Sports Betting in the US

Betting on sports is a part of the American lifestyle. You may have seen dozens of movies and sitcoms, where one of the main characters is running a betting league, contacting a bookie quietly over the phone, or winning it big from fantasy games. These days, people prefer to use betting sites and apps, like bet365, FanDuel sportsbook app, and Betfair. But here’s the question: Is it legal to bet on sports in the US?

PASPA Goes Down

In 1992, a law was passed to curb betting on sports. It was the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA. Luckily for bettors, the law was overturned in 2018, and the states are allowed to bet on sports yet again. The federal law allows the US residents to bet on sports, though they are not allowed to take in bets. At the time of writing, there are eight states where you can bet on most of the sports you want. Some of them are completely open to sports betting, while others are a bit conservative.


Delaware was among the first to utilize the overturning of PASPA. It offers fixed odds bets, and they are moving forward with taking over the online sports betting world. It’s interesting to point out that Delaware was in action a mere month after the ruling.


Nevada used to be unique and synonymous with gambling. In fact, it is difficult not to think of Las Vegas immediately, as well as everything that entails. In other words, if there is a state in America that knows how to regulate, liquidate and follow betting, it’s the Silver State. Others might learn a thing or two from this veteran.

New Jersey

In a surprising twist, it was the governor of this state, Phil Murphy, not only signed the bill that regulated gambling in this state, but was also one of the first people to place a bet with William Hill.


Mobile betting will still have to wait a while in the Hospitality State. Still, the Mississippi Gaming Commission says placing sports bets is okay, as long as it’s done in person.

West Virginia

At the time of writing this article, both in-person betting and online betting on sports are legal in the state of West Virginia.

New Mexico

While the other states on this list waited a mere month before placing their wagers, New Mexico was a little late to the party. The Santa Ana Star Hotel & Casino took in the first sports wager in October 2018. While the people of New Mexico can bet on nearly any sport, they are forbidden from placing wagers on games that involve teams coming from the New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico.


The state was trying to get a head start with the betting bill in 2017 pushed proactively by Thomas Wolf, the state governor.

Rhode Island

Mobile betting is still off limits here and there are only two places that allow sports betting for now.