Gambling online is quickly becoming the way to place a bet. More Americans are turning to their mobile devices and laptops to play their favorite slots, poker games or bet on sports online.
If you live, work, vacation in the US, you are probably much closer to a legal gambling state than you think. Although states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania receive all the fanfare for their multiple tiers of online gambling, other states are launching or making plans to launch online casinos and sportsbooks all the time.
In fact, there are so many things happening in the states that it can be hard to keep track. Lucky for you, it’s our job to do exactly that. This page is the premier source for legal gambling in the US.
Read on for all the latest states to open sports betting, the newest online casinos, and which states have plans to legalize online gambling.
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What forms of legal online gambling
New Jersey is currently the largest market for regulated online gambling in the US. Over a dozen legal and licensed online casino sites and poker rooms compete for an overall market that is worth more than $225 million a year.
Read more on New Jersey Online Gambling
New Jersey currently stands tall as the leader in the online gambling USA space.
New Jersey passed its online gambling law in 2013. The new statute allowed Atlantic City casinos to apply for internet gaming permits.
Those permits authorized the casinos to host a variety of online casino sites under their licenses. As a result, there are now more online casinos in New Jersey than in any other state in the union.
Almost every major casino operator owns a New Jersey-based online casino site.
Each online casino site must run through a land-based casino licensee. Here is a partial list of New Jersey online casinos:
The law that gave the casinos the ability to host online casinos also authorized the introduction of online poker sites. Poker-hungry residents and visitors in New Jersey now have a plethora of options to quench their desire for Texas Hold’em, Omaha, or whatever other game strikes their fancies.
The NJ poker sites operating in the market include:
New Jersey is the most prominent state to offer sports betting right now. The Garden State spearheaded the downfall of PASPA and contributed the most time and effort to argue in front of the Supreme Court.
Currently, there are more than a dozen online sports betting apps (a number that is still growing) and a variety of land-based sportsbooks up and running in the state. Here is a partial list of online sportsbooks in New Jersey:
New Jersey is also home to a wide selection of retail sportsbooks. The following are some of the options in the Garden State:
The inaugural year for sports betting in New Jersey, 2018, yielded bettors who placed over $1.2 billion in wagers. From that figure, the industry itself held just over $94 million in revenue for the year. That number has grown considerably in 2020, as billions will be wagered in the state.
Online sports betting has eclipsed retail wagering in New Jersey by an almost 3:1 ratio. The limited accessibility of the state’s gaming areas makes betting through a device a much more palatable option for most residents and visitors.
What forms of legal online gambling
Many of PA’s major casinos have rolled out online casino sites. Online sports betting is live and active with DraftKings, FanDuel and Unibet to name a few. Players have the option of placing bets in person or online via the website and mobile app. Here’s a rundown of legal gambling options in PA.
Read more on Pennsylvania Online Gambling
Since Pennsylvania’s gambling expansion became law in 2017, there has been incredible anticipation surrounding the launch of online casinos in the state. Both Pennsylvanians and those in surrounding locations couldn’t wait to try out the Keystone State’s take on mobile casino play.
They finally got their wish in July 2019. Hollywood Casino Online and Parx Online both debuted on the same day and ushered Pennsylvania into the realm of online casinos.
Since then, several other casinos have joined the party. Here is a partial list of Pennsylvania’s online casinos:
Pennsylvania became an online poker state in November 2019, four months after the launch of online casinos in the state. PokerStars, the market leader for online poker in the world, opened its virtual doors to poker-hungry players in the Keystone State.
The result was an onslaught of activity. More players joined on PokerStars PA on its first night than at any point in the history of PokerStars NJ, even though the Garden State site had been active since 2013.
PokerStars remains in a de facto monopoly status for Pennsylvania online poker. However, there are several Pennsylvania casinos that have secured online poker licenses and could join the fray at any time. They are:
With so much opportunity in Pennsylvania, it’s likely that at least one launch will be coming soon. Stay tuned.
Pennsylvania’s entry into the sports betting market was one of the most anticipated debuts since the fall of PASPA. The Keystone State is one of the most populous states in the country, and its appeal to sportsbook operators stems from that very fact.
The first online sportsbook to launch in Pennsylvania was PlaySugarHouse. The online arm of the Philadelphia-area casino opened its virtual doors in May 2019.
Two other online sportsbooks, Parx and BetRivers, joined PlaySugarHouse the following month. There are now eight online sportsbooks active in Pennsylvania, which include the following sites:
Some people will always prefer a more visceral and tangible experience than online sports betting can offer. Thankfully, there are several retail sportsbooks accepting wagers in Pennsylvania each day. They include:
So far, sports betting in Pennsylvania has been big business. Monthly handle has already soared into the hundreds of millions.
