Content Update: January 2022
Over the past few years, individual states in the U.S. have become more open to legalizing sports betting and casino gaming.
Both options are a new source of revenue, providing states with additional funds that can be used for education, health care needs, senior citizens, infrastructure needs, and a host of other options.
Since the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, several states have legalized or started the process of legalization regarding sports betting and/or casino gaming due to a shortfall in tax revenues.
Other states watched as their land-based casino industries shut down due to the pandemic, while states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey could bring in revenues from their online markets.
The pandemic opened the eyes of lawmakers who were initially opposed to the idea and showed how iGaming could provide entertainment to gamblers and revenues for state needs.
Take a look at each state in the U.S. below to see whether or not sports betting, and online casino gaming are legalized in the area. Some states offer full services, while others are still working on legislation. In a select few, neither option is available.
There is currently no sports betting or casino gaming legislation under consideration in the state.
This state does not have any measures on the table concerning sports betting or online casinos.
Sports betting was legalized in Arizona in April 2021. It was HB 2772 and S.B. 1797 that led to the new industry. Sports betting and daily fantasy sports are now an option in the state. It is expected that services will begin in September 2021.
Arizona will offer a mix of online and retail betting options. The state does not allow online casino gaming.
Voters in Arkansas approved the legalization of sports betting for as many as four locations in November 2018. Operations launched in July 2019. Only physical betting is allowed in the state. Two facilities have been approved and offer services, while two more properties are still open for licensing.
Arkansas does not allow online casino gaming.
There is currently no effort on the table for sports betting or online casino gaming in the state. Lawmakers have considered several bills regarding sports betting in the past, but none have garnered enough support to move forward.
Voters in Colorado approved sports betting in November 2019. Online and retail services launched in May 2020. Players have access to a large selection of providers, including land-based casinos and top-rated online suppliers.
However, online casino gaming is not an option in Colorado.
In 2021, legislators in the state approved HB 6451, enabling changes to the gaming compact held by the Mohegan and the Mashantucket Pequot tribes. The measure has been signed into law and awaits approval from the federal government to move forward. Once approved, players will have access to mobile and retail options.
Online casino and poker gaming are also included in the new gaming compact.
This state was the first outside of Nevada to offer legalized sports betting, launching in June 2018. The industry was legalized based on Title 29 of the Delaware Code. The state legalized mobile gaming as well but did not offer it when it comes to sports betting.
Delaware also provides online casino and poker gaming options. These two markets were opened in 2013 via legislative changes from 2012.
A tribal compact between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe is being reviewed and, if approved, would bring sports betting to the state. The compact was approved by lawmakers and signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in April 2021. However, it now awaits federal approval before any services can begin.
Online casino gaming was part of the compact in the beginning, but the language has since been removed.
Efforts made in 2021 to see sports betting legislation pass into law failed. Lawmakers have plans to try again in 2022.
This state is one of only two in the US that has absolutely no gambling options.
Sports betting is illegal in the state with no current legislative effort on the table.
The Sports Wagering act was signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker in June 2019, legalizing sports betting in Illinois. However, betting would not begin until a year later, in June 2020. Online and retail options are available.
As far as online casino gaming is concerned, it is still illegal in the state.
In May 2019, HB 1015 was signed into law. It authorized sports betting in Indiana in a retail and online format. However, while lawmakers were open to providing these betting options, online casino gaming has yet to be legalized in the state.
In Iowa, a sports betting and fantasy sports bill was signed into law in May 2019. The measure approved both retail and online wagering. The only legal requirements are that players are in the state, not included on a self-exclusion list, and 21 years of age or older.
However, Iowa has yet to legalize online casino gaming.
For the past few years, efforts to push sports betting legislation have failed. In early 2019, a bill made it through the Senate but died in the House. An earlier bill in 2021 also was unable to gain any ground among lawmakers.
In 2020, a sports betting bill was able to gain ground but then got lost in the shuffle due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. A follow-up measure was introduced in 2021, only to fail to move past a committee hearing.
Voters in 55 of the state’s parishes decided in November 2020 to legalize sports betting. HB 697 was then created and approved, signed by Governor John Bell Edwards in June 2021. SB 247 is the legislation that sets up the industry’s regulatory framework and awaits the governor’s signature.
