- Which states allow online betting?
- How does sports betting work?
- Online sports betting promos
- Making sense of odds
- Banking methods
- Types of sports bets
If you want to read the quick version, go to our FAQ below.
An overview of the online sports betting landscape in America, from legal information to how you can bet online in your state.
The pace is picking up in terms of online sports betting in the USA. Since the federal ban was lifted in 2018, states have legalized sports betting one after the other, with New Jersey being the pioneer state.
On this page, we hope to provide you with a great overview of the US sports betting situation, whether you are looking for legal information or the best sports betting sites online.
We'll also equip you with the best advice on how to get started with online sports betting in the US.
Please, select your state and find out more about the current situation there. If you can’t find your state, please have a look at our homepage or this legal overview of online gambling in the US for more information.
If you want to read the quick version, go to our FAQ below.
This page looks at US online sports betting and the options available in your state. You can get a feel for the content further down with these FAQs.
Online sports betting is wagering on sports over the internet via online betting sites and sports betting apps.
Depending on online gambling rules according to the state, patrons can wager on sports online anywhere in state lines.
Online sports betting is decided on a state-by-state basis.
Following the abolishment of PASPA in 2018, all states have the authority to implement a legal framework for online gambling, inclusive of online sports betting.
This legal overview of sports betting shows whether your state has a regulated industry.
The list of states with online sports betting continues to grow.
A form of regulated online sports betting is available in the following states:
Getting started is quick and straightforward.
Just follow our 5-step process:
Yes. Legal online sports betting in New Jersey launched in August 2018. There are more sports betting sites in New Jersey than any other state.
A federal law, namely The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992 (PASPA) banned states from regulating sports betting, except for a handful of states grandfathered into the law; Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana.
The earliest legal sports betting can arrive in The Golden State now is 2023. This follows an attempt to legalize CA sports betting in 2020 which was strongly opposed by the state's tribes.
You can read this overview of legal online gambling in California for more on the legality of CA gambling.
No. Gambling in Texas is extremely restricted and this includes sports betting.
Click the link for more on why legal sports betting in Texas is not available.
States across America have been busy drafting bills and enacting legislation since the federal ban on sports betting (PASPA) was lifted in May 2018. Remarkably, there are now eighteen states with regulated sports betting active - over a third of the country.
The list below shows the states with legal sports betting and details of how sports betting is offered. This list is updated when a state launches legal sports betting or goes live online.
To learn of the legal status of sports betting where you are, click on your state.
|Legal State||Retail sports betting||Online sports betting|
|Iowa||✅||✅ (in-person sign-up)|
|Michigan||✅||❌ (still to launch)|
|Mississippi||✅||✅ (on-site only)|
|Montana||✅||✅ (on-site only)|
|Oregon||✅||✅ (in-person sign-up)|
|Rhode Island||✅||✅ (in-person sign-up)|
Tennessee and Virginia are two states that will soon have regulated sports betting operating. Both are set to launch statewide mobile sports betting in 2020.
New Jersey has the most online sports betting options in the US and is by far the best performing. Such has been the success of sports betting in the Garden State, New Jersey has been labeled the new sports betting capital of the US. Record revenue figures are now commonplace while the NJ model has become the envy of the entire US sports betting industry. The freedom in which players can bet from betting sites and mobile betting apps with no limitations and the relatively low cost for operators to acquire a license are two fundamental factors. Retail sportsbooks at ten Atlantic City casinos offer patrons the full package.
The Keystone state legalized sports betting in 2017 and as a result was one of the first to launch a regulated market. In-line with rules set out by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), PA betting sites launched after land-based sportsbooks. SugarHouse, first to launch an online book in May 2019 have since been joined by FanDuel, DraftKings and FOX Bet. Players can wager via state specific betting sites and apps and at retail sportsbooks located on the grounds of twelve land-based retail casinos.
The demise of the first WV sportsbook to launch, BetLucky, left players in the Mountain State without an online betting option for almost half a year. But the two biggest sportsbooks in the US, FanDuel and DraftKings, kick-started the market by launching within days of each other in August 2019. BetMGM is also an online option. Players can make sports wagers from the comfort of home via mobile apps and can also visit one of five retail sportsbooks.
With the start of NFL 2019 in sight, The Hoosier State launched both retail and online sports betting in the space of a few months. DraftKings and BetRivers were the first on the online scene, followed closely by FanDuel. BetMGM, PointsBet and Caesars are further online options for Hoosiers who also have the choice of fourteen land-based sportsbooks to place a sports wager.
