or allow any legal online casinos.
The newest betting trend now sees states open legal online casinos or state run apps in which bettors can gamble from their phone anywhere in their state. Certain states still only allow in person betting, but most are looking to add online or mobile components. Tennessee has done the opposite, only allowing for legal online gambling, but no betting in person.
The Next Gambling Legal States
Favorable gambling laws are not an issue of if, but when in many states. Ohio state Senator Kirk Scuring recently introduced a bill in April 2021 that would allow for domestic gambling on sports in the Buckeye state. The state’s lawmakers are currently debating this bill which would allow for legal online casinos and in person retail locations. We could possibly see Ohio become the next in the long line of states with legal sportsbetting.
Oklahoma sits in limbo when it comes to the states with legal gambling. In April 2020 Kevin Stitt, the Oklahoma Governor, reached an agreement on a gaming concept that included sports gambling. Multiple steps have been taken to make this a reality, but there still remain bipartisan state lawmakers and the Oklahoma attorney general who are in opposition to expanded gambling laws in the state. Because of this the future of legal sportsbetting in Oklahoma remains uncertain.
Nebraska voters made their choice in November 2020 and after six months Governor Pete Rickets signed a bill to regulate in-person sports betting. While no online or mobile betting is currently being planned, this could change with time. Best guess is that the state’s first sportsbooks will likely accept bets starting in Fall 2021. However, no betting on Nebraska college sports will be allowed.
Arizona has likely seen more than enough tax revenue for sportsbetting go to their neighbor Nevada so now they want in on the game. In May of 2021 gaming compacts were approved that contained sports wagering and fantasy sports. In person and online will be a full go as soon as a regulatory board is set up. Best guess on when they will start accepting wagers should be somewhere in late 2021.
Realistically the very next state to start taking money for legal online gambling and in person gambling will be Connecticut. Approved in May 202, the Governor Ned Lamont gave his signature the very next day. Only the Federal Department of the Interior is now needed, and my best guess is that sometime in September that will happen. Connecticut is another state that will not allow gambling on any college sport team residing in the state.
America’s history with gambling, like many other vices, is one that is full of stops and starts, and likely will continue that way. Although a federal ruling on gambling laws is unlikely, more and more states are recognizing the benefits of being able to regulate their local markets. The majority of individual state gambling laws will continue to change. Be sure to check back here often for all of the news on legislative changes and to find the newest states with legal gambling.
Gambling Legal States FAQ
Betting on sports is legal in certain states. However, in other states betting on sports is still a criminal activity. Look through our article above for more information on what are the states with legal gambling.
There are only certain states with legal sportsbetting in the US. Certain states allow for online and mobile based gambling, while others only allow in person bets. To find out which states offer online gambling options read through our state legalization tables above.
Gambling laws are subject to individual state laws. The states themselves get to decide if they want to provide gambling to the public, and how is best to do that. For more information on every state’s gambling laws, you can look through the tables above.
There is no standard legal gambling age in the United States. States are able to set their own age requirement, although most choose either 18 or 21. TO find out the age for every state look through our tables in the article above.