*Off-track betting locations that now offer wagering on sports. Both locations are owned and operated by Greenwood Gaming, owner of Parx Casino.
What forms of legal online gambling
West Virginia already has online sports betting apps. The enactment of the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act opened the possibility of online casinos, which officially launched in July 2020, and online poker.
Read more on West Virginia Online Gambling
West Virginia may seem an unlikely candidate to be at the forefront of gambling expansion. However, if New Jersey led the charge against PASPA, West Virginia was undoubtedly second in command.
West Virginia also bears the unfortunate distinction of being the only state to launch online sports betting twice. Although West Virginians celebrated the December 2018 debut of BetLucky, the embattled app only lasted until the following March.
That month, a disagreement with technical partners blossomed into the permanent cessation of BetLucky as a viable option. Retail sportsbooks at Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras Casino also ceased operations, and have yet to resume.
However, West Virginia got a second chance a few months later. Here are the active online sportsbooks in the state:
Otherwise, Mountain State bettors can head to one of the in-state casinos to place a sports bet. They are:
*The Casino Club at Greenbrier Resort is a private facility and not open to the public. Only members and guests at the hotel may play there.
West Virginia became the fifth state to legalize online casinos in 2019. The West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act authorized the state’s five casinos to pursue the development of casino and poker apps.
DraftKings Casino: DraftKings was able to launch on July 15 thanks to an extension of its sports betting partnership with Hollywood Casino.
BetMGM: But August, BetMGM entered the fold with its online casino.
Potentially, there could be more online casinos and/or poker rooms in West Virginia soon. The casinos are:
With the exceptions of DraftKings Casino and BetMGM, there is no specific timeframe for any of these properties to launch their sites.
West Virginia legalized online poker in March 2019. As is the case with online casinos, all five casinos in the state can launch online poker apps but none have kicked off yet.
So, the following properties will potentially have their own sites soon:
Forms of legal online gambling
Indiana joined the group of states with legal sports betting, both retail and mobile, in 2019. The Hoosier State offers several online sportsbooks including – DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers. With the recent launch of Unibet, the state now has eight mobile sportsbooks.
Read more on Indiana Online Gambling
Indiana became a full-service sports betting state in the latter part of 2019. Retail sportsbooks opened in September, and online books launched in the following month.
As a result, Indiana has become quite the destination for sports bettors in the region. Bettors from Chicago, Cincinnati, and Louisville can place sports bets on their phones after a short trip in the car.
Indiana’s ascension into the online space is a bit surprising, given the fact that the Hoosier State is one of the few to criminalize online gambling itself.
Nevertheless, there are several online sportsbooks taking bets in Indiana right now. A few of the online sportsbooks in Indiana include the following:
At this point, the vast majority of Indiana’s land-based casinos are hosting a sports betting operation. The only major exception is the Majestic Star, which is likely foregoing massive expenditures in preparation for a move inland.
The rest of the properties are open and will take a bet. They include:
In just a few short months, Indiana has seen its handle skyrocket over $100 million. As was the case in New Jersey, much of the activity has occurred online, underlining mobile sports betting’s importance to the new market.
Although Illinois, Ohio, and Kentucky will have sports betting relatively soon, Indiana should continue to enjoy excellent returns in its sports wagering departments.
Due to Indiana’s legal structure, online casinos are not permitted in the state. Furthermore, playing on an online casino is a criminal act. So, unless new legislation comes to Indiana, there can be no legal online casinos for residents and visitors there.
However, Indiana is home to thirteen casinos that offer slots, table games, and all the great casino action players love. Visit one of these facilities for the best gambling options in Indiana.
Indiana law does not permit any kind of online poker play whatsoever. In fact, Indiana is one of the few states to criminalize online poker play. It will take a change in the law before online poker rooms can come to the state.
There are, in fact, ten live poker rooms spread throughout Indiana’s casinos. There are opportunities to play no matter what part of the state you’re in, so don’t miss out.
Forms of legal online gambling
Iowa has quickly joined the party when it comes to online sports betting. In less than six months’ time, the Hawkeye State has moved from zero sportsbooks to five. Iowa is a bit different in that you need to download and register first, then complete your registration in person at the partnered casino. Even with registration required to be in-person, the sky’s the limit.
Read more on Iowa Online Gambling
Iowa became a sports betting state in 2019. Both retail and online sportsbooks began flooding into the Hawkeye State in August 2019, and the number of operators continues to rise.
Truthfully, Iowa’s arrival to sports betting happened in a radically-short period of time, in comparison to the other states. While many locations need six months or longer to launch, the first sportsbook in Iowa opened its doors three months after the passage of Iowa House Bill 617.