Home to dozens of land-based casinos which will soon open retail sportsbooks, The Centennial State offers its patrons full-scale mobile wagering too. That means betting directly from a mobile device. CO sports betting is a highly appealing market for operators too hence why DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and FOX Bet have already landed. Many more big names including Bet365, PointsBet and William Hill are all expected to launch in the near future.
December 2019 saw the first legal sports wager placed in NH - The New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl. The wager was placed via mobile, retail sportsbooks set to follow later in 2020. DraftKings operates the entire sports betting market in the Granite State after the Boston-based operator won the bidding process and was awarded the contract by New Hampshire Lottery who is in charge of overseeing the industry.
As is the case in other states like New Hampshire, Oregon runs mobile betting through the state lottery. That means bettors have one sole online sports betting destination: The ‘Scoreboard’, which is available as a sports betting site and app. Players can also wager at retail casinos with sportsbooks, as well as kiosks operated by the OR Lottery.
Once upon a time the only place to gamble legally, Nevada no longer enjoys a monopoly of sports gambling. That aside, little has changed post-PASPA. Bettors can wager as usual at one of the numerous land-based casinos with sportsbooks and also via mobile apps. However, in order to protect Vegas casinos and still ensure customer footfall, a player must visit a brick-and-mortar casino to register for a mobile account.
With a little over three months between approving legislation and an industry launch, it was a swift and successful launch in The Hawkeye Atate. Iowa sports betting includes statewide mobile wagering, albeit, bettors need to visit a casino in-person to register for a sports betting account, a restriction in place until January 2021. Thereafter, Iowans can look forward to full-scale mobile sports wagering. For now, DraftKings and PointsBet are the only online options, alongside numerous legal books located at the state's brick-and-mortar casinos.
One after the other, states are enacting legislation and permitting sports betting
Delaware became the first state to take advantage of the removal of PASPA, ahead of New Jersey. Three retail sportsbooks at Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington casinos offer legal sports betting and this is thought to be sufficient for the second smallest state - at least for now.
Among a small cluster of states that anticipated the overturning of PASPA, Mississippi was the third state (after Nevada) to offer legal sports betting with the first wagers made at Gold Strike Casino in Tunica and Beau Rivage in Biloxi. Patrons in the Magnolia State can wager from a state-specific app (PRRSports), however, restrictions put in place by the Mississippi Gaming Commission require bettors to be on-site at a legal casino in order to access the app.
Wagers are accepted at The Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel in Bernalillo. This is despite the lack of actual legislation for sports betting which is limited to tribal casinos only. Mobile sports betting is not permitted in New Mexico.
The Ocean State was number eight to roll out legal sports betting when the Twin River Casino in Lincoln opened. In-person wagering is also permitted at Twin River Tiverton. Mobile sports betting, run by the state lottery, is an option. But in-person registration is required to activate a mobile sports betting account.
Arkansas became the first state in 2019 to launch a regulated industry, doing so on July 1. The first ever sports wager was placed at the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs. Southland and Saracen Casinos are also legal books bettors can visit in-person. Mobile sports betting is not permitted and this is unlikely to change any time soon.
New Yorkers can bet legally in-person at upstate and tribal casinos. But online wagering is not (yet) permitted. Inevitably, online sports betting will arrive in The Empire State but for now, locals can legally drive or ride the train into neighboring New Jersey and take advantage of the online market there.
Legal betting in Michigan got underway early on in 2020. In-person bets are accepted at the state's three commercial casinos in Detroit: MGM Grand, Greektown and MotorCity. MI legislation includes sports wagering via mobile apps but not until 2021.
Online sports betting is underway in Illinois, the Prairie State becoming the eleventh state to roll out an online market. BetRivers is the first mobile sportsbook in IL after also becoming the first to offer in-person bets. Bettors do not have to sign-up in person, as was to be the rule before this provision was suspended to enable the market to make a healthy start.
The Montana Lottery operates sports betting together with Greek gaming provider, Intralot. Wagering is permitted at authorized locations (bars and restaurants with a liquor license) which means there are dozens of legal betting spots for Montanans to access. Mobile betting is off the menu as it stands though.
GamBetDC, run by the DC Lottery, is the online platform you need if you're wagering on sports in D.C. This was rolled out in May 2020 and it was expected retail books would follow suit but this has now been delayed until summer 2021.
As you can see, the list of states with regulated sports betting is ever-growing. Remember to check back for the latest states added.
Additionally, this overview of legal sports betting in the US provides a run-through of the situation in all 50 states (and D.C), including those working on legislation.
