Online Sports Gambling Legality in the US: 2024 Update

Online Sports Gambling Legality in the US

Online sports gambling in the United States has experienced a significant transformation in recent years. Before 2018, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 effectively outlawed sports betting nationwide, with a few exceptions. The landscape changed when the Supreme Court overturned PASPA, paving the way for states to legalize and regulate sports betting individually.


Key Takeaways:

  • 33 U.S. states have legalized online sports betting, indicating a growing trend toward acceptance.
  • Legal Betting Requirements: To bet online in the U.S., individuals must be at least 21 years old and use licensed platforms within states where it's legal.
  • 17 U.S. states, including Utah, Idaho, and Wisconsin, prohibit online sports betting.

Current Online Sports Betting Situation in the USA

Online sports betting landscape in the United States has transformed since the Supreme Court's monumental decision in 2018. Currently, legal sports betting is authorized state-by-state, with national consent still subject to individual state legislation and regulation. Data indicates that 33 states offer some format of sports betting.

Many states have embraced legal online sportsbooks, with variety in regulating and operating these platforms. Notably, states like Illinois have advanced their online betting services, removing mandatory in-person registration and simplifying the process of bettors creating accounts remotely.

The sports betting industry has grown significantly, with established players and newcomers entering the market. It's not uncommon to see household names like DraftKings and BetMGM alongside traditional casino-operated sportsbooks, all competing for a share of the lucrative online sports wagering space.

Consumers must verify their respective state's status on online gambling legality in the United States, as regulations can vary widely. For instance, while online betting thrives in states like Colorado and Virginia, others have strict limitations or have not legalized the practice. It remains a patchwork landscape, with continual updates and changes to regulations.

Legalizing online sports betting in the U.S. has significantly developed the gambling industry. The federal ban on sports betting, known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), was overturned by the Supreme Court in May 2018. This landmark decision allowed states to set their own sports gambling laws.

Before the repeal of PASPA, legal wagering on sports was confined to Nevada and a few other exceptions. The federal ban had been in effect since 1992, prohibiting state-authorized sports gambling with certain exemptions, which made illegal sports betting a widespread issue.

Post-PASPA, states can now choose to legalize and regulate sports betting within their borders. Each state has the autonomy to draft and implement its regulations about sports gambling. This shift has led to a rapid expansion of legal wagering opportunities for Americans.

As of late 2023, over two dozen states have legalized some form of sports betting, with several others drafting legislation. The decision to legalize sports betting is often motivated by the potential tax revenue and the incentive to eliminate a previously unregulated black market.

While the landscape keeps evolving, operators and regulators continue to navigate the complexities of creating a safe and sustainable market. The legal online sports betting market has the potential to grow even further as additional states consider legalization.

The states where online gambling is legal include Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. This comprehensive coverage across various regions reflects the growing trend of legalizing online sports betting, accommodating the interests of a diverse demographic of sports enthusiasts and bettors.

However, the legal landscape is not uniform across all states. Some states have adopted a more conditional approach to online sports betting. For instance, in Mississippi, mobile betting is permitted but restricted solely to on-site activity at licensed casinos. This means that while bettors can use their mobile devices for betting, they must be physically present within the premises of a casino to do so. Similarly, Washington State has legalized online betting, but with the caveat that it is only allowed within tribal casinos. Such restrictions highlight different states' nuanced approaches to regulate online sports betting.

Moreover, the legal status of online sports betting is still pending in some states. A notable example is North Carolina, where online sports betting is set to become legal effective January 8, 2024. This upcoming change indicates a forward momentum in the state's gambling laws and opens the door for future developments in the online sports betting sector.

Online sports betting in the U.S. has grown rapidly, with numerous sportsbooks providing legal sports betting opportunities. Football, basketball, and hockey are the best sports to wager on due to their popularity and the availability of betting options.

Football attracts massive online sports betting in the United States, with both the NFL and college football (NCAAF) being top attractions. The Super Bowl, in particular, garners tremendous betting interest, making it one of the most bet-on sports events of the year. Fans have the chance to place a variety of bets, ranging from points spread to in-game prop bets at leading sportsbooks.

