State Sports Betting Laws In The USA

A lot of the attention relating to the legality of sports betting, both online and in-person, might be focused on some of the federal laws on the books but there are also a state sports betting laws to consider. In fact, there are some very important types of betting laws to pay attention to at the state level, such as the legal age to bet, and for some states, the decision to make some forms of sports wagering legal or illegal.

We admit, state laws on sports betting are somewhat confusing and they can even leave you discouraged. We're going to do our best to give you a real-world breakdown of some of the more notable laws for sports betting in the states including whether or not betting on sports is legal in the state where you reside.

Is Sports Betting Legal In My State?

Prior to 1992, that answer was certainly more likely to be 'yes' or at least not a definite 'no'. The passing of the Professional And Amateur Sports Protection Act effectively outlawed the practice of sports betting across the country however there were some caveats that allowed just a few states to permit legal sports betting in their state, should they decide to pass laws to regulate it.

Those originally included in this act were: Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and Delaware however a provision was made for states that previously held a 10-year history or longer of licensed casino gaming to apply for exemption. No states (even ones that were well qualified) declined to take advantage of the provision within the one-year window therefore legal sports betting is only technically possible in the four previously mentioned states.

But, that doesn't mean all those states are legal. Oregon decided to end the practice of regulated bookmaking in 2007, in effort to attract NCAA-sanctioned events to the state while Montana never really did much at all with the laws being in their favor as a charter member.

As of today, Nevada and Delaware are the only states where it is 100% legal to place a bet on sports if done in-person with a state-regulated bookmaker. Anyone who places wagers with an illegal bookie is in violation of state sports betting laws no matter where you live. Read More

Is Online Sports Betting Legal In My State?

This falls into a gray area as there are a lot of unknowns about the specific laws in your state. In most states (primarily those without state-run sports betting opertations) there are no laws on the books which forbid a resident from going online to make a wager. Furthermore, there definitely nothing to stop residents of those states from joining an online sportsbook and making real money wagers.

And even when a state does have laws against online gambling, they are generally targeted at providers and operators of in-state offenders. The companies which are offshore where the states have no jurisdiction and the players assume almost no risk unless either party violates more serious International and Federal trade laws like wire fraud.

States Where It Is Legal To Bet On Sports In-Person

Nevada - When one thinks of betting on sports in the United States, it's likely that Nevada and the bright lights of all of the Las Vegas sportsbooks there come to mind and for good reason. While Las Vegas might be the most popular sports betting destination in the U.S., places throughout the rest of the state allow sports betting as well. It is estimated that sports betting plays a big part in bringing in over 30 million people to Nevada every year, according to the American Gaming Association.

Nevada is the only state where sports wagering is completely legal, has significant oversight, and is taxed.

Gambling was made legal in Nevada back in 1931, which was plenty of time before PAPSA was brought to the forefront, and gave the state the chance to receive immunity from having to ban sports wagering in the state, which had become such a large part of its culture.

Delaware - Delaware is another one of the four states that was exempt under PAPSA. They chose in 2009 to bring sports wagering to the table, but it was very limited. In fact, only parlay betting on the NFL, and wagers at horse racing tracks in the state were legalized.

Residents in the state of Delaware are able to still place legal parlay wagers on the NFL each week as a result of being grandfathered in under PAPSA. They also continue to pursue other gambling with the passing of the Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012, spilling over to online casinos and poker.

Sports Betting Sites That Accept Players From Your State

Much of this page has been dedicated to sports betting on land in the United States, but there is a whole other facet to sports betting that has grown exponentially over the past decade. That would be online sports betting. And while there are laws in place to prevent the operation of online sportsbooks in the U.S., there have been plenty of offshore sportsbooks formed that accept players in the United States and are completely legal to use because they operate outside of U.S. borders.

Below are the best legal sports betting sites that we've found and have used with our own money. We make bets at these sites regularly and have never had any problem with sign up, deposit and most of all, no legal trouble or anything like that. These sites can be trusted no matter where you live. - Home Of The Lifetime Reload Bonus; Accepts Players From All 50 U.S. States

USA players can sign up and play legally at, and enjoy hundreds of betting lines that are formed every week at the site. Bet on any number of professional and college sports in the U.S. is based out of Panama, and has been accepting USA players since they began. makes it simple and easy to sign up, and include USA friendly deposit methods to fund an account, such as Visa, American Express, bank wires, and money orders. When you do make a deposit, any deposit, it will be matched by either a 15% or 25% reload bonus which has a hard cap of $900 each time. The match amount depends on the deposit method you use, credit cards only get 15% but other deposit methods get the full 25% match.

Bovada Sportsbook - Best For Live Sports Betting; New York, Maryland nor Washington Citizens Allowed

Bovada Sportsbook operates in Costa Rica, but encourages bettors from the United States to create an account with them. Bovada forms sports betting odds for ton of United States leagues, teams and players. You will be able to wager on all of the biggest and best games in the U.S., including the NFL, NBA, college football, college basketball, tennis, PGA Tour, NHL, plus more.

If you are looking to bet on sports legally online, Bovada is your ticket. Players from every state but Maryland, New York, and Washington are accepted. Bovada has a minimum age of 18 to play, but players must also meet the requirements of their state.

Where Can I Find More Info About The Sports Betting Laws In My State?

If you are curious about the status of sports betting in the state in which you reside, there are certainly resources out there to help you. In fact, each state should have information on their official websites and a section dedicated to the laws relating to gambling. If you're able to find them, you will probably be able to read directly from the pieces of legislation themselves that are up on the site.

In addition to that, there are legal professionals in your state who know the local state laws and can be consulted with questions such as these. In fact, we encourage our readers to branch out and find out about the specific gambling laws local to their area.

One Of The Best Legal Sports Betting Sites Online

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