Legal Online Sports Betting

Increasing Legality In The United States

Legal sports betting is expanding across the United States, with more and more states embracing the opportunity to offer legal online sportsbooks. Since 2018, the US Government made a landmark decision to empower states to regulate sports betting, opening up new possibilities for economic growth and individual choice.

Over 30 states have welcomed the convenience and excitement of legalized sports betting, offering in-person and online options. US residents living in states without sports betting approval can still enjoy a variety of betting options through safe offshore sportsbooks. Let’s now explore the exciting world of the legality of online sports betting in the US.

In Our Guide To Legal Online Sports Betting In The US:

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Best Overall Sportsbook – BetUS


BetUS consistently ranks as the best US bookmaker across our team of experts. In addition to being available in all 50 states, BetUS features competitive odds for US and foreign sporting leagues,  eSports , entertainment, financial markets and more. BetUS TV and the Locker Room blog provide regular free picks, analysis and discussion for major US sporting leagues. Further, there is a full in-play section for  live sports betting , as well as regular contests with cash prizes of thousands of dollars.


New players at BetUS can claim a 100% match bonus when they deposit over $100. This minimum deposit on the higher end when it comes to  online sportsbook bonuses , and it is notably well above the minimum accepted deposit of $10 offered by the site. However, the bonus allows you to claim up to $2,500, which is a large boost compared to the promotions found at competitors.


In short, BetUS delivers an exceptional all-round betting experience. The site is fully optimized for betting on mobile or tablet devices, has toll-free telephone and live chat customer support, and delivers excellent promotions for loyal customers too. It’s this well-rounded approach that means BetUS is our top choice for  online sports betting .

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Other Online Sportsbooks

While BetUS is graded as our best overall sportsbook for US players, there are plenty of other great options on the market. Check out our list of the best online sports betting sites for more.

Sports Betting Legality In The US

The legality of sports betting (both online and otherwise) is decided on a state-by-state basis. That’s why some states have brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, while others have mobile-based gambling apps. However, online bookmakers based outside of the USA are available to players in all fifty states.

Online sportsbooks based outside of the USA (like the ones featured on this page) operate outside of the jurisdiction of United States betting laws. They are operating in countries such as Panama and Costa Rica, and so adhere to the laws and regulations of those nations.

Since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018 through the case of Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, 38 states have legalized sports betting in some form. However, the accessibility of sportsbooks across these states still varies significantly. For example, New Jersey, New York and Ohio have active regulated sports betting both online and at retail locations, while Tennessee and Wyoming only have online sports betting.

We’ll take a closer look at the laws later. For now, just know that the legal situation is ever-changing and that sports betting at offshore bookmakers is available to all US residents over the age of 21.

US Sports Betting Laws

Nevada was the first state to legalize and regulate sports betting in 1949. For decades, The Federal Wire Act of 1961 and PASPA dissuaded more states from legalizing sports betting. This was until New Jersey fought in a historic Supreme Court case to authorize state run sports betting in 2018 and won.

Since then, PASPA’s repeal and national support for legal sports betting has created a new boom in the industry. Here’s a look at three key US sports betting laws that have had a major impact on sports betting availability today:

The Federal Wire Act Of 1961

The Wire Act  prohibits the use of wire communication facilities to transmit bets and wagers on sports events across state lines. Initially intended to address organized crime, the Department of Justice has since used the act to prohibit all forms of online gambling, including sports betting. Currently, the law applies to gambling establishments and organized gambling syndicates rather than individual bettors.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act Of 1992 (PASPA)

At the time PASPA was passed, four states had specific sports betting laws: Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon. PASPA In an effort to protect the integrity of sports and public confidence in fair competitions, PASPA prohibited new sports betting laws and limited private gambling operations. However, PASPA faced constitutional challenges and was ultimately overturned in 2018, allowing individual states to legalize sports betting.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act Of 2006 (UIGEA)

At the time PASPA was passed, four states had specific sports betting laws: Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon. PASPA In an effort to protect the integrity of sports and public confidence in fair competitions, PASPA prohibits new sports betting laws and limited private gambling operations. However, PASPA faced constitutional challenges and was ultimately overturned in 2018, allowing individual states to legalize sports betting.

Current State Of Sports Betting In The US

Americans have bet $220 billion on sports in the five years since the repeal of PASPA, according to a report published by PBS in May 2023. Legal sports betting pulled in a handle of $93.2 billion in 2022. This translated to a total revenue for sportsbooks of $7.5 billion per the American Gaming Association (AGA). New York’s huge tax rate of 51% on mobile sports betting has helped the state enjoy massive success, with over $1 billion generated in revenue.


The AGA estimates that US players wager over $60 billion per year on offshore sites. This type of wagering is especially prevalent in states that have not legalized sports betting. Super Bowl LVII reportedly generated approximately $16 billion in wagers across all sports betting channels.


The legalization of sports betting on a state-by-state basis is great progress for the industry. Yet, bettors in certain states still face limitations to what they can wager on. For instance, New York and Pennsylvania don’t allow player prop betting for college sports. State-approved sportsbooks don’t offer prop lines on politics, entertainment, and novelty sports. The good news, is that offshore sportsbooks tend to offer a plethora of betting opportunities of all kinds. From the most popular sports to niche events, making them an attractive option for US residents with limited options in-state.