Basketball betting encompasses both professional NBA games and college-level NCAAB matchups. The NBA Finals and the NCAA March Madness tournament are key highlights, featuring heavily in online sports gambling markets. Bettors can access an extensive range of wagering options, including money lines, over/under scores, and player statistics at some of the best U.S. sports betting sites.

With the NHL as its pinnacle, hockey offers a dynamic betting scene, particularly during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Fans indulge in hockey betting by participating in match result wagers, puck lines, and over/under total scores. Some of the most competitive odds can be found at reputed sportsbooks, enhancing the excitement of betting on one of America's top sports.

Bet Online on Sports While Outside the U.S.

Betting on sports through online platforms is a convenience that many individuals seek, especially outside the United States. Mobile sports betting allows users to place wagers from their smartphones, overcoming geographical limitations. When considering an online sportsbook, they must ensure it operates legally in their current location.

Travelers from the U.S. who wish to engage in online sports gambling can do so in various countries. A sizable number of nations offer legal sports betting to their residents. For instance, across Europe and parts of Asia and Africa, one will find that betting online sports is regulated and mainstream. This global sports betting market is significant and continues to grow.

Moreover, citizens of countries where online sports betting is legal, such as the U.K. or Australia, can bet via local companies or those offering cryptocurrency gambling, including partnerships with U.S.-based sportsbooks. Many online sportsbooks tailor their offerings to cater to international customers, offering expansive betting options.

One must consider the legalities of mobile sports betting in their current location. While a sportsbook may be legal and accessible in the U.S., this does not guarantee the same elsewhere. Each country has its regulations and restrictions concerning online gambling, and bettors must comply with these laws to avoid legal repercussions.

In conclusion, with the rise of mobile betting and the global nature of sportsbooks, international sports betting is thriving. With the necessary due diligence, U.S. residents can continue enjoying the thrill of placing bets, even across borders.

In Which States Is Online Sports Betting Illegal

Online sports betting remains outlawed in several states across the United States. Despite the growing acceptance of this pastime in many parts of the country, the following states have maintained prohibitions:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • California
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin

These states adhere to legislation that prevents the operation and participation in online sports gambling. The reasons for maintaining this prohibition vary from state to state, with factors including cultural attitudes, political opposition, and concerns over gambling addiction.

Sports betting in the United States underwent a significant change when the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018. PASPA acted as a federal ban on sports betting, prohibiting individual states from passing laws to legalize such wagering. The ruling effectively granted individual states the autonomy to legislate sports betting within their borders.

Since the repeal of PASPA, there is no longer a federal prohibition against sports betting. Instead, the decision on whether to permit or outlaw sports betting is left to each state. This has resulted in a varying landscape where laws by state differ significantly. Some states have quickly moved to legalize and regulate sports betting. In contrast, others have chosen not to implement any sports betting framework.

As of the current state of legislation, no overarching federal law either authorizes or forbids sports betting across the entire country. It is essential to check the specific laws prevalent in one's state or consult with legal experts to understand the regional regulations and legal standing of sports betting.

States are currently at different stages regarding sports betting legality: Some have fully operational sports betting industries, others have passed legislation and are gearing up for launch, and a few are still debating the issue in their legislatures. As such, the legality of sports betting is determined on a state-by-state basis post-PASPA, making it essential for bettors to be aware of the local laws in their respective states.

Which States Are Legalizing Online Sports Betting in 2024

Several states are on the cusp of introducing legalized online sports betting, heralding a new digital gaming and betting era. This shift reflects a broader trend toward the liberalization of sports betting laws nationwide.

North Carolina

Online sports betting officially commenced in North Carolina on March 11, 2024, heralding a new era in the state's gambling sector. This significant milestone followed the green light given by Governor Roy Cooper in June of the previous year, after the North Carolina Lottery Commission established the requisite rules and regulations.

The state now hosts eight licensed sportsbooks, including prominent players such as FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, ESPN BET, and Caesars. These platforms offer betting on a diverse array of sports events to users within North Carolina, leveraging geolocation technology to ensure adherence to state regulations.

