States With Legal Sports Betting
There was a time when states with legal sports betting were few and far between. These days, most states have either legalized sports betting (or are on their way to legalizing it).
Not only is in-person sports betting becoming more popular, but online sports betting has become a hot topic, too. Find out where you can legally place bets on sports, which sports you can bet on, and how to find out if a local or online gambling site is legit.
States with legal sports betting allow you to place bets at local casinos, sportsbooks, racetracks, and more.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Every State?
Right now, sports betting is far from legal in every state. Only about two dozen states have legalized sports betting — and even fewer have legalized online sports betting. Luckily, there are still a few ways you can pay to play (even if your state hasn’t jumped on the sports betting bandwagon yet).
In-Person Sports Betting
Possibly the most popular form of sports betting, in-person sports betting is exactly what it sounds like: head to a sportsbook at a race track, casino, or another brick-and-mortar establishment, and you too can bet on your favorite sports.
In-person sports betting has been around since about 4000 BC (yes, even people in ancient times bet on sporting events!), which makes it one of the oldest forms of entertainment.
Head to the betting cage, grab some bet sheets, and check out the stats on each player, team, or horse.
You can bet on practically any sport under the sun (except for youth sports in some states).
Online Sports Betting
Online sports betting is relatively new (as the internet hasn’t been around since ancient times, and online sports betting was illegal starting back in 2006).
Yet, one of the ‘upsides’ of the 2020 pandemic was the influx of online services offered and legalized in many states. Since many casinos and sportsbooks took a hit, so did the states’ tax revenue (including the revenue normally collected from lottery sales).
Online sports betting is being legalized in more and more states; as long as the online sportsbook has a brick-and-mortar sponsor within state lines, many states are now giving the green light for placing virtual bets via website or app.
Types of Legal Online Sports Betting
There are two ways to legally bet on sports online: via real money sportsbooks and free online sportsbooks. Both operate similarly; on most platforms you make deposits with real money and withdraw your real money winnings.
Yet, if online sports betting (or in-person sports betting for that matter) isn’t legal in your state, you still have options to pay to play. Of course, you need to be of legal betting age in your state (usually 18 or 21, depending on the type of betting).
You don’t need to be a resident of the state in which you’re playing, you simply need to be geographically located within the state. All legal online casinos and sportsbooks use high-tech geo-tracking software to ensure you are physically located within the geographical borders of the state.
Real Money Sportsbooks
Real money sportsbooks are one of the most popular ways to bet on major league, minor league, college, and international sports (in addition to less-popular sports).
These sportsbooks mimic the in-person sports betting experience. Log on to your account, check out the spreads and odds, deposit money, and place your bets. Withdraw winnings via ACH bank transfer, PayPal (at some sportsbooks and casinos), or paper check.
Some sportsbooks even allow you to head to a local cage to withdraw and deposit money. If you’re craving some sports betting action but can’t get out of the house or make it to an in-person location, real money sportsbooks are your best bet — as long as online sports betting is legal in your state.
Free Online Sportsbooks
Another way to pay to play is at a free online sportsbook, such as FendOff. (Use the OddsSeeker link to get your first deposit matched up to $1,000 for sports betting and $1,500 for casino games!)
This type of gambling is legal in every U.S. state (except Washington State)! This is as close to an actual sports betting experience as you can get — without opting for an online real money sportsbook.
The biggest difference between free online sportsbooks and real money sportsbooks is that you don’t play with ‘real’ money. Instead, you purchase virtual currency (sweeps or gold coins) that you can bet with like real money.
When it’s time to cash out your winnings, you can usually do so in real money, via ACH bank transfer or Skrill.
Some free online casinos only allow you to cash out your winnings in prizes or gift cards, so check the casino’s or sportsbook’s withdrawal policies before depositing funds. Even if you play at a sportsbook that offers gift cards in lieu of cash, most sites offer gift cards for major retailers (so it’s almost like you’re getting your payout in real cash).
Is Online Sports Betting Legit?
Yes, most online sports betting is totally legit. Yet, there are always exceptions to any upstanding online sites.
Even though states that have legalized online gambling have made it super easy to do so within the confines of the law, there will almost always certainly be sites that operate illegally. If you want to ensure you don’t end up playing at a site that isn’t licensed to operate in your preferred state, there are ways to keep your gaming on the up-and-up.
We recommend always placing your sports bets with a trusted brand. Any major name in sports betting or gambling will only work within the confines of the law.
If you’re still concerned about the legality of the site, you can simply stick to the sites that OddsSeeker recommends! Use the links on our site to ensure you’re not accidentally entering your banking info into fields on a copycat site that was designed to look like a major casino or sportsbook site.
