Here Are The States With Legal March Madness Online Betting In 2021

Posted By Nicholaus Garcia on March 8, 2021 - Last Updated on March 9, 2021

March tends to hold a special place in the hearts of most sports fans. Major League Baseball starts spring training, NFL free agency kicks off, and of course, March Madness online betting begins.

It’s that spectacular time of year where diehard fans huddle around the TV waiting to see if their team is one of the 68 selected to go dancing. It’s nerve recking. Teams are snubbed, hearts are broken, but for the lucky few, a shot at competing against the blue-chip programs is all that matters.

The 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament returns after its one-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last March, the Ivy League was the first to cancel its conference tournament and withdrawn from the big dance. Then other conferences soon followed until the NCAA had no choice but to scrap the tournament altogether.

Part of the old format will be missing this year. Considering the circumstances, the NCAA has elected to hold the entire event in Indianapolis.

Regardless, fans have been patiently waiting to fill out a March Madness bracket, and it couldn’t come soon enough.

Even if you only have $50, you can still get in on the action – and maybe win a little bit!

On top of this, there are 14 states plus Washington, DC, with online sports betting. This will be the first year customers in states like Colorado, Illinois, and Michigan will have the ability to wager on games from their home state.

Key dates and facts to remember

For starters, here are some key dates to remember:

  • Selection Sunday — March 14
  • First Four — March 18
  • 1st/2nd Rounds — March 19-22
  • Regionals — March 25-28
  • Final Four & National Championship — April 3-5

Here are some key facts to remember:

  • 21: number of states with legalized sports betting.
  • 15: number of states with online/mobile sports betting.
  • 8: number states with online/mobile betting that allow for wagers on in-state schools.

Yes, you can bet on collegiate games in states like Mississippi, Montana, and New York, but you will have to do so at retail locations.

With that, let’s get started with states that offer mobile sports betting.

Colorado

For residents of Centennial State, there are 16 online sportsbook options available. Like many states on this list, some of the most popular include the DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and BetRivers.

Colorado online sports betting has surprised many and continues its steady ascension as one of the industry’s premier states.

In-state collegiate betting: Yes

Remote sign-up: Yes

Tournament Teams: #24 Colorado (lock), Colorado State (work left)

Illinois

Online Illinois sports betting thus far has held on tightly to the No.4 betting market in the US. Although there are only five online sportsbooks in the state, they, combined with retail wagering, collected $45.6 million in sports betting handle on Super Bowl Sunday.

Comparing the Super Bowl to March Madness is apples to oranges but expect a healthy amount of Illinoisans to wager on the big dance.

In-state collegiate betting: No

Remote sign-up: Yes

Tournament teams: #4 Illinois (lock), #20 Loyola Chicago (lock)

Indiana

Indiana sports betting apps consist of 10 online sportsbooks.

The first, DraftKings Sportsbook, began taking wagers on Oct. 3, 2019. With the tournament being held in Indiana, and the state’s love of college basketball, experts predict high returns for wagering in the Hoosier State.

In-state collegiate betting: Yes

Remote sign-up: Yes

Tournament teams: #23 Purdue (lock), Indiana (work left)

Iowa

The Hawkeye State recently did away with the requirement that customers had to visit a casino to sign up for a betting account. Now with the ability to sign-up remotely, the state’s seven mobile Iowa sportsbooks could see an uptick in the number of betting accounts created.

Additionally, sports betting in Iowa is one of the eight jurisdictions where it’s legal to bet on in-state college. Considering the No. 5 Hawkeyes have National Title aspirations, locals will be glad they have the ability to wager on the hometown team.

In-state collegiate betting: Yes

Remote sign-up: Yes

Tournament teams: #5 Iowa (lock), Drake (work left)

Michigan

Online sports betting in Michigan is a recent addition to this list. Full online wagering and casino gaming launched in January 2021 and hasn’t looked back. In the first ten days, more than $115 million was wagered through mobile platforms.

Now, residents of the Wolverine State have 11 mobile sportsbooks to choose from, including Barstool Sportsbook, PointsBet, and BetMGM. No bracket is complete without a hometown team to root for, and luckily enough, residents and visitors have the ability to bet on the red hot Wolverines.

In-state collegiate betting: Yes

Remote sign-up: Yes

Tournament teams: #2 Michigan (lock), Michigan State (work left)

Nevada

Nevada online sports betting, the original seed.

Although online sports betting in Nevada only dates back to 2010, it has performed as well as any market in the US. The state has more retail sportsbooks than anyone can count, and on top of that, it has 14 mobile sportsbook options to choose from.

Some include Ceasars Sports, Circa Sports, Golden Nugget, and Westgate SuperBook.

In-state collegiate betting: Yes

Remote sign-up: No

Tournament teams: none

New Hampshire

Like a few other states on this list, online sports betting in New Hampshire only works with a single betting app, DraftKings Sportsbook. There isn’t much to say because online wagering only recently launched in January.

