Legal Sports Betting

Legal sports betting in the U.S. has been rapidly gaining popularity over the past decade. Sports betting is available to residents of all 50 states. States that have regulated their own sports betting markets currently number in the low thirties. A handful of other states have bills working their way through various house cambers nationwide. Bettors that live in states that have yet to regulate sports betting are still in good hands. The online sportsbooks that have been serving all 50 state markets for decades are among the most reliable and secure on the web.

2022 is on pace to be the biggest year of sports betting yet. All the questions you may have about legal sports betting, and legal sportsbooks are answered in detail on LegalSportsBetting.com. Our team has almost 100 years of combined wagering experience in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and online. As bettors ourselves we are player advocates. Our focus is on providing our readers with the most current up-to-date information possible with insight and perspective to help you become your best sports bettor, while also getting the most out of your bankroll.

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Legal Online Sports Betting Sites

The atmosphere and comradery of a local sportsbook can provide excitement. But, no longer must you be at a physical sportsbook to place a wager. With legal online sportsbooks, find betting lines on every game imaginable. These sites are legal since there are no federal laws preventing online sportsbooks. These sports betting sites are legal for USA players and can be the only option for players in some states. No matter what state you live in, try a legal online sportsbook to shop lines and find the best value.

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Biggest Sports Betting Events In 2022

After the NHL and NBA end, many look forward to the countdown of the NFL season. Still, there are many major sports betting events in 2022 taking place. From betting the MLB baseball season to smaller events like the Mens WSL Championship, all will see action. College football and the NFL take the focus, however, with many getting in their football futures bets before the seasons kick off.

August 29 – September 11, 2022 – US Open

US OpenUS Open

Tennis betting favorites square off in New York as the last Grand Slam of the tennis season. The US Open covers a two-week period in which the best male and female tennis players battle on a hard court. The women’s US Open odds are in the hands of Iga Swiatek, while the men’s US Open betting lines support Novak Djokovic.

August 20, 2022 – UFC 278: Usman Vs. Edwards 2

Legal UFC BettingUFC Betting

UFC 278 will feature a main event between the defending Welterweight Champion, Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards. The two faced odd previously way back in 2015 where Usman was a -140 favorite at the time with Edwards listed as a +100 underdog and it was Usman that came out on top. Looking to their bout in 2022, Usman is a much heavier favorite now at -350 while Edwards is at +265. Neither fighter has lost a fight since then, however, the odds favor Usman as he has defended his title five straight times.

April 7 – October 2 – MLB Season

The MastersMLB

The MLB is back after dealing with a lockout in the offseason between the players and a new CBA. The new season began on April 7 with odds for the World Series supporting the Los Angeles Dodgers heavily. The Dodgers won the 2020 World Series and have made it to the World Series in three of the last four seasons.

August 27 – December 10, 2022 – College Football Season

2022 – NBA Finals College Football Season

Clemson, Ohio State, and Alabama are the only Power 5 schools that opened as outright favorites to win their conferences. To no surprise, their quarterbacks are the only players with Heisman odds opening below +3000. USC and Oklahoma are atop their CFB conference odds, but have challengers in Texas and Oregon/Utah, respectively.

November 21 – December 18 – FIFA World Cup

FIFA World CupFIFA World Cup

With the World Cup coming up towards the end of 2022, it is time to start taking a look at where the odds sit. Brazil is the current favorite to win the World Cup at +550 odds, however, they did not open up in the favored spot as they opened at +670. Following Brazil are France (+600), England (+700), and Spain (+800).

September 8, 2022 – January 8, 2023 – NFL Season

NFL SeasonNFL Season

Though it is summer time, the NFL is never out of the betting focus. The NFL season is the biggest sports betting event of the year, with billions bet every year. Despite being in the offseason, schedules have been released and training camps are around the corner. Get in early on your NFL betting odds.

December 31, 2022 – January 9, 2023 – College Football Playoffs

NHLCollege Football Playoffs

Alabama (+200), Georgia (+350), Ohio State (+400) opened as the favorite to win the CFP. However, their CFP odds can be vastly different depending on the sportsbook used. While the Bowl season begins in December, the end of the CFB season takes place in early January 2023.

