Is Online Sports Betting Legal in the USA?

Online sports betting in the US is regulated at a state level. It hasn’t always been that way—the Supreme Court provided leeway for states to authorize betting in 2018 by striking off the PASPA Act of 1992.

Under PASPA, only a handful of states could host sportsbooks. Post PASPA, at least 18 states have legalized sports gambling. How many of them allow online betting? Fifteen states permit mobile betting. Below is an overview of these states, allowed wagering markets, and how to choose a suitable sports book.

Nevada and Delaware

Nevada and Delaware were both exempted from PASPA. However, they’ve since adjusted their laws to allow online betting and expand betting markets in the case of Delaware. Precisely, the Diamond State no longer limits punters to football parlays alone.

They can wager on money line, totals, spreads and props bet types. And not just football—they could also wager on soccer, basketball, baseball, hockey, boxing and athletics.

New Jersey and Pennsylvania

New Jersey and Pennsylvania are home to America’s best online sportsbooks. You see, Nevada mainly permits land-based bookmakers to offer their services online. It seldom welcomes brands that only focus on mobile betting.

In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, land-based sportsbooks compete with Internet-based brands for betting licenses. As a result, there’s a wider range of bookies in these states than in many jurisdictions countrywide.

Colorado and Illinois

Both Colorado and Illinois legalized sports betting in 2020. In Colorado, the first sportsbook went live on May 1, a time when many sports leagues had suspended game over COVID-19 fears.

Illinois permitted online sports betting back in March. However, the Land of Lincoln plans to license land-based casinos first before allowing mobile betting. Either way, punters in Illinois can rest assured their state are taking care of their needs.

Indiana and Michigan

Indiana welcomed its first sportsbooks in September 2019. It permits betting on college and professional sports. But it prohibits the wagering of high school sports and eSports in general. In Michigan, sports gambling became legal in March 2020.

In the usual style, both Indiana and Michigan gave their first set of mobile betting licenses to local casinos. However, they plan to provide more licenses in the future, including to foreign brands interested in operating in local jurisdictions.

Iowa and New Hampshire

In Iowa, nearly all local casinos were prepared to provide sports betting immediately it became legal in August last year. In all fairness, Gov. Kim Reynolds had already signed the necessary papers three months earlier.

In New Hampshire, Gov. Chris Sununo placed the first legal sports bet in the state on Dec, 2019. You can wager on both college and professional sports. The only exemption is wagering on games for colleges based in New Hampshire.

Tennessee, Oregon and West Virginia

Tennessee has interested sports betting laws. It prohibits in-person wagering but allows online sportsbooks since Nov 1, 2020. Oregon legalized the industry in December last year, permitting both in-person and mobile betting.

In West Virginia, all forms of online gambling are legal. That means not only can you bet on sports online; but you could also play slots, blackjack, poker and roulette. There are not many casinos and sportsbooks in WV, though, only five.

How to Choose a Sportsbook in the US

The best way to find a reliable online sportsbook in the US without wasting time is by reading reviews. They do they hard work of evaluating various betting companies and then rank the best sites for you.

If you live in one of the online betting friendly states we mentioned above, visit to discover the best sportsbook for you. The site breaks down sports betting laws by state. And it also includes some helpful guides on how to find bonuses.

If you want to know how to find a reliable bookmaker on your own, use these tips:

Check for a Valid License

In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, there are too many betting sites that you can’t know all their names. In these cases, check the license numbers at the bottom of their websites. NJ betting companies have licenses from the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).

PA sportsbooks have licenses from the Gaming Control Board (PGCB). To be clear, click valid license numbers are linked to the official DGE and PGCB websites.

A User Friendly Website and App

A bookie’s app or website design is important for one obvious reason. It is where you place your bets. If it’s neat, fast and user-friendly, you’ll feel comfortable betting at your convenience. If it crashes often, it could make you lose money.

Against that backdrop, compare several websites before you create an account at one of them. You don’t have to deposit money at the sites. Navigate through their interfaces to observe web page loading speeds, features and performance.

Free Bets and Bonuses

So, you want to bet on sports without using cash? Claim free bets online. Not every sportsbook is generous enough to let you bet for free. So, shop around to find a top-rated bookmaker with bonuses.

Crucially, these bonuses come with caveats. For example, there might be conditions on the types of odds to target, whether to bet on LaLiga or Premier League games, the maximum you can withdraw and wagering requirements.

Competitive Odds

Many new sports punters pay little attention to odds when choosing a sportsbook. Yet, odds are the things that determine how much you win from bets. If the odds are competitive, you win decent amounts.

What’s more, competitive odds increase your profits over time. If the football odds are poor, you win less money than people at other betting apps. This is something you should avoid.

Banking Options

What payment methods does a sportsbook support? If you like credit cards, fin a website that supports Visa or MasterCard. If you’re an e-wallet person, choose a site that supports PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, or Paysafe.

Still on banking; look at the policies provided. For example, how much does the company charge in withdrawal fees? What’s the maximum you can withdraw?

Learn about football betting for FREE

Join our free email course to learn all about football betting. You will learn theory and techniques to make you a better bettor!

Sign up for free