In May of 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA).
With that decision, the court opened the floodgates for legalizing online sports betting across the nation. Each state is now responsible for setting its own laws around online sports wagers unless Congress passes new legislation. And that includes the likes of some of the biggest names in the business, like FanDuel and DraftKings.
So, where is sports betting legal right now? Currently, 14 states and the District of Columbia are allowing the public to place wagers online. Read on to discover which now allow gambling and what restrictions remain in place.
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Colorado approved online sports betting in November 2019. However, regulators are still getting their ducks in order, so there won’t be any online sportsbooks operating until at least May 2020.
District of Columbia
The District of Columbia legalized online sports betting, but there’s currently a court injunction preventing the DC Lottery from going ahead with creating a platform for placing wagers. It’s still unclear if and when this will be resolved.
Illinois has been crawling slowly towards online sports betting. The state created a process to allow in-person and online sports betting through existing casinos in late 2019. But, there aren’t any online sportsbooks operating just yet.
Online sports betting went live in Indiana in October 2019 with the launch of sportsbooks from DraftKings and BetRivers as well as FanDuel (opens in new tab).
Iowa legalized online sportsbooks in August 2019. But, at least until the start of 2021, you’ll have to show up in-person at a licensed casino in the state in order to create an online sports betting account.
Online sports betting is legal in Michigan as of December 2019, but there are no platforms accepting wagers just yet.
Mississippi has legalized online sports betting, although it’s pretty restrictive. You can only place a mobile wager while you’re located on casino property. Right now, only one tribal casino is offering a mobile app to take advantage of this option.
New Hampshire approved online sports betting in June 2019. The state lottery has partnered with DraftKings (opens in new tab), so that’s the only online operator for placing wagers in the state.
The state most synonymous with gambling in the US, Nevada was actually exempted from PAPSA. That means online sports betting has been legal in the state for quite some time.
However, you still have to verify your identity and make an initial deposit by creating an account in-person at a casino office.(opens in new tab)
Perhaps unsurprisingly, New Jersey was one of the first states to legalize online sports betting after the US Supreme Court ruling on PAPSA. DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo! Sports (opens in new tab), and nearly every major casino company have launched online betting apps in New Jersey, and more are likely on the way.
Online sports betting in Oregon is being run exclusively by the state lottery. You’ll need to get the Oregon-specific Scoreboard mobile app, released in October 2019, in order to place bets online.
Pennsylvania has quickly become a hub for online sports betting. Sugarhouse Sportsbook PA went live in May 2019, and has since been followed by FanDuel, DraftKings, BetRivers, Fox Bet, Unibet, and Parx.
Rhode Island approved online sports betting in March 2019. Sportsbook Rhode Island is the only online sportsbook operating in the state. All online wagers are being run through the state lottery in partnership with bookmaker William Hill.
Tennessee legalized sports betting online only. There aren’t any platforms operating right now, but the low barrier to entry means that most major sportsbooks will probably open for business in 2020.
West Virginia legalized online sports betting shortly before the 2019 NFL season. Right now, both DraftKings and FanDuel allow online wagers throughout the state.
What happens next?
There could soon be many more states where online betting is legal.
Nine states are projected to legalize some form of sports wagers in 2020, while an additional 6 have laws in consideration that could be passed in 2021.
But for now, you’ll have to visit one of the 14 states above or the District of Columbia to place a sports bet online.
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You probably don't need us to tell you that any form of gambling comes with serious risks and should never be undertaken as a silver bullet to solve your financial troubles. It's worth remembering the phrase...the house always wins!
If you suffer from a gambing problem or suspect somebody you know does, then we strongly suggest that you give the National Problem Gambling Hotline a call on 1-800-522-4700 to discuss it with a professional. It’s so important to make gambling safer for yourself and loved ones.