Which States Have Legalized Sports Betting?

Legal sports gambling is now available in 40 U.S. states. The vast majority of American communities now have access to these types of wagers. The legalization of sports gambling was a fairly new concept when compared to other types of gambling. When compared to the decades-long battle to establish casino gambling in America, the path to sports betting legalization was much smoother. Although there were still plenty of opponents who strongly opposed gambling of any kind and wanted to keep it illegal, the tide was changing and people were starting to see the benefits of legalizing these types of wagers.

The Early Years

The earliest recorded case of legal sports gambling dates back to 1931, when boxing matches were legalized in New York. This was followed by the legalization of football betting in other parts of the country the following year. Before long, almost all forms of sports gambling were legalized, with the notable exception of horse racing. State after state continued to pass laws allowing for other types of wagering, but the horse racing industry fought back with a vengeance. Finally, in 1970, after several decades of contentious debate, the United States federal government stepped in and banned all forms of sports gambling. This was largely out of concern for the integrity of professional sports. The ban was subsequently upheld by the courts, and it remains in force today.

The Modern Revival

Over the past four decades, the nation’s perception of sports and gambling has changed. Today, many people see the values that sports bring to the community. They see the camaraderie, the competition, and the excitement that comes with pro sports. These are all positive attributes that can help lead to a more productive and engaging social environment. Because of this, many groups and individuals have lobbied to have the sports gambling ban repealed or at least softened. This has resulted in a number of states, including New York, allowing for specific forms of legal sports gambling. Over the past year, as a result of these efforts, four states—New York, Nevada, Florida, and Delaware—have fully legalized sports gambling. This has given birth to a new era of legal sports gambling in America, one that offers hope to people who want to give it a try.

Where Can I Bet?

The vast majority of American communities now have access to legal sports betting, offered through a variety of legal betting providers. The four states that have fully legalized sports gambling have opened the market to all potential bettors. This means that any business or individual who wants to participate in the American sports betting market now has the opportunity to do so. In theory, this should lead to more competition and better service for the consumer. At least, that’s what the proponents of legal sports betting believe will happen. The reality is that while there is enough available data to suggest that competition is likely, the service for the consumer remains relatively poor. The widespread adoption of legal sports betting in America has not yet resulted in significant change for the better in this area.

What’s Next?

The legalization of sports betting opens up a number of new opportunities for those interested in the industry. One of the more intriguing questions that arise is: Where do I begin? Which states should I focus on entering? How about raising money for charity? Or starting my own business? These are all legitimate questions, and it’s important to understand what approach to take when deciding which state to move to next. One potential pitfall that any prospective sports gambler must avoid is selecting an area of competition that they are not familiar with. By selecting a state that is known for thoroughbred horseracing or dog racing, for example, the sports gambler may find that the odds are rigged against them. In these cases, it would be best to select an area of opportunity—a state that has yet to fully legalize sports betting—and work your way up from there.

The bottom line is that there is a lot of competition in the legal sports betting industry. Some of the best online sportsbooks actually make it easy for anyone to enter the market and start competing for customers. However, finding a good place to wager—a reliable bookmaker—can be difficult. Hopefully, this article has helped raise your awareness of the growing number of legal stateside sports betting options. If you’re looking to get started, you can find a list of legal states and their requirements on the Fantasy Sports Commission’s website. More information is also available there, about how to start a sportsbook and how to get licensed in the first place.