LEGAL US GAMBLING
There has never been more discussion around online gambling in the US than right now. More Americans are able to play their favorite casino games, bet on sports, or play poker through their mobile devices and computers than ever before. In fact, no matter where you live in the United States, there are probably opportunities to gamble online relatively nearby.
This page is your premier source of information on legal online gambling in the United States. So, read on for all the latest updates, news and state launches.
Latest online gambling updates
Current as of November 23, 2022
Online sports betting finally launched in Maryland after months of deliberation. Sportsbooks opened just before Thanksgiving and the traditional football slate on Thursday.
With Ohio coming at the turn of the new year and Massachusetts set for early 2023, more than half the country will be able to place bets on sports in the very near future.
US Gambling News
States that offer legal online gambling
|State||Online Casino||Online Sports Betting||Online Poker|
Online casinos: 6 states
At this point, only a handful of states have legal online casinos available to the public. However, there is a decent chance that Illinois and Indiana might legalize online casinos in 2023, too. Hopefully your state brings you access to you favorite online casino games like roulette, blackjack and more soon.
Online sports betting: 24 States + DC
No other type of gambling has more buzz and cachet than sports betting right now. Since a key Supreme Court ruling in 2018, nearly half the states in the country have either launched online sports betting or are preparing to do so in the near future.
Online poker: 6 states
Online poker is often the afterthought of the online gambling world. Its low speed and low relative profitability for the sites and states make legalizing it a low priority for most lawmakers. Often, it gets tacked onto larger gaming expansions that are bringing online casinos and/or sports betting to the state at the same time.
Arizona is one of the largest states to launch online sports betting. Arizona sportsbook licenses are split between professional sports outlets and Native American tribes in the state, but from a player perspective, it’s mostly the usual lineup of books like BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars. Now, the good news is that you can bet on in-state collegiate teams if you like. However, Arizona law does not permit the placement of individual proposition wagers on collegiate games, no matter who’s playing.
Colorado has become one of the shining stars of sports betting in just a short period of time. Since launching in 2020, more than two dozen Colorado online sportsbooks have begun offering their services to Coloradans and visitors to the state. Most types of wagers are available in the state, but individual prop bets on college games are not permitted. In theory, all 35 of the casino properties in the state could offer online sports betting, but it’s unclear if all of them will or if Colorado’s population could support so many apps.
Connecticut launched in late 2021 with two online casino options & online poker. The state has only tribal casinos — no commercial ones — so two tribes have exclusivity and have partnered with major national online casino operators. While online casinos are up and running in Connecticut, the state is still waiting for the launch of online poker. The Mohegan Sun Online Casino, owned by the Mohegan Tribe, is powered by FanDuel, while DraftKings Online Casino is in partnership with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.
Get even more details on the latest in Connecticut online casinos
Connecticut launched online sports betting in October 2021. Because of the state’s small size and particulars of its stakeholders, there are only three Connecticut sportsbooks active in the state. The state lottery offers one of these books in conjunction with PlaySugarHouse. The remaining two books are reserved for Connecticut’s two Native American tribes — the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe (with DraftKings) and the Mohegan Tribe (with FanDuel).
Delaware’s nickname, the First State, stems from the timeliness of its ratification of the US Constitution but is an apt nickname for the state regarding online casinos. However, Delaware has chosen to keep its online casino offerings largely as an in-house thing, with all three of the state’s casinos hosting brands powered by 888. In turn, 888 works closely with the Delaware Lottery, the state gambling regulator. Delaware’s size limits its prospects of expanding its online gambling anytime soon.
Find out all the details about Delaware online casino options.
Delaware is one of the earlier entrants to the online poker game in the US and launched its first site all the way back in 2013. Due to the state’s size and population, the three poker sites in the state are all linked with one another in terms of their network — all three are powered by 888. However, Delaware is a signatory of MSIGA, so Delaware players can play with competitors in Nevada and New Jersey. More or less, Delawareans are able to play for all the benefits offered by WSOP.com.
