A Beginners’ Guide To Gambling In America Following The Supreme Court Legalizing Sports Betting

Beginners Guide Gambling Supreme Court Sports


While sports betting laws in the United States were completely flipped on their head last week, it’s sometimes not even clear to the high rollers what’s legal and what’s not in certain states. Some of the most influential names in sports have shown their support in legalizing sports betting, and the Supreme Court has now ruled it legal, but it’s still only currently allowed in all its forms in four states .There are also a ton of other state-centric laws around gambling which could mean your poker game breaks the law if you step over a state line.

That’s why the folks over at PlayUSA have put together an interactive guide designed to let you work out exactly what’s legal, illegal and possibly unclear in each state and when it comes to betting. Hopefully. this will help even the least experienced players better understand their chances throughout the country.

The Main Four Sporting Contenders

So while some states might still classify sports betting as illegal, or restrict it in some way, the good news is that there are four states that do allow you to be able to get in on a game or two. These states for include:

Delaware – While Delaware doesn’t offer conventional casino gambling everywhere in the state, it does, however, maintain several constitutionally exempt casinos, as well as sports betting and horse racing.
Montana – While the Big Sky state only classifies three forms of gambling illegal, including daily fantasy sports and an online lottery, it is one of the few that sees sports betting and horse racing as legal forms of gambling.
Oregon – Alongside Delaware and Montana, Oregon was one of the three states where sports lotteries were exempt from the 1992 Act preventing sports betting.
Nevada – The state that’s home to Sin City certainly has statewide gambling establishments (one of only two states). As well as the three states whose sports lotteries were exempt from the PASPA, Nevada’s licensed sports pools also went unbanned.

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Freedom in the US of A

So where are the best places to head if you fancy a wager or two? Surprisingly, the answer isn’t Nevada, though it does rate highly. These are the top three states for legalized gambling…

Pennsylvania – Somewhat surprisingly, the Keystone State is the most gambling-friendly state in America. With 12 commercial casinos created since their legalization in 2003, and 78% of gambling forms legal (with a further 11% legal at certain, qualifying locations), players are sure to locate somewhere to find something to play.
Delaware – Unlike Pennsylvania, Delaware doesn’t offer casino gambling everywhere in the state. It does, however, maintain several constitutionally exempt casinos, as well as sports betting, a state lottery, and bingo. It doesn’t, however, offer online lottery gambling – you’ll have to go buy a ticket in-store instead. 78% of gambling types are legal here.
Nevada – The silver state certainly has statewide gambling establishments (one of only two states), but unlike the majority of other states, there is no state lottery. The casino industry has lobbied against it as it would undermine their gambling market share. 67% legal, 11% limited.

New York, New Jersey, and Maine all have an equal number of gambling options available, though what they offer are slightly different. For online gambling, for example, you’ll have to head to New Jersey, but if you’re after an internet lottery game, then you’ll have to try one of the other two states.

None of them allow Video Game Terminals (VGT) while all three offer casinos and horse racing. New York is the only one of the three that has legislation pending on sports betting (but if you’re not prepared to wait for it to go through, you might want to try Nevada or Delaware).

Sun, Sea and Statewide Bans

While sports betting is rather a controversial topic, it is interesting that horse racing is not nearly outlawed as much. A majority of American states, such as New York, Wyoming and Kentucky, classify horse racing as legal with only five states remain opposed to it: Utah, Hawaii, Alaska, Georgia and North Carolina.

Overall, Hawaii has a blanket ban on all forms of gambling. Social gambling among friends is allowed, and some bills have been introduced attempting to legalize both internet gambling and daily fantasy sports, but historically, legislation attempting to legalize gambling in the state has been rejected.

As well as Hawaii, Utah also claims to have strict restrictions on gambling, with the majority of gambling practices listed as illegal, including sports betting and horse racing, while daily fantasy sports status remains unclear.

For the rest of the states, and to see which types of gambling have the most and least acceptance in America, explore the interactive tools created by PlayUSA website by clicking on the graphic below.

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Click the image to open the full interactive version (via Play USA).

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Before settling down at BroBible, Douglas Charles, a graduate of the University of Iowa (Go Hawks), owned and operated a wide assortment of websites. He is also one of the few White Sox fans out there and thinks Michael Jordan is, hands down, the GOAT.