Legal Football Betting By State
Domestic legal sports betting is sweeping this nation after the U.S. Supreme Court's repeal of PASPA, a federal law which prevented states from legalizing gambling on sports. Football is the most bet on sport in the United States with an estimated $100 billion to be wagered on NFL and college football each year.
While football fans from all US states, except Washington and Connecticut, can legally place bets at licensed and regulated offshore sportsbooks, we wanted to take a closer look at the situation with US-based sports betting. You can get more information about licensed online football betting sites to find out which destinations cater to US bettors.
States with Legal Football Betting
Passed & Enacted
Delaware – On June 5, 2018, Delaware became the first state to launch legal sports betting following the repeal of PASPA, allowing bets to be placed at three Delaware-based casinos: Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway. Gambling research experts are predicting Delaware sports betting to generate at least $23.1 million in annual revenue for the state and when including online, as much as $49.6 million in annual revenue – most of which is expected to come from betting on NFL and college football.
Mississippi – Following the PASPA repeal, Mississippi became the third state and first state in the South to launch legal sports betting on August 1, 2018, with the first bets being placed at the Beau Rivage and Gold Strike Casino Resort. Mississippi currently requires all football bets to be placed in person with legislation regarding the operation of online sportsbooks within state lines to be voted on at a later date.
Montana - On May 3rd of 2019, Governor Steve Bullock signed into law HB 725 which gives the Montana Lottery regulatory and operational control over domestic wagering activities in the state. The House Bill allows wagering in-person or online through a browser or mobile app. The state lottery expected to provide the state government with $3.7 million in tax revenue after the first year of legalized operations.
Nevada – Before the PASPA repeal, Nevada was the only state permitted to offer full-blown legal betting on football centered around its Las Vegas gambling market, which had existed for decades prior to the law being enacted. In fact, a record $158.58 million was bet on Super Bowl LII at Nevada sportsbooks in 2018. Many states are expected to examine Nevada’s gambling laws and find the best regulations that apply to their state regarding gambling oversight, integrity, and management.
New Jersey – New Jersey became the second state to launch legal sports betting following the PASPA repeal on June 14, 2018 with the first bets placed at Monmouth Park. In addition, DraftKings Inc., the world’s most popular daily fantasy football company, launched the DraftKings Sportsbook app, the first legal online sportsbook in the country on August 1, 2018, allowing New Jersey residents and visitors to place wagers on the 2018 NFL and college football season.
New Mexico - A New Mexico tribal casino started accepting bets on sporting events in October of 2018. Since there is no federal ban on sports betting tribal casinos in New Mexico are allowed to offer domestic sports betting through their gaming agreements with the state. More NM tribal casinos are expected to have sports betting operations in place by the end of 2018.
New York - New York currently allows Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) betting. Recent efforts to legalize mobile sports betting across the state has failed but will likely reappear in 2020. However, domestic sports betting is allowed in upstate NY casinos.
Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania approved legal sports betting in 2017 and with the repeal of PASPA. Sports betting officially launched on November 15th, 2018. The Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course was the first establishment to start accepting bets on sports.
Rhode Island – Governor Gina Raimondo signed the state budget on June 22, 2018, giving the Lincoln and Tiverton Twin Rivers Casino locations the exclusive rights to brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in the state. Rhode Island became the 7th state to launch domestic sports betting on November 26th, 2018.
West Virginia – On August 30, 2018, West Virginia became the fourth state to offer legal sports betting following the repeal of PASPA when the first bets were placed at the Hollywood Casino. West Virginia was the last state to permit wagering on NFL and college football before both fully kicked off their 2018 seasons. All other states will have to vote on legislation during or after the 2018 NFL and college football season.
Enacted But Pending Launch
Arkansas - Voters passed Issue 4 in the 2018 Midterm elections. The amendment makes sports betting legal throughout the state and approves 4 licenses for casino-style gaming establishments. However, venues have yet to launch domestic wagering options.
Illinois - Packaged with a gambling expansion bill, Illinois Governor signed S-516 into law allowing a sports betting industry within state lines. The state also has plans to allow sportsbooks at sports stadiums across the state. Sportsbooks are expected to launch in 2020.
Indiana - On May 8th, 2019, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed HB 1015 into law. This House Bill has started the process of creating domestic wagering operations. Wagering licenses cost $100,000 initially and $50,000 every year after as part of a renewal fee. The state will also impose a 9.5% tax on sports wagering revenue. It is expected that the state will gain $12 million in revenue from legal wagering via taxes. Operations to wager in IN has not yet launched.
Iowa - In late April of 2019, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law SB 617 which allows 19 of the state's casinos to offer wagering options in person or online. Under this bill, in-state college game props are banned and in-person registration for gambling is required until the end of 2020. College, professional, and fantasy sports games can be legally wagered on by players over the age of 21. The state will collect 6.75% in taxes on the gross revenue of wagers. Licenses for operators will cost $45,000 and $10,000 for annual renewals. The state wants to launch before the NFL season but has told the public it will launch by the end of 2019.
Tennessee - The Tennessee Senate heard SB 16 and voted 20-12 in favor of its passage. Under this bill licenses fees would be $750,000 annually. Wagering would only be permitted through online means and not in-person. Wagering revenue would also be taxed at 20% and also allows sports leagues to place certain restrictions on TN wagering. The Governor of Tennessee has the bill on his desk and he will allow it to become law without his signature. There is no exact launch date for Tennessee's mobile sportsbook.
Washington D.C. - The DC City Council and Mayor passed legislation late 2018 to allow DC-licensed sportsbooks. D.C. will offer online wagering at specific areas near arenas and within arenas when games are going on but there will be no mobile or online wagering anywhere else within D.C. Players 18 and over in D.C. will be able to legally wager.
States With Pending Legislation on Football Betting
The following states have either presented sports betting bills that did not pass in previous legislative cycles, are expected to present those bills that previously did not pass in the next legislative cycle or have introduced football betting legislation for the first time.
- New Hampshire
- New York (DFS only)
- South Carolina
States With No Football Betting Bills Announced
The following states have laws prohibiting the wagering on football at brick-and-mortar locations in state lines and have not publicly announced any plans to legalize betting on football.
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Dakota