Illinois allows online sports betting to take place in a somewhat begrudging manner. Since IL sportsbook apps began launching in 2020, state law has required patrons to register for their accounts in person. Thankfully, this provision will sunset in 2022 (hopefully). In the meantime, you can bet on many different sporting events in Illinois, but wagers on in-state colleges and non-sports events (like elections or awards ceremonies) are not permissible, according to the law.
Indiana beat its next door neighbor, Illinois, to the sports betting table by almost a year and has, in no small part, administered it much better than the Land of Lincoln. State regulations have permitted every Indiana casino to offer online IN sportsbooks, and almost every one has done so at this point. For the most part, you can bet on anything you like in the Hoosier State. However, eSports betting is not allowed, and the Indiana Gaming Commission retains quite a bit of discretion about live betting options.
Iowa’s entry into sports betting came as a bit of a surprise, but the Hawkeye State is now home to more than a dozen online sportsbook apps. The good news is that most sporting events, including ones involving the University of Iowa and Iowa State, are available for wagering in Iowa. However, if you were planning on eSports betting or placing a wager on the Oscars, you’re out of luck. You will also need to get those college bets on the Hawkeyes and Cyclones in before the game — no live betting on in-state collegiate teams is permitted.
Kansans rejoiced with the arrival of legal online sports betting on Sept. 1 — just in time for the new NFL season. It took some time for operators to arrive after Gov. Laura Kelly signed legislation into law back in May and online sports gambling was made legal in July, but residents and visitors of the Sunflower State finally have betting right at their finger tips.
Louisiana mobile sports betting is now live, with six mobile betting apps launching on Jan. 28, 2022. The law allows sports betting licenses to each of the 20 major gambling locations in the state, so Pelican State residents could soon find themselves inundated with options and opportunities to bet on the Saints or the LSU Tigers. Sports betting is available in 55 of the 64 parishes, as these areas declined to approve the corresponding ballot measure in November 2020.
Online sports betting in the Old Line State is finally kicked off after the longest delay in the industry. After much deliberation and push from legislators and future state bettors, operators launched in Maryland on Nov. 23 — just ahead of Thanksgiving NFL play. Online sports betting in Maryland is officially a go.
Michigan is one of the newer members of the online casino fraternity, but the Great Lakes State is already making plenty of waves since its launch in 2021. There are more than a dozen online casino apps for you to try, and you can find options both from big name companies like Caesars and WynnBet and smaller Michigan-based brands like Firekeepers and Four Winds. This diverse mixture of options is available under the umbrella of the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
Read more about online casinos in Michigan.
Michigan opened its online sports betting doors with a bang in January 2021, with 10 sportsbooks debuting on the same day. Since then, it has become one of the top states for sports betting, with more than one dozen Michigan sports betting apps offering service to Michiganders and their guests. For the most part, Michigan law does not prohibit any particular type of sports wager beyond high school sporting events. However, you cannot make prop bets on individual players in collegiate sports.
Michigan hopped into the online gambling world with both feet in 2021 when it launched online casinos, sports betting, and poker on a glorious day in January. So far, three major poker sites — PokerStars, BetMGM and WSOP — have gotten their businesses underway in the Great Lakes State. All three offer great poker action of all stripes inside Michigan’s borders. Best of all, Michigan joined MSIGA.
Here’s where you can check out everything about Michigan online poker.
Technically, you can bet on sports online in Mississippi, but the method for doing so is extremely limited and, frankly, is rather unpalatable. Mississippi permits only one sports betting app, BetMGM, to operate inside state lines, and you can only use the app while you are physically located at one of the state’s retail sports betting outlets.
Like Mississippi, you can bet on sports online in Montana, but you can only use one sports betting app, Sports Bet Montana, to place bets inside state lines, and you can only use the app while you are physically inside a retail sports betting outlet. Additionally, the site is a joint effort between the state lottery and its lottery provider, Intralot, and famously offers exceptionally uncompetitive odds for betting. It is not uncommon to see opening payout ratios hovering around -118, which is a massive markup over the industry’s standard -110.