Another curious aspect of Iowa’s entry is the fact that it is one of the few states that is not permitting its inhabitants to register for a sportsbook account electronically. Instead, players must visit the land-based partner of their sportsbook of choice to establish their mobile identity there.
Thankfully, this requirement will expire after 2020. However, the extra step hasn’t slowed down online sportsbook operators from getting underway. Here are a few of the online sportsbooks active in the state:
Here is a partial list of Iowa locations with sportsbooks:
Iowa is already seeing millions of dollars in wagers flowing through its sportsbooks. Handle in the state has nearly reached $60 million monthly, and should continue to grow.
Despite the in-person registration requirement, online sports betting is shining as the star in the Iowa sports betting constellation. The traffic is growing by double-digit percentages each month.
Iowa is not home to any legal online casinos at this time. A change in the law will be necessary to bring online casinos to the state.
For now, the best online options for Iowans who want online casino action are the sweepstakes sites. These opportunities can reasonably simulate the experience for most people.
Iowa poker players are out of luck for any legal online poker rooms. The state does not have a law on the books or on the way to bring online poker to the Hawkeye State.
The best solution is to visit a sweepstakes site. There is still some good gameplay to be found for the determined poker player.
Forms of legal online gambling
Residents of New Hampshire received a late Christmas present in 2019. DraftKings Sportsbook began the era of online sports betting in the Granite State on December 30. DraftKings will be the only online sportsbook. The first retail sportsbooks launched on August 12 — DraftKings Sportsbook at The Brook.
Read more on New Hampshire Online Gambling
New Hampshire is a recent addition to the community of sports betting states. Its first sportsbook launched in January 2020.
Unusually, New Hampshire welcomed an online sportsbook prior to the debut of any retail locations. Retail sportsbooks will begin popping up in the Granite State sometime in mid-2020.
The debut of DraftKings in New Hampshire came as a response to a gauntlet thrown down by New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. Sununu pushed regulators and operators to get going so that he could place a wager on the New England Patriots.
Unfortunately for Sununu, the Patriots’ season ended sooner than he would’ve liked. However, kudos to the industry for giving him the opportunity to bet on schedule, anyway.
Here are the online sportsbooks in New Hampshire:
There are no retail sportsbooks available in New Hampshire just yet. The first ones should begin opening sometime in mid-2020. New Hampshire law allows the placement of up to 10.
However, the results from a vote in November 2019 made clear where the new sportsbooks will be popping up. According to New Hampshire law, sports betting can only be hosted in towns that have approved their introduction.
The towns that have approved sports betting in New Hampshire are:
New Hampshire’s geographic location may limit the Granite State’s ability to generate gobs of new revenue. However, New Hampshire’s commitment to maximizing its citizens’ personal freedoms means that sports betting, in whatever form it comes, makes sense.
New Hampshire does not have any plans to bring online poker to the state soon. For now, players should visit one of the sweepstakes site options that are available to them.
However, in an unusual quirk, charity establishments can offer gambling action through various table games at selected taverns and restaurants in the state. There are roughly a dozen locations where players can find roulette, blackjack, and other table game variants.
New Hampshire is relatively hostile to the notion of online poker at this time. New Hampshire players who wish to experience online poker action should seek out sweepstakes sites that are active in the state.
In the meantime, they can also visit one of the cardrooms located in the state. These options, which usually happen in sports bars, can provide an outlet for those needing a poker fix.
Forms of legal online gambling
Nevada enjoyed a virtual monopoly on sports betting for nearly two decades. So, it’s no surprise that the Silver State was the first to launch an online sportsbook, doing so in 2010.
Read more on Nevada Online Gambling
Aside from a few limited exceptions in places like Montana and Oregon, Nevada was the only state that could offer legal sports betting for nearly two decades. The prohibition granted by PASPA was a boon for the Silver State’s sports betting interests.
Although other states are now able to offer competition for Nevada’s sportsbooks, the western state remains the home of sports betting for most Americans. Most lines, estimates, and spreads flow from those published in Las Vegas sportsbooks.
With that said, Nevada’s entry into the online sports betting market is surprisingly antiquated. State law requires that players establish and initially fund their account in-person at the home casino of their chosen sportsbook app.
This requirement is an inconvenience in comparison to the procedures in other states. Most of the new sports betting states are allowing their inhabitants to register and fund from the comfort of their homes. Even those that do require in-person registration – like Iowa – have set a sunset date on that requirement into their law.
Regardless, Nevada is home to a plethora of sports betting apps. Here is a sample of some of the apps available in the Silver State:
Nearly every Nevada casino has a sportsbook of some kind. Here are some of the better known companies or facilities that offer wagering on sporting events:
One might think that the land-based casino capital of the US would be the online casino leader. However, there are no online casino sites active in Nevada at this time.
