The 2018 Supreme Court decision to overturn the federal sports betting prohibition granted individual states the opportunity to legalize and regulate legal sports betting, resulting in varying regulations from state to state.
Some states have limited legal sportsbooks to retail or “in-person” while other states opted for open markets with mobile sportsbooks and online sports betting added to the mix.
BettingUSA.com aims to provide a clear overview of sports betting laws in each state, including where to bet on sports legally and how to get started.
Other key topics include unbiased sportsbook reviews, new customer deposit bonuses and state-specific listings of licensed sports betting sites and mobile sportsbook apps.
US Sports Betting Sites and Apps
- US Sports Betting Sites and Apps
- Legal Sportsbooks in the USA
- States With Legal Sports Betting
- Sports Betting Taxes and Licensing Fees
- All Major Sports and Leagues
- Online and Mobile Sportsbook Reviews
- Online Sports Betting Bonuses
- In-Play Betting
- Daily Fantasy Sports Are A Legal Alternative
- A Warning: Illegal Offshore Sportsbooks
Legal Sportsbooks in the USA
For over 25 years, a federal law (PASPA) prevented most US states from legalizing sports betting.
Everything changed in May of 2018 when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled the federal sports betting ban unconstitutional. That decision ended a years-long legal battle pitting the state of New Jersey against federal law, the NCAA, and the four major professional sports leagues.
New Jersey’s victory and the Supreme Court’s final decision opened the doors for individual states to legalize and regulate sports betting.
The decision also marked a new high point in a long and winding US sports betting timeline by paving the way for states to bring the industry out of the shadows and into the light of regulation.
Below you’ll find a map of legal US sports betting and state-specific information after that.
States with Legal Sports Betting
- Blue: Online/mobile betting is legal
- Green: Land-based sportsbooks only (no online betting)
- Red: Sports betting coming soon; legislation fully passed but waiting for implementation
States With Legal Sports Betting
A growing number of states have legalized sports betting, and many more are in the process of doing so. Each of the following states now has legislation in place authorizing retail sportsbooks, mobile sports betting or both.
Below is a list of all US states that have legal sports betting in any form, expand for more information.
Sports Betting Taxes and Licensing Fees
Because sports betting legislation is enacted state-by-state, tax rates and licensing fees for operators vary from one state to the next. Below is a state-specific chart detailing licensing fees and tax rates for legal sports betting operators.
All Major Sports and Leagues
You can bet on any sport in the world if you know where to look, but a few sports in particular dominate the American betting world. The following sports can be found at all US sports betting sites. Soon, you can expect to see these sports covered by licensed and legal online sportsbooks in the USA.
Online and Mobile Sportsbook Reviews
BettingUSA’s considers itself obligated to provide mobile sportsbook reviews that are unbiased, straightforward and factual. Some states have many sportsbooks to choose from and picking the best betting site for one’s individual needs is made a lot easier with reviews that are honest and thorough.
On the topic of being thorough, BettingUSA maintains an ongoing effort to review every licensed online sportsbook in the USA. As new betting sites open, BettingUSA investigates and reports all important information such as licenses held, history of the operator, welcome bonuses, terms and conditions, sports covered and much more.
Online Sports Betting Bonuses
Licensed mobile sportsbooks offer welcome bonuses to new customers as an incentive to sign up, make deposits and bet online. Most states with legal online sports betting have enacted legislation favorable to a competitive market, which has in turn resulted in licensed operators ramping up their marketing spend to attract new customers.
Nearly every licensed online sportsbook in operation today offers a welcome bonus to new customers. These offers take a variety of forms such as match deposit bonuses, free bets, first wager loss refunds and more. Every offer is designed to look tempting, but only some live up to the hype.
For bettors interested in taking advantage of new customer bonuses, BettingUSA has put together a guide explaining all the ins-and-outs of welcome promos in simple terms. Our bonus guide explains how to evaluate bonuses for value, what terms and conditions to look out for and lists the best betting bonuses for sports fans in every state with online sportsbooks.
Every state that has legalized sports betting has also approved in-play wagering, which allows customers to place wagers during games as they happen. The in-play betting concept first emerged in Europe and has proven so popular that it now accounts for as much as 80% of some operators’ online sports betting revenue.
In-play betting in the USA offers bettors a safe and regulated means to bet on games after they have already started. Not only does this come in handy for fans who may be late to the game, but it provides a plethora of betting options and opportunities throughout every game for an engaging and high-paced form of wagering unlike anything seen before.
Daily Fantasy Sports Are A Legal Alternative
Sports fans who live in states that have not yet legalized sports betting do not necessarily have to sit on the sidelines until their local legislatures change the law. Daily fantasy sports (DFS) is the next best thing to sports betting and it is already legal in nearly every state.
When the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in 2006 to block payments to online gambling firms, it specifically granted fantasy sports an exception from the law. As a result, sports fans can play at legal, US-based daily fantasy sports sites for real money.
Although there are a number of fairly obvious differences between DFS and sports betting, the experience from a fan perspective is largely the same. In both cases, having a little skin in the game gives new meaning to every play of every game.
A Warning: Illegal Offshore Sportsbooks
During the years when federal prohibition was in effect, a massive offshore sports betting industry flourished as online sportsbooks hosted in countries such as Costa Rica and Panama catered to Americans looking to get their gambling fix.
Offshore sportsbooks continue business as usual during the interim as we wait for the states to act, but customers should be aware that the offshore sports betting industry is completely unregulated.
Customers are very much on their own when it comes to chasing down payments and dealing with rogue operators.
For these reasons, we never have and never will recommend offshore sportsbooks for US residents here at BettingUSA.com.
Our advice to readers who live in states that have not yet legalized sports betting is to hang tight for now and stay far away from offshore betting sites. Sports fans can also check local progress on our up-to-date state pages here and watch for legislative updates on our US betting news page.