Nevada is the original sports betting state and the first to offer online sports betting of any kind. You can find almost any sports wager you can imagine somewhere in the Silver State. However, despite its unmatched pedigree, Nevada remains a frustrating place to play for online sports bettors because of its registration requirements. Under state law, you must register and place your first deposit in person at your chosen NV app’s home casino(s), and it’s a pain if you’re not living in or visiting one of Nevada’s few population centers.
Nevada is not a surprising location for online poker, given its long history as the center of the poker universe. What is surprising is the dearth of options that Nevadans have — the only active poker site in the Silver State is WSOP.com, the online arm of the world-famous tournament series. WSOP.com is a rather large site and offers cash games, tournaments, sit-n-go’s, and fast fold games. You also can take part in games involving New Jersey and Delaware players, due to Nevada’s membership in the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA).
New Hampshire is one of a handful of smaller states that has favored a monopoly-esque model for its sports betting industry. The only available app in the Granite State is DraftKings, which works in close partnership with the state lottery. However, you will be able to find some limited options through the lottery itself in the near future. Most wagers in New Hampshire are permitted, but in-state collegiate games are off-limits.
New Jersey is home to more online casino options than any other state and was one of the first to legalize online casino gaming in 2013. Nearly two dozen different apps, including offerings from top brands like DraftKings, FanDuel, MGM, and Golden Nugget, are available to almost anyone with an internet connection in the Garden State. Each site is overseen by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
For more information, visit our New Jersey online casinos page.
Since 2018, no state has benefited more from or pushed the envelope farther on sports betting than New Jersey. The Garden State’s hardfought Supreme Court victory opened the door for sports betting outside of Nevada, and state lawmakers have been quick to take advantage of their new freedom. The state is now home to nearly two dozen NJ sportsbooks, and many of the apps have served as a de facto home for New York City sports bettors. The only bets that you cannot make in New Jersey are on in-state college teams OR collegiate events inside state lines.
Next to Nevada, no other state has more experience with online poker than New Jersey. The Garden State is home to seven poker sites spread across four different networks. Each site offers the standard types of games and formats, but you’ll have to visit PokerStars if you want a more exotic game or experience. On WSOP.com and 888, you have the opportunity to play against players in Nevada and Delaware, however.
Here’s where you can check out everything about NJ online poker.
Online sports betting began in January 2022. State regulators cleared four sportsbooks — Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers — to launch their apps as soon as possible. Additionally, five more apps received their licenses and will be cleared to launch as soon as they meet all of the New York State Gaming Commission’s requirements. In other words, New York is soon to be home to nine sportsbook apps.
Oregon is another state that chose to launch online sports betting as a state-run extension of its lottery. In fact, the Beaver State was able to take its first bets in Oregon in 2019 thanks to the Oregon Lottery’s assertion that it retained the ability to offer sports betting through grandfathering under PASPA. At any rate, Oregonians can bet on sports through the DraftKings app as much as they like. However, all college sports are off-limits for betting.
After a lengthy wait, Pennsylvania joined the online casino party in 2019 with just two online casino options. In relatively short order, however, there were more than a dozen different apps available in the Keystone State. All online casinos in Pennsylvania answer to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Get even more details about online casinos in PA.
Pennsylvania was the first large state to offer online sports betting. The Keystone State debuted wagering on sporting events back in 2019 and hasn’t slowed down since then. There are nearly a dozen sportsbook apps in service in Pennsylvania now. There are no restrictions on betting collegiate events or other sports in the state, but be aware that non-sporting events (elections, award ceremonies, etc.) are not permitted.