States With Legal Sports Betting
The full list of states with legal sports betting includes:
States With Recently Passed Sports Betting Legislation
States Without Legal Sports Betting
Sports Betting in States Without Legalized Sportsbooks
If the state where you live doesn’t offer legalized gambling or sports betting, there’s no need to fret! You can still pay to play legally in person and online. The three most popular ways to place your bets from any state where gambling and sports betting laws are stricter are via free online sportsbooks and casinos and casino travel.
In-Person Sports Betting
In-person sports betting may not be legal in your state, but odds are it is legal in a state nearby! It’s totally legal to travel to other states to gamble (as long as you are of legal gambling age).
If you live in Hawaii, you probably won’t be able to enjoy in-person sports betting (unless you want to fly for more than five hours to get to your gambling destination!). Yet, you can still place bets at free online sportsbooks and free online casinos.
Free Online Sportsbooks
Free online sportsbooks are the most popular way to legally bet on sports online! The only state where you can’t legally place bets at free online sportsbooks is Washington State (sorry, Washingtonians!), but every other state allows this form of sweepstakes gambling.
Simply create an account for an online free sportsbook, such as FendOff, make a deposit, and start playing! You can cash out your winnings in real money via ACH bank transfer, Skrill, and more.
FendOff offers welcome bonuses to help whet your appetite for maximizing your sports bets. Get your first $1,000 deposit matched by the platform when you use the OddsSeeker link.
Free Online Casinos
If you’re itching to pay to play, you may also want to check out free online casinos. Like their sportsbook counterparts, these casinos allow you to purchase virtual currency, such as sweeps and gold coins, with which you can place bets.
Free online casinos offer a wide range of casino games, such as table games, card games, slots, and video poker.
Cash out your winnings via real money, or win free prizes and/or gift cards to major retailers. Every free online casino works differently (and has its own withdrawal procedures and rules), so it’s important to understand these policies before depositing funds.
Types of Online Sports Betting
Want to start betting on your favorite sports? You can place bets online on dozens of your favorite sports teams. You can even win big on fantasy sports betting. Some of the most popular sports include major league and minor league sports, college sports, international sports, major sporting events (like the Super Bowl and Olympic Games), and less-popular sports (like snooker and badminton).
Major League/Minor League Sports Betting
Two of the most popular types of sporting leagues to bet on are major league and minor league sports.
Some of the most popular major league sports include NHL, NFL, and MLB sports. You can also bet on sports such as golf, NASCAR, soccer, and horse racing. If you’re more into the minor league affiliates, there’s plenty of action on most major betting sites for minor league sports, too.
You can also bet on sporting events, such as the Super Bowl, World Series, and World Cup. If you can watch it on TV, you can probably bet on it via sports betting app or platform.
Not to be outdone, college sports also have a pretty big following when it comes to sports betting. Some of the most popular college sports for betting include football, basketball, hockey, field hockey, volleyball, and more.
Of course, you can also bet on college sporting events (such as the NCAA tournaments, such as the Sweet Sixteen and Final Four), too.
Many states don’t allow you to bet on any school sports where minors are involved, meaning you can’t bet on high school or middle school sports. It’s always best to check your state laws before placing bets (or sticking to a reputable site that doesn’t offer betting on sports that aren’t legal to bet on).
International Sports Betting
While U.S. sports can often dominate sportsbooks in the States, it doesn’t mean you can’t still bet on international sports, too! While we might forget that there are sports outside of the U.S. from time to time, some of the best betting can happen on international sports.
Many sports betting sites will take bets on sporting events that take place in Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia. Some popular international sports may include cricket and soccer.
It’s even possible to bet on the Olympics! In fact, on some sports betting sites, you can even bet on events that have nothing to do with sports at all (including the Oscars, Grammys, American Idol, and more).
Unique Sports Betting Opportunities
While we are used to betting on some of the more popular sports, such as football, basketball, and baseball, there are a few unique sports that you can place bets on, too.
Some of the most popular unique sports betting opportunities include sports such as polo and snooker.
Other lesser-known sports may include underwater hockey, foot volleyball (and even toe wrestling).
Where to Bet on Sports in Most States
If you happen to live in a state where sports betting is legal, you have a few options. While casinos have been a popular spot over the years for sports betting, you can now head to other locations such as in-person sportsbooks and horse racetracks to bet on your favorite sports, too.
