Sports Betting Q&A
Frequently asked questions about sports betting
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When was sports betting legalized?

Sports betting was allowed to be legalized at a state level in 2018 after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was struck down.

Passed in 1992, PASPA banned sports betting for all but four states. Delaware, Montana and Oregon were allowed to have ongoing sports lotteries, while Nevada had licensed sports pools. The lone state to take advantage of legalized sports betting was Nevada, which has grown into a powerhouse and destination for sports bettors across the country.

Since PASPA was overturned, numerous states have legalized sports betting and many more have legislation in the works.

As of spring 2020, there are 21 states (and Washington D.C.) that have legalized sports betting, and more are set to pass bills in the coming years.


Sports betting in Arkansas was legalized in 2018 and officially launched 2019, though it can only be done at physical sportsbooks.


Colorado legalized sports betting late 2019 and officially launched May 2020 amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. 


Delaware was the first state to legalize sports betting following the repeal of PASPA in 2018. Of note, wagering is only allowed at physical sportsbooks, though the hope for residents is that online betting is eventually allowed late 2020 or early 2021.


Legislation passed 2019 to legalize sports betting in Illinois and retail sportsbooks opened March 2020. While online betting wasn't possible at launch time, that should change in the near future.


Indiana legalized sports betting in 2019 and launched shortly after in October of that year. With sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel leading the way, online betting was immediately available at launch.


Iowa began taking sports bets August 2019 in all capacities. However, until Jan. 1, 2021, bettors have to register in person at retail sportsbooks in order to bet online.


A sports betting law was passed late 2019 and physical sportsbooks officially opened March 2020 in Michigan. Mobile sports betting was not an option at launch and residents may have to wait until 2021 before it's legal.


Sports betting in Mississippi officially launched August 2018, though online wagering can only be done on the premises of casinos.


Montana legalized sports betting in 2019 and it officially launched March 2020 through the state lottery. Betting can be done at licensed bars and restaurants, but mobile betting doesn't work outside of those locations.


Nevada was the lone state that operated sportsbooks throughout PASPA and while that's the case, the process isn't as easy as one would think to bet online. In order to bet using an app, you have to set up an account in person, filling out a players club card in the process.

New Hampshire

Sports betting was legalized in New Hampshire in 2019 and launched online through DraftKings Sportsbook. While physical sports betting has yet to happen, that should change late 2020 or at some point in 2021.

New Jersey

New Jersey was one of the first states to legalize sports betting after helping repeal PASPA in 2018. Since launch, the state has allowed mobile and in-person betting.

New Mexico

There is no bill that passed sports betting in New Mexico, but due to a 2015 gaming compact, wagering can be done at four tribal casinos and not online.

New York

Sports betting officially launched in New York in July 2019 and and while online betting is not yet legal, legislation is in the works and could be ready by 2021.

North Carolina

While North Carolina legalized wagering in 2019, betting had not launched as of spring 2020. That said, two sportsbooks are expected to open by the fall and online betting could be an option by 2021 if bills get passed.


Oregon hasn't passed a sports betting bill, but it was grandfathered in after being exempted from PASPA. Sports betting has been offered by the state lottery since 2018 and regulations are in the works to add more physical sportsbooks. As of 2020, in-person betting was only possible at one casino.


Pennsylvania officially launched full-fledged sports betting in 2019 with mobile wagering included.

Rhode Island

Sports betting opened in Rhode Island in 2018 and has since passed a couple more bills to grow the business, including online methods. As of 2020, betting was allowed at two casinos and online wagering was offered through the state lottery.


Tennessee legalized sports betting in 2019 and hoped to release mobile wagering ahead of the 2020 football season. Unfortunately for residents, no bills are in place to license physical sportsbooks.


Washington became the 21st state to legalize sports betting March 25, 2020. That being the case, a launch date has yet to be announced amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.

Washington D.C.

D.C. passed a bill in 2019, but as of spring 2020, had not yet launched. As a positive, a mobile lottery app is expected to launch ahead of the fall football season.

West Virginia

West Virginia launched sports betting in the fall of 2019 and while the process was long, it's growing by the day. Betting is possible at five physical sportsbooks and numerous online outlets.

Read More Sports Betting Q&As

More Questions To Read
What are some current trends in sports betting?
Betting trends usually refer to what the public is doing. You have two choices, to follow the public or fade the public.
Who benefits from sports betting?
Sports betting not only benefits each state, but it also gives fans another way to enjoy games.
What is a sports betting model?
A sports betting model is a system that can identify unbiased picks to determine the probability for all outcomes in a certain game.
What is a sports betting exchange?
A sports betting exchange allows bettors to bet against each other instead of through a bookmaker.
What are some tips for managing your bankroll when betting on sports?
The most important tip when betting on sports is to limit each bet to be between one and five percent of your bankroll.
Can sports betting be a career?
Yes. Sports betting can be a career if you make it your full-time job and put in the hours.
Can sports betting make you rich?
Sports betting is unlikely to make you rich unless you turn it into a full-time job and become one of the best bettors in the world.
Is sports betting a waste of money?
Sports betting is not a waste of money if you define your goals before making your first wager.
Can sports betting be profitable?
Sports betting can be profitable, but the majority of bettors lose money, which is why sportsbooks exist.
What some simple tips for betting on sports?
A simple tip for betting on sports is to remember that only a small percentage of bettors are profitable in the long run.
What are some good sports betting tips for beginners?
A tip for beginners may be that turning a profit in sports betting is difficult and because you "know sports" doesn't mean you'll be successful.
How do you win at sports betting?
To win at sports betting, one has to put time into studying and researching various aspects of a matchup.
Why should sports betting be legal?
Sports betting should be legal because not only is it another way for fans to enjoy action, but it's also a boost to the economy.
Is sports betting rigged?
Sports betting is not rigged, but it is against your favor because of the vig.
What is the tax rate on sports betting winnings?
When PASPA was overturned in 2018, states began legalizing sports betting and introducing different taxes on revenue.
How do sports betting payouts work?
Sports betting payouts depend on which type of odds are being used.
What is a bookie in sports betting?
A bookie is someone who facilitates gambling by setting odds, accepting and placing bets, and then paying out the winnings.
What are some popular sports betting books?
BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet are some of the more popular sportsbooks where sports betting is legal.
Which sports betting site is best?
BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet are some of the more popular online sportsbooks where betting is legal.
What is a hedge in sports betting?
A hedge is a method to reduce risk and secure winnings for a specified bet.
What is the spread in sports betting?
The spread, also referred to as the line, is used to even the odds between two unevenly matched teams.
How do sports betting spreads work?
Sports betting spreads, also referred to as lines, are used to even the odds between two unevenly matched teams.
What does hook mean in sports betting?
The hook means a half-point in sports betting.
What is arbitrage in sports betting?
Arbitrage in sports betting is when someone places bets on all possible outcomes of an event at odds that guarantee profit.
Can you arbitrage sports betting?
Arbitrage sports betting is legal, though it's frowned upon by bookmakers.