Sports Betting Legality by State

Now that states are reacting to the federal government lifting the ban on online sports gambling, is offering this tool called the Sports Betting Bill Tracker. PASPA, the federal law making sports betting illegal was overturned in May 2018. That meant betting sports online, and sports gambling in general, was now in the hands of state governments. For most states that were  interested in allowing sports betting sites, and all the tax revenue that comes with it, they were left to do two things:

1) Pass a bill to explicitly allow sports betting if they have not done so already. This often leads states to simply allow existing gambling bodies including state lotteries, local tribes, and casinos to add a brick and mortar, AKA walk-up, sportsbook. This is the least complicated step to the real revenue earner that is online betting. It is projected that more than 90% of wagers will be placed online in most states.

2) Develop a licensing model for online sports betting that is uniquely formatted for their state. This is by far the most difficult part of states bringing internet sports betting to market. New legal bills must address items such as tax rate, fees for entry, license bidding and the total number of licenses. Second, but no less important, are issues such as earmarks, integrity of sports, and gambler safeguards.

Almost all states can be classified as being in one of the four groups below. Nearly all states have begun reviewing sports betting bills or have legalized walk-up sportsbooks. Revenue estimates are based on a full sports calendar in a typical year and a 7% hold on sports wagers. See the State’s status description for explanation of tax revenue projections:

Walk-Up Betting Only

These states have legal sports gambling and have licensed brick and mortar sportsbooks. These states have not finalized the details of online gambling licensing, tax rules and/or have not finalized agreements with the online sportsbooks that would utilize those licenses. Revenue projections are based on if the state were to embrace online sports betting and it’s current sports betting tax rate. Some states may have a higher tax rate for revenue from online gambling.

No Bill for Online Sports Betting

Date Sports Betting Legalized: July, 2019

Online Licensing Began: Mobile wagering not permitted

Bill: HB 323

Overseen By: The Arkansas Racing Commission

Revenue Tax: 13%

Prohibited: eSports. Local College Sports

Online Casino: No  Online Horse Racing: Yes   Online Poker: No

Arkansas was able to legalize in-person sports betting in 2019, and launch that July. However, mobile sports betting has not been able to receive the same treatment as we enter 2021. As of writing, there is no mobile sports betting bill for Arkansas.

State Lottery Ran - Not Online

Date Sports Betting Legalized: June 11, 2018

Online Licensing Began: None

Bill: N/A – Sports betting was not illegal in Delaware.

Overseen By:  Delaware State Lottery

Revenue Tax: 50%

Prohibited: None

Online Casino: No Online Horse Racing: *Yes Online Poker: No

Delaware will likely need to to witness other states earning revenue from online gambling before investments are made. Online sports betting is not illegal however there are barriers to entry that leave the potential for it in the hands of the state sports lottery. *Online horse racing is offered through standalone websites. There is no discussions of sports betting operators entering Delaware as of now.

Online Sports Betting on Casino Grounds

Date Sports Betting Legalized: June 11, 2018

Online Licensing Began: N/A

Bill: H 1481 was the last online gambling bill but was dropped early 2019

Overseen By:  Mississippi Gaming Commission

Revenue Tax: 12%

Prohibited: N/A

Online Casino: No Online Horse Racing: No Online Poker: No

Technically online betting is allowed but only on-site of the land casino. This will ensure that revenue is relatively low. At least 80% of wagers will occur at home once mobile online betting is established. Three mobile sports betting bills have already died in the state in February, and currently has no further timeline when another online sports betting bill will be introduced.

Online Sports Betting on Casino Grouns

Date Sports Betting Legalized: May 3, 2019

Online Licensing Began: N/A

Bill: a411 allowed for walk-up sports betting

Overseen By: The Montana Lottery

Revenue Tax: 9%

Prohibited: No college sports. No eSports

Online Casino: Yes   Online Horse Racing: Yes   Online Poker: Yes

Bettors can fill out their bet slip from their mobile app but ultimately the barcode from the bet receipt must be brought to a sportsbook or kiosk to confirm said wager. It’s a somewhat like making your grocery order for curbside pickup in that you still need to go to the store. Montana has a list of kiosks and sportsbooks where a player can confirm their bet using the bar-code. There is currently no legislation in the works that would legalize true online sports betting in Montana.

New Mexico
Sports Betting Available at Tribal Casinos

New Mexico is the only U.S. state with tribal casinos offering sports betting, despite not having any laws. However, the state could see the online sports betting industry coming with lawmakers submitting a bill that could allow commercial casinos. Estimates around the bill put annual revenue at $40 million.

New York
No Online Gambling Legislature

Date Sports Betting Legalized: June 26th, 2020

Online Licensing Began: Online wagering not permitted

Bill: S5883 was passed in 2013 opening the door for gambling after federal law was changed.