February 12, 2023 – Super Bowl LVII

US OpenSuper Bowl LVII

After the NFL season plays out, the NFL Playoffs take form to decide the Super Bowl LVII participants. The Buffalo Bills opened as the favorites to win SB57 at +600 odds. Super Bowl betting trends can have you lean in either direction as three of the last six SB winners had preseason odds over +1000 while the other three had odds of +600.

States with Regulated Sports Betting

There are 30 states (plus DC) that have launched legal sports betting sites or local books. A handful of other states have regulated sports betting but have yet to go live. All states with legal sports betting have different gambling laws. Some only allow online sports betting, while others only permit land-based sportsbooks. To get info about your state’s sports betting laws, click your state below.

Which States Will Regulate Sports Betting In 2023?

legal sports betting states

There are a few states that are expected to see legal sports betting go live in 2023. Kansas, Massachusetts, and Maine regulated sports betting in 2022 and could finalize regulations soon. Californians will vote on regulating sports betting during the November 2022 ballot. Depending on the results of the election, California could launch regulated betting in 2023 but 2024 is more likely. Additionally, the South seems to be the next wave of sportsbook regulation with South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida attempting to regulate betting in 2022.

Regulated Sports Betting In The US & Abroad

Regulated sports betting in the US has become more popular ever since the repeal of PASPA in May of 2018. Proponents have argued players have more protection and integrity of games remain intact. In reality, regulated US sports betting is a way for governments to collect taxes. All the sportsbooks we recommend have licenses in different countries. But, they do not pay taxes to the state or federal government. This is one of the main reasons why US sports betting regulations grew so fast. Regulated sports betting helps bolster revenue and states are taxing sportsbooks from 6-51%. Without such revenue loss, legal online sportsbooks can offer better odds and lines. Evidence of this has been common, with networks like ESPN and FOX Sports having used odds from Bovada.

question

Which Countries Have Legal Sports Betting?

Despite the influx of US sports betting, legal sports gambling is prevalent elsewhere. Betting parlors rule the United Kingdom and betting regulations are set in Brazil. Sports betting is all over the globe. Some countries have legalized online sportsbooks while others only allow in person bets. Knowing the limitations of countries with legal sports betting  may be difficult. But, we help by explaining the policies of the most popular sports betting countries. Like the United States, each country has its own sports betting laws and standards. Even further, some countries break down their sports betting laws by region, like the US.

Legal Sports Betting Banking Options

Sportsbooks in 2022 have more banking options than ever for sports betting fans. Whether looking to make a sportsbook deposit using a card or crypto, there are options. Wire transfers, and debit/credit cards are only some of the methods to fund a sportsbook account. These options range in convenience and processing time. Withdrawing from a legal sports betting account also has a slew of options. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin offer some of the fastest payout methods available. Bettors can also withdraw using bank checks, e-checks, and money orders. Sportsbooks understand players’ banking situations change so they try to meet your needs. There is no shortage of banking methods at legal online sportsbooks.

Mobile Sports Betting Apps

Mobile Sports Betting Apps

Mobile sports betting apps allow for access to betting lines and odds around the country. Some mobile sports betting sites require the downloading of an app. Others present themselves as mobile-optimized web pages. No matter the style, bet on sports from an iPhone, Android, or any device. Everything found at an online sportsbook is also available on their betting app. This includes account registration, depositing and withdrawing funds, and submitting a wager.

When using a state-licensed mobile betting app, users must stay within state lines. This is because of a federal law that the sportsbooks must follow to ensure they are not breaking any rules. Any attempt to wager outside of state lines will not come with punishment. Rather, a bettor will find the inability to submit that potential winning wager. Some states set regulations that users sign up in person when creating an account. A rarity across the states with sports betting apps, it is still prevalent. Licensed online books allow bets from all over the USA, as there are no location restrictions.

