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United States of sports betting: An updated map of where every state stands

After New Jersey's Supreme Court victory in May 2018, any state that wishes can legalize sports betting.

At the same time various state lawmakers are considering sports betting legislation, Congress is too. Senators Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and now-retired Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, co-introduced comprehensive sports betting legislation at the end of 2018. On Sept. 27, 2018 the House Judiciary Committee held a formal hearing on the topic.

The dual track of proposals -- state and federal -- have increased in frequency since the start of 2017.

To measure the change in the landscape, we ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of how likely it is for each jurisdiction to offer full-scale legal sports betting. A brief synopsis for the active states is included, with updates to follow.

Last updated on October 19, 2020.


Already there

1. Nevada

No longer the only state to permit a wide variety of legal sports betting, Nevada is a mature market that has existed for decades. Given its long history in successfully offering regulated sports wagering, many states might look to Nevada for best practices.

Type of wagering permitted: In-person and mobile
Notable prohibitions: None
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 223
Population: 3,034,392 (2,246,259 21+)

2. Delaware

On June 5, 2018, Delaware moved to offer single-game betting on a number of different sports at three casinos in the state. Expanded sports wagering options could take place at additional locations or online. Delaware's authorization of what Gov. John Carney described as "a full-scale sports gaming operation" happened less than a month after the Supreme Court ruled that the federal law restricting single-game betting to Nevada was unconstitutional.

Type of wagering permitted: In-person
Notable prohibitions: No betting on games involving in-state college teams
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 3
Population: 967,171 (726,161 21+)

3. New Jersey

On June 11, 2018, Gov. Phil Murphy signed the sports betting bill that had passed the previous week. A William Hill sportsbook at Monmouth Park took the first bets on Thursday, June 14 at 10:30 a.m. ET. Gov. Murphy was the first customer in line. The Borgata in Atlantic City booked sports bets 30 minutes later. Other sportsbooks in New Jersey opened soon thereafter. For example, FanDuel's first sportsbook at the Meadowlands opened its doors on July 14.

Type of wagering permitted: In-person and mobile
Notable prohibitions: No betting on games involving in-state college teams and collegiate events held within the state
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 9
Population: 8,908,520 (6,634,683 21+)

4. Mississippi

Two casinos owned by MGM Resorts booked their first sports bets in Mississippi on Aug. 1, 2018. Mississippi enacted a new law in 2017 that allowed for sports betting pending a favorable decision by the Supreme Court. In June 2018, the Mississippi Gaming Commission adopted implementing regulations that require all betting to take place in person, with mobile wagering to be considered later.

Type of wagering permitted: In-person
Notable prohibitions: None
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 29
Population: 2,986,530 (2,153,795 21+)

5. West Virginia

On Aug. 30, 2018, West Virginia became the fifth state to offer legal and regulated sports betting when the Hollywood Casino -- a sportsbook owned by Penn National -- opened its doors. The move came six months after the West Virginia legislature passed a new bill with the West Virginia Lottery Commission serving as the chief regulator.

Type of wagering permitted: In-person and mobile
Notable prohibitions: None
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 5
Population: 1,805,832 (1,375,788 21+)

6. New Mexico

On Oct. 16, 2018, the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel booked its first sports bet in partnership with Nevada-based USBookmaking. Although New Mexico has not passed any new sports betting legislation since the Supreme Court's decision, the move by the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel was made via a gaming compact with the state. According to Nedra Darling, spokeswoman at the Department of the Interior's Office of Indian Affairs -- the federal agency in Washington, DC that oversees tribal gaming compacts -- the New Mexico compacts permit "any or all forms of Class III Gaming," a category in the federal regulations that specifically includes "[a]ny sports betting and pari-mutuel wagering."

Type of wagering permitted: In-person
Notable prohibitions: No betting on games involving in-state college teams
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 32
Population: 2,095,428 (1,529,540 21+)

7. Pennsylvania

The Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course booked the first legal sports bets in Pennsylvania in mid-November 2018. The move came just over a year after Gov. Tom Wolf signed a new sports betting bill as part of a broad legislation push that included online poker and DFS. The October 2017 bill became effective after the Supreme Court's May 2018 ruling upending the federal ban on single-game betting outside of Nevada.

Type of wagering permitted: In-person and mobile
Notable prohibitions: None
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 12
Population: 12,807,060 (9,645,705 21+)

8. Rhode Island

The Twin River Casino in Lincoln opened its doors for legal sports betting on Nov. 26, 2018. The move came five months after Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the state budget, which included language allowing sports betting. Only two locations would be allowed to offer sports betting under the law, with the state's lottery providing regulatory oversight. In early 2019, the law was tweaked to provide for mobile betting.