Overseen By: The New York State Gaming Commission

Revenue Tax: 12%

Prohibited: eSports. In-state College Sports

Online Casino: No  Online Horse Racing: No Online Poker: No

Governor Cuomo shocked the sports betting world in January announcing that he was on board with mobile wagering. After years of being against it, he is now looking at it as a source of revenue for the state. However, he wants to use the lottery system for online sports betting, which has been a huge failure in other states. One step forward two steps back with New York sports betting.

North Carolina
In-Person Betting Only

Date Sports Betting Legalized: July 25th, 2019

Online Licensing Began: Online wagering not permitted

Bill: Senate Bill 154

Overseen By: The NC Lottery

Revenue Tax: 10%

Prohibited: In-state College Sports

Online Casino: No  Online Horse Racing: No Online Poker: No

North Carolina passed sports betting in 2019 and should get the industry officially off the ground in 2021. In the western part of North Carolina, sports betting in the Tar Heel State will be limited to two casinos. Sportsbooks opened for business on March 18, 2021.

South Dakota
Bill Passed, Not Yet Operating

Date Sports Betting Legalized: November 3, 2020

Online Licensing Began: Online wagering not permitted

Bill: SC H3395

Overseen By: N/A

Revenue Tax: N/A

Prohibited: N/A

Online Casino: No  Online Horse Racing: No Online Poker: No

Although South Dakota killed two sports betting bills this year, SB 44 is going strong through the Senate and making its way over the House. If the bill passes, it will bring sports betting to Deadwood. However, the House has been the killer with sports betting bills. The state will hold its breath as lawmakers decide the language of sports betting.

SB 5212 would Expand Online Sports Betting

Date Sports Betting Legalized: March, 2020

Online Licensing Began: Not permitted

Bill: HB 2638 allows for physical sportsbooks.

Overseen By: Washington State Gambling Commission

Revenue Tax: 13%

Prohibited: eSports. Local College Sports

Online Casino: No  Online Horse Racing: No Online Poker: No

HB 2638 dictates that bettors can bet online only when they are on the grounds of tribal casinos. In February, two lawmakers filed a bill that would expand sports betting to commercial gaming locations in the state and allow for online operators to enter. Washington will face an uphill battle with sports betting expansion, but it is a good start. Initial projections suggest $38m could be made if Washington embraced online gambling.

Bill Introduced

These are states with active legislation that is meant to accelerate sports betting. The bill could be addressing land-based betting or online gambling policy. In both cases, if the state does not already have a physical bookmaker presence, they are listed here.

All revenue estimates are based on numbers where online betting is already in place using a 13% revenue tax if the state has not already established a would-be tax rate.

SB 214

Alabama is working towards a complete overhaul on gaming in the state. If SB 214 is approved, it would legalize the Alabama Lottery, five casinos, and sports betting in the state. Alabama residents have not voted on a gambling bill since 1999 and this year could be a turning point for one of the most conservative states in the U.S.

HB 2772 and SB 1797

Arizona has been taking giant strides in 2021 to legalize online sports betting. Both the House and Senate filed bills into the state to make it happen. What is also important with Arizona sports betting is that lawmakers got tribal groups on board who control the casinos. If the bill is passed, it would also allow for professional stadiums to offer sports betting.

SB 146 in Discussion

2021 is the best chance for Connecticut to pass sports betting. Gov. Ned Lamont and 17 other lawmakers have filed a sports betting bill that will bring wagering to the two tribal casinos in the state. After years of not being able to find a middle ground on sports betting, Lamont is changing his tune and wants to be at the forefront of the new industry compared to Connecticut’s neighboring states.

Three Betting Bills Filed for 2021

There is no sports betting in Florida. In the coming months Florida governor intends to come to an agreement with the Seminole Tribe to create a new comprehensive gambling outline that will allow sports gambling, online betting. Florida is currently prohibited from running sports betting through it’s own lottery due to the existing tribal casino agreement. The 2020 session has closed, however a new vote is expected in 2021 after the logistics are ironed out.

SB 142 & HB 86 Propose Online Sports Betting

The Georgia House and Senate are presenting bills to the state that would allow sports betting. Both have similar language with the Senate bill potentially being more enticing for sports betting operators. Lawmakers still need to vote on the bills, but there is a good chance sports betting could come to Georgia in 2021.

Multiple Bills Introduced

Three sports betting bills were filed by Hawaii lawmakers this year. The island is very conservative when it comes to legalized gambling in Hawaii, and sports betting faces a tough uphill battle. Although bills were filed to the state, it does not seem like 2021 is the year it will become legal.

SB 84 and House Bill

Kansas will be a battleground for legal sports betting in 2021. Overall, most lawmakers and shareholders want to wager in the state, but the bill’s language will be fought over. House and Senate members have very different sports betting bills, and both chambers will decide what the final language could look like for Kansas sports betting. With how intense things could get in 2021, Kansas could take a while to get a sports betting deal done finally.

