Online Sports Betting: Legal in America?
Sports betting has become more popular in the US in recent years, and so has the debate on whether it should be legal or not. With more states opening up to the possibility of allowing online sports betting, it’s important to understand exactly what US states allow it.
Are Online Sports Betting Legal in America?
Legally speaking, online sports betting is currently only available in certain states in the US, due to federal laws. However, states are beginning to recognize the increase in the industry and the potential to bring in revenue through taxes, fees and other sources.
Sports betting is currently regulated by the Department of Justice and while they don’t outrightly prohibit sports betting, they also don’t allow it within a state’s borders. This has caused states to begin legislating around online sports betting and regulating it for their citizens.
Which US States Allow Online Sports Betting?
At this time, 10 US states have laws on the books that allow online sports betting: New Jersey, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Delaware, Mississippi, New Mexico, Indiana, Iowa, and Oregon.
- New Jersey: New Jersey has been a leader in the sports betting industry since passing its first sports betting law in 2018. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has been responsible for licensing and overseeing sports betting operations in the state, and making sure they’re running fairly.
- West Virginia: West Virginia legalized sports betting in 2018, and launched mobile sports betting in August of that year. Sports betting in West Virginia is overseen by the West Virginia Lottery, which requires all operators to obtain a license in order to operate.
- Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania legalized sports betting in October 2017 and launched retail sportsbooks in 2018. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regulates sports betting, and they have also approved licenses for several online sportsbooks that are now up and running.
- Rhode Island: In November 2018, Rhode Island became the very first state to accept online sports betting. Unlike the other states, Rhode Island does not have its own casinos or sportsbooks. Instead, the state lottery handles all sports betting operations through an online platform.
- Delaware: Delaware became the second state to approve sports betting in June 2018, and was the first state to accept sports bets outside of Nevada. Delaware allows online sportsbooks, which are regulated by the Delaware Lottery.
- Mississippi: Mississippi was the third state to legalize sports betting in August of 2018. Like the other states, Mississippi requires all sportsbooks to obtain a license in order to operate legally. The Mississippi Gaming Commission is responsible for regulating sports betting.
- New Mexico: New Mexico legalized sports betting in October 2018, but has yet to launch a sportsbook. The New Mexico Gaming Control Board is expected to launch sportsbooks sometime in 2020, but they are not yet operational.
- Indiana: Indiana legalized sports betting in May 2019, and the Indiana Gaming Commission launched sports betting the following September. The commission has since approved numerous online sportsbooks for operation within the state.
- Iowa: Iowa legalized sports betting in June 2019 and launched sports betting in August of that year. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission oversees sports betting, and has approved several online sportsbooks for operation in the state.
- Oregon: Oregon legalized sports betting in 2019 and launched its first sportsbook in October of that year. The Oregon Lottery handles sports betting operations in the state, and allows only online sportsbooks to operate.
Online sports betting is growing in popularity and is currently legal in 10 US states. Though federal laws still don’t allow it to take place, individual states are beginning to pass their own laws that legalize and regulate sports betting.
If you’re looking to bet on a sporting event in the US, make sure to check with your local state laws to see if online sports betting is legal in your area.
Is online sports betting legal in all US states?
No, online sports betting is not legal in all US states. Currently, only 8 of the 50 US states allow some type of legal sports betting. Those states are Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Mexico, and Nevada.
Is online sports betting legal in Canada?
No, online sports betting is not legal in Canada. The Canadian government does not allow online gambling, including online sports betting, unless it is provided by a provincial government-run site.
Is sports betting legal in Canada in general?
Sports betting is not legal in Canada in general, except for certain limited exceptions such as parlay betting on the outcome of three or more professional or amateur sports events. In general, the only legally sanctioned sports betting activities in Canada are those run by the provincial and federal governments.