State By State Guide To Legal Online Gambling
It is easier than ever for American bettors to find state-sanctioned USA online gambling options. States across the country have been rapidly legalizing sports betting since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), and at least some of these new bills have included provisions for online sports betting. While the adoption rate for online sports betting has been slower than that of brick-and-mortar betting, states are beginning to come around as it becomes clearer that states with an online betting option are massively outperforming their physical-only counterparts.
States With Legal Online Gambling
Colorado – Sports betting
Colorado Online Gambling - In November 2019, state voters voted to legalize traditional sports betting via Proposition DD. There have been other efforts to legalize full online casino betting, but these have all been rebuffed.
Delaware – Casino games
Delaware Online Gambling - Delaware was one of the first states in the country to adopt online casino gambling with the passage of HB 333 in 2012. The state rolled out systems for free slots, blackjack, poker, and roulette in 2013. These were followed by real-money options in 2014.
Georgia – Lottery tickets
Georgia Online Gambling - While Georgia has some of the strictest gambling laws in the country, it is one of only six states to sell lottery tickets online. The Georgia Lottery is authorized under Georgia Code 50-27.
Illinois – Sports betting
Illinois Online Gambling - Per SB 690, Illinois residents will be able to bet on sports via state-licensed online gambling platforms. No such platforms are operational yet, and they might take a while considering Illinois’s $20 million fee for an online sportsbook license.
Indiana – Sports betting
Iowa – Sports betting
Iowa Online Gambling - Online sports betting is legal per SF 617, which allows all licensed casino sportsbook to host two separate online sports betting options. Other forms of online gambling are illegal however.
Kansas – Skill-based games
Kansas Online Gambling - Pursuant to HB 15-2155, Kansas allows residents to wager real money on games of skill—things like Candy Crush or Wheel of Fortune. But the only other legal form of gambling in Kansas is at tribal casinos.
Kentucky – Lottery and horse racing
Kentucky Online Gambling - Lottery and horse racing. Kentucky’s gambling laws are generally very restrictive, but there are sizable exceptions for horse betting, as the state is home to some of the most popular horse racing tracks in the world. This exception has allowed for Churchill Downs to operate its own horse racing website, called Twin Spires. Kentucky is also one of six states to sell online lottery tickets.
Louisiana - Geofenced Online Sports Betting
Louisiana Online Gambling - Louisiana recently allowed online gambling in the form of sports betting, but only in 55 of its parishes. People within those parishes that wish to place wagers will have to be physically located inside the parish at the time of the wager being placed, as the online sports betting apps will be geofenced.
Massachusetts – Horse racing and skill-based game
Massachusetts Gambling Sites - Horse racing and skill-based game. Bettors in Massachusetts can place online wagers on horse races, games of skill, and fantasy sports. All other forms of gambling are illegal pursuant to Code 4-1-271-1.
Michigan – Full online gambling
Michigan Online Gambling - Michigan offers a full compliment of online gambling options, including casino games, games of skill. sports betting, and fantasy sports. HB 4211 legalizes online casino gaming, while HB 4916 authorizes both retail and online sports betting. HB 4308 authorizes real-money fantasy games.
Missouri – Skill-based games
Missouri Online Gambling - Missouri bans all forms of gambling, both land-based and online, via Criminal Code 570.020. The state does clarify that “games of skill” are exempted from this prohibition, and that includes things like fantasy sports.
Nevada – Poker and sports betting
Nevada Gambling Sites - Oddly enough, Nevada does not allow all forms of online casino gambling, possibly as a way to maintain an incentive for player to visit brick-and-mortar casinos. Poker became legal in 2013 with the passage of A.B. 114 (pg. 99). You have to turn to offshore sites that are just as good or better if you want to gamble online in Nevada.
New Hampshire – Horse betting, sports betting, and lottery
New Hampshire Online Gambling - Horse betting, sports betting, and lottery. New Hampshire is one of the few states that offers legal online lottery ticket sales. New Hampshire also legalized online sports betting in December 2019 with the passage of HB 480 and its residents are eligible for online horse betting sites like TVG.
New Jersey – Full online gambling
New Jersey Gambling Sites - New Jersey offers a full complement of online casino games, sports betting, and games of skill. Online casino gaming became legal in 2013 with the passage of Assembly Bill 2578. Sports betting in New Jersey was legalized shortly after the federal repeal of PASPA, with the passage of A.B. 4111.
