Legalized Sports Betting in the United States

Is sports betting legal in all fifty states? Nope. Some states have opened to legalize sports betting but have yet to pull the triggers. Others have denied legalizing betting, and still, others have decided not to allow legal betting shops at all.

History of legalized sports betting in the United States

In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that provided a legalized sports betting monopoly to the state of Nevada. The Supreme Court didn’t legalize betting nationwide by striking down the law.

Instead, individual states had the right to legalize sports betting. Some states have opted not to legalize it in any form. Others have gone out toward legalization, and still, others decided to legalize betting for in-person wagers.

In the future, more and more states will legalize sports betting and betting on the NFL. So individual handicappers should have the chance to make legal wagers. 

what is the current sports betting legalization situation in each state?

Sports betting is legal in plenty of states. Some states have legal betting only in brick and mortar buildings. 

Others have decided the way to go is to only legalize betting online or on mobile. Some states, like the first on the list, Alabama, may never have legalize betting. 

Before getting into the states, let’s take a moment to discuss the term retail betting. Retail betting is another name for legal betting shops. 

When a state decides to legalize sports betting, they’re allowing for sports gambling retail shops. Check out the list!  


Alabama wanted to legalize sports betting immediately after the Court struck down the 2018 law. Legislation isn’t dead, but it’s knocking on death’s door. 

It looks like the bill will never pass. At this point, legalized sports wagering in Alabama is a pipe dream. 


It doesn’t look like Alaska will ever legalize sports betting. There aren’t enough Alaskans to make sports gambling a viable tax generator, which is why no sports betting bills are on the horizon.  


Arizona has legalized sports wagering. Zona’s legal sports betting bill calls for online betting and nothing else.  


Arkansas decided to legalize betting sports online. But that’s all. 


Cali had a couple of bills on the docket during the 2022 November elections, and voters turned their back on both. 

Prop 26 called for legalizing in-person sports betting at tribal casinos. Prop 27 would legalize online betting. 70% of voters went against Prop 26. 84% went against Prop 27, which would have opened the door for companies like DraftKings and FanDuel.

Legal betting may happen; if it does, it will likely be of the brick-and-mortar variety. 

Also, the bill will show mass regulation. A heavily regulated betting industry, one that doesn’t involve DraftKings, FanDuel, or any other corporation, seems likely.

Check out what’s happening in the rest of the states in the U.S. when it comes to legalized sports gambling. As with most gambling related things in Cali, the tribal casinos will always have a say.         

Colorado – legalized

Colorado was one of the first to legalize sports betting. The state decided to regulate and monetize as soon as it could. 

Connecticut – legalized

Connecticut did already legalize but the jury is out on whether it’s legal to gamble on college sports.

Delaware – Legalized

Delaware was an early online sportsbook adopter. In Delaware, you can even bet on college sports.  

District of Columbia – Online betting allowed

Washington, D.C. decided to legalize sports betting.

Florida – Held up in court

Sports betting might end up legal in Florida. But Floridians and Governor DeSantis held it up in court in 2022. If politicians decide to go forward and legalize online betting or open doors to legalized betting in general, they must work with the Seminole tribe. 

Georgia – No movement

There has yet to be any movement to make betting legal in Georgia. Sports wagering is likely never to legalize in Georgia. 

Hawaii – No movement

Sports betting is never likely to become an okay thing in Hawaii. It doesn’t matter from the state’s perspective because, like in Alaska, the tax revenues wouldn’t amount to much. 

Idaho – No movement

States with small populations, like Idaho, Hawaii, and Alaska, have little incentive to make betting okay. 

Illinois – legalized

Illinois, one of the U.S.’s most populous states, has given a thumbs up to sports betting. 

Indiana – Mobile

Betting is an okay pastime in Indiana, as long as you’re on mobile.

Iowa – legalized

Online betting in Iowa is okay, which means there’s nothing wrong with legal gambling in the Corn State. 

Kansas – Mobile

Sports betting is a legit pastime if you do it online or via phone.  

Kentucky – No movement

If you count horse racing, sports gambling has been legal for over a century. If you don’t count the ponies, betting may never legalize.  

Will sports wagering ever legalize in Kentucky? Probably not. The racing industry may see legalizing sports betting as a threat.  

Louisiana – Mobile

Sports betting, sports gambling, or sports wagering, it doesn’t matter what you call it, is legal in Louisiana as long as it happens via your phone. 

Maine – legalized

Maine recently made sports wagering legal. The state has yet to determine how legalizing gambling will boost tax revenues. 

Maryland – No online betting

You can’t bet online in Maryland. But betting in retail shops is okay. No doubt, sports bettors find searching for odds a chore. 

Massachusetts – legalized

The citizens of Massachusetts decided that legalizing was a good thing. It took Massachusetts a while. Usually, the state follows the Supreme Court right away. 

Michigan – legalized

Sports betting is legal in Michigan. It didn’t take long for Michigan politicians to legalize. 

Minnesota – No movement

Betting odds, the ability to make bets . . . none of it is legal in Minnesota. If the state didn’t move to the path of legalization after the Supreme Court made its decision in 2018, it never will. 

Mississippi – In-person 

Making sports bets in Mississippi is legal. However, it can only happen on riverboats or in other in-person establishments. The riverboats have clamored to offer betting almost immediately after the Court decided. 

Missouri – No movement

Mizzou is one state that will likely never allow gambling.  

Montana – In-person

Is betting legal in Montana? It depends because retail is a yes, and online or mobile is a no.

Nebraska – legalized RETAIL

Nebraska made betting legal in the retail environment. But the state has said nothing about legalizing online or mobile. 

Nevada – legalized

Nevada allows gambling operators to offer online betting.

New Hampshire – Mobile

Mobile betting is legal in New Hampshire. 

New Jersey – First state to legalize

Jersey was the first state to legalize and allows mobile sports betting as well as in-person. 

New Mexico – In-person

Mobile betting is not legal in New Mexico. In-person is okay. 

New York – Mobile

New York allows mobile betting. 

West Virginia – Mobile

The state of West Virginia has gaming compacts with various players. West Virginia has decided to make betting through phone legal. There’s no reason to believe West Virginia makes any other legalization moves. 

See below for sports betting updates on the rest of the states in the U.S.

North Carolina – In-person

North Dakota – In-person

Ohio – legalized

We don’t know to what extent Ohio will allow bets on sports. 

Oklahoma – No movement

Oregon – Mobile

Oregon may expand to in-person.

Pennsylvania – Mobile

Pennsylvania will follow New York’s lead. If NY opens to in-person, Pennsylvania is likely to follow.  

Rhode Island – Mobile

Rhode Island will almost certainly follow Pennsylvania’s and New York’s lead. The more those two states open to betting, the more Rhode Island will. 

South Carolina – No movement

South Dakota – In-person

Tennessee – Mobile

Texas – No movement

Utah – No movement

Sports betting is never likely to be legal in Utah. 

Vermont – No movement

Virginia – Mobile

Washington – In-person 

The Washington Nationals have created a building next door to the stadium where people can enter and bet on sports. The Commanders may follow suit. 

Wisconsin – In-person

Wyoming – Mobile