- There are a total of 25 states that have legalized sports betting, 19 of which have active sportsbooks.
- Residency in a state is not required when betting on sports in a state with legal sportsbooks.
- Withdrawals can be made when travelers head home, but further bets cannot.
- Thanksgiving weekend includes NFL games on Thursday, College Football Games on Saturday, as well as the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. fight.
LAS VEGAS – This Thanksgiving, like many before it, will see many Americans traveling across the country to visit family, eat Turkey, and watch NFL football among other activities. What makes this year different (aside from a raging pandemic) is that legal sports betting is more available now than ever.
There are now 25 states that have legalized sports betting and 19 of them have sportsbooks that are actively taking in bets this weekend.
While the rules for sports betting differ in each state, there are some similarities in each that travelers should be aware of if they were hoping to put action on sports during the holidays.
Legal Sports Betting Age
However, there are three states that allow people 18 years or older to put money on games. Those states are Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Montana.
No matter which sportsbook bettors intend on signing up to use, they will have to show proof of age before using the app, site, kiosk, or other sports betting outlets.
Where Online Sportsbooks Can Be Used
While half the country has legalized sports betting, online sportsbooks are only currently available in 12 states. Two states in particular still have in-person registration requirements and two are still waiting on launching online sportsbooks even though they were previously legalized.
The total list of states with legal online sports betting:
- Iowa (In-person registration at casino required until 2021)
- Michigan (still waiting to launch online sportbooks)
- Nevada (In-person registration is required)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- Virginia (still waiting to launch online sportsbooks)
- West Virginia
- Washington D.C.
In-person registration means sports bettors will have to physically go to the casino which the online sportsbook is partnered with to show proof of identification and create an account.
With COVID-19 on the rise across the nation, it may be more difficult to find casinos that are open. All the rest of the states have sports betting sites that allow bettors to sign up and bet from anywhere as long as they are within state lines.
State With Land-Based Sports Betting Only
There are a handful of states that only have brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Most states’ retail sportsbooks are located within casinos, racetracks, or other gambling establishments. But, there are a couple that have sports betting kiosks in other places.
Total List Of States With Exclusively Land-Based Sportsbooks
- Washington (haven’t launched yet)
- Montana (betting kiosks in bars and taverns)
- New Mexico
- South Dakota (haven’t launched)
- New York
- Michigan (online coming soon)
- North Carolina (haven’t launched)
These hours of operation and capacity of these sportsbooks will likely be affected by the holidays and their COVID-19 protocols.
Bettors will need to call ahead and ask their casinos, racinos, and other locations what their plans are before making a potential trip to one of those destinations once they’re in the state.
General Tips For Traveling Sports Bettors To Follow
There are a few rules that no matter where sports bettors travel to that they should keep in mind.
The first being to be sure they use their actual home address when making an account in the state that they are visiting. This will make it easier for the sportsbook to identify them and be able to process their deposits and withdrawals.
Residency is not required to bet on sports in any state. What is required is that bettors are within state borders at the time that they place their bet. Online sportsbooks have geolocation software that will detect that you’re within that state.
Once a traveler leaves that state, they’ll still be able to check out the odds on that sportsbook and even request to cash out of their account. Their winnings will be sent to them either by mail, bank wire transfer, or various other methods provided by the sportsbook.
Other than that, sports bettors should be good to go wherever they go. Travel safe, bet responsibly, and happy Thanksgiving.
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– In his career, Hasan has worked both local and state government positions—including the Attorney General’s Office in Florida. On top of being familiar with the legislative process, he has also been researching and writing on the legality of sports betting across the US. Outside of work you’ll most likely find him producing or playing music, playing sports, or working on creative writing projects. You’ll also catch him at Doak Campbell Stadium cheering on the Noles.