US Betting Laws
Welcome to our gambling legislative tracker, where you can find the latest information on betting laws in your state! Betting laws in the US are in a constant state of flux, especially as online gambling and sports betting continue to spread across the country.
The current state of gambling laws in the USA is largely shaped by a handful of major federal laws that pertain to the gaming industry. While each state passes its gambling bills and determines policies within its borders, these major laws set the rules that states must conform to.
Interstate Wire Act
Passed in 1961, the Wire Act was designed to prevent interstate communications related to gambling. Essentially, it prevented betting over the phone, or later, over the internet.
However, some aspects of the Wire Act weren’t written clearly, which led to confusion over what exactly it covers. In 2011, the Department of Justice said that it only prevented communications related to sporting events – a move that made it easier for states to pass online gambling bills since they could now use servers outside their borders or form interstate online poker compacts.
On November 2018, the Department of Justice reversed that opinion, saying that the Wire Act did indeed apply to all forms of wagers. However, that led to lawsuits from the New Hampshire Lottery Commission and others. In 2019, a District Court Judge ruled that the Wire Act is indeed limited to sports betting, though that ruling is currently under appeal.
Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) prohibited any new states from passing sports betting laws in the US. That meant that while Nevada’s sportsbooks were grandfathered in, and a handful of other states could offer limited lottery offerings that existed before PASPA went into effect, no other state could allow for sports betting.
In recent years, the state of New Jersey led a charge to get this law overturned. In May 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in the state’s favor, striking down PASPA and opening the doors to legal sports betting across the country. You can use our sports betting bill tracker to see just how many states have already legalized the practice and whether your state might do so soon.
Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) targeted online gambling by making it illegal for businesses and financial institutions to process payments related to unregulated online gambling. UIGEA immediately made it harder for offshore online casinos and poker sites to process payments, and in 2011, it led to the shutdown of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker in the US. However, UIGEA does not apply to the regulated, legal online gambling sites now available in several states.
Indian Gaming Regulatory Act
The 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act established rules for how Native American tribes could offer gambling. Generally speaking, it allows tribes to offer any form of gambling that is already legal in a state. For casino-style gambling, like slot machines and table games, a compact between a tribe and the state must also be agreed to, with states typically taking some portion of casino revenue in exchange for allowing tribes to operate such games.
Beyond these major federal laws, almost all gambling legislation comes from the state level. You can find out how each state regulates the industry by using our gambling bill tracker below! You’ll find all the information you need to understand the sports betting laws, poker laws, lottery laws, and other regulations that impact gambling in your state.
New Jersey not only has one of the oldest gambling industries in the United States but has emerged as a leader in online gambling as well. In 1976, New Jersey voters approved a referendum to allow casinos in the state, making it only the second in the country (Nevada was the first) to offer casino gaming.
In February 2013, New Jersey lawmakers passed a bill to allow online gambling in the state. That bill was vetoed by then Gov. Chris Christie. However, a second bill was passed in 2013 that allows both online casino games and online poker to be played in the state.
New Jersey was also the driver of the expansion of sports betting in the United States. Beginning in 2011, the state fought a legal battle with the federal government to offer sports gambling, eventually winning in 2018, when the Supreme Court overturned PASPA. Today, the state offers sports betting both at retail sportsbooks and online.
All major forms of gambling are legal in Pennsylvania. This includes casino gambling, online lottery sales, online casinos, online poker, daily fantasy sports, and sports betting (both live and online).
Much of this availability is the direct result of 2017 Act 42, which greatly expanding the gaming industry in Pennsylvania. This law authorized online gambling, sports betting, and greatly increased the availability of land-based gaming as well.
West Virginia regulated online gambling thanks to two recent bills. The first, the West Virginia Lottery Sports Wagering Act, allowed for legalized sports betting in 2018. Today, sports wagering is available both online and at land-based casinos in the state, which has been legal since 2007.
The second, the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act, was passed in 2019. This bill allows for full online casinos, including online poker. Currently there are no online casino or poker sites available in West Virginia, however, regulations for these sites are still being written. The first sites likely won’t go live until late in 2020.
West Virginia is also one of many states that have not passed any specific regulations related to daily fantasy sports. Most major DFS sites offer their games to players in the state, but it is recommended to wait for regulations and legislation before participating in these activities.