Now you know whether or not your state has legal sports betting, let's get familiar with how online sports betting works.
This section helps you make sense of sports betting and what to bear in mind when betting online.
Sportsbooks need to stand out from the crowd in order to achieve their main aim of winning new customers. They do this by offering new players a welcome bonus on sign-up.
In exchange for just creating an account, you could earn great rewards such as bonus bets. Or your first deposit may be matched by the bookie so you have extra funds to play with.
You can claim an online betting bonus by signing up for a new sportsbook account
Here are the most common sports betting bonus offers in the US and how they work.
The best kind of welcome bonus in the online sports betting bonus world. That's because a No Deposit Bonus allows a new customer to 'test drive' a sportsbook without spending a single dime.
The bonus amount issued in return for creating an account is normally between $10 and $20, but can vary from operator to operator. Sometimes, the offer comes with a steep wagering requirement (sometimes as much as 25X) before you can claim the money as yours and withdraw it, so make sure to always carefully read the terms and conditions of any offer you claim!
But the ‘try before you buy’ element of the bonus remains of huge appeal to many first-time bettors looking to get a taste of what online sports betting is all about.
Here, you'll need to make a deposit to become eligible. Usually, a sportsbook will match the first deposit up to a certain percentage.
For example, a common offer is 100% up to $50. This means an initial deposit of $50 will be matched with another $50. if the offer is 50% up to $50, your account will be credited with a bonus of $25. And so on.
If your first bet is unsuccessful, the sportsbook will refund your stake in the shape of a bonus bet. This kind of offer essentially gives players a second chance to recoup any loses from an unsuccessful first wager.
Note, that any winnings made from your bonus bet will not include your stake. Also, consider that the bonus bet may need to be used within a certain time period.
Of course, if your bet wins, then happy days, you collect your winnings as normal - the bonus bet doesn't become eligible as you've won.
We bet for fun yes but, ultimately, the main reason is to win money. How much you win depends on the odds offered.
Odds differ between each betting site. You, therefore, find bettors, especially those who have wagered for many years, scour the market for the best odds. This involves visiting each online betting site and comparing how one event, in particular, is priced.
In the long term, a sportsbook that regularly offers value (i.e a higher payout for the amount staked) can see you earn more profit.
Odds indicate the probability of something happening, an outcome.
The lower the odds (the numbers with a minus sign) the more chance there is of it happening.
The higher the odds are the number with a plus sign) the less chance there is of something happening.
Here’s how American odds look as percentages.
The favorite will always be displayed with a minus (-) value.
The underdog will always be displayed with a positive (+) value.
A number is also presented alongside the + or -, this indicates how much you can win on each team.
Example: NFL 2020 Money Line
Using the example above to demonstrate, the Chiefs are the favorites on the money line, indicated by the minus (-) sign.
-500 tell us that to win $100, you will need to wager $500. Because the sportsbook expects the Chiefs to win, the book is offering low odds on something expected to happen.
The Texans are the underdogs, as shown by the plus (+) sign.
This time +370 tells us how much we will make in winnings ($370) if we wager $100. Because the Texans are not expected to win, the book is offering high odds on something not expected to happen.
If your knowledge of your sport is good, the more chance you have identifying the odds of a team that has been undervalued for example.
If we consider what we’ve learned so far, the -500 odds given to the Kansas City Chiefs are what you’d expect. The implied probability of the Chiefs winning is 83.3%. Given the Chiefs are Super Bowl winners and generally a better team than the Texans, the odds make sense.
But there will come a time when you believe that, based on your superior knowledge of the sport, a sportsbook has undervalued the probability of a team (this does happen).
There is no exact science in finding value in odds. Its something in which you become more accustomed to and keep an eye out for over time.
Also if your sport is more niche and not your typical American sport, the more chance there is of finding value. Let’s say your sport is cricket - a growing US sport but still relatively unknown - and you know everything there is to know, it’s likely your knowledge is better than a betting site.
Whether you are at a retail sportsbook or online sports betting website, you want to pay in a way most convenient for you.
It's in the interests of sportsbooks to offer many payment options in order to cater to everybody and make the deposit process straightforward for players.
Deposit methods vary between betting sites and states
Yet, while most have a wide range of options available, it is not the case of every betting site. Bear in mind also that deposit methods vary by state.
These are your typical deposit methods for online sports betting.
All US betting sites support the use of MasterCard and VISA. A selected few will offer American Express.
PayPal is convenient, simple and a secure way of moving money and allows customers to deposit to a betting account without sharing financial information.
