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 PASPA was later declared unconstitutional and repealed.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 which 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
  • Mississippi
  • Delaware
  • West Virginia

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 When the act was repealed, other states were given the right to legalize sports betting within state lines, however, the growth in the industry wasn’t expected to have much of an effect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.

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.

Mississippi sports betting

An attractive state for prospective operators and suppliers, Mississippi places right behind New Jersey. It boasts a regional monopoly, attracting bettors from surrounding states. Out of the 28 casinos in Mississippi, at least 20 already offer sports betting. However, the law is set up in such a way that no online betting or mobile betting is allowed beyond casino walls. Taking that into consideration, the first month of operation still set impressive numbers. Bettors wagered over $6 million and sportsbooks held nearly $645,000 in sports betting revenue.

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 at approximately the end of 2018.

West Virginia

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 brought in hundreds of thousands in wagers. Regulators expect all five West Virginia casinos to take actions toward sports betting by the end of the year with FanDuel and William Hill being the first sportsbook platforms to launch. However, despite this forward motion, there are still unsettled regulatory developments beneath the surface. West Virginia foresees a profitable future, should these disturbances eventually dissipate.

Prospective future in U.S. sports betting

Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Mississippi, and West Virginia are expected to legalize sports betting by the beginning of 2019. Operators in the U.S. are already rushing to partner with the more experienced European sportsbook solution providers in order to stay ahead of the game, offering the most competitive betting services. Although the history of sports betting in the U.S. is an interesting one, the country can't claim innovation in this industry. However, with recent changes and fresh markets, a new chapter is underway.


Information Sources:

Sacha image


1 March 2019

BetNJ is owned by GameLounge Ltd., a Maltese Company, with registration number: C53144 and is completely independent from the gaming operators.