Casinos were first approved in Indiana in 1993 when riverboat casinos were authorized by lawmakers during a special session. Over time, true land-based casinos, racinos, and Native American casinos were allowed to open, with more than a dozen facilities operating today.
The most significant expansion of gaming since then came in 2019 when the legislature approved the regulation of sports betting in the state. That bill allowed for both live and online sports betting to be offered by casinos, racinos, and off-track betting locations. The first mobile bets were taken in early October 2019.
Indiana has yet to legalize online casino or poker games, which were not included in the 2019 legislation. Indiana also regulated daily fantasy sports in 2016, and most major operators offer their games in the state.
Connecticut was one of the early leaders in Native American gaming, as two tribal casinos – Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods – began offering full casino gambling in the 1990s.
However, Connecticut has yet to approve sports betting or any type of online gambling. While various forms of gaming expansion have had support from lawmakers, competing interests – including tribal groups and potential commercial casino operators – haven’t been able to find common ground on what to offer or who should be able to offer it.
Lawmakers are expected to take up the topic of sports betting again in 2021. The biggest sticking point is a belief by tribal groups that they should have the exclusive right to offer sports wagering, a viewpoint that has been disputed by state lawmakers. Daily fantasy sports are also widely available in the state, though legislators have never officially regulated the practice. It is again recommended to avoid participating in these activities until lawmakers produce a final decision on the subject.
Nevada remains the king of land-based gambling. The gaming industry in the Silver State is massive: some of the world’s largest casinos can be found in Las Vegas, with many more in other cities throughout the state. Sportsbooks are also ubiquitous, as they were grandfathered in before PASPA shut down the spread of US sports betting laws.
Nevada was also the second state to legalize online poker, trailing only Delaware. However, online casino play is still not offered in the state, and online sports betting can only be accessed from mobile devices while on location at or near a sportsbook – not throughout the entire state.
Interestingly, no major daily fantasy sports operators offer their games in Nevada. This is because regulators have deemed DFS to be gambling, and thus operators would require a gaming license to offer their contests in the state.
Iowa is home to more than 20 land-based casinos and a state lottery. In 2019, lawmakers passed a bill that authorized sports betting both at those casinos and online, with sites going live later that year. That same bill also officially legalized daily fantasy sports sites in the state. No other forms of online gambling are available in Iowa at this time; while online poker bills have been considered in the past, even passing the state Senate in 2012, they have never passed into law.
Along with land-based casinos, Rhode Island also features legal online sports betting. A bill legalizing sports wagering at live casinos in the state was approved in 2018. In 2019, a second law was signed that also allowed for online betting.
Rhode Island has not regulated daily fantasy sports. Even though most major sites still operate there, it’s recommended to wait until legislation is passed before partaking in such activities. Online casino and online lottery services are not legal in the state.
Oregon offers land-based casino gaming through many tribal casinos. Online sports betting became available in 2019 when the Oregon Lottery – despite not offering any other web-based games – launched an app to allow for betting in the state.
Oregon is one of the many states where DFS sites are widely available despite the lack of any specific regulations for fantasy sports. It is recommended not to participate in DFS until proper regulations are in place. Regulated online casinos and poker sites are not offered in the state, and there has been little progress towards legalizing these platforms.
Land-based casinos are common in several Mississippi locations, with Biloxi and Tunica being particularly major hubs for gambling. In 2017 House Bill No. 967 expressly legalized daily fantasy sports games and all major operators are available to players in the state.
Meanwhile, that same bill also opened the doors to regulated sports betting in the case that federal laws changed. When PASPA was overturned in 2018, regulators immediately began crafting rules for the sports betting industry, and by August, the first bets were being taken in the state.
However, there is no true online sports betting in Mississippi, as mobile betting is only allowed on location at casinos. Legislative efforts to legalize widespread online betting failed in 2019. No other forms of online gambling are authorized in the state at this time.
Delaware offers a full menu of gambling options, starting with land-based casinos at three racetracks in the state. Delaware also had a head start over most states when it came to sports betting, as it had been offering limited forms of NFL betting through its state lottery before the introduction of PASPA. That allowed parlay cards to be offered through lottery outlets in the state and helped regulators quickly craft more extensive rules after the repeal of PASPA, making it the first state with full-scale sportsbooks outside of Nevada.