Legal Live In-Game Betting

Legal live betting is the next step in sports betting in the United States. Still growing in popularity, estimates suggest four-fifths of UK sports bets are live. The USA is somewhere around 20% of the total sports betting handle. But, with the growing trend of connectedness between media companies and sportsbooks, betting at games or from your couch has become commonplace. This style of betting is for more experienced gamblers, as odds and lines shift quickly. However, guessing the outcome at the right moment can lead to a much larger win than offered pregame. Every licensed US sportsbook offers live betting.

US Sports Betting Laws

There have been many US sports betting laws changes over the past couple of years. The federal government let states look at how to best regulate US sports betting. Between the federal and state governments, sports betting laws in America are clear. Below, find the current sports betting laws and old ones that still affect sports betting.

State Sports Betting Laws

Each state creates their own sports betting laws, meaning rules and regulations vary. Seven states joined Nevada to offer legal sports betting within a year of the PASPA repeal. Now, there are over 30 states that have legal sports betting sites or locations. To find the current sports gambling laws, visit your local gaming commission’s website.

Federal Sports Betting Laws

Federal sports betting laws dictated US sports betting for decades. Over the years, there have been changes to the validity of certain rules. Learning these laws’ meanings and interpretations are important to seeing the full scope. In total, there are three federal acts impacting legal online sports betting.

future

Future Regulation Of Legal Sports Betting In The USA

The Supreme Court repealed PASPA in 2018. Since then, sports betting in the USA has expanded in many ways. With states creating their own laws, sports betting laws and industries are different. Expect to see states who have legal sports betting tweak their sportsbook laws. The future regulations of legal sports betting is unknown. But, local sportsbooks accepting cryptocurrency could become common. Wyoming was the first state to adopt this in their rules despite not having a crypto sportsbook open.

Sports betting is an ever-growing market and the focus of mobile betting will also take focus. Getting players to bet on sports from home is a great boost for sportsbooks and their revenue. With issues surrounding exclusivity and problem gambling, these changes can be gradual. Aside from online sports betting, betting on college sports is a big topic. Some regulators do not permit state-regulated books to accept bets on college sports. This can be in the form of player props, game lines, or any game played in that area. Finding ways to bring legal college sports betting out of the darkness is also a top priority.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal In The USA?

Is Online Sports Betting Legal In The USA?

Online sports betting is legal in the United States in a variety of ways. Using licensed legal online sportsbooks or state-regulated apps are both permitted. The local books come with restrictions (location, types of bets, etc.). The legal online sports betting sites are more open in what they allow (crypto, props, etc.). Both sportsbooks have licenses, the only difference being the location of the license. Local books follow regulations from a certain gaming commission local to the state. Online sportsbooks accept all US players and do not have betting type restrictions. Still, bettors need to follow the legal sports betting age of 18 (or 21 depending on jurisdiction). Stay current with states gambling laws  before joining a recommended legal online sportsbook.

Legal Sports Betting Revenue

Legal Sports Betting Revenue

New Jersey and Nevada were only two states to break legal sports betting revenue records in 2021. The 31 jurisdictions with active sports betting generated $4.29 billion in revenue. That was in 2021 alone and excluding tribal-run sportsbooks! The amount of money bet in the US will only continue to grow in 2022. Mobile betting launched in New York and Louisiana and other markets are on the precipice.

New York’s 2022 mobile sports betting launch shook up the US sports betting handle. New York recorded $2.4 billion in sports bets placed in the first 30 days alone. Becoming the largest sports betting market, NY shattered New Jersey’s sportsbook records. Sports betting continues to be a staple for tax benefits. With new markets launching, governments and sportsbooks are collecting more sports betting revenue.

Sports Betting Handle

2018-Present
  • Arizona $1.7 billion
  • Arkansas $120.3 million
  • Colorado $5.6 billion
  • Connecticut $494.5 million
  • Delaware $472.5 million
  • Illinois $8.9 billion
  • Indiana $6.5 billion
  • Iowa $3.1 billion
  • Louisiana $156.8 million
  • Maryland $49.1 million
  • Michigan $4.6 billion
  • Mississippi $1.5 billion
  • Montana $74.6 million
  • Nevada $20.8 billion
  • New Hampshire $1.0 billion
  • New Jersey $24.1 billion
  • New Mexico n/a
  • New York $2.0 billion
  • Oregon $638.0 million
  • Pennsylvania $12.4 billion
  • Rhode Island $994.5 million
  • South Dakota $3.4 million
  • Tennessee $3.4 billion
  • Virginia $3.7 billion
  • Washington DC $302.4 million
  • West Virginia $1.2 billion
  • Wyoming $54.3 million
  •  
  • Total $104.41 billion