Legal Sports Betting States

The landscape of legal sports betting states is constantly changing. Here is an up-to-date table on the legal status of sports betting in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We’ve included which types of betting are legal and how long since regulation:






Offshore Only
Not Legal



Offshore Only

Not Legal
April 2021
HB 2772
November 2018

Voter referendum on November 6, 2018: Issue 4 passed 54.1-45.9

Offshore Only
Not Legal


November 2019
Proposition DD



May 2021





June 2018
District of Columbia



May 2019
DC Law 22-312



May 2019
DC Law 22-312

*Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Nebraska, and Vermont have all legalized sports betting. However, there are no active sportsbooks yet as these states are in the process of working out legislation.

**Washington law specifically states that sports wagering is not permitted anywhere besides tribal casinos. Nevertheless, many offshore sportsbooks remain available to US residents in Washington.  

US Sports Betting History

August 2023

Today, 38 states (including the District of Columbia) have some form of legal, regulated sports betting. US players in all 50 states also have access to legal offshore sportsbooks like BetUS.

May 2018

January 2012

Governor Chris Christie signed a bill to legalize sports betting in New Jersey. This started New Jersey’s six-year legal battle to legalize sports betting and repeal PASPA.

October 2006

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is signed into law. Financial transactions related to online gambling are targeted, leading to challenges for the industry.

October 1992

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is enacted, prohibiting sports betting in most states. Only Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon are exempted from the federal ban.

September 1989

The Oregon Lottery launched Sports Action, which allowed for multi-game parlay betting on NFL games. Sports Action was discontinued in 2007.

November 1986

The Oregon Lottery launched Sports Action, which allowed for multi-game parlay betting on NFL games. Sports Action was discontinued in 2007.

August 1976

The Delaware State Lottery institutes a lottery based on NFL games. The program failed and lasted only one season.

June 1961

The Wire Act of 1961 is passed. Aiming to curtail organized crime involvement in sports betting using wire communications. Its scope later expands to include various online gambling activities.


Nevada legalizes sports betting and begins accepting sports bets at turf clubs. Sports bets have been legally placed in Nevada ever since.

Future Of US Online Sports Betting

While there is currently no push to legalize online sports betting at the federal level, a growing number of Americans are placing bets online via state-licensed sportsbooks or  offshore betting sites .

There are a number of states where sports betting has not been legalized yet. However, that doesn’t mean there is no interest in it. In fact, a number of states have considered legalizing sports betting within the last few years:

The state has proposed sports betting bills as recently as 2021, but none have yet passed.

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November 2022 ballots gave Californians the option to legalize both online and retail sports betting. Both were rejected.


Attempts were made to pass sports betting bills in March 2023, but they were voted down in the state Senate.


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Learn how to bet with our comprehensive and easy to follow sports betting guides.

The State House has cleared sports betting for two years in a row, but the bills have died without being discussed in the Senate. Nevertheless, politicians from both parties support the legislation and Missouri is surrounded by other states with legalized sports betting. It is likely that more legislation will be proposed in 2024.

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The state was close to passing a bill to legalize in-person sports betting this year, but it stalled in committee. Online sports betting has yet to be considered.
Two sports betting bills were dropped by committees in 2023.
Lone Star State politicians have brought sports betting legislation year after year, but have yet to legalize it. Most recently, a 2023 bill passed the House, but failed to clear the Senate. It is almost certain that further attempts to legalize sports betting will come in 2024.

The legal landscape is ever-changing. That said, there are a few states which have not made moves to regulate online gambling yet. These include Idaho and Utah. It is unlikely that either state will legalize state-regulated sportsbooks any time soon.


In the meantime, US sports bettors in all 50 states can access safe and legal sports betting at offshore sportsbooks like BetUS, BetNow and MyBookie. You can also find more on our list of the best online sports betting sites in the USA.

Legal Sports Betting in the US: Key Takeaways


States With Legal Sports Betting


States With Legal Online Sports Betting


States With Legal Sports Betting
Offshore Betting Site Availability: Most offshore sites, like BetUS, are available in all 50 US states. However, sites like Bovada and BetOnline have some state restrictions. For example, residents in NY, NJ, Maryland, Nevada and Delaware will not have access to Bovada.

Responsible Betting In The US

Responsible gambling is crucial for maintaining a safe and enjoyable gaming experience. Set bankroll limits for sports betting and never gamble more than you can afford to lose. Avoid chasing losses and remember that gambling should be considered entertainment as opposed to a source of income.


If you or someone you know needs help with gambling-related concerns, seek assistance from reputable national resources such as the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and their helpline at 1-800-522-4700. These resources provide valuable support and guidance for those affected by problem gambling.

Latest Legal US Sports Betting News

New Tribal Compacts in North Dakota Lower Gambling Age at Tribal Casinos

Can You Bet on Sports at 18 Years Old?

US Legal Sports Betting States Sources

  • American Gaming Association
  • National Council on Problem Gambling
  • Dave Consolazio

    Role: Sports/Casino Writer   Content covered on TSG: Strategy
    Dave Consolazio is an avid sports fan and an experienced sports writer with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He lives in Los Angeles and enjoys all sports, though football and hockey are his favorites. When he isn’t betting on or writing about sports, Dave also enjoys playing poker, playing video games and keeping up with the latest iGaming news and trends.
    More From Dave Consolazio

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