In Which US States is Sports Betting Legal?

In Which US States is Sports Betting Legal?

Sports betting has not always been welcomed with open arms in the US, and indeed there are still plenty of places where it remains illegal.

However, recent regulatory changes mean that a growing number of states now officially support legitimate, legal sports betting in a variety of contexts.

So where can you place wagers on sporting events? Here is a quick overview of the main places to enjoy sports betting services both online and at bricks and mortar bookmakers.


The first state to legalize sports betting back in the 1930s, Nevada is of course home to Las Vegas, the city which is a gambling Mecca visited by millions each year.

Like some of the USA states with legal sports betting found in this detailed guide here, there is online sports betting in Nevada alongside land-based equivalents, giving you lots of options.


For a long time, Nevada was the only state with legal sports betting, but this changed in 2009 when Indiana joined the fray with its own services of this kind.

Today its gambling market has grown significantly, although for the time being it does not allow fully fledged casino games to be played digitally, instead focusing solely on web-based sportsbook services.

New Jersey

Long known as the home of gambling on the East Coast, New Jersey was unsurprisingly eager to take advantage of fresh legislation passed in 2018 to make sports betting simple to support without fear of falling foul of federal rules.

Since then, its popularity has exploded, with its online and bricks and mortar casino services also supporting excellent sportsbook options across a whole range of disciplines, leagues and events including soccer.

West Virginia

Following hot on the heels of New Jersey, it took West Virginia less than a month to make use of the option to legalize sports betting and bring it to the masses.

Like other states, West Virginia’s decision-makers saw that by legalizing this activity, they would be able to generate tax revenue, rather than seeing it go to overseas casino site operators, or disappear into the black market.


As one of New Jersey’s closest neighbors, it was no surprise to see Pennsylvania also adopting legal sports betting in 2018, even if it took slightly longer to arrive here.

This move reflects the domino effect that the legalization of sports betting has had in lots of regions of the country, with states following the example set by others in order to ensure that residents do not have to travel across the borders simply to bet. And once again, it comes down to the need to tax gambling and keep the local economy buoyant, especially during these trying times.

New York

More than a year had elapsed between the Supreme Court’s decision to legitimize sports betting and its legalization in New York, but it was effectively inevitable and when it came to pass in 2019 few industry observers were surprised.

Online sports betting has been particularly impactful in NY, giving gamblers more flexibility and opening this pastime up to a new, tech-savvy generation.


Compared with other states, rural Iowa might not seem like an obvious place to embrace legal sports betting, and yet it gave this the go-ahead shortly after New York, during the summer of 2019.

Indeed you could argue that this is precisely the kind of place where online sportsbooks are most desirable, since rather than forcing people to travel long distances to gamble legitimately, they can do so from any location so long as they have an internet connection.

New Hampshire

Continuing the trend for sports betting spreading across the North East, New Hampshire waited until December of 2019 to roll out the red carpet, and today residents and visitors to the state can enjoy a full complement of sportsbook services.


Representing the Southern states, Tennessee is one of a number of places where sports betting became enshrined in law during 2020.

Part of the reason for this was that the impact of the pandemic meant that traditional bricks and mortar bookmakers were taken out of action, if only temporarily, making online betting services a godsend for the industry.

The rest

Rounding out the list of places you can enjoy sports betting in the US are Delaware, Mississippi, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Arkansas, Oregon, Illinois, Michigan and Montana.

Wherever you gamble, be sure to do so responsibly and always adhere to the relevant regulations that are enforced in the state where you are based.

Sean Lockwood

Sean is a programmer with a passion for extreme sports. Favourite extreme sports discipline is biathlon. Started this blog because of the great love for nature and adrenaline which results in something extreme like Extreme Sports Lab (ESL).

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