Sportsbooks’ Revenue

2018-Present
  • Arizona $158.7 million
  • Arkansas $15.3 million
  • Colorado $360.5 million
  • Connecticut $41.6 million
  • Delaware $71.4 million
  • Illinois $653.1 million
  • Indiana $521.6 million
  • Iowa $189.0 million
  • Louisiana $6.4 million
  • Maryland $7.5 million
  • Michigan $374.0 million
  • Mississippi $175.7 million
  • Montana $10.1 million
  • Nevada $1.2 million
  • New Hampshire $75.5 million
  • New Jersey $1.6 million
  • New Mexico n/a
  • New York $165.0 million
  • Oregon $55.7 million
  • Pennsylvania $943.0 million
  • Rhode Island $87.4 million
  • South Dakota $336,873 million
  • Tennessee $303.1 million
  • Virginia $324.9 million
  • Washington DC $42.3 million
  • West Virginia $103.0 million
  • Wyoming $5.1 million
  •  
  • Total $7.59 billion

Tax Revenue By State

2018-Present
  • Arizona $5.9 million
  • Arkansas $2.1 million
  • Colorado $16.1 million
  • Connecticut $3.1 million
  • Delaware $47.6 million
  • Illinois $104.0 million
  • Indiana $49.5 million
  • Iowa $13.8 million
  • Louisiana $190,097 million
  • Maryland $1.1 million
  • Michigan $12.5 million
  • Mississippi $21.0 million
  • Montana $n/a
  • Nevada $83.1 million
  • New Hampshire $34.8 million
  • New Jersey $210.1 million
  • New Mexico n/a
  • New York $67.4 million
  • Oregon $n/a
  • Pennsylvania $230.0 million
  • Rhode Island $44.6 million
  • South Dakota $30,319 million
  • Tennessee $50.5 million
  • Virginia $23.2 million
  • Washington DC $3.0 million
  • West Virginia $10.3 million
  • Wyoming $158,479 million
  •  
  • Total $1.03 billion

Sports Betting Contests

Finding sports betting contests can be the easiest way to win big or earn sportsbook credit. Held year round, sports betting contests feature all sports. But, the most common occur during the NFL season. Still, sportsbooks host March Madness betting contests, Masters contests, and more. Entries are generally only a few dollars ($5-$25) and payouts can be in the thousands. Some are single entry while most others allow for up to 20 or so entries. Most sportsbooks will advertise their sports betting contests through messages, tweets, or email. Remember to read the legal sports betting rules for the contests. They can be the key to winning big or the ticket to finding a strategy. Some even offer a reduced entry if you’re one of the first to sign up for a sports betting contest.

Famous Sports Bettors

Still getting used to legal sports betting? That’s no problem! At one point, everyone was a beginner in the sports betting world. Even the most famous sports bettors in the world started somewhere. Aside from viewing our help pages, check out our bios for some famous sports bettors. Most led a life of power and success like Tony Boom or Haralabos “Bob” Voulgaris. Others bet for fun like Charles Barkley while some sell their picks online. A few even saw their success blow up in smoke like Parlay Patz. Regardless, learning about the best in the business helps create winning betting strategies. Knowing what to do is important but knowing what not to do is also a key to winning sports bets. Use the most famous sports betting personalities as a guide to becoming a better bettor.

Legal Esports Betting

One of the most popular and growing events to watch is esports, and you can legally bet on esports online. Esports are essentially video game competitions and tournaments. There are a large number of video games that people can compete in and with the bigger esports scenes, people love wagering on them. With how much legal sports betting is growing in the US, people are wanting to wager on esports more every day. Although retail sportsbooks in the US do not take action on esports just yet, online offshore sportsbooks take esports action every day. If you are an esports fan and you want to be more engaged in the competition, give esports betting a try at a reputable online gaming site. See how quickly this new niche of sports wagering gained traction. Learn how to bet on Esports here.

