Welcome to Walker Sports Betting, the #1 online resource for legal sports betting in The United States! Throughout the years, the overall consensus regarding whether or not sports betting should be legal has been in a state of constant change. For decades, the practice was largely unregulated and under the table so to speak. But, it would seem as if the state of legal sports betting in the United States is currently being viewed favorably by the majority of citizens and lawmakers. This has led to the legalization of sports betting across the nation, with more and more states continuing to research the industry. If your state has any type of gambling right now, then chances are that they will have sports betting soon. Browse through our website to find everything you need about legal sports betting in the United States including legal news, federal and state sports betting laws, reviews, advice, and more.
States with Legal And Regulated Sports Betting:
In the immediate months following the downfall of PASPA, there have been numerous states that have passed legal sports betting bills. In the first half of 2019, nineteen states have made sports betting legal, and plenty more have plans to this year or next. All of these states will offer full-scale sports betting, just like they do in Vegas. However, there may be limitations on which teams and sports can be wagered on a local basis depending on the laws in the state. As the list of states with legal sports betting continues to grow, It will become even easier to find somewhere to do some legal sports betting. Be sure to check back here to see if any other states have been added to the list.
New Jersey was the second state to legalize sports betting post-PASPA, with the first sportsbooks launching one month after the federal ban was lifted and several opening since.
The first sportsbook in WV was opened on September 1, 2018. Three out of five casinos now offer land-based sportsbooks. State-wide mobile betting is also available in WV.
Rhode Island’s gambling market is comparatively young, with voters approving casino gaming in 2012 (and reaffirming in 2016). There are two active casino locations in the state, both offering sportsbooks and soon to offer state-wide mobile betting.
New York voters approved sports betting at 4 upstate NY casinos through a 2013 voter referendum. Per tribal compacts between the Native American casinos and the state, the tribal casinos are able to offer sports betting as well. Several are now active and accepting sports wagers.
Both land-based and mobile betting was approved in Indiana at the 14 casinos in the state, though the new law also allows for more casinos to be built. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb on May 8, 2019.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed sports betting into law on June 28, 2019. IL sports betting will be available at the state’s 10 riverboat casinos and at its horse racing venues. Statewide mobile betting is also approved, as is the licensing/construction of six new casinos.
Sports betting in North Carolina became officially legal when Governor Roy Cooper signed NC SB 154 into law on July 26, 2019. The bill classifies sports betting under the list of Class III games that the two tribal casinos in the state can offer. There are no restrictions on collegiate sports betting. There are also no provisions for mobile sports betting, meaning these casino sportsbooks are limited to on-site wagering.
Sports betting was legalized in Washington, D.C., in 2018, and it will be overseen by the D.C. Lottery. City residents will be able to wager at stadiums, liquor stores, restaurants, and via a geo-fenced mobile app.
Sports betting in Oregon officially launched on August 27, 2019, through a tribal casino. Tribal casinos are able to set up land-based sportsbooks only and offer collegiate betting. The state lottery is able to provide a state-wide mobile sports betting app and but will only allow betting on professional sports at this time.
Connecticut is debating sports betting exclusivity with its tribes and other commercial operators. Sports betting could come to Connecticut in 2019, but the existing tribal compacts are proving a major hurdle to overcome.
Pennsylvania is now the largest state with legal sports betting, and the pastime was approved in 2017 before PASPA was overturned. The number of PA sportsbooks is growing fast.
Montana moved forward with legalization by agreeing to multiple sports betting bills on May 3, 2019. On-site mobile betting and land-based options will exist for those who are 18 or older.
Currently, sports betting in MS is growing extremely fast with the opening of new brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, but the state is not expected to get legal online sports betting until at least 2020 or 2021.
Sports betting in Iowa went live on August 15, 2019, when eight casinos started accepting wagers, making Iowa the largest launch of any of the legal sports betting states. With one of the lowest tax rates (6.75%), the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission oversees the industry. Up to 19 casinos in the state are eligible to offer sports betting under the current law, which also permits mobile and online gaming.
Tennessee approved sports betting through online platforms only, becoming the first state to do so. Sports betting revenue will be taxed at 20% and fund education, infrastructure, and problem gambling. HB 1 went into effect on May 24, 2019, without a signature from Governor Bill Lee.
There are only a few legal sports betting options right now, but legal sports betting is growing fast in NM. Sports betting is only served in tribal casinos. Several more NM sportsbooks are expected to open soon, including one that just launched in mid-March.
Voters legalized sports betting in Arkansas in November 2018, but the AR Racing Commission’s rules weren’t approved until Q1 2019. Arkansas sports betting launched at the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort on July 1.
Delaware was the first state to offer legal sports betting after PASPA was lifted in May of 2018, opening its three racino-based sports betting lounges in April of 2019.
Gov. Chris Sununu signed HB 480 into law on July 12, 2019. Sports betting will be available from up to 5 online vendors and on-site at up to 10 retail locations that are currently partners with the overseeing New Hampshire Lottery. In-state NCAA teams and events are barred, and the betting age limit is 18 years old.