Online casinos and sportsbooks have quickly become one of the most popular places to bet on sports. Simply log on to your account (or create one), deposit money, and start placing bets. All you need to get started is a smartphone, laptop, or computer. You’ll also need to ensure you’re physically located within a state where online sports betting is legal (and be 21 or over).
Casinos have long been a popular spot for sports betting and in-person sportsbooks. If you live in a state that is home to a casino, simply head down, deposit money at the casino cage, and grab a betting sheet.
Some casinos are home to large sportsbooks and sports betting arenas, while others focus more on table games, card games, and slots.
You can also head straight to a local sportsbook to place your bets. This is a similar experience to the one you’d have in a casino. Just grab some betting slips and place your bets. You can deposit money into your account right at the betting counter. Most sportsbooks have comfy chairs, a bar, and (of course) lots of big-screen TVs.
Another popular spot to place bets (that’s been around for over 100 years) is horse race betting sites. Obviously, you can only place bets on the horse races that are taking place at that particular track.
If you happen to live near an off-track betting site, you can watch the races on a large-screen TV, place bets, and enjoy a few drinks (or, you can just do it online!).
Online Vs In-Person Sports Betting
Online sportsbooks and in-person sportsbooks both have their own pros and cons. The biggest upside to betting in person is the rush you get from surrounding yourself with other sports fans. Yet as we enter a brave new post-pandemic world, online betting is becoming more and more attractive, too.
Benefits of In-Person Sports Betting
In-person sports betting is one of the most popular ways to bet on sports. Hang out with your friends (or make new ones!), grab a drink, eat some tasty food, and place your bets — all while watching your favorite sports.
If you live in a state where sports betting is legal, there’s a good chance there’s a local casino or sportsbook where you can place your bets. Sportsbooks are often associated with casinos, so you may even be able to hit the slots or the card tables during your visit, too.
Benefits of Online Sports Betting
Online sports betting brings all the fun of in-person sports betting — right to your couch. You don’t need to drive to a local casino or sportsbook to get in on the fun. Simply place your bets right from your phone or computer.
Online sportsbooks and casinos also usually offer promotions to get you to sign up (or to sign back into your account), so you can take advantage of free bets or deposit bonuses when you play online, too.
Online Sportsbook Promotions and Deals
One of the biggest benefits of placing your sports bets online is the ability to take advantage of so many welcome, ongoing, and loyalty-program member promotions. Most online sports betting sites offer tons of promotions to new account holders — and plenty of ongoing promotions as well.
The most generous promotions offered by sportsbooks are usually welcome promos. These promotions are offered to gamblers when they sign up for an account or deposit money for the first time.
The most popular type of welcome promotion is a deposit-match promo. Deposit any sum of money (up to a certain amount), and get that deposit matched by the casino or sportsbook!
OddsSeeker publishes all the latest promo codes and promo links, so check back regularly to get the best deals!
Many casinos and sportsbooks also offer no-deposit bonuses, which allow you to get free money without depositing any funds at all! Others offer no-risk plays (which generally don’t allow you to win ‘real’ money but are a great way to try out specific games).
Popular ongoing promotions generally include sign-in bonuses (collect free bonuses just for signing into your account), daily or weekly bonuses, and holiday bonuses. All you need to do is follow the rules set by a specific sportsbook or casino to take advantage of these promos.
VIP/Rewards Member Deals
Most casinos and some sportsbooks also run VIP and rewards clubs. These clubs reward you for playing or depositing money into your account. The more you play, the faster you’ll climb up rewards club tiers. Most casinos and sportsbooks require you to maintain a tier level each month to get your tier rewards.
Local and online sportsbooks make deposits and withdrawals super simple. Just deposit your money via a preferred transfer method and start playing right away. When it’s time to cash out your winnings, you can do so via cash, ACH withdrawal, PayPal, and more!
When you head to an in-person casino or sportsbook, you simply need to head to the cage or counter to make your deposit.
If you’re betting online, you’ll need to transfer funds into your account. Most online casinos and sportsbooks accept ACH transfers, PayPal, Skrill, credit cards, and debit cards. Funds are usually available immediately for betting.
Got winnings? You can usually withdraw your funds via ACH bank transfer, Skrill, PayPal, or paper check request through online casinos and sportsbooks. Transfer times take a little longer for withdrawals than they do for deposits; you can usually get your funds within a few hours to a few days for electronic transfers; paper checks may take up to two weeks to receive.
If you’re at a local betting site, simply head to the cage or counter to cash out your winnings.
Are you ready to place some sports bets? If you live in one of the states with legal sports betting, you can head to an in-person casino, sportsbook, or racetrack — or, just head to one of the many online sportsbooks to start betting right away.