Type of wagering permitted: In-person and mobile
Notable prohibitions: No betting on games involving in-state college teams
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 2
Population: 1,057,315 (800,838 21+)

9. Arkansas

On July 1, 2019, the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort booked the first legal sports bets in Arkansas. Two other retail locations opened sportsbooks in the subsequent months. Sports betting is regulated by the Arkansas Racing Commission.

Type of wagering permitted: In-person
Notable prohibitions: No betting on games involving in-state college teams
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 3
Population: 3,013,825 (2,191,256 21+)

10. New York

On July 16, 2019, the first legal sports bets were placed in New York. J. Gary Pretlow -- a New York lawmaker and chair of the state's racing and wagering committee -- was among the first to place a wager at the Rivers Casino in Schenectady. The opening of a legal sportsbook came six years after New York passed a law to allow sports betting at four on-site locations, all in upstate New York. After lying dormant for years, the law was revived after the Supreme Court ruling in 2018 and the issuance of regulations earlier this year. The current law does not allow for mobile wagering.

Type of wagering permitted: In-person
Notable prohibitions: No betting on games involving in-state college teams
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 28
Population: 19,542,209 (14,724,807 21+)

11. Iowa

Legal sports betting arrived in Iowa on Aug. 15, with multiple operators all opening their doors to customers on the first day. The move came three months after Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed into a law a comprehensive bill to legalize sports betting in the Hawkeye State. Operators must pay a $45,000 licensing fee and there is a 6.75 percent tax on revenue. The new law permits mobile wagering. Betting on college sports is permitted, but certain kinds of in-game prop bets involving college games are banned. The new law bestows the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission with authority to regulate sports betting.

Type of wagering permitted: In-person and mobile
Notable prohibitions: No prop betting on in-state college athletics
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 23
Population: 3,156,145 (2,286,374 21+)

12. Oregon

Legal sports betting returned to Oregon on Aug. 27 after a long hiatus, with the first bets booked on-site at the Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City. Oregon is one of a small number of states that already had a law on the books permitting some forms of sports betting, so the resumption of wagering did not require the legislature to pass any new law or have the governor amend an existing tribal-state compact. In mid-October, mobile sports betting arrived in Oregon too, with the state-run lottery overseeing the launch of a new website and app.

Type of wagering permitted: In-person and mobile
Notable prohibitions: None at the Chinook Winds Casino Resort, but sportsbook operated by the Oregon Lottery does not permit betting on games involving in-state colleges
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 10
Population: 4,190,713 (3,167,912 21+)

13. Indiana

Legal sports betting opened up at a number of locations in Indiana on Sept. 1. The Indiana Gaming Commission oversees all sports betting regulations and has issued licenses to operators across the state. Wagering on both college and pro sports is permitted, but betting on esports and high school sports is banned. Indiana's new law allows for both mobile and in-person wagering. Regulations permit sports leagues or colleges to request "to utilize a geofence to prohibit wagers at the location of a particular sporting event."

Type of wagering permitted: In-person and mobile
Notable prohibitions: No prop betting on in-state college athletics
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 14
Population: 6,691,878 (4,842,337 21+)

14. New Hampshire

Governor Chris Sununo placed the ceremonial first legal sports wager -- on the New England Patriots -- in New Hampshire on Dec. 30, 2019. The state's lottery is in charge of regulatory of regulatory oversight. Both retail and mobile sports betting will be permitted on a wide variety of sports, although no betting on New Hampshire's in-state colleges is allowed.

Type of wagering permitted: Mobile
Notable prohibitions: No betting on in-state colleges
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 0
Population: 1,356,458 (1,042,882 21+)

15. Illinois

Legal sports betting arrived in Illinois on March 9, 2020. The move came less than a year after the Illinois legislature passed a broad gaming bill that allowed for both online and in-person sports betting. With Governor J.B. Pritzker's signature, the new law also provided for betting on-location at venues such as Wrigley Field. Operators and certain data providers are required to obtain a license under the new law.

Type of wagering permitted: In-person and mobile
Notable prohibitions: No wagering on minor leagues or Illinois college teams
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 10
Population: 12,741,080 (9,391,158 21+)

16. Michigan

Legal sports betting in Michigan commenced on March 11, 2020, with two Detroit-area casinos launching on the same day. The move came less than three months after Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the "Lawful Sports Betting Act" into law. The new law provides for wagering on a wide variety of sports, including college contests.