So, players in Nevada who wish to play in an online casino are best served by finding one of the various sweepstakes sites. Other than that, simply walk outside and throw a stone – it’s likely that you’ll hit a casino.
Online poker is the only licensed and regulated form of online gambling in the state of Nevada. Online poker action has been available in the state since April 2013.
Although Ultimate Bet led the initial charge back then, the launch of WSOP.com Nevada quickly brought about a new market leader.
Naturally, WSOP.com heavily cross-promotes its online offering through the World Series of Poker. These efforts include online satellites to WSOP bracelet events and online WSOP bracelet events themselves.
In March 2015, Nevada and Delaware entered into a poker liquidity sharing agreement. This agreement, which combined the two player pools, runs through WSOP.com in Nevada. New Jersey’s player pool joined the agreement in April 2018.
As of right now, here are the online poker sites in Nevada:
However, there are rumors that more sites could be on the way. Remember to check back with PlayUSA periodically to see what’s going on.
Forms of legal online gambling
Delaware may seem a strange location to find a stalwart of online gambling. However, that’s exactly what the First State is. Delaware was the first state to launch online sports betting post-PASPA and was one of the first to launch online gambling and poker.
Read more on Delaware Online Gambling
Delaware, fittingly, was the first state to debut sports betting in the wake of PASPA’s dismissal. The First State launched retail sports betting in June 2018, a couple of weeks before New Jersey’s triumphant opening at Monmouth Park.
Delaware is a small state, and is home to only three casinos. However, all three venues have a sportsbook onsite. Unusually, the three casinos operate through a joint license with the state lottery.
Online sports betting is legal, at least according to regulators in the state. None of the three facilities has seen fit to debut an app yet, though.
So, for now, sports betting is confined to three places in the First State. Given that its area is only 1982 square miles, it’s probably not too much of a problem to find a casino nearby.
View more information about Delaware here.
Delaware became the first state to legalize online gambling in 2012. The market opened up in November 2013 with sites operated through the state’s three racinos. So, gamblers can find online casinos at the sites for:
These sites offer a variety of blackjack, roulette, slots and video poker games. Of the three, Delaware Park is the busiest site.
Delaware’s three horse-track based online gambling sites offer peer-to-peer online poker with software provided by 888 Holdings. So, there are online poker sites for the following casinos:
Through a joint agreement with WSOP.com, Delaware and Nevada began sharing online poker traffic in March 2015. However, like the state itself, the Delaware online poker market remains small.
Needless to say, an infusion of players from one of the larger states could serve as a much-needed shot in the arm for the market.
Forms of legal online gambling
Oregon occupies an unusual spot in US sports betting history, in that it was one of the few states outside of Nevada to offer a sports betting product. So, it makes sense that the Beaver State is now one of the first to offer online sports betting
Read more on Oregon Online Gambling
Oregon became the first state in the Pacific Northwest to launch sports betting post-PASPA. The Chinook Winds Casino, a tribal facility, played host to the first legal sports wager in the Beaver State in September 2019.
Online sports betting came to Oregon the following month. The Oregon Lottery debuted its Scoreboard app in conjunction with software company SBTech.
Lottery officials moved forward without passage of any new legislation in the state. Because of the state’s prior exemption under PASPA, the lottery claimed that it had the authority to launch sports betting without needing any further authorization.
So far, the legislature has yet to challenge that claim in any meaningful way. A new revenue stream has a way of tamping down on dissent.
Meanwhile, Oregon’s numerous tribal casinos can assert the same freedom to offer sports betting that Chinook Winds did. They just haven’t done so yet.
Finally, there could potentially be hundreds of sports betting locations to launch in Oregon. Since the state lottery has such exercised such unfettered authority, it is entirely likely that sports betting could become part of the menu at any of the lottery’s terminals spread throughout the state.
If that happens, taverns, bars, and even convenience stores throughout Oregon could become sports betting states. In the meantime, Oregonians will have to console themselves with the few sports betting opportunities they have.
It is, indeed, better than nothing. Here is the lone online sportsbook in Oregon:
Generally speaking, Oregon is not terribly friendly to the idea of online casinos. It’s possible that the state’s outdoorsy ethos leads lawmakers to believe that gamblers should be outside a bit more.
Regardless, there are no online casino laws on the horizon in Oregon. Players who wish to take part should use one of the sweepstakes sites available throughout the country.
Although Oregon is home to several poker clubs, Oregon’s government is not comfortable with the idea of allowing this particular game of chance to reign. Certainly, there are no movements to bring online poker to the Beaver State.