Pennsylvania is one of the newer states to launch legal online poker and has only been active since 2019. However, the Keystone State’s population has buoyed the fledgling industry’s efforts to survive, and Pennsylvania is now home to five different poker sites, including giants like PokerStars and WSOP.com. Unfortunately, PA has not moved forward with sharing their player pools with other states yet, so Pennsylvanians are limited to playing with each other for the time being.
Rhode Island is a great example of a state that has amended its sports betting positively since launch. Although the Ocean State debuted wagering on sports in 2018 as a retail-only endeavor, subsequent changes to the law have allowed for online betting and remote registration. Like other smaller states, Rhode Island operates with a state-run sportsbook app as its only option. You have a wide range of options through Sportsbook Rhode Island, but betting on collegiate events inside the state or on Rhode Island universities is not allowed.
Tennessee’s entry into the sports betting world was a surprise on its own, given the state’s history with gambling. However, the fact that the Volunteer State was the first online-only sports betting state is even more shocking. There are now more than a half-dozen options for Tennessee bettors from which to choose, including a local TN sportsbook, Action 24/7. In-play wagers on collegiate events are not allowed, but everything else is on the table in Tennessee.
Virginia became a sports betting state in 2021 and was only the second (after Tennessee) to launch as an online-only endeavor. However, with future plans for retail casinos and sportsbooks in the works in Old Dominion, its status as a nexus for mobile bettors is temporary. Nevertheless, there are now eight sportsbooks active in Virginia, and each one is a big name brand, like BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings, and Barstool. You cannot bet on Virginia universities for the most part, but tournaments involving those teams (like March Madness) are exempt from this provision.
Sports betting is a bit complicated in our nation’s capital. The only app available throughout the city, GambetDC, is operated by the DC Lottery in partnership with Intralot. Meanwhile, the Caesars Sportsbook app operates only around Capital One Arena and BetMGM around Nationals Park. On top of that, you cannot bet on DC universities or college games inside the district.
West Virginia was one of the first states to legalize online sports betting and is, at present, one of the few to offer online casinos. There are four online casino options in the Mountain State, and more should be joining the group soon. The West Virginia Lottery Commission serves as the gambling regulator in the state and oversees all online casino sites there.
Check out our data sheet on West Virginia online casinos.
West Virginia is the quiet elder statesman of the American sports betting industry and was one of the first states to offer sports betting outside of Nevada. Even though the Mountain State is small, there are six different WV sportsbook apps available inside its borders. All six are partnered with one of the five casinos in the state. You can bet almost anything you like, but, curiously enough, eSports are not allowed as a betting vehicle unless all the participants are over 18.
Wyoming became the second state to launch sports betting without plans for retail versions when it came online in 2021. The state’s mixture of low population density, large land area, treacherous weather conditions, and lack of casinos outside of tribal locations in the western portion of the state made an online focus much more necessary than in other states. Wyoming is also one of the few states to set the gambling age for sports betting at 18. There are no real restrictions on the sports available for wagering in Wyoming, either, aside from the customary ban on high school sports.
States with online sports betting coming soon
Maine Sports Betting
Maine became the first state to legalize sports betting in 2022 after the passing of LD 585 in April and Gov. Janet Mills signing the bill into law in May. However, sports fans in the Pine Tree State will still have to wait a while to place bets up in New England, with expectations for operators to launch likely being a year or so away.
Massachusetts Sports Betting
Gov. Charlie Baker signed sports betting into law in August 2022, setting things in motions for operators to begin applying for licenses in the state. But like other states, the timeframe between the law being signed and the official launch of online sports betting in states can be a long one. Expect to see legal online sports betting in Massachusetts around the beginning of 2023.
Ohio Sports Betting
Though there is no guarantee regarding the exact number of apps, Ohio sports bettors could see nearly two dozen operators go live on the official state start date of Jan. 1, 2023. Multiple sports franchises in the Buckeye State have already partnered up with operators ahead of the upcoming launch, but no matter who you choose to bet with or bet on, Ohio looks ready to join the fun.