Type of wagering permitted: In-person and mobile
Notable prohibitions: None
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 27
Population: 9.995,915 (7,428,72721+)

17. Montana

Legal sports betting arrived in Montana in March 2020. The move came after Governor Steve Bullock formally signed into law a 28-page bill that brought sports wagering to Big Sky country via the state's lottery. Governor Bullock cited the Montana Lottery's "proven track record of responsibility and integrity" when signing the bill.

Type of wagering permitted: In-person
Notable prohibitions: None
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 13
Population: 1,062,305 (793,151 21+)

18. Colorado

May 1, 2020 marked the launch of legal sports betting in Colorado, with multiple operators allowing residents to open accounts online and place wagers. The move came less than six months after Colorado voters -- by a narrow margin -- approved a ballot measure that would provide "for the regulation of sports betting through licensed casinos." Both mobile and retail sports betting are permitted. Tax revenue from sports betting will help fund various state water projects.

Type of wagering permitted: In-person and mobile
Notable prohibitions: None
Number of casinos (as of Dec. 31, 2019): 35
Population: 5,695,564 (4,210,663.00 21+)

19. Washington, D.C.

In June 2020, the D.C. Lottery launched its "GameBetDC" platform allowing consumers "to wager while in the District on major sports worldwide" via computer or mobile device. Sports betting in nation's capital followed the passage of the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 and a Congressional review period during which time Congress did not formally object. The Office of Lottery and Gaming provides regulatory oversight of all sports wagering in D.C.


On-deck circle

20. Tennessee

The "Tennessee Sports Gaming Act" became law on May 25, 2019. The new law -- one that permits statewide mobile sports betting without any brick-and-mortar anchor -- has an effective date of July 1, 2019. Sports betting operators must pay a $750,000 licensing fee and there is a 20 percent tax rate. Subject to a narrow exception, Tennessee's new law requires all licensed operators to "exclusively use official league data for purposes of live betting."

21. North Carolina

On July 26, 2019, Governor Roy Cooper signed into a law a bill to "allow sports and horse race wagering on tribal lands," with such betting designated as a 'Class III' gaming activity under the state compact. The new law permits betting on both college and professional sports, but all bettors must place their wagers in-person at one of two retail locations.

22. Washington

Governor Jay Inslee signed Washington's sports betting bill into law on March 25, 2020. The new law permits sports wagering at Class III tribal casinos in the state. Mobile sports wagering is not allowed statewide, but is permitted when on-site at a licensed tribal casino. Betting on an "esports competition or event" is allowed, but the new law bans wagering on games involving in-state colleges or minor league professional events. The new bill delegates regulatory oversight to the Washington State Gambling Commission.

23. Virginia

After some back-and-forth between Governor Ralph Northam and the legislature, legalized sports wagering was approved in the Commonwealth of Virginia in April 2020. Online betting is allowed, but wagering is not permitted on Virginia-based college sports or certain youth sports.


Moving toward legalization

All of these states have seen some degree of legislative activity towards the legalization of sports betting the past few years.

24. Oklahoma

In April 2020, two federally-recognized tribes reached agreement with Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt on new gaming compacts that include sports betting. On June 8, 2020, Governor Stitt announced that the Department of the Interior had approved the compacts, paving the way for sports betting to start in Oklahoma as soon as the "compacts are published in the Federal Register." A bipartisan group of state lawmakers, along with Oklahoma's attorney general, have expressed opposition to the expansion of sports betting in Oklahoma via the compacts ensued in 2020.

25. Maine

On the last day of the state's legislative session -- June 19, 2019 -- Maine lawmakers passed "An Act to Ensure Proper Oversight of Sports Betting in the State." Shortly thereafter, the governor vetoed the bill. The legislature could re-introduce the bill later.

26. Connecticut

27. Kentucky

28. Massachusetts

29. Maryland

30. Minnesota

31. Missouri

32. Kansas

33. Louisiana

34. South Carolina

35. California

36. Ohio

37. North Dakota

38. Arizona

39. Hawaii

40. South Dakota

41. Texas

42. Georgia

43. Vermont

44. Alabama

45. Florida

46. Alaska

47. Wyoming

48. Nebraska


No legalization activity ... yet

49-50. Idaho and Wisconsin

These states have not had any publicly-announced bills devoted to sports betting legalization.


Unlikely

51. Utah

Utah's anti-gambling stance is written into the state's constitution. Any change to existing state policy toward gambling would be a massive departure from decades of opposition to any form of gambling, including lottery tickets, table games and sports betting.