Oregon – Games of skill, sports betting, horse betting
Oregon Online Gambling - There are not many options in Oregon that are state regulate, but casinos and online psortsbooks can still be found. ORS 167.109 bans in-state financial transactions for internet gambling, but Oregon residents can still bet on sports via the Oregon Lottery-run Scoreboard app. Games of skill are also exempted from this ban. Per ORS 462.162 (pg. 50), off-track online horse betting is allowed.
Pennsylvania – Full online gambling
Rhode Island – Sports and horse betting
Rhode Island Gambling Sites - Sports and horse betting. Rhode Island’s S 2045 legalized sports betting back in 2018, and then passed S 37 the following year to expand sports betting legalization to include mobile betting. Rhode Island is one of a handful of states that offers off-track online horse betting as well.
Tennessee – Sports betting
Tennessee Online Gambling - In May 2019, Tennessee passed HB1 that legalized online and mobile sports betting to Tennesseans statewide. While there are still no casino gaming options available or retail sportsbooks, these sports wagering applications launched on November 1, 2020.
Virginia – Sports betting and lottery tickets
Virginia Gambling Sites - In early March, the Virginia House and Senate both voted to pass a new bill, HB 896, that will legalize online sports betting for professional and out-of-state college teams. It will also authorize the sale of lottery tickets over the internet.
West Virginia – Full online gambling
West Virginia Online Gambling - West Virginia legalized sports betting back in 2018 with the passage of S 415, and the first online sportsbooks in the state opened in August 2019. During the 2019 legislative session, West Virginia lawmakers passed HB 2934, which legalized online casino gambling of all kinds.
Wyoming’s online sports betting is active, with launch occurring on September 1, 2021. There are currently only a few operators, but they managed to launch sports betting before the 2021 NFL season started, and they deserve some kudos for doing so. Other forms of online gambling remain unregulated in Wyoming.
States Considering Online Gambling
Arizona Gambling Sites - Arizona is currently in the process of regulating online sports betting, both tribally and commercially. There are currently no plans to allow other forms of gambling, but depending on how profitable sports betting is, that could change.
California Gambling Sites - The California Legislature is currently considering HR 5502, which would allow tribal casinos to offer mobile betting to all California resident. The bill is currently in a Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples. No further hearings are scheduled at this time so you will have to stick with the offshore books that millions of California players use.
Connecticut Online Gambling - Connecticut is in the process of regulating online sports betting in the state. They have accomplished much of this, but they are currently awaiting regulatory approval. They are aiming for a launch before the 2021 NFL season.
Florida Online Gambling Sites - Florida has passed a bill that gives the Seminole Tribe the right to offer sports betting online in partnership with major sportsbooks. They are aiming for an October 15th sports betting launch. Other forms of online gambling remain unregulated.
Maine Online Gambling - The Maine Legislature appeared to be on track to pass LD 553, which would have legalized online sports betting, but the bill was vetoed by Governor Janet Mills on January 10, 2020. The Maine House of Representative sustained the veto on February 11, which leaves LD 553 dead in the water. Mills is up for reelection in 2022, and a change in the governor’s office could mean a change in online gambling legalization status.
Maryland Online Gambling - Maryland is in the process of regulating online sports betting, but it has not launched in the state yet. The process is ongoing, but they’re aiming for a launch before the NFL season. Their process is ongoing, so it’s unclear if they’ll make that deadline.
Nebraska Gambling Sites - Nebraska has made moves toward gambling, but they are all, unfortunately, land based. Nebraska passed a bill legalizing sports betting and casino gaming in the state, but they are limiting it to land based attractions. There is no timeline for when the regulatory phase will be done and sportsbooks and casinos can open, however.
New York Gambling Sites - New York is in the process of regulating a newly legal online sports betting market. The market has not launched yet, and they are currently considering bids for mobile sportsbook operators in the Empire State. The timeline they are on could let them get online betting up sometime during the NFL playoffs.
Vermont Online Gambling - Vermont’s Legislature is considering S 213, which would authorize the state to issue retail and online sports gambling licenses. It would not permit other types of online gambling.
Washington DC Gambling Sites - DC legalized sports gambling in 2019, and currently offers one online sports gambling option, an app called Gambet DC. It has been criticized for offering bad odds compared to other online sportsbooks, and has seen little use.
States Unlikely To Legalize Online Gambling Soon
Alaska Gambling Sites - Alaska’s gambling industry as a whole is very limited and no legislation has been brought up for the legalization or regulation of online casino gaming or poker. If online gambling is coming to Alaska, it is a long way off. All forms of gambling are considered under Alaska Statute 11.66.200.
