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Online Gambling Sites US > Betting Guide > Legal Sports Betting by States: Learn How to Place Online Bets Legally
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Legal Sports Betting by States: Learn How to Place Online Bets Legally

Publish Date:08/02/2023
Fact checked by: Eric Bale

US Legal StatesThe legal situation regarding gambling in the US is varied and complex – so much so that it can be quite daunting for some players. However, there are casino and sportsbook legal states, and often alternatives where there’s not.

Put simply, if you want to bet online in the US, there will almost certainly be some kind of option to enjoy your favorite casino games or enhance your enjoyment of sports with your own predictions. But it’s vital to know what they are in order to have the best experience and to stay safe while betting online.

The key thing to understand about gambling laws in the United States is that they’re governed on a state by statebasis. Each state has its own legislation on sports betting, casino gambling, crypto poker games, horse betting, daily fantasy sports, and social casinos.

On top of that, the situation regarding betting sites in the USA is ever changing. States are continuously updating their laws (typically towards the legalization of betting) more and more. The good news is that only Utah and Hawaii don’t allow gambling at all, and there are social betting options for players in those states.

So, you can almost certainly bet online in some way – but you’ll need to check your individual state laws to be sure.

Pros and cons of gambling in the USA

Pros: 

  • US operators are amongst the best
  • Variety of betting types covered
  • Alternative betting options available
  • Promotions are often generous
  • More states are legalizing betting

Cons:

  • Laws can be complicated
  • Less available than other countries
  • Finding a perfect match takes time

The ins and outs of state law can be complicated. That said, one thing we can do to help break things down is outline the sports betting legal states in the US, as that’s a major consideration. You can also check out our sports betting guide for more information.

The following are sportsbook legal states:

  • Oregon
  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • Montana
  • Wyoming
  • Colorado
  • Kansas
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Indiana
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut
  • New Jersey
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Tennessee
  • Mississippi
  • Louisiana

Also, for those of you interested in casino betting alongside sports gambling legal states, here’s a list of where online casinos are legally permitted in the US:

  • Michigan
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • West Virginia

While the tide of US legislation is changing in favor of online betting – particularly with more sports betting legal states in the US – there’s still some way to go before everyone can play how they want. However, there’s still a legal alternative for almost all of them.

These are known as sweepstakes or social casinos. They’re legal across all US states, except for Washington.

What distinguishes them is that you play with virtual currencies as opposed to real cash, with no deposit or purchase necessary. Some of these operators even allow you to predict sportsbook events for fun.

It’s even possible to win cash prizes on some sweepstakes casinos by playing with a virtual currency, commonly known as ‘Sweeps Coins’. This is because, as well as funding gameplay, these count as sweepstakes entries.

Stake.us: What great sweepstakes casinos look like

Don’t think of sweepstakes casinos as any kind of compromise. They can offer a quality experience comparable to any real cash alternative. Stake.us is one prime example of this.

Their game collection is second to none, thanks to excellent original games and third-party developers Hacksaw Gaming and Pragmatic Play. Coins are given away generously, and at a $1 per Stake Coin redemption rate (that’s what they call Sweeps Coins), their cash prizes are ample.

This is backed by a world-class site experience, complete with good looks and great customer service. They further distinguish themselves by allowing you to redeem prizes and buy Gold Coins with cryptos.

In addition, outstanding promotions sweeten the deal. This includes an exclusive 5% rakeback offer with promo code TGHSOCIAL.

The only downside is a lack of sportsbook options, meaning those missing out on sports gambling legal states will have to look elsewhere.

Five top tips for a secure gambling experience in the USA

Finding legal ways to bet online in the USA is key to ensuring your experience stays safe and fair. But there’s no need to worry, as you can be sure your pick of operator is secure with these simple tips:

Use our recommendations

We didn’t just recommend Stake.us because we think they have incredible games – although that certainly does help. It’s also because they’re as reliable, reputable and safe an online casino as any. If you’re on the lookout for a sweepstakes casino option, we think they’re a terrific place to start.

Look for security information

The key information relevant to your security includes things like the privacy policy and encryption information. In the case of sports betting legal states in the US, it also includes responsible gaming policy and licensing. All of this should be transparent and easy to find – typically at the bottom of the homepage.

Check their reputation

You can often find information from other customers about their casino experience, especially if they happen to be on the App Store. When available, this can give some insight into what you can expect. You also may be able to look up any historical security incidents if any occurred.

Read the terms and conditions

Security isn’t just about legalities, encryption and the like. It’s also about fairness. One of the best ways to gauge this is by reading the terms and conditions. This essentially lays out the details of how a site works and how its promotions tick. They can be a little lengthy but are more than worth your while.

Always gamble responsibly

If you’re real money gambling – whether in a casino or sports gambling legal states – make sure you stay in control. Never bet more than you can afford to lose, never chase losses, and always make having fun your focus. There’s much less risk with social casinos. But we’d still advise being responsible with Gold Coin purchases.

Conclusion: Don’t let complicated laws get in the way of gaming fun

While there’s little doubt that US gambling laws are more convoluted than their European counterparts, there will likely be a legal way to play that suits. All it requires, for the overwhelming majority of Americans, is to check what’s available in their state and find suitable casinos.

Plus, with more and more sportsbook legal states becoming available, there’s likely to be even more options in the near future.

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✅Which US states have legalized gambling?

As gambling laws in the US are a broad and ever-moving subject, our guide to US legal states will tackle the issue of legality across the country. This means not just giving a blanket yes or no answer to the question of legality. We’ll be explaining how the laws differ for separate kinds of gambling and the impact this has on a state-by-state level.

❓Are there alternatives if real money gambling is illegal in my state?

Our guide to US legal states goes above and beyond. We’ll not just be providing information for those lucky enough to live in a state where real money gambling is broadly legal. We’ll also be explaining what alternatives, if any, are available for those who don’t. If you do have other options, all the information you’ll need is in this guide.

🔒How can I stay safe when betting online in the USA

Security and legality go hand-in-hand. That’s why our look at US legal states won’t stop at just explaining the legal gambling situation in the country. We’ll also be providing advice to help people stay safe more generally, with practical tips for a more secure time playing and/or betting online.

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