Top Five States for Sports Betting

Top 5 Sports Betting States in the U.S

For the first time ever, sports betting is expanding beyond Nevada and the US is seemingly now the world's largest untapped betting market.

Repeal of PASPA

In the past, under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), there was a federal ban on sports betting in the US. The 1992 law allowed immunity for Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana, who had previously allowed sports betting within their borders. PASPA was later declared unconstitutional and repealed. The majority opinion claimed that PASPA violated a rule by which the federal government shall not require states to act against their interests.

Sports betting power rankings

There are several variables that played out in making these five states the power rankers in the realm of sports betting. The state’s revenue streaming from the sports betting industry obviously plays a significant role, while the number of sportsbooks in any given state, along with the locations of those sportsbooks, also contribute to the state’s position on this list. State laws are still readily changing and developing in this market, therefore online sports betting, mobile sports betting, and regulatory matters are all taken into serious consideration.

Now that sports betting fans are focused on the US, these five states are heavily impacting the nation’s sports betting game.

  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
  • West Virginia
  • Pennsylvania

Nevada sports betting

Nevada has set the pace for emerging markets. Having decades of experience in regulating sports betting, the state now has over 100 Sportsbooks. After the passing of PASPA, Nevada was given an exception and the state was allowed to partake in single-game sports betting. When the act was repealed, other states were given the right to legalize sports betting within state lines, however, the growth in the industry wasn’t expected to have much of an effect on Nevada’s tourism and gambling traffic. Certain types of betting such as horse race betting and betting at a racetrack tend to be more sought after in Vegas anyway. Part of Vegas’ charm is the overall experience and it will be a while before other states can match what Vegas has to offer.

There is an array of sports available to bet on in the state of Nevada including:

  • football
  • basketball
  • baseball
  • hockey
  • soccer
  • fighting
  • auto racing
  • tennis
  • rugby
  • cycling
  • golf
  • esports
  • horse racing

In Nevada, it is legal to wager on college sports. In fact, the state does not have many restrictions on betting events. 

The betting types found in Nevada sportsbooks include point spreads, money lines, totals, partial game lines, teasers, parlays, pleasers, round robins, futures, proposition bets, and in-play wagering. 

New Jersey sports betting

By the time legal sports betting was launched in New Jersey, the anticipation had reached a tremendous build-up and a whopping $16m was immediately wagered in the first couple of weeks. The first full month of sports betting operations brought in around $40 million in bets. This number shot up to $95 million in a mere couple of months, thanks to NFL preseason. Currently, New Jersey holds eight brick and mortar sportsbooks and eight online sports betting sites and mobile sports betting platforms in operation. The current largest NJ online sports betting sites are DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Sports betting revenue is increasing at an astronomical pace. In fact, Eilers & Krejcik, a prominent gaming consultancy, projects New Jersey to surpass Nevada by 2021.

Sports fans can bet on all the major US sports leagues including the NFL, NHL, MLB, and NBA. Bettors can also choose from a range of other sports including soccer, golf, tennis, fighting, and even bets on the Academy Awards. It is legal to bet on college events as long as the events do not involve New Jersey teams or are not college events happening within New Jersey. 

Delaware sports betting

Once ago Delaware faced no competition in sports betting as it was the only eastern state who offered it. It has been involved with horse race betting and other forms of gaming since colonial times. Nowadays, it is quickly losing that luxury and is beginning to meet some competition. However, the DE Lottery is the leading lottery in state-regulated sports betting. The state has three casinos total and the DE Lottery manages betting through all three, scooping up half of the proceeds in the process. The state handled over $7m in sports bets during the first three weeks. Regulators are expecting approval for online betting and mobile betting sometime in the near future.

West Virginia sports betting

The Mountain State legalized sports betting in March of 2018 and then soft-launched into the industry of online sports betting at the end of August 2018. West Virginia became the fifth state to offer legal sports betting in the US. Hollywood Casino's opening on September 1st, 2018 brought in hundreds of thousands in sports wagers and has now partnered with DraftKings online sportsbook. Next in line was Mountaineer Casino who launched on November 21, 2018. FanDuel operates its sportsbook at the Greenbrier, a private West Virginia resort. DraftKings and fanDuel currently operate the only two betting apps in the state. 

There are still unsettled regulatory developments beneath the surface in West Virginia, however, the state does foresee a profitable future, should these disturbances eventually dissipate.

Pennsylvania sports betting 

Sports betting officially launched in Pennsylvania in November 2018. In May 2019, the state legalized online sports betting and several sportsbooks partnered with online sportsbooks so that fans could begin placing bets online and via mobile devices. SugarHouse Sportsbook was the first to go live, followed by Parx Sportsbook and Bet Rivers in June of 2019. The following month FanDuel Sportsbook launched its PA sports betting site. 

Fans can bet on all of the major North American sports in PA online sports betting sites. There are no bet events restrictions in Pennsylvania, therefore betting on collegiate events is also allowed. 

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1 March 2019

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