However, there is no better time than March Madness to get the ball rolling.

In-state collegiate betting: No

Remote sign-up: Yes

Tournament teams: none

New Jersey

Sports betting online in New Jersey is seen by many as the crown jewel of the industry. It has slowly overtaken Nevada as the US’s betting capital and continues to push the industry forward.

When it comes to betting operators, the state has one of the biggest collections in the US. Residents and visitors to the Garden State can choose from 17 different sportsbooks, including Fox Bet, Caesars Sportsbook, SugarHouse Sportsbook, and theScore Bet.

When it comes to NCAA tournament bids, New Jersey teams tend to be invited to the big dance. The state has four D-1 colleges that have been known to be bracket busters over the years. They are Seton Hall, Monmouth, Princeton, and Rutgers.

Unfortunately, for a second straight year, the Ivy League won’t be competing in March. Therefore, the Princeton Tigers are on the outside looking in. While the other three all have the chance to make the tournament, state law prohibits betting on in-state schools.

In-state collegiate betting: No

Remote sign-up: Yes

Tournament teams: Rutgers (lock), Seton Hall (work left), Monmouth (work left)

Oregon

Much like Rhode Island, OR online sports betting only has a single betting app.

Run by the state lottery, the Scoreboard app does allow for remote registration and gives customers the ability to bet from anywhere in the state. However,  if you’re looking to bet on the Oregon Ducks (18-5), you won’t have that option.

In-state collegiate betting: No

Remote sign-up: Yes

Tournament teams: Oregon (lock)

Pennsylvania

Villanova won the NCAA title in 2016 and again in 2018 when they defeated Michigan in San Antonio, Texas. It’s safe to say; the Wildcats have been a force to reckon with over the past five years.

Luckily enough, Pennsylvania sports betting online allows for betting on in-state colleges. There are a dozen mobile sportsbook options in the state, so; customers have options.

In-state collegiate betting: Yes

Remote sign-up: Yes

Tournament teams: #10 Villanova (lock)

Rhode Island

Rhode Island online sports betting is run by the state lottery in partnership with William Hill, meaning there is only one option. Customers can sign-up and bet from anywhere in the state, and they only have to be 18 years of age or older. But another downside is no betting on in-state schools.

Not much is coming out of the state in terms of college basketball this year, but there are many area schools to place bets on.

In-state collegiate betting: No

Remote sign-up: Yes

Tournament teams: none

Tennessee

When online sports betting in TN first floated the idea of a mobile-only state, many were skeptical. But surprisingly, sports betting has performed pretty well. There has been roughly $523 million bet in the state since its Nov. 1 launch, with $49 million in gross sports betting revenue.

The sports betting numbers are about as good as the Volunteers 16-7 record. Tennessee is currently projected as a #7 seed, but they are trending downward. Luckily enough, the state allows for betting on local collegiate teams. Cinderella anyone?

In-state collegiate betting: Yes

Remote sign-up: Yes

Tournament teams: Tennessee (lock)

Virginia

The Virginia Cavaliers are the reigning NCAA Tournament Champions. In 2019, they defeated my alma mater, Texas Tech, in OT 85-77.

Back then, legal online Virginia sports betting wasn’t even a thought, so customers couldn’t place bets on the in-state favorite. Unfortunately, even though mobile sports betting became a reality this year, locals still won’t be able to bet on the Cavaliers to repeat.

Virginia does have five mobile sportsbooks, though, with some familiar faces including, William Hill, BetRivers, and FanDuel.

In-state collegiate betting: No

Remote sign-up: Yes

Tournament teams: #21 Virginia (lock), #22 Virginia Tech (lock), VCU (work left), James Madison (work left)

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West Virginia

Things have looked pretty good down in Morgantown. The West Virginia Mountaineers are 17-7 and 3rd in the Big-12 Conference with recent wins again #12 Texas, #23 Kansas, and beating #7 Texas Tech twice!

Although it has been around a while, sports betting online in West Virginia is relatively small from an operator standpoint. Residents and visitors can place bets with DraftKings, FanDuel, or at the BetMGM Sportsbook.

It’s slim pickings over in the Mountain State.

In-state collegiate betting: Yes

Remote sign-up: Yes

Tournament teams: #6 West Virginia (lock)

Washington, D.C.

Finally, the last place on this list where mobile sports betting is legal is our Nations’s Capital, but with a small twist. See, yes, you can place wagers from your phone or mobile device, but you have to be within a two-block radius of Capital One Arean.

If you are within the two-block radius, you will be able to participate in Washington, DC online sports betting on the William Hill Sportsbook app. Otherwise, you have to switch over to the DC Lottery-based app, Gambet DC.

In-state collegiate betting: No

Remote sign-up: Yes

Tournament teams: none

Photo by Bill Wippert / Associated Press
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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