So, like their online casino brethren, online poker players in Oregon will need to use sweepstakes sites in order to play from home. For right now, the focus is on sports betting.
Forms of legal online gambling
Colorado legalized sports betting through a voter referendum in November 2019. The new law, which allows the state’s casinos to open both online and retail books, passed by a narrow margin.
Colorado is home to 33 casinos, which are mostly clustered into three mountain towns. All of the casinos have applied for licenses, which only cost a paltry $2,000.
Read more on Colorado Gambling
Colorado has become a sports betting state as of May 2020. Both BetMGM and BetRivers opened their virtual doors at 10 a.m. on May 1, and other sportsbooks followed soon afterward.
In theory, Colorado could be home to 33 separate online and retail sportsbooks. However, given some of the overlap with casinos owned by the same company and the potential for oversaturating the market, it’s unlikely that there will be so many.
Still, in a state whose largest city receives more than 57 inches of snowfall every year, the ability to access sportsbooks remotely will be a critical component to the industry’s success. Expect to see many options continue to pop up in the Centennial State.
Colorado is not particularly warm to the idea of online casinos at this time. There are no bills or plans to legalize online casinos in the state.
The introduction of online sports betting could potentially turn some hearts on this matter, but it’s speculative to expect anything to happen soon. In the meantime, Colorado players are encouraged to play on sweepstakes casino sites.
Similar to their feelings about online casinos, Coloradans have not shown much affinity for the idea of introducing online poker to the state. There are no active bills in the legislature that would make peer-to-peer gaming a reality in the Centennial State.
It’s possible that online sportsbooks might plant the seed in the minds of Colorado lawmakers to look at online poker play. However, in the meantime, there are sweepstakes poker sites that can help Colorado poker players get over the hump.
Forms of legal online gambling
The state should see the launch an online sportsbook sometime this year. The book will no doubt be under the Twin Rivers brand, which operates both casinos in the state.
Read more on Rhode Island Gambling
We first learned that Rhode Island would be introducing sports betting in a very low-key way. Rather than putting the news at a press conference or through some sort of release, Rhode Island simply chose to include sports betting into its 2018 state budget.
True to predictions, the first sports bet took place in the Ocean State in November 2018. Although the wagering ultimately fell short of the budget’s projections, Rhode Island became the eighth bona fide location to place wagers on sporting events in the US.
After a few months of retail service, Rhode Island lawmakers expanded the existing law to allow for mobile wagering throughout the state, which started with Twin River Casino in Lincoln in Sept. 2019 and was followed shortly after by Twin River Tiverton.
Rhode Island’s approach to sports betting is quite unique. Unlike other states, the majority (51%) of the revenue from in-state sportsbooks goes directly to the state.
In fact, the state’s casinos only receive 17% of the revenue that they generate from sports betting as profit. Another major chunk goes to technology provider IGT, which has an unusually-close relationship with the state government and the two casinos in the state.
View more information about Rhode Island sports betting here.
Rhode Island does not appear to be making any moves toward legalizing online casinos soon. The state’s focus is on ensuring a successful launch of its sports betting products.
For now, Rhode Islanders who wish to play online casino games can use one of the sweepstakes sites available to them. These sites can offer online casino action while staying in compliance with the law.
Like the situation with online casinos, there is no indication that Rhode Island is considering a move towards legalizing online poker in the state. With so much riding on the success of sports betting, online poker is decidedly on the back burner.
So, Rhode Island poker players can find action through a sweepstakes site, if they like. These sites use a unique business model to stay legal and offer poker games throughout the US.
Forms of legal online gambling
Tennessee approved a sports betting law in April 2019. Curiously enough, since there are no gambling venues in the state, the law allows for online sports betting only – there is no retail sports betting on the horizon. Sports betting sites launched on Nov. 1, 2020.
Read more on Tennessee Sports Betting
Tennessee’s sports betting launch completed a surprising journey for the state that began in May 2019. Aside from daily fantasy sports and the lottery, the launch represented one of the first and only forays into bona fide gambling that the traditionally conservative state has ever undertaken.
DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM launched on Nov. 1, 2020. Action 24/7 has secured a conditional license to operate from the Tennessee Education Lottery.
It’s still a bit of a question mark regarding which of those four will be the first to launch. In truth, it won’t really matter, as there will likely only be a few days’ difference, at most. What is striking is that this is the first entirely-online sports betting state. Other states, notably Virginia, will certainly be taking notes about how the virtual debut goes in Tennessee.
Though Tennessee is expanding its gambling profile far beyond its previous incarnation, the plans begin and end at sports betting. There are no plans or bills in the work to launch online casino gambling in the state at this time.
