Where Is Sports Betting Legal? A Guide To All 50 States

Where Is Sports Betting Legal? A Guide To All 50 States

A total of 36 states have legalized sports gambling since 2018 and another three could get in the game this year. Here’s where the action is across America.

Game On: American wagered more than $100 billion legally on sports in 2022.

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Baseball’s all-time hits leader, Pete Rose, has a new hustle—legal sports betting. On New Year’s Day, the Cincinnati Reds legend, who was permanently banned from baseball in 1989 for gambling on the game while he was manager of the team, placed the first legal sports wager in Ohio.

True to form, Rose put action on the Reds to win the 2023 World Series.

Thirty-four years after Rose was banned from MLB, sports betting is now legal in 36 states and Washington, D.C., up from 32 in 2021. (To date, 33 states are operational, while three others have yet to launch their programs.) Mobile sports betting is now legal in 26 states, up from 18 in January 2022.

And legalized gambling is paying off for the states that allow it. In the first ten months of 2022, Americans wagered $73 billion legally on sports, up 70% year-over-year, according to the American Gaming Association. Sports betting companies generated $5.77 billion off those wagers, up 78% year-over-year, and states and the federal government generated an estimated $1.3 billion.

New York, which launched its mobile sports betting market last year, is number one in sports betting revenue with $1.07 billion from January through October. Illinois is a distant second with $616 million during the same period, and New Jersey is in third place with $595 million.

Casey Clark, a senior vice president at the American Gaming Association (AGA), says total gaming revenue—slots, table games and sports wagering— across tribal and commercial casinos for the full year of 2022 will likely be more than $100 billion. The total tally would beat the revenue record of $92 million ($53 million from commercial casinos and $39 billion from tribal casinos) set in 2021.

“Last year was a record-breaking year for the gaming industry,” says Clark. “And certainly, the continued expansion and adoption of and maturation of legal sports betting across the country contributed to that.”

The legalization of sports wagering has spread across the country since 2018 when the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. PASPA had effectively made sports betting illegal except in Nevada and a few other states. After the ban was struck down, states have been allowed to legalize sports betting and launch their own programs. The industry has been on fire and growing rapidly. The market has grown from seven states in 2018 to 36 (as well as Washington, D.C.) in the last four years.

Clark predicts that 2023 will be another year of records as existing state markets mature and new ones are launched. “We’ll see [legislative] action in probably nine or 10 states,” he says.

But don’t expect that many to legalize this year. The political process takes time as bills are introduced, and opposed by various legislators. “Each of these markets takes an appropriately measured approach,” he says. The biggest states that still do not allow sports betting are California, Florida, and Texas.

Florida legalized sports betting in 2021 through a gambling compact with the state’s Seminole Tribe—a deal that was slated to bring $2.5 billion in tax revenue to Florida over five years. But a federal judge overturned the dealruling that the plan violated the state’s constitution and federal Indian gambling law. The tribe is appealing the ruling, and the state’s mobile sports betting market is currently in limbo.

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The Texas legislature, which only meets every other year, is convening later this year and there is more support among legislators than in years past. An “army” of 300 lobbyists are trying to get politicians to say yes to gambling. Texas State Senator Carol Alvarado, a Democrat from Houston, filed a bill that would regulate casino games and sports betting in a limited number of cities, including Austin, Dallas and Houston. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, while campaigning against Beto O’Rourke in October, said he was “open” to hearing proposals.

And in California, voters rejected two competing ballot measures in November. But the fight to legalize sports betting in America’s most populous state is surely not over.

Although a lot needs to happen politically before the big three legalize sports wagering, four other states will most likely change their laws this year. Here’s where the sports betting map could expand in 2023.


In early January, lawmakers introduced a bill that, if passed, would legalize sports betting (in-person and mobile). During his State of the Commonwealth AddressGovernor Andy Beshear said that the state will vote on sports betting legislation. (Kentucky could legalize medical marijuana this year as well.)


A bill that would give control to a legal sports betting market in Minnesota to Native American tribes failed to pass the Senate last year. But Rep. Zack Stephenson, who sponsored the bill, told website Legal Sports Report that a similar bill will be introduced soon. “There’ll be some minor changes, nothing public at the moment,” Stephenson said. “As far as movement, I anticipate the initial language being introduced around two weeks from now.”

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Legalizing sports betting is an early priority this year for Missouri lawmakers. The state is almost entirely surrounded by states that have legal sports betting markets, including Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas. State House Majority Leader Jonathan Patterson told the Missouri Independent that getting legislation passed is important for the state.

“I would rank it pretty high because of the fact that our citizens obviously want it,” Patterson said. “There also is a revenue component to it. That money can be used for education. I think the importance is high and it does provide meaningful revenue.”

North Carolina

It is currently legal to wager on sports at North Carolina’s tribal casinos. A bill to expand the state’s program to include mobile sports betting failed to become law in 2022 after being rejected by the House. Lawmakers are expected to try again to legalize gambling this year.

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