The landscape around sports betting in the USA has changed a lot in recent years. In days gone by, the PASPA Act made this activity illegal and effectively outlawed sports betting except in rare circumstances. This was naturally a real pain for sports fans who wanted to add more enjoyment to games by betting on them.
However, in 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down the PASPA Act and gave individual states the power to legalize sports betting within their borders. Since then, many US states have passed legislation and provided visitors and residents with the chance to find out how exciting betting on sports games can be. With so many safe platforms to bet online with, and so many great sports to wager on, this is a fast-growing leisure activity in states which have legalized it.
As you would expect, the key thing to do before placing a wager is to find out which states allow sports betting. If you need a helping hand, our handy guide below should do the trick.
Which states have made sports betting legal?
Whether you plan to bet on Jordan Spieth in golf or your favorite NFL team, making sure the state you are in allows it is essential. This not only keeps you on the right side of the law but also means you bet at regulated, safe sportsbooks.
The list of states which have legalized sports betting at the time of writing includes:
- Delaware (land-based only)
- Mississippi (land based/on premise mobile betting only)
- Montana (land-based/on premise mobile betting only)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- New Mexico (land-based only)
- Rhode Island
- Washington D.C.
- West Virginia
Although the ever-changing face of legal sports betting in the USA might lead to more states being added to this list over time, the ones shown above have already made it a legitimate activity. While some like New Jersey were real front-runners, others such as New York have come to the party somewhat later.
Which states might be about to finalize this in 2022?
There are a few US states which are expected to finalize legal sports betting this year, but Maryland remains the hot tip for many. This is mainly due to the November 2020 passing of the sports betting ballot measure in Maryland which made betting on sports there fully legal.
All that is left now is for state officials to finalize the specific arrangements about how it will all work. As the sports betting ballot measure was simply a vote by Maryland residents to bring legal sports betting into play, it still leaves state officials the task of deciding how it will all operate. Many think this is imminent and will take place in 2022.
South Dakota and North Carolina might finalize in 2022
Another state which has made sports betting legal and is expected to finalize the details in 2022 is South Dakota. The main sticking point at the moment appears to be getting changes in state legislature passed which not only remove the ban around online betting but also set out the rules under which wagering in this state will operate.
As with Maryland, the decision to allow legal sports betting was made due to a citizen’s vote in November 2020. Since then, state politicians have been thrashing out how this might all work in practice. Although this was not sorted out in 2021 as predicted, it seems sensible to think arrangements will be firmed up in 2022.
North Carolina is in a similar position to both South Dakota and Maryland. The decision to enable legal sports betting in this state was actually made back in 2019 and this led many there to eagerly anticipate backing their favorite teams or sports. The major issue since has been the failure of North Carolina to issue any operator licenses to sportsbooks. This could change in 2022 as the demands for state officials to sort it out increase.
Which states might not legalize sports betting in 2022?
In fairness, most states now seem to be coming around to the positive impact that legalized sports betting can have. This is not only in terms of extra tax revenues from licensed operators but also the jobs it can create, the ability to compete on an even footing for visitors and the extra leisure options it offers residents.
There is one state though which seems unlikely to ever make betting on sports legal – Utah. This after all is a state dominated by the Mormon religion, which takes a dim view of gambling. Just as there are reasons why the Mormons settled in Utah, they also have their own reasons why they take a tough stance against sports betting. With the majority of officials in the state legislature being against it based on their religious views, it is pretty certain that sports betting will not be legalized in Utah – certainly for a long time.
Although you would not count them out for sure, it also seems that both Alaska and Hawaii are unlikely to make any moves towards legal sports betting in 2022. Neither state has a pressing need to change their laws in this area and neither seem to have an appetite to do so. For these reasons, they look set to carry on as they are.
Legal sports betting within the USA
Legal sports betting within the USA is still something of a mixed picture. Some states for example have fully rolled it out, while some have legalized it but not yet finalized it. When you also add in some states who appear to be firmly against it and others who seem to like the idea but have not done anything about it yet, you can understand why people get confused. While the picture is ever-changing, our guide above shows key information regarding the current state of sports betting. If you also remember to check the latest developments online before betting, you should be covered.