The hope is that the industry will be up and running by the fall of 2021. However, online casino gaming is not a legalized option in the state.
Currently, a single sports betting bill is under consideration in the state. LD1352 would legalize sports betting but is still going through the negotiation phase among lawmakers. A main point of contention is whether sportsbooks must partner with a retail casino to offer services.
Since 2017, a substantial effort has been made to legalize sports betting in Maryland. By April 2021, HB 940 was passed into law, setting up the new gambling industry.
It is expected that sports betting will begin in the state sometime in 2021.
Since 2018, several sports betting bills have been introduced in the state. However, none have been able to gain enough ground to become law.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the Lawful Sports Betting Act in December 2019, legalizing sports betting in Michigan. Retail sports betting began in March 2020, and by January 2021, online betting was up and running.
The same legislation approved online casino and poker gaming. The online casinos in the state were live by January 2021.
Sports betting is currently an illegal activity in the state.
In 2017, the state decided to repeal a ban on sports betting. By August 2018, sports betting was officially offered in Mississippi. While the industry has been up and running for a few years, it is limited to only retail betting. Online sports betting is not an option in the state.
Online casino gaming remains an illegal activity.
Lawmakers in Missouri have tried to pass sports betting legislation but have failed to do so. Instead, any effort has met a stalemate with not enough support to move forward.
In Montana, Governor Steve Bullock approved HB 725, which gave the lottery control of sports betting services. The bill was signed into law in 2019. Betting was live by March 2020, with over 100 retail facilities in operation.
Sports Bet Montana is the only option for online gaming. However, the site only offers wagering when players are physically located at a retailer in the state. Therefore, online casino gaming is not an option.
Governor Pete Ricketts decided to sign LB561 into law in May 2021, which legalized sports betting in Nebraska. After that, there will be no online gambling, but retail locations will be offered. The industry should launch by the end of 2021. Currently, Nebraska does not allow any online casino gaming.
In 1931, Assembly Bill 98 was introduced and passed the same year, allowing Nevada to offer wide-open gambling. Sports betting has been offered ever since. Today, the state provides online and retail betting options.
The state was the only one to offer sports betting for quite some time until the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was struck down in 2018, allowing individual states to legalize sports betting. The state does not allow online casino gaming but does provide online poker options.
In July 2019, lawmakers in New Hampshire passed HB480. The bill legalized online and retail sports betting. The industry began just a few months later, in December. Players in this state are allowed to place bets from 18 years of age and older.
However, New Hampshire does not have any laws on the books that focus on online casino gaming.
Assembly Bill 4111 was signed in New Jersey back in June 2018 by Governor Phil Murphy, legalizing sports betting at casinos and racetracks. As a result, there is an extensive online sports betting market in NJ and offers plenty of retail options.
As far as online casino and poker gaming are concerned, the state offers both and has done so since late 2013.
In New Mexico, there is no law on the books regarding sports betting. Back in 2018, the Santa Ana Casino was the first in the state to provide sports betting services, even though there is no law in existence allowing the activity. Tribal casinos in the state can provide sports betting if they so choose.
Since that time, a handful of casinos in the state have launched the option.
Back in 2013, a constitutional amendment approved sports betting in New York. However, it was not until early 2019 that retail sports betting would begin. Efforts would start around that time to see online betting and stalled by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
In April 2021, Cuomo showed a change of heart and added the online option to the state budget. The Gaming Commission is now working towards getting the industry up and running.
In July 2019, Governor Roy Cooper decided to sign Bill S 154 into law. This legalized sports betting at tribal casinos in the western portion of North Carolina. In 2021, a renewed effort to legalize sports betting across the state was started. This effort is ongoing.
Sports betting is an illegal activity in the state. However, minimal effort has been made by lawmakers to see the option legalized.
An effort to legalize sports betting in Ohio has been ongoing for several years. Finally, in late May 2021, the state House passed a sports betting bill, and any further movement will be delayed until the fall. The in-between time will be spent with House and Senate members working out any issues to see the legislation hopefully approved.
