Recently, the news has been reporting about the loosening of restrictions on sports betting in the United States.
This is interesting because historically the U.S. government has restricted gambling, including betting on sports.
Nowadays, however, it seems as though the United States is lifting restrictions on sports betting to a degree that modern society has never seen.
Despite the feeling that laws and regulations are allowing for more bettors and tipsters to operate legally, it can be challenging to understand where to legally bet on sports.
Understanding whether sports gambling is legal in the United States can be confusing because sports gambling is regulated at the local, state, and federal levels
Plus, sports betting is just one niche within the broader gambling category.
To help untangle the complexity, read below to learn more about the current status of whether betting on sports is legal in the United States and where you can do it.
Learn more about money and technology here.
What is Sports Betting
Sports betting is trying to predict the outcome of a sporting event with money at stake.
If you want to learn more about how to beat the odds, the top sports betting blogs help you predict outcomes in virtually every sport.
How it works is you find a casino or bookie who serves as the person on the other side of the bet as you.
They give you the odds and price the bet, and then you make a prediction and pay them your wager.
A simple example is to bet on which team will win. For instance, you could bet $50 that the KC Chiefs will win the Super Bowl for 3 to 1 odds.
If your prediction is correct, you win the payout money plus you get your wagered money back. In the example about the Chiefs, you triple your money.
If your prediction is wrong, you lose the money you wagered. In the example about the Chiefs, you lose $50.
Brief History of U.S. Sports Betting Laws
The restrictions on gambling in the U.S. has ebbed and flowed over the history of the nation.
While originally quite permissive, the gambling laws became stricter in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Originally viewed as an entertaining way to spend time and enjoy a social thrill, gambling became associated with organized crime and shady dealings.
Despite the restrictions on gambling, it seems that there always has been at least a few locations where gambling was allowed.
With the rise in popularity of professional and collegiate sports in the mid-twentieth century combined with the growth of Las Vegas, sports betting grew more popular too.
Gambling is legal under U.S. federal law. In 1992, the U.S. Congress passed a law that made gambling illegal at the federal level except for in a few states.
Those wanting to bet legally on sports have mostly been restricted to doing it in Las Vegas or through underground channels.
Despite its restricted status, in 2020 gambling was a $240 billion dollar industry that employed 1.7 million people in 40 states. This made a significant contribution to state and local tax revenue.
Gambling is controversial though because it tends to increase political corruption, compulsive gambling problems, and higher crime.
Sports Gambling: Current U.S. Legal Status
In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered the 1992 anti-gambling laws unconstitutional.
Accordingly, each state has the power to regulate gambling, and therefore sports betting, however it wants.
Here is a list of each state by current status:
States Where Sports Gambling Is Legal Online
Where Sports Betting Is Going
It is likely inevitable that sports betting will become more popular and laws more permissive over the coming 5-10 years.
The rise in states lifting gambling restrictions has seen a rise in companies offering sports betting products and services.
Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, and FanDuel are just a few of the companies participating in this now $42 billion-dollar market.
With this kind of momentum, sports betting will surely continue to grow in the next 5 to 10 years.