Delaware has also been an early adopter of online gambling. It became the first state to pass a bill legalizing online casinos and online poker when HB333 was approved in 2012. Online sports betting is also legal in the state, but none of the local casinos or their partners has yet to launch a site. The state doesn’t offer online lottery sales, either. Delaware also passed a law that legalized daily fantasy sports in 2017.
Along with a variety of commercial and tribal casinos, Michigan has also authorized sports betting thanks to a bill that was passed in December 2019. That legislation authorized not only land-based sports betting but mobile betting as well. The first bets at retail sportsbooks will be taken sometime in 2020, with online sports betting likely waiting until 2021. A bill to fully regulate daily fantasy sports was also passed in 2019.
That same bill also authorized online casino games and online poker, meaning the state will soon have a full menu of internet gambling options. Those games are expected to launch sometime in 2021. Michigan is also one of the few states that have lottery laws that allow for online sales. Online lottery products have been available since 2014.
Gambling options are fairly limited in Georgia, as there are no land-based casinos. However, the Georgia Lottery does offer online ticket sales and other interactive games through its website. Daily fantasy sports sites also operate in the state, though no laws are regulating the industry. It is recommended to avoid these sites until official legislation is made.
Other than that, there are no online gambling options offered in Georgia. However, lawmakers have filed a bill in 2020 that would allow the Georgia Lottery to offer sports betting. Atlanta’s professional sports teams have also come out in favor of passing a sports betting bill in the state, saying it would help the integrity of their competitions by bringing betting out of the shadows.
Illinois has had some form of online gambling since 2012 when the Illinois State Lottery launched online ticket sales. Those options stand to be expanded in 2021, as state lawmakers passed Senate Bill 690 in 2019, which authorized sports betting both online and at brick-and-mortar casinos in the state.
Daily fantasy sports sites also operate openly in Illinois, despite the lack of any actual regulation. Regardless of the availability, it’s recommended to wait for legislation before partaking in such services. So far, there has been no success in legalizing online casino games or online poker, though several bills have been introduced in the state legislature in recent years.
Kentucky may not have brick-and-mortar casinos, but the state is certainly no stranger to gambling: it’s the home of the Churchill Downs racetrack, which hosts the Kentucky Derby every year. The Kentucky Lottery also sells tickets and offers instant play games online, a practice that started in 2016.
Lawmakers in Kentucky have made efforts to pass online poker and sports betting bills, though those efforts have stalled every year. Those efforts are expected to continue in the 2021 legislative session. Daily fantasy sports games are widely available in the state despite the lack of a law explicitly legalizing them. It is recommended to avoid participating in these offerings until lawmakers put forward legislation on the subject.
New Hampshire lawmakers approved a sports betting bill in 2019 that allows for both online and brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Online sports betting is already available, with the first retail sports betting locations expected to open sometime in 2020. The state also launched an online lottery platform in late 2018.
New Hampshire has yet to embrace land-based casino gambling, and so online poker and casino bills haven’t gained much traction yet. One such effort came in 2017, when House Bill 562 was introduced but did not make it into law. However, daily fantasy sports sites were officially legalized in the state in 2017.
Except for daily fantasy sports, which were officially legalized by a law passed in 2016, there have been no online betting laws passed in the state of Massachusetts. However, several bills related to sports betting have been introduced in the state legislature, with a 2020 proposal advancing through a legislative panel in February. Other forms of online gambling have made less progress, with no notable online poker laws currently under consideration.
New York had a long history of legal battles with the daily fantasy sports industry. But in 2016, lawmakers passed a bill to regulate the industry, a move that welcomed most major DFS operators back to the state.
That remains the only form of online gambling regulated in the state. Sports betting was allowed under the language in a constitutional amendment that authorized commercial casinos in the state; however, this only provided for on-site betting at those casinos. Senate Bill S17D would allow for mobile wagering as well, though some worry that even if the bill is passed, it could face constitutional challenges.
Legalized sports betting is expected to go live in Washington, D.C. sometime in March 2020, more than a year after local lawmakers approved a bill regulating the industry. Betting will be available both through the DC Lottery and at retail sportsbooks throughout the city.
Most other forms of online gambling are not regulated in the district. Daily fantasy sports games are available in Washington D.C., though no regulations have been passed regarding the contests. Considering the legal gray area surrounding DFS, it’s recommended to wait until official legislation is passed before participating in such services.