Arkansas Online Gambling - Arkansas only allows online gambling for players who are physically located at a licensed casino, which we won’t count. Arkansas Criminal Law intentionally uses a broad definition of gambling terms, as expressed in A.C.A. § 5-66-101, which ensures that there are no loopholes for in-state online gambling.
Hawaii Gambling Sites - Hawaii is one of two states, along with Utah, to offer no regulated gambling of any kind. A bill, called HB 1107, was introduced to the Hawaii Legislature last year. This bill would authorized a state-run sports betting corporation to legalize online sports betting, but it has been tabled pending the start of the 2020 legislative session.
Idaho Gambling Sites - Idaho’s state constitution prohibits all forms of wagering and gambling. There are a handful of tribal casinos that are exempt to this, but there have been no further efforts to legalize gambling, online or otherwise, on a broader scale.
Minnesota Gambling Sites - Minnesota briefly allowed the sale of lottery tickets via a state-run lottery website, but it repealed that law after general outcry from store owners claiming to rely on customer traffic produced by lottery ticket sales. A piece of legislation introduced in 2019, HB 1894 would have legalized online sports betting, but it got stuck in committee and never passed.
Mississippi Online Gambling - Mississippi is odd in that it has a thriving gambling industry. Biloxi is the third-largest casino town in the United States. But both casino officials and influential Baptist groups throughout the state have formed an unholy alliance to staunchly oppose all efforts to legalize online gambling. Gambling in Mississippi is regulated per Mississippi Code, Title 76— also called the Gambling Control Act.
New Mexico Gambling Sites - New Mexico allows gambling at its in-state tribal casinos, but all forms of gambling that are not explicitly authorized by the state are considered unequivocally illegal, per §60-2E-4 of the Gaming Control Act.
North Carolina Online Gambling - North Carolina does not allow any forms of online gambling. There are two tribal casinos in the state that can offer casino games, sports betting and more, but no options for online gambling. Gambling law in North Carolina is covered under Subchapter XL, Article 37 of the state statutes.
North Dakota Gambling Sites - Casino gambling in North Dakota is restricted to tribal casinos on Native American reservations per the North Dakota Century Code Chapter 12.1-28. There is little interest in extending gambling beyond these tribal casinos.
Ohio Online Gambling - All forms of online gambling are currently illegal in Ohio. The Ohio House of Representatives is currently considering HB 194 to legalize sports gambling at licensed facilities, but that legalization would not extend to online betting.
Oklahoma Gambling Sites - While there have been legislative efforts to legalize online sports betting, none have gained any traction because of opposition from Oklahoma’s many tribal casinos. It is possible that a bill authorizing these tribal casinos to offer statewide online gambling might pass, but no such bill has been proposed.
South Carolina Gambling Sites - South Carolina’s gambling laws date back to 1802, and it shows. They are very and make no concessions for online gambling. South Carolina gambling laws can be found under Title 16, Chapter 19 of the state’s unannotated Code of Laws.
Texas Online Gambling - Online and retail gambling are disallowed in Texas per Title 10, Chapter 47 of the Texas Penal Code. Legislators tried and failed in 2019 to legalize online sports betting via HB 1275, but the bill failed to pass and the legislature adjourned in May 2019.
Utah Gambling Sites - Utah has a firm ban on all forms of gambling in its state constitution and will likely never see gambling legalization within our lifetimes. Gambling is also covered under Utah Criminal Code 76-10-1102.
Washington Online Gambling - Washington only allows in-person gambling at in-state tribal casinos. State lawmakers considered a bill, SB 6277, that would have authorized these casinos to offer mobile sports betting to all state residents. However, the only kind of mobile betting that ended up getting through was restricted to those on the grounds of a tribal casino.