HB 241 Would Allow In-Person and Online Betting

Kentucky Rep. Adam Koenig submitted HB 241 into the state this year to pass sports betting in 2021 or 2022. The bill would allow for in-person and online sports betting in Kentucky. In addition to sports betting, HB 241 is also in favor of legalizing daily fantasy sports and online poker.

14 Bills Filed on February 19

February 19 was the deadline to file sports betting bills for 2021, and Massachusetts saw 14 submitted. State lawmakers are clearly pushing for legalized sports betting in 2021, which is a positive sign since the state has failed to do so for three years. The Senate was why sports betting failed in 2020, but the chamber has changed its tone this year.

Three Sports Betting Bills Proposed

In 2021, Missouri submitted three sports betting bills into the state. Progress has been promising in the early session, but there is opposition to the bills’ language. Video Lottery Terminals also want a stake in sports betting if legalized and are against the current bills that would only allow sports betting online and at casinos. The state could be seeing a tough battle this year towards legalization.

North Dakota
House Concurrent Resolution 3032

North Dakota lawmakers filed two gaming bills in 2021, with one of them legalizing sports betting. The bill already cleared the House and is moving over to the Senate and will give sports betting a chance to go through this year. If the bill is approved, it will be voted on in the 2022 November election.

House Bill 1121 is filed, but still a long shot

Texas sports betting made a lot of headlines to start 2021 before hitting a roadblock in February. The state filed a betting bill in the House and saw a coalition formed with some of Texas’s biggest franchises. However, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said there was no chance of sports betting coming to the state after a radio interview in February.

S 77 Filed on February 11

Vermont is making a push to legalize sports betting this year. The bill calls for up to six online sportsbooks to launch in the state, and the Vermont Lottery will oversee sports betting. However, there are no details about tax rates or fees in S 77 and could slow down the legalization process.

WY HB 133 Filed February 18

In October 2020, Wyoming tribal casinos attempted to launch sports betting at their locations despite not having legalized sports betting. Nothing ever came from the attempt, but the state did file a sports betting bill in 2021. Lawmakers attempted to pass sports betting in February 2020 but fell short 32-27.

No Bill

Representatives from these states have not recently reviewed bills and bills are not expected to be introduced in the near future. All revenue projections are hypothetical and based on the performance of sportsbooks that are established in states where online betting is legal.


Governor Mike Dunleavy introduced these bills, which would allow a gambling committee to be formed, the Alaska Lottery Corporation. The committee would lay the groundwork for a new gambling law. With the state not even having a gaming committee in place, sports betting could be years away in Alaska.


California made multiple attempts to legalize sports betting in 2020, but nothing came to fruition. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, tribal casinos had to close and were unable to get enough signatures to put its sports betting bill on the 2020 November ballot. Lawmakers also attempted to get a sports betting bill passed in the summer but also failed due to time constraints. 2022 will most likely be the next year for sports betting can be legalized.

Sports betting is illegal including DFS

Idaho is largely an anti-gambling state with the exception of horse racing. The state is one of the few that has banned Daily Fantasy Sports.

Governor vetoed last online betting bill

The house and senate passed the bill last year. Extensive lobbying took place from casino workers who feared losing their job at the land casino. The governor vetoed the bill, and the house let it die rather than reintroduce it. It can be voted on again next year. It did allow for online betting to be introduced.

Sports betting remains illegal

Tribes who exclusively hold the gambling rights in Minnesota are firmly against alterations that would allow sports betting. It has been argued that the economic benefit is not high enough.

No legislature in 2020

The good news for Nebraska bettors is that all of the neighboring states are expected to offer sports betting soon. The state likely can not afford to let that money leave due to principal. The bad news is that there is nothing in the works currently. The most recent sports betting legislature never made it out of committee.

No Bill Filed in 2021

Ohio has yet to figure out how to pass a sports betting bill in 2021. As of writing, lawmakers have not filed a bill in 2021, but there is a lot of support for legalizing the industry. Gov. DeWine has been on record to say he expects sports betting to be legalized in 2021.

Discussions on walk-up betting only

Oklahoma has presented two tribes with new pacts that explicitly prohibit online betting in the short term. These pacts have proposals for strict on-site sports betting only.

South Carolina
HB 3102 defeated in 2017

Even if sports betting is eventually legalized in the strictest form, it likely wouldn’t include online gambling. In fact, the state is currently battling with DFS sites in court, arguing that the product is indeed a form of gambling. Do not expect online betting in South Carolina any time soon.

Remains anti-gambling as a whole

There has never been a legal sports betting bill presented for vote in the state. Utah is currently discussing massive budget cuts, including $400m to the education system, however sports betting is not viewed as a partial solution. The relatively small revenue it would create would not be enough to call for debate. At a tax rate of 13%, analysts project tax revenue of only $16m in year one and two.

Sports betting not discussed

Wisconsin has tribal casinos but there hasn’t been any discussion of adding sports betting.