In Which States Is Sports Betting Legal?

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The answer to this question largely depends on where in the United States you are located. Sports betting is currently legal in a handful of states, with more states expected to join the fold in the near future. Here is a rundown of the current landscape of sports betting in the US.

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Introduction

As of May 2019, sports betting is legal in eight states: Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Mississippi, West Virginia and New Mexico. Sports betting is also legal in Washington D.C. Several other states have passed laws to legalize sports betting, but those laws have not yet gone into effect.

Sports betting first became legal in Nevada in 1931. Delaware followed suit in 1976, becoming the second state to legalize sports betting. In 1992, a federal law called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was passed, which effectively banned sports betting nationwide with a few exceptions.

In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down PASPA, opening the door for states to legalize and regulate sports betting. Since then, several states have moved quickly to take advantage of the new opportunity and offer legal sports betting to their residents and visitors.

Sports Betting in the United States

The United States has had a long and complicated relationship with gambling. Gambling was first regulated in the early 20th century, and then shortly thereafter it was banned in most states. It wasn’t until the 1970s that gambling began to be legalized again, and it wasn’t until the 1990s that online gambling became a thing. In the past few years, sports betting has become a hot topic, as more and more states are considering legalizing it. Let’s take a look at the states where sports betting is currently legal.

Federal Laws

In the United States, there are federal laws in place that make sports betting illegal. However, these laws are only directed at those who operate sports betting businesses. They do not make it a crime for individuals to place bets on sporting events.

The main law that makes sports betting illegal is the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). This law prohibits anyone from operating a sports betting business in the US. PASPA also specifically bans sports betting in four states: Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon. PASPA does not make it a crime for people to place bets on sporting events, however.

The other federal law that has an impact on sports betting is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). This law does not make online gambling illegal, but it does make it illegal for financial institutions to process transactions between US citizens and online gambling sites. This has made it difficult for US citizens to deposit and withdraw money from online gambling sites.

State Laws

Different states have different laws concerning sports betting. Some states, like Nevada, have had legal sports betting for many years. Other states, like Oregon, have expressly forbidden sports betting. Still other states have no explicit laws one way or the other.

Here is a list of the states and their respective laws on sports betting:

Alabama – Sports betting is expressly forbidden in Alabama.

Alaska – There are no explicit laws forbidding or permitting sports betting in Alaska.

Arizona – Sports betting is expressly forbidden in Arizona.

Arkansas – There are no explicit laws forbidding or permitting sports betting in Arkansas.

California – There are no explicit laws forbidding or permitting sports betting in California.

Colorado – There are no explicit laws forbidding or permitting sports betting in Colorado.

Connecticut – Sports betting is permitted at off-track-betting (OTB) facilities only. Bookmaking is illegal.
Delaware – Sports betting is permitted at casinos only. Bookmaking is illegal.
Florida – Sports betting is expressly forbidden in Florida.
Georgia – Sports booking is illegal. However, participants in a fantasy sports contest where the prize consists of cash or other things of value may lawfully wager on the outcome of such contest under limited circumstances Hawaii – There are no explicit laws forbidding or permitting sports betting in Hawaii . Idaho- There are no explicit laws forbidding or permitting sports betting in Idaho . Illinois- Sports betting is permitted at OTB facilities only . Indiana- There are no explicit laws forbidding or permitting sports Iowa- Betting on any athletic event is illegal except pari-mutuel horseracing . Kansas- Louisiana- Betting on any athletic event taking place within Louisiana is illegal . Maine- There are no explicit laws forbidding or permitting Maryland- Bookmaking , pools selling and the registering of bets on sporting events taking place within Maryland as well as interstate horse race Massachusetts- Amendments to state law now make daily fantasy games with monetary entry fees legal while banning wagering on college and amateur sport Michigan- Minnesota- Mississippi– Missouri– Montana– Nebraska– Nevada– New Hampshire– New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Conclusion

Sports betting is legal in a number of states across the US, with more states set to introduce legislation in the coming months and years. While federal law prohibits sports betting nationwide, there is nothing in the law that specifically prohibits individuals from placing bets on sports games. However, it is important to note that some states do have laws that prohibit sports betting, so it is always best to check your local laws before placing a bet.

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