Published | Updated 10 April, 2024

The state of US sports betting: Which key states could legalise next?

Across the US, the legality of sports betting varies wildly from wholly legal to staunchly illegal, with each state having its own particular set of regulations regarding tax rates and mobile betting.

the state of us sports betting 2

The impact of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a federal law that prohibited gambling on sporting events has quickly changed the betting landscape across the country, with many states deciding to open up and accept the revenue to be made in taxes from sports betting. Now, sports betting is legal in most states across America.

Here, Gambling Insider looks at the illegal states and the possibilities each has of becoming legal in the future.

Despite the 2018 decision by the Supreme Court to overturn PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992), some states have taken longer to decide whether or not to legalise sports betting. Some are on the verge of allowing citizens to do it, while others are staunchly against the practice and have stated complete opposition to ever allowing it.

The state of play

The unregulated and up-and-coming states 

STATE NOT SOON POSSIBLE BILL PASSED LIMBO
Alabama YES NO NO NO
Alaska YES NO NO NO
California* NO YES NO NO
Florida* NO YES NO NO
Georgia NO YES NO NO
Hawaii YES NO NO NO
Idaho NO YES NO NO
Minnesota NO YES NO NO
Missouri NO YES NO NO
Oklahoma YES NO NO NO
South Carolina YES NO NO NO
Texas NO YES NO NO
Utah YES NO NO NO

FAQs

What is the deal with California?

California is a state that many would think had already legalised sports betting; however, it is not so – the Tribes are currently at loggerheads with commercial operators when it comes to the subject of sports betting. Propositions 26 & 27 were pushed by the state to give citizens the choice on legal sports betting but neither succeeded. Due to that failure, sports betting has been estimated to be anywhere from two to four years away – or perhaps further, depending on the source.

Why is Florida a special case?

Florida is a special case due to the complex issues that surround the legalisation of sports betting there. Currently, sports betting is legal for Hard Rock and the Seminole Tribe only – but the legality of sports betting is making its way through the Florida court system due to a series of legal challenges made by several parties and the Department of Justice.

Why are some states not even considering legalising?

Meanwhile, states such as Utah – due to its high proportion of Mormons – have been staunchly opposed to sports betting in all of its forms. Representatives from Utah have repeatedly stated that it will never allow sports betting, leaving even the hardest pushing of sports betting proponents convinced of Utah’s cemented position. The only hope for those that want to bet on sports and live in Utah is to go to Colorado, Arizona or Nevada to place wagers.

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