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Gambling in 2021: U.S. States with Legal Sports Betting

There’s a reason why over 118 million Americans bet on sports every year. While the activity has long been stigmatized in recent years almost half of all states have made the form of gambling legal.

On top of that, even more, states are in the process of moving toward legalization. The only downside is that this can make determining whether or not sports betting is legal in your state slightly difficult.

So, exactly what are the states with legal sports betting? If you want to learn the answer to this question and more, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll dive into the current state laws surrounding sports betting in 2021. That way, you know exactly what is legal and what isn’t. Let’s get started!

What Are the States With Legal Sports Betting?

Back in 2018 sports betting was technically only legal in one state: Nevada. However, a lot has changed since then. This is thanks to a variety of different state bills that have been passed.

As of the time of this article, nineteen states have legalized sports betting through legislation. Many more have legalized it, but haven’t passed brick and mortar or online betting options yet. Let’s first go over the states where it’s completely legal. This includes:

  • Arkansas (Only physical sportsbooks)
  • Colorado (Full selection of betting options)
  • Delaware (Only physical sportsbooks)
  • Florida (Full selection of betting options)
  • Illinois (Full selection of betting options)
  • Indiana (Full selection of betting options)
  • Iowa (Full selection of betting options)
  • Michigan (Full selection of betting options)
  • Mississippi (In-person casino online betting only)
  • Montana (In-person casino online betting only)
  • Nevada (Full selection of betting options)
  • New Hampshire (Mobile online betting only)
  • New Jersey (Full selection of betting options)
  • New Mexico (Only physical sportsbooks)
  • New York (Only physical sportsbooks)
  • North Carolina (Only physical sportsbooks)
  • Oregon (Mobile online sports betting only)
  • Pennsylvania (Full selection of betting options)
  • Rhode Island (Mobile online betting only)
  • Tennessee (Full selection of betting options)
  • West Virginia (Full selection of betting options)
  • Washington D.C. (Limited betting options)

In addition to these states, some states have legalized sports betting, but have yet to institute the proper infrastructure for it. These states include Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, South Dakota, Washington, and Virginia.

legal sports betting

What Are the States That Don’t Penalize Offshore Betting?

Just because you don’t live in a state with legal sports betting doesn’t mean you still can’t participate. One loophole is offshore betting. This is the practice of sending your money to a third party, an offshore gambling site.

From there, they’ll make the best for you. The good news is that almost all states allow for this type of gambling loophole. There are only two exceptions where this type of sports betting is explicitly illegal: Washington and Connecticut. So, as long as you aren’t in these two states, then you’re free to participate in it.

States Where Sports Betting Is Illegal

Washington is a bit of a contradiction when it comes to sports betting. The state indeed passed a sports betting bill. However, the state also has in place a variety of anti-gambling laws.

These laws prevent their residents from participating in any type of online gambling. However, we can expect this to change soon as the state shifts more toward a more brick-and-mortar status of state-regulated gambling. In addition to Washington, several other states prohibit some form of sports bettings. This includes:

  • Hawaii
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Alaska

However, the good news is that change is likely coming soon to many of these states. In particular, Hawi and Vermont already have sports betting legislation that’s currently pending a decision.

What Is the Gambling Age In Most States?

Many states prioritize protocols that prevent minors from gambling. This includes strict age requirements in each state. For the most part, states usually require anyone making bets on sports to be at least twenty-one years of age to participate.

However, some states have exceptions that allow eighteen-year-olds to make bets as well. As such, you should always check the specific age requirements in your state before proceeding.

What Does the Future of Legal Sports Betting Look Like?

As you can tell, the atmosphere around betting has changed quickly in the United States. This became especially apparent after a 2018 Supreme Court struck down a ban on sports betting 2018.

At this point, nearly 80% of all states have now legalized the practice. So, what does the future hold for sports betting? The good news is that the future looks promising.

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated many local economies. As such, many states are looking to recover these losses in any way they can. For many of these states, state-licensed gambling is a great way to recoup the losses.

The reality is that most people will gamble whether it’s legal or not. So, states have begun to realize that they might as well profit off of bets if they’re going to happen anyway. This helps explain the large amounts of legislation that have been passed or are currently pending.

As sports betting becomes legal in more states we can also expect more resources to spring up around them. These resources will likely provide helpful, at-a-glance information on specific sports data, like wins, losses, and betting prices. This is already noticeable with options like Doc’s sports win totals picks which is one of the best sports betting sites. 

Want More Content? Keep Reading

We hope this article helped you answer the question, “What are the states with legal sports betting?” As you can see, legal sports betting has come a long way since the days of 2018 when it was only legal in Nevada.

And, even if the practice isn’t legal in your state yet, make sure to continuously check for updates. Many of the laws in states are changing by the day so you never know when your state might decide to legalize it.

Did you enjoy this article? If the answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. Keep exploring to find more topics that you’re sure to love.


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