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22 states where online gambling is legal


ERIC BARADAT/AFP // Getty Images

22 states where online gambling is legal

A person looking at a gambling website on a desktop computer.

Sports betting is the most popular—and the most widely legalized—form of online gambling, generating $4.3 billion in gross revenue in 2021, according to the American Gaming Association. Twenty-one of the 22 states featured below have approved it.

Among the other forms, six states have legalized online casinos, and online poker is now legal in another set of six states. Online gaming, or iGaming, brought in $3.7 billion last year. 

Legislators in four states not included on this list—Kansas, Maine, Maryland, and Ohio—have legalized online sports betting in recent months, but their laws have not yet taken effect. A fifth state, Florida, has also passed legislation legalizing online sports betting but has faced additional legal hurdles.

Gambling online was accepted in the United States from the late 1990s until 2006, according to The New York Times. That’s when Congress banned gambling companies from taking online bets for “unlawful” transactions.

After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on sports betting in 2018, some states rushed to legalize it. By the following year, more than $11 billion had been legally wagered on sports games.

OddsSeeker researched 22 states where online gambling is legal using news reports and government resources from across the internet. For this list, three forms of online gambling were considered: online casinos, online poker, and online sports betting.



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Arizona

Aerial view of Scottsdale, Arizona.

– Type of legal online gambling: Sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2021

After Gov. Doug Ducey and Arizona tribal leaders reached an agreement in 2021, lawmakers approved betting on sporting events such as National Football League and National Basketball Association games and fantasy sports. The U.S. Department of Interior signed off on an amended tribal-state gaming compact in which the tribes continue to guard their exclusive rights to most gambling in Arizona, as approved by voters in 2002. Under the deal with the governor, the tribes may expand their casino offerings and offer sports and fantasy betting, but at least one state senator, who also is a member of the Yaqui Community of Guadalupe, felt it was unfair to tribes and called the legislation “a sham.”



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Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas along the Arkansas River.

– Type of legal online gambling: Sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2022

Legislators legalized mobile betting in Arkansas in 2022, allowing residents to use apps to place bets from their mobile phones. Casinos had lobbied to keep 51% of profits. The first mobile sportsbook—a place where wagers may be made—became available in April. Tax revenue from sports betting totaled $583,000 in 2020 and $1.2 million in 2021, according to television station KARK.



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Colorado

Downtown Denver, Colorado against a blue sky with mountains in the distance.

– Type of legal online gambling: Sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2020

Online sports betting in Colorado became legal in May 2020 with the requirement that bets be placed with authorized sportsbooks and operators. The Rocky Mountain State allows wagering at casinos and through mobile or web-based apps that have partnerships with licensed Colorado casinos. An audit released in June 2022 found some problems with the expanded gambling—regulators had failed to complete background checks for most of the internet operators, and examiners uncovered discrepancies between some reported net proceeds and tax payments.



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Connecticut

Homes on the shore in Connecticut with the sun setting in the background.

– Types of legal online gambling: Casinos, sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2021

Online sports gambling are offered in the Constitution State through the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, the Mohegan Tribe, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, and their online gaming operating partners. Bets can be placed on professional sports events and college athletics such as the Rose Bowl and e-sports unless one of the teams playing is from Connecticut and the game is not part of an intercollegiate tournament. Betting on the Olympics and other international sports such as the World Cup is also permitted; however, betting on poker is not permitted outside of social settings.



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Delaware

Condos on Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

– Types of legal online gambling: Casinos, poker
– First year of legal online gambling: 2012

Delaware was the first state to allow full online casino gambling, including slots, roulette, and poker. The vote among legislators was close, with opponents arguing that gambling brought with it too many social costs; however, proponents said the state had to be able to compete with the larger neighboring states of Maryland and Pennsylvania. Casino gambling is provided through the websites of the state’s casinos.



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Illinois

Chicago city skyline

– Type of legal online gambling: Sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2020

Illinois approved sports betting in 2019 as part of a gambling expansion bill. Lawmakers had planned to require gamblers to register in person at a casino before placing their bets online, but Gov. J.B. Pritzker waived that requirement because of the coronavirus pandemic. Pritzker’s office estimated that gambling could bring in more than $100 million—which could be allocated for statewide capital projects—each year. 



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Indiana

Nappanee, Indiana Aerial View.

– Type of legal online gambling: Sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2019

Online sports gambling began in September 2019 at 10 of Indiana’s 13 state-regulated casinos for bettors within state borders. Sports betting declined in June 2022. The Indiana Gaming Commission reported $256.3 million in wagers for the month—the first time the total for monthly betting fell below $300 million since August 2021. The recent drop in betting aside, Indiana had received $151.1 million in taxes from gambling since the start of the year.



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Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa skyline.

– Type of legal online gambling: Sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2019

Iowa lawmakers approved online sports betting in 2019. Initially, the state required bettors to visit a casino once to prove that they were 21 years old; but that provision later expired, and bettors can now register online. After Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the legislation allowing wagering on professional and college teams, she said through a spokesman that legalizing gambling would bring betting out of an unregulated black market.



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Louisiana

A boat on the water with the New Orleans, Louisiana skyline in the background.

– Type of legal online gambling: Sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2022

Louisiana got its online sports betting up and running at the start of 2022, in time for the Super Bowl, the year’s biggest sports betting day. The state awarded 20 licenses and gave its 15 riverboat casinos, four horse tracks, and a land-based casino the opportunity to apply for them first. Each licensee has the ability to offer two mobile platforms. Most of the tax revenue to be collected, 60%, will go into the state’s general fund, with another 25% to be used for early education programs.



