Legal Sports Betting

Legal sports betting in the U.S. has been rapidly gaining popularity over the past decade. States with regulated sports betting markets number in the thirties. A handful of other states have sports betting bills working through legislative chambers. Sports betting is available to residents of all 50 states and 2023 is set to be the biggest year of sports betting. Bettors that live in states that have yet to make sports betting legal are still in good hands.

Find an answer to any questions you have about legal sports betting here. Our team has 100+ years of combined wagering experience in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and online. As bettors ourselves we are player advocates. Our focus is to provide readers with current information about legal sports betting.

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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 2023

The NFL season is here and the biggest sporting events in 2023 revolve around the Super Bowl betting odds. After football betting odds comes the March Madness Tournament. Last year, more people bet on the NCAA Tournmanent than the Super Bowl! Still, there are many small market sports events in 2023 that legal sportsbooks take action on. From betting on Formula 1, taking action on UFC lines, or wagering on The Match props, there is always something to bet on.

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

NFL SeasonNFL Season

Legal NFL sportsbooks offer betting odds on the most popular sports league in the United States throughout the year. Whether that means futures betting odds in the offseason, game lines for each week, or even live betting odds while the games are underway, legal sportsbooks are sure to have you covered throughout the 2022-23 season.

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

College FootballCollege Football Playoffs

Odds on the College Football Playoffs are available year-round at all of the best legal CFB sportsbooks. Throughout the season those odds may have been on TCU, Michigan, Ohio State, or Georgia to simply make the playoffs, with those sportsbooks now offering odds on each match-up and the winner. Prop bets on the CFB playoffs will also be available at sites such as Bovada and BetOnline.

February 12, 2023 – Super Bowl LVII

Legal Super Bowl BettingSuper Bowl LVII

Whether it’s the week of or Week 1, Super Bowl 57 sportsbooks will be offering odds on the big game. Super Bowl sportsbooks often start offering odds on the next year’s Super Bowl before the current one is complete. SB sportsbooks offer many different betting odds once the matchup is set in stone, with options including squares, player prop bets, and same-game parlays.

October 18, 2022 – April 9, 2023 – NBA Regular Season

Legal NBA BettingLegal NBA Betting

The NBA regular season began on October 18, 2022, with legal NBA sportsbooks constantly adjusting their odds since tip-off. Players will find regular season win totals, individual game lines, and many other betting odds on the NBA throughout the season at those NBA betting sites. Other popular bets on the NBA are futures, with current options such as the team to win the NBA Finals and which team will draft Victor Wembanyama very popular.

October 11, 2022 – April 13, 2023 – NHL Regular Season

Legal NHL BettingLegal NHL Betting

Puck drop at legal NHL sportsbooks was before the season even began, as sportsbooks have begun offering odds on 2022-23 well in advance of the first buzzer even sounding. For the current regular season, players can expect betting odds on awards, which team will take home Lord Stanley’s Cup, and live betting odds at NHL sportsbooks.

March 30 – October 1 – MLB Regular Season

MLBMLB

The first pitch for the 2023 MLB season will take place on March 30, 2023. There is plenty of intrigue heading into the new season, with questions surrounding the Houston Astros’ chances of repeating, what Aaron Judge’s MVP encore performance will look like, and so many more. Legal MLB sportsbooks will offer continually updated odds throughout the offseason and the regular season.

States with Regulated Sports Betting

There are 31 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

A few states are launching legal sports betting in the upcoming future. Kansas was the last state to do so, launching in September. Maine, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Nebraska remain states waiting to launch sports betting. Maine and Massachusetts are finalizing regulations. The Ohio sports betting launch in January 1. Nebraska is putting the final rules in place. The South seems to be the next wave of sportsbook regulation. South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Florida have shown a desire to add legal sports betting in 2023.

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 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.

The Size Of The US Sports Betting Market

Legal Sports Betting Revenue

Looking to see how much money is bet on sports in the US is an easy feat. Every state reports their sports betting handle, revenue, and tax figures for the most part. Some tribal run sportsbooks in the US are not required to post their figures. Still, using our sports betting revenue tracker, we can see the scope of money bet in the US.

New Jersey and Nevada are royalty regarding how much money is bet at sportsbooks. But, since launching online sportsbooks, the amount of money bet on sports in New York is way higher. But these are only three of the over 30 states reporting their sports betting numbers. As far as the amount of money bet at US sportsbooks, 2021 noted over $57 billion in bets placed. In total, US sportsbooks saw $4.29 billion in legal sports betting revenue. This was their total before sending tax money to local governments, though.