Montana doesn’t offer most forms of online gambling. However, a sports betting bill was signed into law in May 2019. Gov. Steve Bullock chose to approve H 725, a bill that allows the state lottery to offer sports betting, including mobile wagering – though only at retail locations. The governor chose that bill over a competing one that would have allowed other operators to compete for licenses.
Montana does not allow for online poker or online casino games. Also, Montana is one of the few states where daily fantasy sports games are largely considered illegal, other than offerings from the state lottery itself.
New Mexico was one of the earliest states to offer sports betting outside of Nevada after the repeal of PASPA. However, this was done by the Pueblo of Santa Ana tribal group, without any new legislation being passed in the state. Some other tribes have also followed suit since that time.
The state also features a large number of tribal casinos, as well as a state lottery. However, none of these offerings are available online, and there has been little noise about passing any new online gambling bills in the state. New Mexico has no DFS laws on the books, but almost all major sites operate in the state. Until official legislation is passed it is recommended to avoid taking part in DFS activities.
Colorado sports betting was approved via a voter referendum in November 2019. Voters narrowly approved HB19-1327, which allows Colorado casinos to offer both land-based and online sports betting. Daily fantasy sports sites were also officially legalized by the state in 2016.
Otherwise, while Colorado has land-based casinos and a state lottery, online gambling has not been legalized in the state. There has been no significant movement towards the passage of online casino or online poker bills in Colorado.
Tennessee has traditionally been conservative in terms of gaming expansion: while it has a state lottery, there are no casinos in the state. However, lawmakers passed a bill authorizing sports betting in April 2019. Interestingly, this bill will only allow for online sports betting, with no land-based locations available for wagering. It is expected that online betting will be available sometime in 2020.
Outside of sports betting, gambling options are quite limited in the state. However, the 2016 Fantasy Sports Act did expressly legalize DFS games in Tennessee. Online casino and poker games haven’t gotten much traction in the state, with even land-based versions of these games being unavailable in Tennessee at this time.
Gambling options are fairly limited in Alabama, as the state does not even offer a state lottery system. However, there are tribal casinos in the state.
In addition, Alabama lawmakers officially legalized fantasy sports games in 2019. Sports betting legislation has also been under consideration as early as 2020, though it has yet to come close to passing into law.
Alaska has some of the strictest gambling laws in the United States, with tribal gaming centers with bingo and pull-tab games being the only option for individuals who want to place bets in the state.
However, while there is no law specifically legalizing fantasy sports in the state, most major daily fantasy sports sites are active in Alaska. It’s recommended to avoid this legal gray area until official legislation is agreed upon.
In 2020, multiple plans were put into consideration to legalize the lottery, though there remain many questions about what a state lottery system should look like – or if there is even enough support to pass any of these plans.
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has also supported the idea of legalizing sports betting in Alaska. HB 246, introduced in 2020, would allow for both the establishment of the Alaska Lottery Corporation and for that department to offer sports betting.
While Arizona does not offer online gambling, it does have a robust land-based gaming industry, with many fully-fledged tribal casinos in the state. A state lottery is also available, though it does not offer online ticket sales. Major daily fantasy sports sites do not operate in Arizona either, as it Is generally believed that DFS games are illegal under state law.
There has been some movement on legalized sports betting in 2020, thanks to a bill know as AZ HB 2813. However, even if this legislation passed, it would only allow for in-person betting at tribal casinos, and would not authorize online wagering.
Arkansas hosts both tribal and commercial casinos and does offer a state lottery. However, online betting options are limited. One bright spot is that daily fantasy sports games are strictly legal and regulated in Arkansas, thanks to the 2017 passage of Act 1075.
Sports betting is also legal in Arkansas, as voters approved sportsbooks at up to four retail locations in a November 2018 referendum. Sportsbooks began taking bets in the state in July 2019. Unfortunately, that vote did not approve online sports betting, which is still unregulated in the state.
Given California’s extensive gaming industry, you might expect this state to be a hotbed of online activity as well. Not only are there numerous tribal casinos, but there are also commercial card rooms that offer poker and modified table games, as well as a powerful horse racing industry. A state lottery is present, and while there are no laws specifically legalizing fantasy sports, most major DFS websites do operate here.
However, most forms of online gambling cannot be found in California. Over the years, several bills to allow online poker and/or online casino games have been introduced, but the various stakeholders in the state have never been able to come to terms with what online gambling in the state should look like, which has doomed every attempt to pass legislation. In the last few years, efforts to do so have seemingly lost support and momentum.
