Two Years Post-PASPA: Where US Sports Betting Stands

Two years ago this month, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, known as PASPA. 

The Federal government enacted PASPA over 25 years before. It effectively barred sports betting on a federal level. Notable exceptions included Nevada, a US land-based (and now digital) gambling hub and sports lotteries in Delaware, Oregon, and Montana. These states all offered limited sports betting. 

The Supreme Court Overturns PASPA

On May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Murphy v. NCAA. This decision lifted the federal ban on sports wagering by ruling PASPA unconstitutional. Instead, the court held that the federal government couldn’t dictate what the states had to do on particular issues. 

Even after the PASPA downfall, sports betting enthusiasts faced a long road ahead for as states considered their options and how to respond. The time-consuming responsibility of regulating sportsbooks fell onto individual states. Each legislature had (and still has) unique positions regarding sports betting, so regulations vary by jurisdiction. 

However, now two years removed from the revolutionary ruling, PASPA’s absence has sparked a flurry of sportsbook launches and legislation that drives the industry on an upward trajectory. 

The Rundown: Sports Betting By State In 2020

Since the overturning of PASPA, 22 states and Washington D.C. pushed forward with some form of legislation allowing sports betting. The result is a complex web of state legislation, scheduled launches, and retail and online sportsbooks.

Even though legislation is on the books in almost two dozen US states, bringing retail and online sports betting to residents takes time. 

Here’s a rundown of states and their launch dates:

Arkansas

Arkansas launched sports betting in the summer of 2019. Sportsbooks in the state are limited to retail locations. Currently, mobile wagering is not allowed. 

Colorado

Colorado recently joined the fray, launching sports betting in the beginning of May 2020. Multiple operators are live in the state offering online and mobile betting.

Retail sportsbooks are allowed in the Centennial State as well, though they have yet to open due to Covid-19 related casino closures. Due to the lack of professional and amateur sports played during Covid-19, early weeks of online sports betting saw some interesting wagering

Delaware

Prior to PASPA’s repeal, Delaware was one of a select few states allowed to offer limited sports betting in the form of parlays and multi-game bets. The state legalized sports betting fully, including single-game wagers, in June 2018 shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision. While mobile online sports betting is legal in Delaware, currently no operators offer online sportsbooks in the state. 

Illinois

Illinois legalized sports betting in March of 2020. However, bettors in the state will need to wait for shelter-in-place orders to end for casinos to open up retail sportsbooks. Mobile wagering is legal in Illinois under the law, and the first online sportsbook launched in June. 

See our full guide to Illinois Online Sports Betting

Indiana

The Hoosier State legalized sports betting in October 2019 and offers both retail and online sportsbooks to players in the state. Indiana is a great alternate option for Illinois residents in nearby hubs like Chicago to travel and place bets while they wait for full launches in their state. 

See our Full Guide To Indiana Online Sports Betting for the latest information.

Iowa

Iowa sports betting launched in August 2019. Retail and online sports betting is permitted. Iowa also allows some sports betting on collegiate games, which many states prohibit. This is especially fitting for Iowa bettors, as the state doesn’t have any professional sports teams in the NBA, NHL, NFL, or MLB. 

Mississippi

Mississippi was an early sports betting adopter, launching in August 2018. The Mississippi Gaming Commission only allows in-person bets. However, the state is expected to launch mobile betting at some point in the future. 

Michigan

Michigan allows sports betting both in retail and online formats, though the latter is expected to launch sometime next year. Retail sportsbooks opened up in March 2020. 

Montana

March 2020 marked Montana’s sports betting launch. Montana offers a state-sanctioned online sports betting hub, but it requires bettors to visit a land-based property to place a bet. 

Nevada

Nevada legalized sports betting in 1949 and has offered both retail and online sportsbooks for some time. Naturally, it’s considered a leader in the space and other states look to Nevada when building their legislation. Nevada’s long history with legal gambling makes it a standard-setting state in the sports betting arena. 

New Hampshire

New Hampshire sports betting launched in December 2019, including both retail and online wagering options. 