  • 18 states have eclipsed a sports betting handle (total bets accepted) of $1 billion.
  • Sportsbooks in the big 5 (NV, NJ, NY, PA, IL) account for 59% of all US sportbooks’ revenue.
  • Sportsbooks have sent over $1.6 billion to local governments in sports betting taxes.

Where Does The Money Go?

The benefits of sports betting taxes change over many states’ sports betting regulations. Most states allocate percentages of revenue to their general fund. But, some have a true plan of action. In Sept. 2022, Colorado’s gaming commission approved over $11 million into a cash fund. This Water Implementation Fund oversees the Colorado Water Plan. This 43% YOY increase benefits water projects in Colorado, which began from legalization. Mississippi sportsbooks send money into infrastructure, benefiting sewers and roads.

Sports Betting Handle

2018-Present
  • Arizona $5.0 billion
  • Arkansas $187.5 million
  • Colorado $7.8 billion
  • Connecticut $1.2 billion
  • Delaware $501.9 million
  • Illinois $13.6 billion
  • Indiana $8.8 billion
  • Iowa $4.2 billion
  • Louisiana $1.4 billion
  • Maryland $208.3 million
  • Michigan $7.0 billion
  • Mississippi $1.8 billion
  • Montana $93.5 million
  • Nevada $26.0 billion
  • New Hampshire $1.6 billion
  • New Jersey $30.0 billion
  • New Mexico n/a
  • New York $12.4 billion
  • Oregon $940.7 million
  • Pennsylvania $16.7 billion
  • Rhode Island $1.2 billion
  • South Dakota $7 million
  • Tennessee $5.2 billion
  • Virginia $6.1 billion
  • Washington DC $420.0 million
  • West Virginia $1.6 billion
  • Wyoming $111.9 million
  • Total $153.1 billion

Sportsbooks’ Revenue

2018-Present
  • Arizona $385.3 million
  • Arkansas $19.6 million
  • Colorado $485.8 million
  • Connecticut $98.4 million
  • Delaware $74.0 million
  • Illinois $987.4 million
  • Indiana $730.8 million
  • Iowa $273.8 million
  • Louisiana $125.0 million
  • Maryland $25.6 million
  • Michigan $562.3 million
  • Mississippi $198.5 million
  • Montana $12.6 million
  • Nevada $1.5 billion
  • New Hampshire $105.3 million
  • New Jersey $2.0 billion
  • New Mexico n/a
  • New York $830.6 million
  • Oregon $80.8 million
  • Pennsylvania $1.2 billion
  • Rhode Island $105.1 million
  • South Dakota $557,100
  • Tennessee $466.9 million
  • Virginia $517.9 million
  • Washington DC $52.1 million
  • West Virginia $122.9 million
  • Wyoming $10.6 million
  • Total $11.1 billion

Tax Revenue By State

2018-Present
  • Arizona $18.4 million
  • Arkansas $2.7 million
  • Colorado $21.9 million
  • Connecticut $9.3 million
  • Delaware $48.5 million
  • Illinois $159.2 million
  • Indiana $65.7 million
  • Iowa $19.2 million
  • Louisiana $18.2 million
  • Maryland $3.6 million
  • Michigan $3.6 million
  • Mississippi $24.3 million
  • Montana $n/a
  • Nevada $99.2 million
  • New Hampshire $48.3 million
  • New Jersey $256.8 million
  • New Mexico n/a
  • New York $399.7 million
  • Oregon $n/a
  • Pennsylvania $295.7 million
  • Rhode Island $54.0 million
  • South Dakota $50,680
  • Tennessee $78.7 million
  • Virginia $38.5 million
  • Washington DC $3.7 million
  • West Virginia $12.9 million
  • Wyoming $410,495
  • Total $1.7 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 events in esports betting. Having grown from the start, you can legally bet on esports online. Esports are video game competitions and tournaments. It started with a few games but now there is a list of esports games to bet on. With how much legal sports betting is growing in the US, people are wanting to wager on esports more every day. Some states even modified laws to include esports odds after first prohibiting them. If you are an esports fan, you’ll find many legal sportsbooks offer esports bets. Learn how to bet on Esports here.

Legal Esports Betting

Free Sports Bets

Free sports bets are something that sportsbooks offer their customers. This usually comes when depositing money into an account or after enough betting. Still, all sports betting sites stipulate their rules for redeeming free plays. Some will give you a risk-free bet that can only be for your first bet. Other free sports bets might come during certain times of the year. This may encourage betting on a UFC match, Kentucky Derby, or any specific event. One of the main advantages of free sports bets is that there is typically no rollovers. This means you can cash in right away when your bet hits.

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.