Lawmakers have been more active in pushing sports betting, with bills such as ACA 16 being proposed in 2019. However, finding a solution that works for Native American tribes, racetracks, and card rooms alike has led to infighting, and the state doesn’t appear to be on the verge of passing a bill. California’s constitution would need to be amended to legalize sports betting, which requires a two-thirds majority in each legislative chamber and a majority vote in a statewide referendum.
However, a tribal consortium is hoping to obtain enough signatures to put their initiative on the ballot in November 2020. That measure would only allow sports betting at tribal casinos and racetracks, without online wagering.
Florida is another state with an extensive gaming industry that has not been able to push forward with any online gambling expansion. The Seminole Tribe holds a major gaming compact with the state, allowing them the exclusive right to offer casino games in Florida. Parimutuel wagering is also quite popular, not only in terms of horse racing but also for jai alai frontons and greyhound racing – though dog tracks will all be closed by the end of 2020.
In 2018, Florida voters approved Amendment 3 by referendum, which gave voters the exclusive authority to authorize gambling expansion in the state, meaning the legislature cannot do so on its own. This will likely complicate any further attempts to authorize sports betting or online gambling – even if those rights are given to the Seminoles in an updated compact.
While the state has never passed a bill to specifically legalize the games, most major DFS operators offer contests here. It’s once again recommended to avoid such activities until official legislation is considered.
Hawaii is one of only two states that has absolutely no legal gambling, joining Utah in that distinction. In 2019, Hawaiian legislators did push for a bill (HCR109) that would at least study the feasibility of sports betting, though that legislation didn’t pass – and wouldn’t have legalized wagering even if it had.
Idaho offers a state lottery and tribal casinos within its borders, but there is little other gambling in the state. Even daily fantasy sports sites don’t operate in Idaho; in 2016, major operators reached an agreement with the state attorney general to leave the market. No other forms of online gambling are regulated here, either.
Interestingly, Idaho is also one of the few states in which there have been no efforts to pass sports betting legislation, making it unlikely that any form of gaming expansion will be coming to the state soon.
Kansas is home to tribal casinos and a state lottery but offers limited online betting options. The state has officially legalized daily fantasy sports, however, doing so in 2015 thanks to the passage of HB 2155.
Online poker and casinos bills haven’t had much success in Kansas. However, there has been more progress when it comes to sports betting legislation. In early 2020, the state senate passed a bill (S 283) that would allow for both in-person and online sports betting. However, the state’s house prefers a bill (HB 2671) that would legalize wagering at lottery vendors throughout the state, as well as allow for more extensive online lottery sales than the senate bill.
Louisiana is home to numerous casinos, including several riverboat casinos in towns and cities like Shreveport and Baton Rouge. The state also offers a lottery, and video poker machines are allowed in retail locations like truck stops, restaurants, and bars.
Online gambling isn’t regulated in Louisiana at this time. Lawmakers and voters approved fantasy sports in 2018, but the state legislature has failed to pass bills that would set the rules for these games, meaning operators can’t offer them just yet. Online gambling legislation hasn’t proven popular, with one bill (SB322) being offered in 2018 but failing to make any progress.
Sports betting has seen a bit more momentum, with one bill even passing the Senate late in the 2019 session. However, the state’s house did not take up that legislation, and no fewer than five competing sports betting bills have been filed in 2020.
Maine offers a wide range of land-based gaming options, including both tribal and commercial casinos and a state lottery. Maine has also expressly legalized daily fantasy sports, doing so through legislation that was passed in 2017.
Online poker and casino games haven’t attracted much momentum in the Maine legislature. In 2020, however, the state came very close to legalizing sports betting after both chambers of the legislature voted in favor of a bill that would have allowed both online and in-person wagering. However, that bill was vetoed by Gov. Janet Mills, and while the state senate was able to override that veto, the Maine House came up short of the necessary two-thirds majority.
Maryland hosts several brick-and-mortar casinos and offers a state lottery. Also, the state has been making strides in improving its online gambling offerings.
Maryland lawmakers approved daily fantasy sports in 2018, and all major operators are present in the state. In 2020, both the Maryland Senate and House approved a bill (SB 4) that would allow for brick-and-mortar and online sports betting in the state. Presuming it is not vetoed by Gov. Larry Hogan – who has generally been supportive of sports betting – voters will get the chance to consider the measure on the ballot in November.