Daily Fantasy Sports Legalization
While there is some debate about whether daily fantasy sports constitute gambling, many states have legalized them as a gateway to broader online gambling legislation. Most American states now offer residents the option to participate in real-money daily fantasy games. 43 states offer legal daily fantasy sports to some degree, with 38 of those offering full access to all major daily fantasy platforms. These are the laws on daily fantasy sports, by state:
Full = access to all daily fantasy
Limited = access to some daily fantasy
None = no access to daily fantasy
- Alabama – Limited
- Alaska – Full
- Arizona – None
- Arkansas – Full
- California – Full
- Colorado – Full
- Connecticut – Full
- Delaware – Some
- Florida – Some
- Georgia – Full
- Hawaii – None
- Idaho – None
- Illinois – Full
- Indiana – Full
- Iowa – Some
- Kansas – Full
- Kentucky – Full
- Louisiana – None
- Maine – Full
- Maryland – Full
- Massachusetts – Full
- Michigan – Full
- Minnesota – Full
- Mississippi – Full
- Missouri – Some
- Montana – None
- Nebraska – Full
- Nevada – None
- New Hampshire – Full
- New Jersey – Full
- New Mexico – Full
- New York – Full
- North Carolina – Full
- North Dakota – Full
- Ohio – Full
- Oklahoma – Full
- Oregon – Full
- Pennsylvania – Full
- Rhode Island – Full
- South Carolina – Full
- South Dakota – Full
- Tennessee – Full
- Texas – Full
- Utah – Full
- Vermont – Full
- Virginia – Full
- Washington – None
- West Virginia – Full
- Wisconsin – Full
- Wyoming – Full
Why Choose Legal Online Gambling Over Traditional Land-Based Gambling
- Convenient and fast
- Better live betting functionality
- More bet types
- Better odds
- Bet from anywhere
- More consumer choice
Online gambling has a number of key advantages over its brick-and-mortar counterpart. For one, online betting is much more streamlined and efficient and offers a more approachable betting experience overall. Whether you are on a phone or a computer, betting online is often as simple as looking through a webpage of current odds, clicking on one that looks appealing, and inputting how much you want to wager on your bet. Placing an online bet takes less than 30 seconds. Additionally, you can bet online from anywhere—a level of convenience that no brick-and-mortar establishment can match.
Additionally, online betting, particularly with major offshore sportsbooks, offers more developed and advanced infrastructure for bettors. The combination of this more developed infrastructure with the instantaneous nature of online betting ensures that online bettors have access to a wider variety of bet types, including the most expansive live, in-play betting options, and numerous prop bets for every major sporting event. Online sportsbooks also offer the best odds because they reach a wider consumer base that is less likely to skew odds with overwhelming regional bias.
Finally, online gambling is great because, no matter what your opinions are about the merits of the online betting experience versus that of a brick-and-mortar retailer, it offers more choices for consumers. In a world where entertainment options are becoming increasingly consolidated and monopolized, opportunities for consumer choice are more important to protect than ever. This applies in two ways: for one, industry competition is always good for the consumer as different providers work to outdo each other. Secondly, with betting specifically, comparing sportsbooks allows fans to get the best possible odds on their picks to ensure that they always get the best possible payout.
The Legality of Online Gambling Within The States FAQ's
What Is The Minimum Age To Gamble Online In My State?
Every state is different, but in most states, the minimum age will be either 18 or 21 years old for both online and brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. If you elect to use an offshore sportsbook instead, the minimum age is dictated by whichever country the sportsbook is hosted in, but is generally set at 18.
What Should I Do If Online Gambling Isn't Legal?
You have two primary options: 1) Restrict your betting to reputable offshore sportsbooks. Because these aren’t covered by the Federal Wire Act, they aren’t illegal. 2) Contact your local representatives and express to them or their staff that legal online gambling is an issue that is important to you.
Can I Go To Jail For Online Gambling?
No, not unless you are personally operating an illegal online gambling website. Anti-gambling laws in the United States have always been designed to target distributors and operators, not individual bettors. Nobody has ever been arrested for placing a bet online.
Are Non-U.S. Regulated Betting Sites A Safe Option?
As with most of these questions, the answer is that it depends. If you use a major, reputable offshore sports betting site like Bovada or MyBookie, then your money and personal information will be completely safe. If you elect to try smaller, less established sportsbooks, you may be opening yourself up to exploitation.
How To Get Online Gambling Legalized In Your State
If you want to see online gambling legalized within your state so you can buy some lottery tickets online or wager a few dollars on your favorite team, you’ll want to get in touch with the office of your local representatives and express to them that you strongly support legalizing online gambling. Every major change starts with minor grassroots action, so don’t think that just because you only have one voice it means you are powerless. If you have no luck in organizing to convince your representatives that legalized gambling is an important issue to focus on, donate, canvas, table, and do everything in your power to support another candidate who will. Representatives are supposed to represent the interests of their constituents, so you aren’t doing your civic duty if you aren’t working as hard as you can to make sure your interests are heard.
Even if you don’t care about gambling personally, it is still important to recognize the potential benefits of gambling tax revenues. Taxes on sports betting in the United States can generate millions of dollars annually for states to put toward funds for education and infrastructure improvements. There is perhaps no more lucrative way to both provide people with entertainment and improve a community simultaneously, save for maybe a professional sports franchise using the Green Bay Packers’ public ownership model. No matter who you are, legalizing gambling, whether retail or online or both, is a net benefit.