How US online gambling came to be
Online gambling has been around for decades in the US. Legal online gambling, however, has a much shorter history. The reason for the delay is relatively simple: laws take a while to catch up to new technology. In fact, for the most part, government agencies tend to ban things before making them legal, and that’s largely what happened with online gambling.
So, the first thing to understand is the legal environment for online gambling in the 2010s. Online gambling sites and casinos had proliferated in the past decade (the 2000s) and resulted in millions of dollars wagered every single day in an unregulated environment. This time period also coincided with the “poker boom,” a tremendous resurgence of the game’s prominence in popular culture.
UIGEA leads to online poker’s Black Friday
The federal government did not take this proliferation lying down. Lawmakers passed the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act in 2006, which rendered it illegal for gambling companies to accept bets from the internet. Immediately, Partypoker, the largest active site, went dark for US customers. However, other sites, like PokerStars and Full Tilt, quickly swooped in to fill the void. For a time, it seemed like the act was more of a showpiece than a law with teeth, but it was certainly a portent of dark times for online gambling in the US.
In the midst of all this turmoil, Nevada quietly became the first state to offer online sports betting. The first app came online in 2010. However, all wagering took place inside state lines, and Nevada’s position as the sole purveyor of sports betting in the country meant that the development drew little attention from the feds.
The UIGEA remained a mere talking point until 2011. Then, on April 15, the Department of Justice indicted PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker — the three largest online poker sites — for violations of the law. This event has come to be known as Black Friday. Its effect was immediate and profound: the unregulated gaming boom came to a crashing halt.
At the same time, however, other states decided to test the notion that the federal government had no jurisdiction to bar them from offering online gambling games taking place entirely inside state lines. Based on a 2011 Wire Act opinion, Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey became the first states with legal online poker two years later in 2013. New Jersey added online casinos during 2013 as well.
The fall of PASPA
For a time, the launches in these three states represented the only real developments in online gambling in the country. The only progress occurred with minor gaming activities like daily fantasy sports and iLottery. What most people didn’t know, though, was that New Jersey had already begun the court case that would change the entire face of online gambling in the US. Everything came to a head in May 2018.
At issue was a law called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, or PASPA. PASPA banned sports betting in all states except those that already had active sportsbooks or sports betting games. In practice, the law created a near-monopoly for Nevada. In response to public support, though, New Jersey had legalized sports betting inside its borders in 2012 and had been fighting in court ever since. Finally, despite losses at every lower court, the Garden State managed to gain an audience with the US Supreme Court. After hearing arguments in late 2017, the Court rendered a 6-3 verdict in favor of New Jersey and struck down PASPA as a violation of the Tenth Amendment.
Online sports betting and the future
At that moment, the ball for sports betting began rolling in the US, no pun intended. New Jersey and Delaware accepted the first legal sports bets outside of Nevada a month later. Furthermore, technology had progressed to the point that online sports betting made sense as a complementary offering to retail sports betting. So, many states that legalized sports betting made it available in both online and retail form. Three states — Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming — went so far as to launch in an online-only format. At last check, you can find online sports betting in roughly half of the states in the country.
Additionally, because online sports betting has turned out to be such a boon to state coffers, lawmakers have recently begun entertaining further expansions into online casinos and poker. Online casinos are now legal options in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Connecticut. Online poker is available or soon to be available in those areas, too, and several of those states are likely to combine their player pools to increase traffic in the near future.
With all that said, it’s important to realize that the federal government remains fairly hostile to the notion of internet gaming and is willing to battle in court over new developments. To that end, and on the heels of its PASPA loss, the Department of Justice embarked on an ill-fated attempt to interpret the Interstate Wire Act — a Kennedy-era law that is the reason interstate sports betting is illegal — as relating to all types of gambling. Though that attempt failed in court, it is evident that federal opponents of gambling have not surrendered to the wave of public opinion. In other words, it’s safe to say that a national law to permit online gambling seems less likely at this point in time.