It’s hard to believe that the sports betting scene was primarily limited to Nevada just a few years ago. However, the monumental Supreme Court ruling in May 2018 transformed the industry, granting each state the autonomy to legalize sports betting according to their preferences.
Today, the sports wagering landscape has drastically changed. More than half of the country has already embarked on legalizing sports betting. As of 2023, over 30 states have embraced the industry, offering legalized sports betting in various forms, in-person or online. With even more states poised to make crucial decisions on legalization this year, it’s an exciting time to be a sports betting enthusiast in the U.S.
Legal sports betting in the United States varies from state to state due to the authority of each state’s governing body to establish its guidelines and restrictions. While this allows for unique and customized regulations for each state, it can also make it challenging to stay up-to-date on the legal status of sportsbooks in different forms. Remembering what is allowed and prohibited in each state can be daunting.
Latest Responsible Marketing Restrictions
The American Gaming Association, the national trade association for the commercial gambling industry, has introduced a new responsible marketing code for the U.S. gambling industry. This code will prohibit sportsbooks from partnering with colleges to promote sports betting, disallow payments to college and amateur athletes for using their name, image or likeness, and eliminate using terms like “free” or “risk-free” to describe promotional bets.
The American Gaming Association claims these changes are necessary to keep up with the legal sports betting industry, which operates in 33 states plus Washington, D.C.
However, the introduction of this code follows criticism from regulators and those who treat gambling addiction. Some states have already outlawed certain betting partnerships covered by the code, and others are re-evaluating their overall sports betting advertising strategies.
The Current State of Sports Betting Legalization in the U.S.
Sports betting was made legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia as of 2023, with internet betting being permitted in 24 states. The following list will provide information on the top-performing states that have legalized sports betting and updates on those considering legalization.
In January 2023, retail sports betting was launched in Massachusetts, with sportsbooks at Boston Harbor, Springfield, Plainridge Park Casino, and Raynham Park. Boston-based DraftKings celebrated the legalization of sports betting in Massachusetts in 2021. Online betting became available in March 2023.
Massachusetts has become a good location for sports betting enthusiasts. This development has been welcomed by industry giants such as DraftKings, which has its headquarters in Boston. With the recent launch of online betting, residents and visitors can start using the Massachusetts Sports Betting Promos and earn money while supporting their favorite teams
In April 2021, Arizona legalized sports betting, becoming one of the rapidly-growing states for online wagering. Arizona was also the first state to introduce in-stadium sportsbooks. On the first day of the American football season in September 2021, sportsbooks were launched in the state. Since then, Arizona has consistently ranked among the top 10 states regarding the amount of money bet, referred to as the “handle” in sports betting. There are currently over 30 sportsbooks in Arizona, including both retail locations and online platforms.
New York is one of the latest states to legalize and regulate sports wagering, with operators launching within the state in January 2022. Due to the state’s vast population, numerous tribal casinos, and popular sports franchises such as the Knicks, Nets, Yankees, and Mets, New York consistently ranks high on monthly handle charts. Since its online betting industry launched, New York has generated a handle of at least $800 million each month. As of early 2023, around ten online sportsbooks were operating in the Empire States.
Nevada has long been known as the premier gambling destination in the United States, and sports betting is no exception. The state has been offering betting options for decades. Unlike other states with a more streamlined process for mobile wagering, Nevada mandates that bettors register in person at a casino before beginning their online betting journey. This requirement has deterred some individuals from participating, prompting industry insiders to advocate for regulatory changes.
Nonetheless, as of early 2023, 14 online betting platforms and over 170 retail sportsbook locations were operating in the state.
Potential Upcoming Sports Betting States
Various proposals for legalizing sports betting have been on the table for several years in some states, allowing voters to initiate changes. For example, California has two competing referendums for online and in-person betting. However, many observers consider them to be long shots. There has been a temporary halt on betting in Florida after a federal judge struck down an agreement between the Seminole tribe and the state. There is an ongoing appeal, but no decision has been made.
Maine has approved a bill that allows tribal councils to partner with significant operators for in-person bets but does not permit online betting. Nebraska is also looking to enter the sports betting industry after three constitutional amendments were passed in November 2021, paving the way for full legalization.
Sports betting has become a rapidly growing industry in the United States, with 33 states and the District of Columbia having legalized it as of early 2023. The sector’s growth has been accompanied by the adoption new responsible marketing codes and regulations to address concerns over gambling addiction and underage gambling.
While some states like Arizona and New York have seen explosive growth in online sports betting, others like Massachusetts and Maine have opted for a more limited approach in the initial stages.
States like California and Florida have been considering legalizing sports betting, but their efforts have been met with challenges. Nonetheless, the trend is heading toward increased legalization and regulation, making sports betting a fascinating area to watch in the coming years.