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Michigan

Tall buildings with American flags in front in Detroit, Michigan.

– Types of legal online gambling: Casinos, poker, sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2021

Online gambling in Michigan is permitted in the state’s licensed casinos which include 24 tribal casinos and three casinos in Detroit. The casinos lost revenue at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with the ones in Detroit reporting revenue down 56% in 2020 from 2019. It is projected that the wagering will bring in $650 million a year in revenue for the state’s casinos. Michigan has teams in four professional sports leagues and several well-known universities including the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.



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Nevada

Colorful neon lights in Reno, Nevada.

– Types of legal online gambling: Poker, sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2010

Nevada was the first state to approve interstate online gambling. Its lawmakers hurried to pass a bill permitting online poker—part of a race with New Jersey to become a key online gambling hub—according to the Las Vegas Sun.

World famous as the home of Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada first legalized gambling in 1869. The state later criminalized betting only to bring back what was called “wide open” betting in 1931. The online poker law allows residents to play poker with players in other states. Previously, Nevada lawmakers had planned to wait for federal action before authorizing gaming over the internet.



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New Hampshire

Manchester, New Hampshire skyline in auburn hues during Fall.

– Type of legal online gambling: Sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2019

Gov. John Sununu cast New Hampshire’s first legal online sports bet in 2019, choosing the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl LIV (ultimately, the team did not make the championship game that year).

Sports betting is permitted through the New Hampshire Lottery Commission. As neighboring Massachusetts does not permit online gambling, Gov. Sununu predicted hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents would cross the border to place bets. 



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New Jersey

Buildings on the beach in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

– Types of legal online gambling: Casinos, poker, sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2013

New Jersey followed Delaware and Nevada in permitting online gambling but was considered a better test of its potential for revenue because of the range of games it allowed and its larger population, The New York Times reported. New Jersey took over as the lead mobile sports betting spot in the country after ​​legalizing it in 2018 (it has since been surpassed). 



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New York

Crowds of people in New York City.

– Type of legal online gambling: Sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2022

New York topped all other states in online gambling after it legalized the practice in January 2022. As reported by The New York Times, online gambling quickly brought in more than $2 billion in wagers and nearly $80 million in tax revenue through the first five weeks it had been available. Gamblers spent $472 million in the week ending with the Super Bowl. Most of the New York State tax revenues from online sports betting go to fund education.



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Oregon

Portland, Oregon at dusk

– Type of legal online gambling: Sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2019

Oregon offered a live, state-run sports betting app in 2019, becoming the eighth state to add one. According to the Oregon Lottery, 9.8 million bets were placed in 2021, an increase from 7.1 million in 2020. The state had gambling revenues of $331.6 million, up 52% from the year before.



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Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at twilight

– Types of legal online gambling: Casinos, poker, sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2019

Online sports bets were permitted in the Keystone State for the first time in 2019. Pennsylvania was the fourth state to offer online casino gambling including slots and other such games. Online poker was added separately. The gambling expansion was agreed upon in 2017 by the Republican-controlled General Assembly and Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, to balance the budget while avoiding tax increases, according to PennLive.com.



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Rhode Island

Boats in the harbor in Newport, Rhode Island

– Type of legal online gambling: Sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2019

When Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo signed a bill allowing online sports betting in March 2019, the state was the only one in New England to allow sports gambling. New Hampshire began permitting mobile sports wagers later that year. As in other states, Rhode Island legislators were divided among those eager to embrace new technology and generate new revenue for the state, and those worried that easier gambling would lead to more gambling addiction problems.



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Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee over the water at dawn.

– Type of legal online gambling: Sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2020

Tennessee, which has no in-person gambling sites, says its online-only sports betting program is unusual in the country. The state is regulating online sportsbooks directly—without an established framework for casinos—according to The Tennessean. Twenty-eight sports were approved for wagers. Gamblers can bet on college sports, but with conditions.



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Virginia

Fredericksburg, Virginia bridge at sunrise

– Type of legal online gambling: Sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2021

Virginia residents were able to make their first online bets in January 2021 on all major sports, except for college sports. Like many states, the gambling industry is used as a means for revenue. Virginia’s neighbors already have sports gambling or are putting it in place with voters’ approval. 



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Washington D.C.

Busy road leading to the U.S. Capitol building

– Type of legal online gambling: Sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2019

Sports betting began in our nation’s capital following a fight in the D.C. Council. The lawmakers chose a Greek company named Intralot to handle its online gambling, but a Washington Post investigation showed the contract benefited people with ties to City Hall. The city-owned gambling app GambetDC had flaws that hobbled its launch. District residents cannot use the app while on federal property or near arenas.



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West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia buildings near the water

– Types of legal online gambling: Casinos, poker, sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2018

West Virginia was the fifth state to legalize casino games online, after Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Among the table games allowed are blackjack, roulette, and keno. Online poker is also permitted. The gambling bill allowed for five online gaming licenses, with only brick-and-mortar casinos eligible to receive them. 



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Wyoming

Casper, Wyoming with snow on the mountains in the background

– Type of legal online gambling: Sports betting
– First year of legal online gambling: 2021

On September 1, 2021, Wyoming became the 23rd state to legalize sports betting. Its law allows for sports wagering online only, with no physical sportsbooks. 

This story originally appeared on OddsSeeker and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.


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