Casinos, gambling, and gaming are among the many activities that US veterans enjoy. Many land-based casinos and online casinos offer special discounts and other bonuses in November in the days leading up to Veterans Day.

But what veterans also enjoy is a fair bit of sports betting. However, sports betting and its legalization are one of the most hotly-discussed topics in the gambling industry.

It was only in May 2018, that the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the federal ban on sports betting. Ever since this ruling, 11 states have made sports betting legal.

While some states regulated this process immediately, others are still fighting it. Gambling experts predict that it is only a matter of time before this activity will be legalized all through the country.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on the current situation of sports betting across the USA and the related bills that propose legalization dates for various states.

Status of Online sports betting in the USA

Currently, there is no federal ban on online gambling or sports betting. But while online and casino gambling is legal, each state is governed by its own rules.

Not only will veterans need to find the right sportsbook for the desired sport, but you will need to know the law in your state.

New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia have already legalized online betting and have made available platforms for gambling.

Nevada is the gambling capital, not only in the US but of the world. It is, therefore, no surprise that Nevada was quick to implement the best practices in regulating sports betting. Gradually, the states of Mississippi, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Arkansas, New York, Iowa, Oregon, Indiana, and New Hampshire joined this clique that allowed legal betting on your favorite sports events.

On the deck:

On-Deck States

Sports betting has been legalized in Montana but it is uncertain when it will go live. Once it does, it will be allowed both in-person and online within the state.

Washington D.C

The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 has come into effect as of May 3, 2019. The bill gives legal status to sports betting but there is no formal announcement on when the first sports bets will be booked.


A new law “Tennessee Sports Gaming Act” permits statewide online sports betting or mobile sports betting effectively from July 2019. All gamblers/bettors must at least be 21 years of age and the law requires licensed operators to “exclusively use official league data for purposes of live betting”. 


Since June 2019, the Illinois legislature has passed a gaming bill that permits both in-person and online sports betting. The new law also allows betting on location at sports venues such as Wrigley Field. However, betting is not allowed on minor league sports events or any Illinois collegiate teams.  Of course, operators and data providers need to get the due license under the new law.

North Carolina

In July 2019, NC signed a new bill that allows sports and horse race wagering on tribal lands. This betting is designated as a Class III gaming activity under the state compact. This new legislature permits betting both on college and professional sports. However, all bettors need to place the bets in-person at any of the two retail locations.


Sports betting is legalized in Colorado in November 2019. The new law will provide for the regulation of sports betting via licensed casinos.  It permits both mobile and retail sports and the plan is to fund state water projects from the tax revenue of sports betting.


Michigan has passed the Lawful Sports Betting Act in December under the regulatory oversight of the Michigan Gaming Control Board. This new law permits both land-based and mobile sports betting on a number of sports including college sports. Again, bettors must be at least 21 years of age and it is expected that the actual betting will begin sometime in 2020.

Kentucky could soon find itself legalizing sports betting as a committee of the House of Representatives has recently passed the proposed legislation.

Getting there

Sports betting legalization is a cumbersome process. Not all states and their regulatory bodies work at the same speed. Many jurisdictions face strong opposition against sports betting which makes it very difficult to pass the laws.

Maine, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, and Virginia are still waiting for legalization in 2020.

Last but not least

The States of Alaska, Idaho, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Wyoming have not yet announced any bills for sports betting legalization. Most of these states have laws that prohibit sports wagering and these regulations first need to be repealed before it sports betting can be allowed.


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