Sports Betting Laws in the United States

As state laws on sports betting continue to evolve, we’re seeing a variety of players jostling for position. That includes sportsbook operators, sports leagues, existing casinos and gaming facilities, tribal entities and state lotteries. The various stakeholders’ positions and motivations impact the future of sports betting in the United States.

As we’ve discussed here at Sports Handle, the NBA and MLB have a specific vision for legal sports wagering. The gist is that they want all sportsbooks to use official league data, which they call “official” because it comes directly from the leagues themselves. The NBA and MLB also want to monetize that data, charging sportsbooks for access to it.

In Maryland, a new law allows a single licensee to contract with up to three brands for online/mobile sports wagering. That means that a Maryland gambler can now place wagers with FanDuel (in partnership with the Washington football team), SBK, BetMGM, theScore Bet, Unibet, Bally Bet and other major operators.

The path to legalization in Virginia was a bit shaky at first, but the state’s new law passed in April 2021 and went into effect in July. The nascent market is set to expand when a second licensing round begins in October.

Legislation to legalize sports betting in Texas passed a House committee, but the Senate won’t take up the measure before its next session in 2024, meaning that Texas sports betting will have to wait until then. On the bright side, an online-only bill made progress in South Carolina’s legislature, and it may reach the floor this year.