Current State Of Legal Sports Betting In The USA
As you can see, the current state of legal sports betting in the United States has changed dramatically in recent years. The highest court in the land has finally agreed that sports betting cannot be barred by the federal government! States can now decide for themselves whether or not to make sports betting legal within their borders, and many have already started moving forward on the lucrative, resident-friendly prospect. In fact, there are already several states that have approved commercial sportsbooks and which now have 100% legal sports betting, and there are plenty more states finalizing their sports betting laws right now.
As it stands, the sports betting industry is in the best place it has ever been. Over the next few years, you will start to see sportsbooks popping up in more than half of the states in the country, and within a decade, sports betting could be effectively available nationwide. Though most of the states’ legislative session came to a close without changing any gambling laws, we have seen the trend of legalization continue to progress along. Considering there were less than a handful of legal sports betting states last year, this is great news for those that like to place a bet from time to time.
Which States Will Have Legal Sports Betting In 2019
Since state legislators have started to take notice of the millions of dollars being generated by legal sports betting across the country, many of them are currently seeking ways to gain tax revenue from the lucrative industry. Some states saw this coming, legalized the activity last year, and recently began offing their residents a local sportsbook. Those states include New York and Arkansas. Both of these states launched in July 2019 and have been open for business ever since. Iowa agreed to legalize this year and has already moved through the necessary stages, launching their industry on August 15.
Connecticut passed a sports betting bill in 2017 but will need state officials to come up with regulations before moving forward. Washington D.C., while not a state, operates like one, and the DC City Council legalized sports wagering in 2018 by an 11-2 vote. Regulations have yet to be finalized, but D.C. should accept its first wagers by late 2019, though issues might push their launch back to early 2020.
As for states that have most recently passed legislation, North Carolina is the latest to have done so, legalizing the pastime on July 26, 2019. New Hampshire legalized the activity on July 12, 2019. Illinois legalized sports betting on June 28, 2019. Tennessee sports betting was legalized for mobile betting only on May 24, lapsing into law without the governor’s signature. Montana received a signature from its governor in early May and is now included in the states that are pending a launch. Similarly, Indiana has formally legalized sports wagering via governor signature, and the state is looking toward a brick-and-mortar sports betting launch in time for the 2019 NFL season. As a matter of course, each state that legalizes sports betting does so via different methods and regulations, as sports betting laws will always be decided at the state level.
Legal Sports Betting Revenues For US States
Of the following, only Nevada’s revenue trends are more or less concrete. For the revenue figures of the post-PASPA sports betting states on the list, remember to take these numbers with a grain of salt. Generally speaking, states that have legalized sports wagering have experienced a three-to-four month ramp up in both handle and income before hitting their strides, and the majority of these states have not yet launched their state-wide Internet and mobile sports betting platforms. With all this in mind, you can see that most of these figures will skew low in terms of being representative of future market health.
As far as the state’s cut for the sportsbooks’ revenue, each state is under a different set of regulations that they self-imposed. Some states have a much higher tax rate, such as Delaware and Rhode Island, who tax roughly 50% of the monthly revenue or even like Pennsylvania, who boasts a 34% tax to the state government alone.
Other states, like Mississippi and New Jersey, have positioned themselves to have the industry impact the state less on a percentage level but more on the sheer volume of betting action level. Mississippi has implemented an 8% state tax and 4% local tax on sports betting revenue, while New Jersey broke their tax rates down to 8.5% or 13% depending on whether you wagered through a land-based option or an online platform, respectively.
With these varying tax rates, the revenue numbers aren’t the only bit of information of importance. It is more beneficial to take into account the numbers for how much the state actually received as a direct result from legal sports betting. With roughly the same handle and revenue numbers between West Virginia and Delaware since their launch dates, it could be expected that these states have benefited the same. However, the Delaware state government has accumulated over 6 times the amount of revenue than that of West Virginia’s statehouse solely because their 50% tax rate is well above West Virginia’s 10% tax rate (which also sees 15% of that amount taken out for administrative costs).
Legal Sports Betting Pros And Cons
- Better League Oversight – The old outdated laws in the US did not stop sports betting or cheating from occurring. New laws in partnership with the cooperation of all professional and college leagues will greatly increase the legitimacy of all outcomes.
- Standardized Injury Reports – Another key element of regulated sports betting will be the need for critical information, such as injuries and starting lineups being made available to everyone in a timely manner before the match starts.
- New Technology – Not only will new technologies help the overall betting experience, but it will also open new doors into the world of stats and analytics that will greatly even the playing field for new and casual bettors against the books.
- Tax Revenues – Every wager is taxed by the state and that much-needed revenue goes to various programs, such as public education, pensions, and other underfunded programs.
- Jobs – With an estimated 216,000 new jobs and a total labor income projected to be $11 billion, the impact of sports betting on working people can’t be ignored!
- More Wagering Options – As leagues partner with sportsbooks, you’ll see an expanded range of betting options come online such as in-stadium betting and next play betting.
