Legal Football Betting By State
There are two ways that bettors in the United States can wager on football, with a domestic sportsbook located nearby, or an international betting site operating outside of the USA's jurisdiction.
Football is the most bet on sport in the United States with an estimated $100 billion to be wagered on NFL and college football betting combined each year. Below we detail the status of legal domestic football betting in each state in the country.
Legalized Football Betting By State
States With Legal Football Betting Already In Place
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. Arkansas launched domestic sports betting on July 1st, 2019.
Colorado - In November of 2019 voters passed Proposition DD to allow the state legislature to enact sports betting laws. After Prop DD passed the voter referendum, lawmakers subsequently enacted HB19-1327 that allows casinos to obtain state-issued sports betting licenses. Online sportsbooks will also be permitted with proper licensing. Online and mobile sportsbooks launched in May of 2020.
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.
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. Land-based sportsbooks launched in March of 2020.
Indiana - Indiana started accepting bets on sports on September 1st, 2019. There are currently seven casinos that have licenses issued by the state to accepts sports wagers. More sports betting locations are expected to be added later this year and in 2020. Mobile sports betting was also passed on Sept. 1st, but mobile is not expected to launch till 2020.
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 launched sports betting on August 15th, 2019.
Michigan - The state legislature passed a bill allowing for domestic sports betting via physical locations and online in December of 2019. There are currently three casinos located near the Detroit area that feature operating sportsbooks, with online options expected to appear at some point in 2021.
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. The state launched its sportsbooks in March of 2020, much later than they had hoped.
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 Hampshire- In July, New Hampshire became the 6th US state to legalize domestic sports betting in 2019. Only 10 licenses will be awarded. Statewide mobile betting launched in January of 2020.
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 have failed but will likely reappear in 2020. However, domestic sports betting is allowed in upstate NY casinos.
Oregon - Oregon launched its Scoreboard sports betting app on October 16th. The day before the launch the state's Lottery website crashed but officials say it was not because of the sports betting app.
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.
Washington D.C. - Players 18 and over in D.C. are now able to legally wager on football via their mobile betting website, GambetDC, the same software provider that operates the city's lottery system.
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. West Virginia launched statewide mobile betting in August of 2019.
Sports Betting Laws Passed - Pending Launch of Sportsbooks
North Carolina - In July of 2019, North Carolina lawmakers passed a sports betting bill that will allow two tribal casinos to offer domestic sports betting. Harrah's casino resort in Cherokee, NC, and Harrah's casino in Murphy, NC have been approved to offer football betting domestically in North Carolina, and both should be open for operation soon.
Tennessee - The Tennessee Senate heard SB 16 and voted 20-12 in favor of its passage. Under this bill, license 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. Online betting on football in TN is expected to coincide with the start of the NFL season in September. So far, four licenses for online sportsbook operations have been accepted.
Virginia - In April of 2020, a law was enacted that allows for in-state sports betting that can be performed online or on mobile betting applications. The hope is that the Virginia sports wagering apps will be enabled before the end of 2020, but there have been delays that may push the rollout to 2021.
Washington - In March of 2020 the governor signed a new bill into Washington state law that will allow for the construction of domestic sportsbooks. The bill now needs to be vetted regional Tribal gaming interests to see if the new regulation adheres to gaming compacts that are currently in place. No activity can proceed until clearance has been received from the Native American casinos, which could cause a delay of several months.
States That Introduced Legislation on Football Betting - Pending Action
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.
- South Dakota
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.