Legal Esports Betting

Free Sports Bets

Free sports bets are something that sportsbooks offer their customers, usually when depositing money into their accounts or after a certain amount of activity. Many sports betting sites stipulate their rules for redeeming free plays. Some will give you a risk-free bet that can be wagered on your first bet placed. This usually serves as a way to get bettors in the door, especially at grand openings at brick and mortar books. Other free sports bets might come during certain times of the year in order to encourage betting on a specific event. One of the main advantages of looking into free sports bets is that there is typically no rollover requirement, meaning you can cash in right away when your bet hits. Both state-licensed and offshore books have free bet offers all year-round.

Free Sports Bets

Legal Political Betting

Political betting is legal and very popular with sportsbooks. Politics are a constant source of wagering, with events happening globally every day. Yet, the biggest wagers and highest-grossing political action come from elections. This took focus when bets on the U.S. Presidential Election rolled in last time. The winner of the United States presidency is a hot topic that only comes around every four years. From campaigning through Election Day, the door is open for a wide variety of political prop bets. Outside of the U.S. presidency, political sportsbooks host other American political bets. Bet on who will win the House, or any House seat in gubernatorial elections. Legal political betting is a fun way to engage in current events and stay informed.

How To Contact LegalSportsBetting.com?

The team here is always ready to answer any questions you may have about legal sports betting in The United States. Just shoot us an email to the address below and one of our team members will get back to you as soon as possible.

FAQ's About Legal Sports Betting

Let’s face it, the United States sports gambling industry is complex and the rules change. We are as thorough as possible in the information we provide, sometimes it helps to get down to the basics. That is why we compiled a list of the questions most frequently asked about legal sports betting. These are the comments and concerns that we 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?

No, you will not go to jail for online sports betting. States that don’t offer regulated sportsbooks can use online gambling websites. These fall outside state and federal jurisdiction. Additionally, anti-gambling laws focus on operators and providers rather than individual gamblers. No individual has ever gone to jail in the United States for only betting on sports.

How old do I have to be to use legal online sportsbooks?

Every state sets its own laws for sports betting ages. With online sports betting sites, the legal sports betting age to play is 18 years old. If sports betting age laws in your state say 21 though, that is the rule to follow. You do not have to show a valid ID to sign up, but you do have to before you can withdraw your winnings. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of said winnings.

Is it legal to Bet On Sports With My Friends In The USA?

Some states do have prohibitions against social betting with somewhat archaic laws. States do not enforce social betting laws unless there’s other criminal acts. Your March Madness office pool is completely legal as long as the house doesn’t take a cut.

Can I safely wager on sports with a local bookie?

No betting with an underground bookie can be against the law. You likely won’t face charges but your money could be at risk of government seizure. Local bookies sometimes aren’t trustworthy – even your friend from back home. You may get worse odds and their payouts are unreliable at best. If you want to wager on sports safely, do so with a legal sports betting site.

Can I use the phone or Internet to place a bet at a sportsbook in another state?

No, all sportsbooks in the US are off-limits to those located in another state. You don’t have to be a resident of that state, but you must log in and bet from their jurisdiction. This is the result of the Federal Wire Act of 1961. The Wire Act does not apply to licensed online sportsbooks outside the US.

When Will My State Have Legal Sports Betting?

Unless you live in Utah, soon. Since the 2018 Supreme Court repeal of PASPA, states have passed sports betting laws. While some have heavy opposition to legal sports betting, it is prevalent in many places. Religious groups and tribal casinos cause the largest issues for sports betting legislation.

Do I have to pay taxes on my winnings when betting on sports?

Yes, you have to pay federal and (when applicable) state taxes on your gambling winnings. Failure to report gambling winnings could land you in legal trouble. Felony tax evasion is prosecutable under the law, though an extreme example. The federal gambling winnings tax rate is 25% and many states tax gambling winnings as income. Gambling losses are also generally deductible up to the same amount as your winnings. Use this to your legal sports betting advantage.