- No Federal Framework – Since it is up to the states on how they implement sports wagering, there is no federal framework to go off of. This makes wagering inconsistent from state-to-state and also limits mobile wagering.
- Bad Odds and Payouts – Because of the tax on your wager and the liability most local sportsbooks incur on local teams, you will end up receiving less of a profit when you win due to inflated odds. This is something that won’t happen at an offshore book.
- Gambling Is Addictive -While betting on a game is a lot of fun when done responsibly, it can also affect your life. If betting is no longer fun you should stop! If you need help, seek help.
- You Can Lose Lots Of Money – You can’t win money if you don’t risk money. So only bet what you can afford to lose!
- Increased Chances Of Fixed Games – It is a fact that the chances of a game being fixed will increase with more legal sports betting. This is especially true when you consider that college athletes do not get paid.
Future Regulation Of Legal Sports Betting In The USA
With no barriers to entry, the future regulation of legal sports betting in the USA in 2019 and beyond looks bright. Many states have already legalized sports gambling, with new bill proposals considered every legislative session. In the states that have already passed sports betting laws, the future holds expansion into online and mobile options. Many legislators were more concerned with just getting a law on the books rather than taking advantage of additional markets, so the majority of states have not drafted laws addressing Internet betting. In those that have, lawmakers may consider how to legally accept bettors from other states, and in doing so, they may reevaluate the Wire Act (which itself is currently being challenged in court).
Is Online Sports Betting Legal In The USA?
Unless you are attempting to operate an online sportsbook and take bets from other people, online sports betting is principally legal. The reason online sportsbooks are legal is because of the fact that they are located offshore and they do not have to follow US laws. There is not a federal law that penalizes US citizens for placing sports bets online, and most states do not have online sports betting laws in place either. It is precisely this absence of laws and regulations that makes it generally safe to bet on sports online, as long as you pick a reputable gambling site. The only factors that would make online sports betting even remotely illegal are if you reside in one of the very few states that has online gambling laws on the books or you bet on sports while underage.
US Sports Betting Laws
We have seen a number of changes over the past couple of years as the federal government and individual states look at how to best regulate US sports betting. Below, you will find the current status on each of the major laws that affects how states will operate going forward.
State Sports Betting Laws
With state sports betting laws in the power of each individual state government, rules and regulations will vary from state to state. With seven states joining Nevada in offering legalized sports betting within just a year of the landmark PASPA ruling, the number will only continue to grow. To find out the current sports gambling laws in your state, you will want to visit the website of your state lottery or gaming commission.
Federal Sports Betting Laws
Federal sports betting laws dictated the nature of the US sports betting industry for decades. Over the years, however, there have been changes to the applicability and validity of certain rules. Learning more about these laws’ original meanings and new interpretations are important in order to understand the full scope of sports betting laws. The most pertinent federal acts to review are the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 (active), the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA, overturned in 2018), and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA, active).
As one of the oldest federal laws to target sports betting, the Wire Act of 1961 is still relevant today. During the late 50’s and early ’60s, racketeering enterprises were rapidly spreading throughout the United States. As one of several antiracketeering bills passed during the era, the Wire Act was passed to combat organized crime and assist states in enforcing their respective gambling laws. An excerpt from 18 U.S.C. 1084 reads the following:
“Whoever being engaged in the business of betting or wagering knowingly uses a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest… shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”
When then-President John F. Kennedy signed the bill into law, the internet had not yet been invented. In the present day, the Wire Act is now interpreted to include sports wagers transmitted on the internet. Even with this application, the federal law specifically states that only those in the business of wagering are covered under its scope. As with the majority of sports betting laws, only operators are targeted and casual bettors are in no way penalized.
FAQ’s About Sports Betting
Let’s face it, the United States sports gambling industry is complex and the rules are constantly changing. Though we are as thorough as possible in the information we provide, sometimes it helps to just get down to the basics. That is why we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about legal sports betting. These are the comments and concerns that we commonly get in our inbox from readers, in one easy-to-digest format. Our running list of sports betting FAQs will help you to better navigate the legal betting world.
Will I Go To Jail For Online Sports Betting?
Why are non-regulated online sportsbooks located offshore?
Can Walker Sports Betting Sites Be Trusted?
How old do I have to be to use legal online sportsbooks?
What Sports Can I Bet On At Online Sportsbooks?
What does it mean to “shop lines” when betting on sports?
How Do I Deposit Into Walker Sports Betting Sites
How Do I Collect My Winnings From Sports Betting Sites?
Are There Any Mobile Sports Betting Apps That Are Legal?
Can I Bet On Sports With My Friends In The USA?
Can I safely wager on sports with a local bookie?
Can I use the phone or Internet to place a bet at a sportsbook in another state?
Can I call A Sportsbook In A Legal State And Place A Bet?
When Will My State Have Walker Sports Betting?
Is is better to bet online or at a brick and mortar sportsbook?
Can individual states make offshore sportsbooks legal?
Do I have to pay taxes on my winnings when betting on sports?
How do sportsbook bonuses work, and what is “rollover”?