With that said, money has a way of changing minds. If sports betting ends up being a rousing success for lawmakers’ budgets, then they might be willing to take another step. It’s an exciting time in Tennessee, so keep your eyes peeled.
Like online casinos, there are no plans to make online poker a reality for Tennesseans. Online poker is also the least likely to launch in the near future because of its lesser profit potential compared to online casinos and sports betting.
A tidal wave of revenue from sports betting could potentially begin the discussion about online casinos. Online poker, if it’s ever coming, has a ways to go.
Forms of legal online gambling
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock affixed his signature to H 725 in May 2019, and thus, ushered full sports betting into Montana, which launched in March 2020. The law allows for both mobile and retail sports betting in the state, though mobile wagering is restricted to within the walls of lottery retailers and taverns authorized to offer sports betting.
Montana’s foray into sports betting was a far more governmental affair than in other states. Lottery giant Intralot handles the state’s sports betting activities for at least the next seven years.
Read more on Montana Gambling
Forms of legal online gambling
On Dec. 20, 2019, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation to legalize online gambling in Michigan. The state’s first retail sportsbooks went live in March 2020, while online platforms are expected to enter the fold sometime in 2021.
Operators will be limited to one online skin. The bill does not permit multi-state games.
Each of the three commercial and 23 tribal casinos will be permitted to apply for licensing, which will cost $50,000 for application, $100,000 for actual licensing and $50,000 for annual renewal.
Read more on Michigan Sports Betting
Both online and retail sports betting are underway in Michigan. Michigan launched retail sports betting in March 2020 and followed it with online betting in November of the same year.
All 26 of Michigan’s casinos are eligible to offer sports betting in both formats. The three commercial casinos in Detroit gained the ability specifically through the law, and the 23 tribal casinos through their compacts with the state.
The final tally of how many online sportsbooks will launch in Michigan is not terribly clear. However, Michigan is a rather populous state. It suffers through difficult winters each year, which makes the presence of an online sportsbook option all the more important. So, the combination of those two factors means that there should be many operators who would like to grab some market share.
Michigan does not have online casinos active just yet. However, the 2019 gambling expansion provided for them, so it’s not a matter of if they will launch, but when they will do so.
The launch of online casinos will be a big deal when it happens, so make sure to check back with PlayUSA frequently. We will let you know as soon as we do.
Like online casinos, online poker will eventually become a part of the Michigan gambling landscape. The timing remains murky, but it is inevitable that peer-to-peer gaming is headed to the Great Lake State.
What is less clear is whether Michigan will join New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, and (maybe) Pennsylvania in the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) to share its player pools. More players is always better, but getting states to sign on is not always a slam dunk. Regardless, Michigan poker players should be able to play (at least) their fellow Michiganders before too long.
Forms of legal online gambling
Sports betting became legal in Illinois in June 2019 and led to the first retail sportsbooks opening in March 2020. The bill provides for both retail and online sports wagering. In June 2020, Rivers Casino launched BetRivers to become the first mobile/online sportsbook in the state. Since then, five online sportsbooks have now launched, the most recent being William Hill on September 15.
Licenses to offer sports betting in Illinois are a whopping $10 million. However, given that all casinos, all racetracks, and even some sports venues can apply, it seems likely that there will be plenty of takers, even at that price.
Read more on Illinois Sports Betting
Forms of legal online gambling
Technically, Mayor Muriel Bowser did not sign off on legislation in January 2019 to legalize sports betting in the nation’s capital. Rather, enough time passed for the bill to pass.
Despite controversy surrounding the incoming industry, regulated online wagering went live in DC in May 2020 as the Gambet DC platform soft-launched but only as a browser-accessible sportsbook. The Intralot-powered product remains the sole legal sportsbook, as other applications (for online and retail wagering) still await appproval.
Read more on DC Sports Betting
Forms of legal online gambling
Lawmakers in Old Dominion passed several bills to legalize sports betting and sent them to the desk of Gov. Ralph Northam in April. Rather than immediately signing off, however, Northam sent the legislation back with several recommendations, including which facilities can offer regulated wagering and easing restrictions on bets surrounding in-state colleges.
With little to no objections, delegates approved of Northam’s suggestions, thus legalizing retail and online sports betting in Virginia effective July 1.
Read more on Virginia Sports Betting
Some states are moving more tentatively into the sports betting world than others. The following are the states that have launched retail sports betting only, so at least fans can wager on their favorite sporting events in person. However, they have either severely limited online betting or prohibited it outright.
New York – New York legalized sports betting back in 2013, but had to wait for PASPA to fall. Now, there are seven retail sportsbooks (four commercial, three tribal) spread throughout the state. Lawmakers are continuing to work for online sports betting.
