Across The US, Online Gambling Has Quietly Spread Into Big Business

Written By Steve Ruddock on October 24, 2018 - Last Updated on October 6, 2023
From sports betting to poker, residents in 43 states can place a wager over the internet.

The seemingly slow spread of online gambling in the United States has left many people frustrated. But that’s because they tend to focus on certain segments of the online gambling universe. These include online sports betting, poker and casino.

If you zoom out, there is actually a lot of online gambling going on in the US. Unlike sports betting and online poker/casino, most of the expansion has occurred under the radar.

43 of the 50 states offer at least one of the following online gambling products:

  • sports betting
  • casino
  • poker
  • lottery
  • horseracing
  • daily fantasy sports

Online horse wagering is (almost) everywhere

The oldest and most common form of online gambling in the United States is horseracing.

Online horseracing has been around since 1999. It’s currently available in more than 30 states from two main providers TVG (Paddy Power Betfair) and Twin Spires (Churchill Downs).

TVGTwin Spires
MinnesotaNew Hampshire
New HampshireNew York
New JerseyNorth Dakota
New MexicoOhio
New YorkOklahoma
North DakotaOregon
OregonRhode Island
PennsylvaniaSouth Dakota
Rhode IslandTennessee
South DakotaVermont
VirginiaWest Virginia
West VirginiaWyoming

The percentage of the country that can place a wager on a horserace online is truly staggering when seen in map form.

The number of online sports betting states is ready to explode

At present, online sports betting is available in just two states, Nevada and New JerseyMississippi casinos offer on-site online sports wagering.

That’s a number that will grow in the coming months and years.

Down the road, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia have already stated their intentions to offer mobile sports betting. And Rhode Island appears to be going the Mississippi route with on-site wagering at its casinos.

Next year that number could easily double, as more and more states pass sports betting legislation.

Four states offer online casino and/or poker

US online casino and poker are lagging behind every other form of online gambling. Four states currently offer online casino and/or poker in the US:

That’s frustrating for two reasons:

  • Poker requires liquidity to reach its full potential, and with just a small percentage of the US population having access to legal online poker sites, the industry has underperformed.
  • Casinos are a huge moneymaker, and legal online gaming advocates are rightly perturbed that states are focusing on daily fantasy sports (DFS) and other gaming expansions to fill budget deficits.

There’s some hope that sports betting pushes (particularly online sports betting) will help online poker and casino color the map below aquamarine.

11 states sell online lottery products

The online lottery has quietly expanded across the US, and is now available in 11 states. Actual products vary by state, but the common denominator is each of these states allows customers to purchase lottery tickets online.

DrawInstant WinKenoSubscription Service-only
New HampshireXX
North CarolinaX
North DakotaX
New YorkX

And then there is DFS

Setting aside the “is DFS gambling” argument (it is), DFS mirrors online gambling in every respect.

From account creation to wagering, to payment processing, it’s the same. So, even if you don’t consider DFS gambling (even though you should) it’s a close enough cousin that marriage is out of the question.

As seen in the map below, DFS is expressly legal in 18 states.

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Steve Ruddock

Steve Ruddock is an avid poker player and a veteran member of the gaming media. His primary focus is on the regulated US online casino and poker markets. He writes for numerous online and print publications, including,, and USA Today.

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