Notably, New Hampshire’s minimum sports betting age is 18 while most states require bettors to be 21 years or older. 

New Jersey

New Jersey was one of the states involved in the Supreme Court case that led to PASPA’s repeal, and thus launched sports betting quickly in June 2018.

The state offers online and retail sportsbooks and its one of the earliest adopters of sports betting post-PASPA. Like Nevada, many states look to New Jersey when crafting their regulations surrounding legal sports wagering. Since the overturn of PASPA, New Jersey has earned $477 million in after-tax revenue

Check out our full Guide To Online Sports Betting In New Jersey for the latest information.  

New Mexico

New Mexico offers retail sports betting at a handful of tribal casinos. The state kicked off sports betting in October 2018, and a number of other casinos are expected to launch sportsbooks in the future. 

New York

New York’s sports betting presence launched in July 2019. The state’s law does not permit online wagering. Recent attempts to legalize digital sports betting stalled. However, with neighboring states in the Northeast showcasing a progressive stance toward online sportsbooks, it’s likely that New York will follow suit in the near future. 

See our full guide to Gambling Options in New York State.

North Carolina

As of July 2019, North Carolina permits sports betting on professional and college sports, but it must be done at a retail location. North Carolina has shown no signs as of yet that it intends to legalize mobile wagering. 

Oregon

Oregon already had limited sports betting legislation in place even before PASPA’s repeal. Now, the state allows retail and online sports betting. Oregon restricts betting on collegiate events. 

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania launched multiple online sports betting apps in 2019, joining the state’s multiple retail sportsbooks. The Keystone State is one of the most progressive in terms of gambling legislation, allowing online casino gaming for real money and online lottery sales.

DraftKings launched one of the state’s first sportsbooks in November 2019. Caesars launched its sportsbook in PA in March 2020. Since the overturn of PASPA, Pennsylvania has earned $165.9 million in post-tax revenue.

See our full Guide To Online Sportsbooks in Pennsylvania for more information. 

Rhode Island

Rhode Island legalized retail sportsbooks in November of 2018, then revised its law in 2019 to allow for online sports betting. 

Tennessee

Tennessee’s sports betting law went into effect in July of 2019. It’s one of few markets that allows a mobile sportsbook to operate without a land-based partner in the state. 

Virginia

Virginia’s sports betting legislation hits in July 2020. The law allows for mobile wagering as well, though there is no indication of when the first bets will be allowed. 

Washington

Washington passed its sportsbook legislation in March of 2020, allowing for retail sports betting. Online wagering will only be allowed on-property at a retail sports betting site. Washington will also allow esports betting, though it joins many of its counterparts in barring wagers on in-state college matches. 

Washington D.C.

D.C. was set to launch its lottery-run sports betting app in partnership with Intralot in March of 2020. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the jurisdiction opted to delay the launch until sports make their return. 

West Virginia

West Virginia launched sports betting in 2018. The early-adopter state allows both retail and online betting. 

Online Heavy Hitters

Despite Covid-19 closures nationwide, sports betting legislation is still spreading throughout the US. States are eager to offer wagering options to residents and visitors and bring in extra revenue during a time when the industry is hit hard by completely stalled land-based casino revenue. 

In states that offer sports betting and those that expect to soon, bettors may see a rise in popularity of some industry leaders. 

DraftKings and FanDuel, two competing operators that started as Daily Fantasy Sports sites, offer online sportsbooks in most regulated states. They even have online casinos where regulations allow. 

BetMGM and BetRivers are also popular online sportsbooks among bettors. 

Land-based operators looking for partners to launch an online presence will likely flock to experienced technology providers like those above to drive online revenue wherever possible. It’s reasonable to expect a number of digital sportsbook launches over the coming months. 

About the Author

Cole Rush

Cole Rush is a Chicago-based freelance writer in the gambling, media, and entertainment space. His work has been showcased in various gaming industry magazines and online columns. Prior to freelance writing, Cole spent seven years in communications at a gambling and lottery supplier. Cole writes for a number of online and print publications, including The Quill To Live, a book review site.