Other methods available for depositing funds include:
Make a note 📝
Remember to find out if a deposit method also serves as a withdrawal method. It's easier if you can withdraw winnings using the same method but it is common for withdrawal options to be more limited.
FanDuel and 888sport for instance do not offer VISA or MasterCard as a withdrawal option but do support PayPal withdrawals.
This section talks about the different types of sports wager and how to play each correctly.
The most common type of wager across the big four US sports and beyond. Mainly because it's the easiest to understand.
In any game across all sports, you always have two teams competing against each other. All you're required to do with this type of wager is make a bet on the team you think will win the game.
New York Knicks -110
Atlanta Hawks +240
NY Knicks are the favorites to win at -110
Atlanta Hawks are the less fancied team to win at +240
The favorite is assigned a negative number (-), indicating the amount that must be staked for a $100 profit to be made
The underdog is assigned a positive number (+), indicating the amount that you can win if you risk $100.
This type of bet focuses on the points/goals difference between two teams, rather than who wins.
If you make a Point Spread bet you either need a team to win by a specific number of points/goals or, not lose by a specific number of points/goals.
Put simply, to win a point spread bet, you must beat the spread.
Why play a Point Spread bet?
Sometimes, bettors prefer a point spread bet because it adds variety. But often because a point spread bet offers more value.
Let's say a team are clear favorites and expected to win (as short as -600). Unless you wager a significant amount, you're not going to win a lot from a money line bet.
But with a point spread, you are able to bet on the margin of the result. Since this is not as straightforward to predict, the bet can yield a decent-sized return and thus represent better value for the bettor.
The points difference is determined by the strength of each team. With a spread of 10 points, the perceived difference in quality between the teams in this example is vast.
The question you need to ask as a bettor is whether the Chiefs are actually ten points better. Or can you see the Texans putting up a fight, maybe losing, but not being disgraced?
If you go the way of the Chiefs when placing your bet, the Chiefs must win by a margin greater than ten points for your wager to be successful.
If instead, you bet on the Texans to beat the spread, the Texans must either avoid a defeat of more than ten points or, win the game outright, for your wager to be successful.
If the Texans lose by a nine-point margin, for example, they've beaten the spread as they've not beaten by more than ten points, which, of course, would mean the Chiefs have beat the spread.
Come to the end of the game, if the points difference between the two teams is exactly ten points, no team has beat the spread. As there is no clear winner, the bet is declared a 'push' and your stake is returned.
A great alternative to just betting on the winner, a Totals bet is based on the combined points total of both teams.
Here, you must predict whether the game comes in over or under the total points line set by the sportsbook. Team stats, form, injuries, weather, home-field advantage are all factored into how a totals line is set.
As an example, let's say you bet on an NBA game between Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat. The totals line is 210.5 points and you wager 'Under'. For your bet to be successful, the combined match points total needs to be 210 or under. 211 points would be classed as 'Over' the line set and, therefore, unsuccessful.
Parlay betting links together two or more single wagers for a higher payout.
The odds increase the more teams involved in the parlay bet, similar to the accumulator so commonly used in football within Europe. For this bet to win, all wagers must win – if one lets you down, the whole bet loses.
This bet can bring sizable winnings. Generally speaking though, more games equals more risk and significantly reduces the chance of success.
It's hoped the content on this page has provided you with an understanding of how US sports betting is taking shape across the country and specifically, state-by-state.
We haven't told you how you can win lots of money from sports betting, simply because gambling doesn't work like that.
Instead, this page has offered guidance on how to get started with online sports betting so you can wager in confidence from a safe online environment.
In the final section, we give you a flavor of the sports betting sites legal in the US, and importantly, where each is available.
The table below provides an overview of legal US sports betting sites, as well as their availability in regulated states.
As you'll discover, New Jersey has the most online sports betting options of any state in America. If you're in the Garden State there are seventeen options, a total added to regularly.
Click 'visit site' to get a feel of the US sportsbooks legal in your state.
21+. Bet Responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.
NJ, PA, WV, IN, CO NH, IA
21+. AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/KS/LA/MD/MI/NJ/NY/OH/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Minimum $5 deposit. Bonus amount is equal to 20% of the deposit amount, not to exceed $1,000. Bonus funds will be awarded following play-through requirement of 25x the bonus amount: eg every $25 played on DFS/Sportsbook/Casino will release $1 in bonus funds. Play-through requirement must be met 90 days from the first deposit to receive maximum bonus. Full T's & C's apply, visit DraftKings Sportsbook for details.