Minnesota has an interesting mix of land-based gambling options. Along with tribal casinos, the state offers a lottery along with charitable pull-tabs and a mix of electronic games that are offered at a variety of bars, restaurants, and other locations, all of which support local charities. Minnesota once offered online lottery sales, but the state legislature shut down that avenue in 2015.
On the other hand, there has been limited progress in bringing online gambling to the state. While Minnesota hasn’t expressly passed legislation to authorize DFS games, daily fantasy operators are active in the state. It’s advised to avoid participating in such activities until official guidelines are set at a state level.
Meanwhile, sports betting legislation has been introduced, with SF 1894 authorizing both live and online wagering. However, that bill has largely stalled so far, in part due to opposition from the state’s Native American tribes.
Along with commercial casinos and a state lottery, Missouri was also one of the first states to officially regulate daily fantasy sports, doing so when H 1941 went into law in 2016.
Missouri legislators have not introduced any bills to legalize online poker or casino games. On the other hand, lawmakers have been very active when it comes to sports betting, with at least six different bills under consideration in 2020. The one with the most industry support is House Bill 2318, which would allow both online and live betting with low tax rates and no integrity fees.
Nebraska offers a pretty typical mix of gaming options, with a state lottery and Native American casinos being the primary way to get some land-based action. While the state hasn’t passed any legislation to legalize daily fantasy sports games, all the major operators offer contests in Nebraska as well. Avoiding such activities is recommended until official legislation is considered.
While no other forms of online gambling are available in the state, there was at least one bill introduced in 2020 that aimed to change this. State Senator Justin Wayne introduced a bill that would have allowed for both online poker and online sports betting by classifying both as games of skill. Thus far, the bill (LB 990) has not advanced in the legislature.
North Carolina doesn’t offer many online gambling options. The one exception is daily fantasy sports: while the state has never expressly legalized the games, most major DFS companies continue to operate in the state. It’s recommended not to participate in DFS until official legislation is considered.
In terms of land-based options, Native American casinos are operating in North Carolina, along with a state lottery. In 2019, Gov. Roy Cooper signed a law (S 154) that allowed for sports betting at those tribal casinos, though that legislation did not include online sports betting options.
North Dakota is among the many states that offer tribal gaming and a state lottery, but no authorized online gambling products. However, most daily fantasy sports sites do operate in the state even without a law that specifically regulates the industry. Participation in DFS is unadvised until official legislation is considered.
In 2019, the North Dakota House passed a bill (HB 1254) that would have authorized in-person sports betting in the state. However, that bill was overwhelmingly defeated in the Senate later that year. No laws have been proposed to legalize online poker or casino games.
Ohio is home to many commercial casinos, as well as a state lottery and racinos that offer video slots. The state has also legalized daily fantasy sports, doing so late in 2017.
While there has been little progress on online poker or casino games, Ohio lawmakers have been strongly considering authorizing sports betting, as many other states have done. Most recently in 2020, both the state House (House Bill 194) and Senate (Senate Bill 111) seek to legalize online and in-person wagering, though it remains to be seen if any bill can gain enough momentum to pass into law.
With over 100 tribal casinos, Oklahoma has a very active land-based gambling market. The state also offers lottery products, and while Oklahoma hasn’t expressly authorized fantasy sports, most major daily fantasy websites offer their contests here as well. While DFS services are available, it’s recommended to await official legislation before participating in them.
On the other hand, there have been no notable efforts to offer any form of online casino, poker games, or sports betting in the state. The most interesting issue to follow in Oklahoma is a lawsuit by a handful of the largest Native American tribes against the state government over whether the current compact between the two parties expired at the end of 2019 or automatically renewed in 2020.
South Carolina operates a state lottery but offers very little else in terms of land-based gambling, let alone online wagering. They haven’t taken any steps against the DFS industry, so most daily fantasy websites operate here despite the lack of any regulation of the industry in the state. It’s advised to avoid taking part in DFS until official legislation has been considered.
While there has been relatively little movement in terms of gambling expansion, the state has at least looked at sports betting in recent years. Notably, a bill that would have amended the South Carolina constitution to allow regulated sports betting in certain areas was introduced in 2017 and again in 2019, though it received little support.
