The subject of legal gambling in the USA has been a grey area for some time now, however, since PASPA was removed in 2018, things have become a lot clearer. Legal sports betting is now a reality in several states, with more online betting sites available than ever before.
However, betting with online sportsbooks is still a relatively new concept for a lot of people. Experienced sports bettors will be familiar with the sign up process, how to wager on an online sportsbook and how to fund their accounts. But if you are new to the online sports betting world, you may want to find out how it all works and discover the background of legalized sports betting in the United States.
This article covers the states that have chosen to legalize sports betting so far, the best sports betting sites, and the overall sports betting legal industry in the country.
History of sports betting
Sports betting was illegal for many years and in 1992 President George H.W. Bush took the legislation one step further. President Bush signed the PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) legislation, which was drafted when gambling legalization began making inroads into sports betting. The PASPA law prohibited states from regulating and taxing sports betting, this closed any loopholes which were being used to bet on sports and gave authorities the power to bring a civil action against sports betting schemes. PASPA effectively outlawed sports betting nationwide, excluding a few states.
This all changed in May 2018 when the Supreme Court in May 2018 struck down PASPA, the federal law banning single-game wagering. Each state now can set its own rules for online sports betting unless of course Congress passes a new law, which seems highly unlikely at this point.
Consequently, many states have decided to launch sports betting apps so residents can gamble on the go and take advantage of the excellent mobile sports betting sites available today.
Online sports betting is now down to state law which again gets quite confusing, some states which are allowing sports betting will not allow online sports betting so the bets must be made inside casinos. Additionally, states that do allow online betting will be restricting this activity to within state lines.
But first, let’s take a look at the top sports betting sites available for those states that have legalized online sports betting.
Best online betting sites
We must start off by saying that choosing the best sports betting sites is subjective. A lot of this depends on the criteria by which you judge a gambling site. We have extensive experience of reviewing online sportsbooks, so understand all of the crucial aspects that goes into providing an excellent online betting experience. Factors such as range of markets, payment methods, amount of bet types, and customer service are all key factors you must consider. With that said, we believe the below online sportsbooks are currently the best in the US.
FanDuel is one of the largest daily fantasy sports providers in the country. It has since transitioned into a fully-fledged online betting site. You can access the FanDuel app on both iOS and Android devices and it is one of the best mobile apps in the online sports betting industry.
BetMGM have done a good job of developing its mobile app since it teamed up with GVC. BetMGM provides a vast array of betting types, including the usual points spread, prop bets, futures, parlays, moneyline bets, and in-play betting. When you factor in the generous welcome bonus and ongoing promotions, this is one of the best legal sports betting sites in the US.
Similar to FanDuel, DraftKings made its name with daily fantasy sports contests. DK was one of the first movers into online gambling in New Jersey, launching only three months after PASPA was struck down. Additionally, DraftKings can claim it was the first legal mobile betting app outside Nevada. The app is easy to navigate, and as quick loading times. DK also has excellent odds boosts for significant sporting events such as the Super Bowl.
Anyone who has placed a bet or visited a casino will likely have heard of Caesars. Following its acquisition of William Hill US, the Caesars Sportsbook has flourished. The Caesars app ticks all the right boxes, providing a clean, non-cluttered easy-to-read display. It has a straightforward banking system, making deposits and withdrawals hassle-free.
BetRivers is the online sportsbook provided by Rush Street Interactive, who are a big name in the sports betting world. The app has a nice design with intuitive navigation and an aesthetically pleasing layout. The app is powered by Kambi for its back-end software with multiple betting options and, overall, reasonably competitive pricing.
States where you can bet on sports online
Prior to May 2018 only the state of Nevada allowed sports gambling on the outcome of single games. Montana, Delaware, and Oregon also allowed it betting but it was restricted. Only things such as such as fantasy sporting contests were permitted. Sports betting was illegal in all other states but on May 2018 it was open season for lawyers and sports betting companies.
A sports betting bill was approved in Arizona in April 2021 that allows mobile wagering throughout the state. Some online sportsbooks launched on September 9, the first day of the 2021 NFL season.
Colorado began accepting bets in 2020 and has established itself as one of the most robust markets in the country. In September 2020, Colorado posted over $200 million in monthly betting handle.
Gov. Ned Lamont signed a deal with the state’s tribes in 2021 allowing both operators and tribes, plus the state lottery to open mobile sportsbooks across the state.
Illinois launched online betting in June 2020. It is one of the most populated states, boasting some of the most passionate sports fans in the country.
Indiana have a number of casinos operating sports books and a number of online betting sites and apps went live in 2019. Betting on eSports is not permitted.
Online and offline sports betting is allowed in Iowa. The online market launched on August 15, 2019, and has steadily grown in the months since.
In 2020, voters in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes decided to throw their weight behind legal sports wagering. The market started on January 28, 2022, with six sportsbooks.
Michigan introduced in-person sports wagering at the MGM Grand Detroit on March 11, 2020. Well-known operators like DraftKings were quick to pounce and launched in early 2021.
The state where most things seem legal! It’s still permitted to make bets in Nevada, nearly all the casinos feature online and mobile sports betting platforms.
Both online and offline sports betting were legalized in 2019 with the first betting app launched in 2020.
Online sports betting went live in New Jersey in August 2018 and the first companies to enter the market were DraftKings and FanDuel who both launched mobile betting apps.
The path towards legal online sports betting wasn’t smooth in New York. But online gambling finally arrived on Saturday, January 8, 2022.
The state lottery launched online sports betting in October 2019, the DraftKings app is available statewide as the primary Oregon sports betting option.
Online sports betting was adopted soon after PASPA fell in Pennsylvania with the first betting sites launching in 2019, there are currently a number of different online sports betting providers in the state.
The smallest state in America by landmass allowed mobile betting first in 2019 through a state lottery in partnership with William Hill.
Tennessee is doing the opposite of what most states are doing, the state passed legislation in April 2019 to legalize sports gambling but it will only be offered online. There are no physical casinos in Tennessee.
The Virginia market started in January 2021. There is a maximum cap on the number of skins, although all of the prominent operators should be able to enter the market.
Mobile sports betting has been widely available in West Virginia since 2019. There are a couple of sportsbooks live in the state, including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars.
It came as a surprise to some that lawmakers approved statewide mobile betting in Wyoming, as it became the second state to permit online betting without any retail sportsbooks.
Another one we will follow closely is online betting in California
We will keep this article updated as legislation changes in other states.
*This is not a legal document and has been compiled by research and is not legal advice