NJ, PA, WV, IN, CO
21+ and present in AZ/CO/CT/IA/IL/IN/KS/LA (permitted parishes only)/MA/MD/MI/NJ/NY/OH/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY. Minimum $10 first deposit required. First online real money wager only. Limited to one per customer/household. Promotion Bonus will be credited to your account within 72 hours if your Qualiyfing Wager settles as a loss. Maximum bonus amount is $1,000. Bonus issued as nonwithdrawable bonus bets that expires in 14 days. See full terms at sportsbook.fanduel.com.
NJ, NV WV, IN, CO
21+. AZ/CO/IL/IN/IA/KS/LA/MD/MA/MI/NJ/OH/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Offer not available in NY. New customers only. Qualifying deposit (min $10) and first real money wager required. If qualifying bet settles as a loss, user is refunded 100% in non-withdrawable bonus bets up to $1,000. Full T&Cs can be found on betmgm.com.
NJ, PA, CO
21+. CO/MI/NJ/PA only. Must opt-in and deposit $10+, then place a real money wager with odds of at least -200 within 7 days of creating your account. Refunds will be credited as a single lump sum following the bet settlment as a loss, up to $50 as non-withdrawable bonus bets. Full T's & C's apply, visit FOX Bet for more details.
NJ, IN, CO, IA
21+. New customers only. CO/IA/IL/IN/KS/LA (select parishes)/MD/MI/NJ/NY/OH/PA/VA/WV. Must make a qualifying deposit (min $10) and place first real-money wager bets (minimum $0.50). If the first qualifying bet (one per day for the first five consecutive days) settles as a loss, user is refunded 100% in non-withdrawable bonus bets up to $50 per day for the first 5 days. Full T&Cs apply, see sign up page for more info.
21+. New Customers Only. CT only. Must make a qualifying deposit of $10+ with claim code SPORTS. Must make qualifying cash wager of $0.10+ with odds of -200 or greater. If the first qualifying wager settles as a loss, receive a non-withdrawable Bonus Bet equal to your stake, up to a maximum of $100. Full T's & C's apply, see PlaySugarHouse for more details.
PA, IN, CO, IL
21+. New Customers Only. AZ/CO/IA/IL/IN/LA/MI/NJ/PA/VA/WV Must make a qualifying deposit of $10+ with claim code SPORTS. Must make qualifying cash wager of $0.10+ with odds of -200 or greater. If the first qualifying wager settles as a loss, receive a non-withdrawable Bonus Bet equal to your stake, up to a maximum of $500. Full T's & C's apply, see BetRivers for more details.
21+. New customers in AZ/IN/PA/VA only. Must opt in to promotion when registering account, make a qualifying deposit (min $10), and place first real-money wager bet (min $10). If first qualifying bet settles as a loss, user is refunded 100% in non-withdrawable bonus bets up to $500 (max bonus amount limited to $100 in AZ/IN/VA). Bonus bets have a 3x playthrough requirement and must be wagered on events with odds of -300 or greater. Full T&Cs apply, see sign up page for more info.
21+ and present in CO/NJ/OH/VA. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required within 30 days. Bonus issued as nonwithdrawable bonus bets that expires in 90 days. Full T's & C's apply, visit sign up page for more info.
21+ only. New customers physically present in AZ/CO/IL/IN/IA/KS/LA/MA/MD/MI/NJ/NY/OH/PA/ TN/VA/WV/WY only. Deposit required (min $10). Must place first real money wager (min $10) within 30 days. Qualifying wager must settle within 30 days of being placed. Qualifying wager returned as non-withdrawable bonus bets only if wager is settled as a loss. Maximum Bonus Bet $1,250. Bonus Bet expires 14 days after receipt. Tier Credits and Reward Credits will be added to account within 7 days after qualifying wager settles. Tier Credits and Reward Credits hold no cash value. Void where prohibited. Full T’s and C’s apply.
Unsure on the meaning of a word or term on this page?
This brief summary of the key phrases should help.
Betting market - A specific type of bet on a particular event, e.g. Moneyline
In-person sports betting - The state allows bettors to wager in-person at a brick-and-mortar licensed establishment.
Mobile sports betting - The state permits bettors to wager from a mobile device within state lines
Online betting bonus - Used by sportsbooks as an incentive for new customers to sign-up. Offered, usually, in the form of a financial reward.
Odds - How the probability of an outcome in a sports game/competition is displayed
State with online sports betting - A state permits sports betting over the internet via a sports betting website or mobile app.