In the state, there are no legal ways to place sports betting as of yet. However, the situation could change based on decisions by tribal gaming operators, the state and federal government. In theory, the tribes have been approved to offer two retail sportsbooks based on current compacts.
However, if more tribal gaming entities decide to renegotiate their existing compacts, the number of potential sports betting options could change.
This state originally started offering sports betting in 1989 with the debut of Sports Action, a lottery game that operated as a sports parlay game. This game drew heavy criticism from sports leagues, and the NBA fought back. after one year, the lottery decided to remove the NBA option in its Sports Action offering.
By 1992, when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) came into play, Oregon was exempted and was allowed to continue offering services.
However, by 2005, continued pressure from the NCAA caused legislation to be passed that would stop Sports Action by 2007. Fast-forward to 2018, when the PASPA was deemed unconstitutional, the Oregon Lottery got busy creating an app. Scoreboard and DraftKings offer sports betting via mobile devices in Oregon.
In 2017, H 519 was approved by lawmakers, setting up the process for legalized sports betting in Pennsylvania. In addition, the method of setting up the industry would be extended, with the first retail outlets opening in late 2018. However, it was not until May 2019 that online sports betting would go live, with SugarHouse being the first option for players.
The state also offers online casino and poker gaming, having launched in 2019 as well. In addition, a large gaming package was approved in 2017, which led to the expansion in this regard.
Sports betting bill S 37 was signed into law in Rhode Island in June 2018. This introduced the state to retail sports betting. Soon after, officials realized that the state would miss out on the revenue potential that online gaming can bring. S 37 was created and signed into law the same year, which allowed operators to offer online sports betting.
As far as online casinos are concerned, operations are not legal in the state.
It doesn’t seem that sports betting will be legalized in this state any time soon. An effort made in 2019 died early, and lawmakers have made a further attempt to try and propose legislation on the subject.
In South Dakota, SJR 501 was passed by lawmakers in 2020, placing sports betting legalization on the ballot by November of the same year. Almost 60% of the voters in the state approved the option.
This paved the way for betting in Deadwood. Lawmakers got busy crafting how the new industry would play out, and by early 2021, Senate Bill 44 was passed into law, approving the full sector. Deadwood is set to begin sports betting services by September 2021.
This state has a unique industry as there are no casinos available. In most states, casinos are the operator behind sports betting, and there is an option to wager online or via retailers. In Tennessee, H 1 legalized sports betting, but only in an online format. Players officially started placing bets by November 2020.
A sports betting bill was up for consideration in 2021 but failed to gain any momentum within the Legislature. As a result, it will be at least another year before an attempt will be made again.
As one of only two states without any gambling activity within its borders, it is doubtful that we will see sports betting or casino gaming legalized in the state any time soon.
Sports betting legislation is still under consideration in the state. Currently, the state is in the review process, trying to figure out how the industry can get started, determining which model would be the best option to go with.
In 2019, a study was conducted to show how sports betting could provide new revenues in Virginia. By 2020, bills were introduced to determine how the industry would take place. HB 1847 and SB 1254 were eventually approved, allowing online and retail sports betting in the state.
The sector started offering sports bets by January 2021.
In the U.S. capital, sports betting was legalized in December 2018. The area offers online and retail options with the D.C. Lottery in charge of services. However, the market did not get started until May 2020.
In 2020, lawmakers passed House Bill 2638 to allow tribal casinos to offer sports betting. In June 2021, the state Gambling Commission approved amendments to the gambling compacts involving 15 Native American tribes.
Once the governor signs the changes, the compacts must be approved on a federal level before sports betting can begin in the state.
With several bills on the table in 2018, the last measure introduced would legalize sports betting in the state. S 415 was submitted on behalf of the state lottery commission. It provided more comprehensive details and was passed by the Senate and House to become law without Governor Jim Justice’s signature.
WV sports betting started in late August as Hollywood Casino took its first bet. Online sports betting would begin in late December 2020.
Online casino gaming is also legalized in the state. Players first gained access to the industry in July 2020.
No effort has been made to legalize sports betting or online casino gaming in the state.
Introduced by Representative Tom Walters, HB 133 was approved by the House and Senate, signed into law in April 2021. The new industry should get started in late 2021. Wyoming does not offer online casino gaming.