South Dakota hosts several Native American and commercial casinos, including in the historic town of Deadwood. The state also offers lottery products. DFS sites are widely available, although, with no laws on the books that expressly legalize fantasy sports, it’s best to avoid participating in them for now.
When it comes to sports betting, the question will be left up to South Dakota voters, who will have a chance to vote on a proposal that would change the state constitution to allow sportsbooks at both commercial and tribal casinos. Even if that referendum passes, however, online sports betting will not be permitted, at least not for now. Meanwhile, there has been no movement on legalizing either online poker or online casino games in the state.
Texas is the home to a handful of tribal casinos, as well as a state lottery and some casino cruises that dock in port cities before heading out to international waters to offer a resort-style experience. The state doesn’t offer any legal online gambling options. Daily fantasy sports sites do operate here even without any specific regulation, although it’s best to avoid them until official legislation is passed.
In 2019, a bill (HB 1275) was introduced to the Texas House that would have authorized both retail and mobile sports betting in the state. However, the bill received little attention, and sports betting isn’t expected to gain much traction in the state anytime soon. There’s also no movement for online poker or casinos; instead, the most notable debate over gaming in the state has been the battle over the legality of private poker clubs that have sprung up in some areas of Texas.
Utah has perhaps the strongest anti-gambling laws in the United States. There are no forms of commercial gambling legally permitted in the state, with not even a lottery on offer here. No bills have been seriously proposed to offer any new forms of gaming, either.
Notably, however, a lack of legislation related to fantasy sports has allowed DFS operators to continue to offer their contests in the state, allowing for one form of wagering to take place in Utah to this day.
In terms of land-based gaming, Vermont offers little beyond the typical state lottery products that are available throughout most of the country. In 2017, the state did specifically authorize fantasy sports games, however, including daily fantasy sports sites.
Vermont is among the many states that have pushed for legalized sports betting in recent years, with a new bill (S.213) introduced in early 2020 that would legalize mobile betting (interestingly, without a live sportsbook component). While that bill hasn’t yet gained much traction, there has been movement on at least having a legislative committee officially studying the idea. Meanwhile, online poker and casino games haven’t been considered seriously by Vermont lawmakers in many years.
Virginia hasn’t traditionally offered a wide range of gaming options, though that seems to be changing. Along with a state lottery, lawmakers officially approved of daily fantasy sports in 2016, becoming the first state to regulate the industry.
Virginia is also on track to offer sports betting soon, after the state legislature passed a bill to regulate sports betting (HB 896) in March 2020. That bill will allow online sports betting as well as live betting at any of the casinos that were authorized under another 2020 bill (HB 4). 2020 also saw the passage of an online lottery bill (S 922).
While there are no immediate plans to add online casino games or poker to the mix, the rapid gaming expansion in Virginia is certainly a positive development for those hoping for a wider menu of online gambling options.
Washington has a robust land-based gaming industry, with tribal casinos, commercial casinos, and card rooms all active in the state. There’s also a state lottery in the mix. In 2020, the state also passed a bill (ESHB 2638) that legalized sports betting, though only on tribal lands (and with mobile betting only available on-site at Native American casinos).
However, online gambling has generally been a non-starter in Washington state, which has had some of the strongest regulations against internet gaming in the country. It was the one place even during the poker boom in which online gambling was expressly illegal, as it was classified as a Class C felony in the state in June 2006. That remains true to this day, with even DFS sites generally avoiding operating in the state.
There are more than 20 Native American casinos throughout Wisconsin, as well as an active state lottery. Most major DFS operators are also active in the state, although usage of their services is best avoided until active regulation of fantasy games.
However, there has been little movement on offering sports betting, online poker, or online casino games. Any move to legalize new forms of gambling would likely take many years to get off the ground: as it would take an amendment to the state constitution, it would require being approved in two consecutive legislative sessions, then survive a statewide referendum as well.
While Wyoming doesn’t have a large gaming industry, there are a handful of tribal casinos in the state. Additionally, the state offers lottery products to residents. Daily fantasy sports sites are also active in Wyoming, although participating in their services should be avoided until official regulations are put in place.
There have been no efforts to legalize online poker or casino games here in recent years. Wyoming did consider an online-only sport betting bill in 2020 (HB0225), but that legislation was defeated in the state House, ending hopes for wagering to be legalized this year. However, the sponsor of the bill says that he may consider reintroducing the measure in the 2021 legislative session.