Sports Betting Laws – The First Steps to Legal Sports Betting

Following a 2018 Supreme Court decision, 36 states plus the District of Columbia now offer legal sports betting. Bettors can place wagers on their favorite teams at a variety of locations, including retail sportsbooks, online/mobile platforms, or racinos (combination race track and casino).

New Jersey continues to lead the way with one of the most competitive and operator-friendly systems in the country. Its regulated markets are also home to 21 different sportsbooks, giving sports fans plenty of options to make their picks. New York’s market, on the other hand, is just getting started. The state’s first licensed operators have rolled out an impressive array of offerings so far.

A few states have opted to deposit all or a large portion of sportsbook revenues into their general fund, while others designate the money for specific purposes. The professional sports leagues are also seeking “integrity fees,” which would force sportsbooks to pay the leagues for enhanced anti-corruption policing services. However, such a fee structure has yet to gain traction.

Hawaii is another notable exception to the rule, as it does not allow any form of gambling outside of its tribal casinos. But a bill has been introduced that would legalize sports betting, and a constitutional amendment is gaining some momentum in 2022.