Arkansas – Arkansas launched its first sportsbook in July 2019 when the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort opened its doors. It is Arkansas’ only sportsbook. The law allows for the placement of three more facilities, but no mobile wagering is permitted.
Mississippi – Mississippi was one of the first states to launch sports betting after the fall of PASPA. The first book opened its doors in August 2018, and dozens more have joined since then. However, state law only allows online play while onsite at a gambling facility.
New Mexico – New Mexico is the only state with legal sportsbooks and no state law allowing sports betting. Five tribal casinos have opened books since October 2018, claiming the right under their state compact. None have offered a mobile app yet.
North Carolina – North Carolina gave its two tribal casinos the power to offer sports betting in July 2019. There’s still no definite timeline for a launch, as lawmakers are continuing to study the issue. The bill did not allow either casino to offer online sports betting.
Washington, D.C. – The Washington D.C. City Council passed a bill in December 2018 to allow retail and online sports betting throughout the nation’s capital. Unfortunately, a judge has blocked that move for the time being. There is no timeframe for launch in D.C. now.
Michigan – Legalized sports betting hit Michigan in March 2020 with two of the three commercial casinos opening sportsbooks. The state also legalized online wagering, though mobile sportsbooks are not expected until 2021.
Maryland: A referendum asking voters if sports betting should be legal made its way to the ballot box in November 2020 and was voted on with a resounding “yes”. Now lawmakers will go to work laying out a myriad of details on paper, so don’t quite expect the first bets to be taken early on in 2021.
After you select where you’ll be wagering, read about the basics of sports betting. It’s a handy guide for both novices and those who want to brush up on their skills.
While some states are intent on bringing sports betting to their residents, others are more hesitant. In some cases, the states are larger and have more stakeholders to satisfy. Regardless, here are the states that are considering legal sports betting.
California: Efforts were underway to put a California sports betting initiative before voters in November. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, all efforts have stopped. For now, it appears all momentum for CA sports betting in 2020 is all but finished.
Florida: A Florida state senator has filed a trio of bills to legalize sports betting in the state and put the state lottery in charge. What remains to be seen is how the powerful Seminole Tribe, which operates multiple Florida casinos, will fit into the plan.
Maine: Maine’s legislature sent a completed sports bill to the desk of Gov. Janet Mills in June 2019. Unfortunately, after a months-long delay, Mills chose to veto the bill in January 2020. So, it remains to be seen where Maine goes from here.
Massachusetts: There’s no denying that there is conversation in Massachusetts about sports betting. There are several bills under the scrutiny of State Sen. Eric Lesser right now, and according to the Boston Globe, sports betting is a matter of when, not if, in Massachusetts.
Kentucky: After back-to-back years attempting to legalize sports betting, it’s back to the drawing board. Rep. Adam Koenig filed bills in 2019 and 2020, and neither was able to move forward towards legalization. It’s going to be an uphill battle for 2021.
Missouri: The coronavirus pandemic may have detailed any change for sporting betting in 2020. Lawmakers are hopeful a bill can get passed in 2021.
Kansas: There are currently two bills circulating in the Kansas legislature, one passed by the Senate and one crafted by the House. Each bill is significantly different and could cause the downfall of Kansas sports betting if lawmakers can’t come to an agreement. For now, things appear up in the air.
Georgia: The Georgia Lottery Corporation allows residents to play online from anywhere in Georgia. Players can buy tickets for draw games, including Fantasy 5, Mega Millions, Powerball. There are also Keno games available and the Georgia Lottery’s exclusive interactive Diggi Games. Online lottery sale went live in the state in November 2012. The launch coincided with the release of a lottery debit card players can use online called the iHOPE. It allows players to preload funds, buy tickets and download winnings.
Illinois: Illinois launched a pilot program offering online sales of Lotto and Mega Millions tickets in March 2012. This made Illinois the first state to offer online lottery ticket sales. By December 2012, the Illinois Lottery’s website was also offering tickets for the popular multi-state Powerball lottery. It has since expanded to include Daily Lottery Games and Instant Games, the online equivalent of instant ticket scratch-offs. In April 2014, Illinois Lottery officials announced online tickets sales had reached $36.9 million in the program’s first two years.
Michigan: The Michigan Lottery officially launched online lottery sales in the Fall of 2014. Michigan residents were then allowed to buy tickets for Instant Keno and electronic scratch-off game equivalents from a computer, smartphone, or tablet device.
In January 2016, the Michigan Lottery began draw game ticket sales online. This allowed Michigan residents to buy tickets online for the most popular draw games, including Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto 47, and Fantasy 5. Players have to be Michigan residents over the age of 18. Plus, they must sign up for an account on the Michigan Lottery website to make purchases.