This development is poised to significantly enhance North Carolina's revenue, with projections estimating nearly $65 million in additional tax income. This influx is expected to bolster various state funds, notably the North Carolina Major Events, Games, and Attractions Fund and the General Fund. However, it's recognized that this contribution alone won't suffice to fully meet the state's budgetary demands.


The journey towards legalization reached its zenith with the official launch of online sports betting services on January 11, 2024. This development followed Governor Phil Scott's endorsement of H.127 into law on June 14, 2023, setting the stage for a new chapter in Vermont's gaming and entertainment sector.

The state's entry into the online sports betting market was marked by the issuance of licenses to three leading sportsbook operators from the outset: FanDuel, DraftKings, and Fanatics Sportsbook. These operators were chosen through a rigorous competitive bidding process, underscoring Vermont's dedication to fostering a regulated, fair, and competitive betting environment. The early months post-launch have already seen a surge in revenue, surpassing initial projections, thanks in part to the influx of bets placed by visitors from outside the state.

Vermont's approach to regulating online sports betting is characterized by a strong emphasis on consumer protection. Key measures include restricting access to those 21 and older, banning the use of credit cards for wagering, and excluding bets on Vermont college teams unless they are competing in a broader tournament. The state has also implemented responsible gambling initiatives and educational programs aimed at assisting individuals affected by gambling addiction.


In 2024, Georgia took a significant step towards embracing online sports betting, marking a pivotal shift in the state's stance on gambling. The Georgia Senate passed a bill on February 1, 2024, proposing a constitutional amendment that would require voter approval via a ballot referendum. This legislative move paves the way for Georgia's electorate to potentially green-light sports betting in the fall, setting the stage for its introduction.

Senate Bill 386, which sailed through the Senate with a 35-15 vote, surpassed the two-thirds majority needed for constitutional amendments. Despite the progress, the bill's future remains uncertain, as it still requires approval from at least two-thirds of the House. If it passes the House, Georgia voters will have the opportunity to decide on sports betting's fate in the November 2024 elections.

The bill outlines several key regulations for the proposed sports betting framework, including a 21-year minimum age for participants, a ban on credit card use for placing bets, and the acceptance of electronic transfers via debit cards and other online payment methods. The state anticipates issuing 16 licenses, accompanied by a $100,000 application fee and a $1 million licensing fee, with a 20% tax levied on sports gambling revenue. The distribution of licenses is expected to cover a broad spectrum of entities, including Atlanta's major professional sports teams, NASCAR, the Georgia Lottery, PGA, and Augusta National.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements to place a bet on sports in the U.S.?

To place a bet on sports in the U.S., one must meet the age requirement, which is typically 21 years or older. Individuals also need to be physically located within a state where sports betting is permitted.

How do federal and state laws affect online sports gambling in the U.S.?

Federal laws set the overarching legal framework for gambling in the U.S.. In contrast, state laws provide specific regulations on online sports gambling. The interplay of these laws can result in a complex regulatory environment where some states have fully legalized online sports betting, and others have not.

What are the legal requirements for operating an online sportsbook in the United States?

Operators must acquire appropriate licensing from state regulatory bodies to run an online sportsbook in the United States. These requirements often include financial stability, corporate integrity, and strict adherence to consumer protection standards.

Are there any penalties for participating in illegal online sports gambling within the United States?

Participation in illegal online sports gambling can result in significant penalties, including fines and imprisonment. The severity of penalties varies by state, reflecting the state's specific gambling laws.

What are the tax implications of sports betting in the U.S.?

Winnings from sports betting are subject to taxation, and bettors are responsible for reporting their winnings on their tax returns. The tax rate may vary based on the amount won and state laws.


In conclusion, the legal status of online sports gambling in the United States reveals a landscape marked by significant variation and ongoing evolution. While numerous states have embraced the legalization and regulation of online sports betting, reflecting a growing trend toward acceptance, others remain steadfast in their prohibition. This patchwork of rules, influenced by state and federal laws, underscores the complex interplay of legal, cultural, and economic factors shaping the future of sports betting in the U.S. As the nation grapples with these issues, the trajectory of online sports gambling remains a subject of keen interest and debate, poised at the intersection of policy, public interest, and the ever-expanding digital gambling arena.