Kentucky: Kentucky became the latest state to offer online lottery ticket sales in 2016. The state offers online sales of jackpot and daily draw games as well as instant play games. Online ticket sales were actually approved in 2013. However, it took the state three years to develop its complex online ticketing and security system. Players have to set up an account and deposit money to buy tickets. Deposits cannot be withdrawn in accordance with money-laundering laws.
New Hampshire: In June of 2017, New Hampshire became the fifth state to pass laws allowing for online lottery sales. On Sept. 20, 2018, the state officially launched its online lottery offering.
Pennsylvania: As part of a large gambling expansion bill that passed in October 2017, Pennsylvania is the latest state to legalize the online lottery. The PA iLottery soft-launched on May 29, 2018. Currently, it only features instant win online scratch-off games. There is room for the game selection to expand in the future though.
Daily fantasy sports sites operate in numerous states. Some have authored legislation regulating and taxing operators, while others do not.
New York was really the first state to take on DFS operators after the game’s popularity began to rise. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a cease-and-desist order to top DFS operators DraftKings and FanDuel in November 2015. At the time, Schneiderman claimed DFS was illegal gambling under state law and really just a re-branded version of sports betting.
A protracted legal battle and negotiated went on until August 2016 when NY Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill allowing DFS sites to serve New Yorkers. The sites now pay a licensing fee and 15% tax on gross revenues to the state.
In the meantime, Massachusetts lawmakers went a different route. They chose to legalize DFS operations and set a number of regulations. However, there are no taxes and fees associated.
In Nevada, DFS operators are being treated just like casinos. They are required to apply for a gambling operators license. So far, no major DFS operators have sought to operate in Nevada.
Other states, like California, have considered legislation regulating and taxing DFS operators, but have yet to pass any laws. California remains the largest market for DFS sites.
The first online casinos started opening up on the internet back in 1994. The operators of these sites were mostly based in places like Antigua and the Isle of Man, but they happily accepted customers from the United States.
By 1996, a First Nations group near Montreal, Quebec, Canada set up a gaming commission and started issuing licenses to online poker and casino sites on North American soil. This group was the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake and the commission was known as the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
The number of online gambling websites around the world suddenly ballooned from a handful to hundreds.
By 1998, reports suggested online gambling revenues were upwards of $800 million.
A year later, the US Senate made its first attempt to ban online gambling, introducing the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. The bill did not pass.
In 2002, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled the Federal Wire Act prohibits sports betting, but not necessarily online gambling. However, the US Department of Justice disagreed, claiming all online gambling is illegal in the US, and that advertising online gambling is akin to aiding and abetting a crime. In 2004, search engines Google and Yahoo! pulled all online gambling advertising.
In September 2006, the US Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) as a part of the SAFE Port Act. The act made it illegal for US banks to process transactions for online gambling sites. President George W. Bush signed the bill into law in October and a number of online gambling operators immediately pulled out of the US market.
However, The online gambling industry kept growing and many operators continued to accept US customers. The offshore operations skirted around the new banking laws in a variety of creative ways. By 2008, market data and intelligence firm H2 Gambling Capital estimated worldwide online gambling revenues had hit $21 billion.
On April 15, 2011, three of the largest online poker operators in the world were indicted on various charges including violating the UIGEA. These sites included PokerStars, Full Tilt, and Absolute Poker. Access to the sites from the US was shut down and the massive US online poker market was effectively closed. The day became known as Black Friday in the online poker community.
It was ultimately exposed that Full Tilt had failed to segregate player funds and paid out millions in to its owners. A settlement was reached that included PokerStars buying Full Tilt and paying back US players who were left out of pocket.
In December 2011, the DOJ released a legal opinion that Federal Wire Act only applies to sports bets. This paved the way for individual states to begin to consider online lottery sales, and ultimately online poker and online casino games.
In the summer of 2012, Delaware became the first state to legalize online gambling, passing the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act.
In February 2013, Nevada became the second state to legalize online gambling, authorizing the issue of online poker licenses. Within a week, New Jersey became the third state to legalize online gambling, authorizing the issue of both online poker and online casino licenses to casinos in Atlantic City.
In April 2013, the first legal online gambling site in the United States went live in Nevada. It was an online poker room called Ultimate Poker. By November, online poker and online casinos went live in Delaware and New Jersey.
In 2017, Pennsylvania became the fourth and largest state to pass legislation regulating online gambling. Both online casinos and an online poker room launched in 2019.
In 2018, the Supreme Court overturned PASPA, which ignited a wave of interest across several states in authorizing sports betting, including online sports betting.
In early 2019, the DOJ released a revised Wire Act opinion. The impacts of that new opinion on legal online gambling remain unclear.