The Great Debate: Legal Status of eSports Betting in the US
Of the U.S.’s 52 states, 16 have legalized eSports betting. Four states have laws that either prohibit betting or have not included eSports as one of the “sports” in betting. Some states have federal laws that regulate eSports betting.
Here are the states where eSports betting is legal, illegal, and regulated in the US:
|Connecticut||Oregon||New York||New Hampshire|
|Iowa||Rhode Island||North Dakota|
While eSports gaming revenue is $243 million in the US, regulations heavily influence its growth and trends.
Find out more, as this article will help you discover more about eSport betting legalities in the US.
Things You Should Know About Legalities Around eSports Betting
The state distribution tells us that there is more to learn about US eSports betting legalities. Let’s further discover the requirements, sportsbooks, and payment methods.
Requirements in Legal States
Some legislation already included sports betting but has only recently included eSports betting.
Here are some of the state’s launching dates and legal betting age
|State||Launching Date||Legal Betting Age|
|Arizona||September 9, 2021||21|
|Colorado||May 1, 2020||21|
|Connecticut||September 30, 2021||21|
|Louisiana||October 6, 2021||21|
|Maryland||December 10, 2021||21|
|New Jersey||January 24, 2022||21|
|Tennessee||November 1, 2020||21|
|Virginia||January 21, 2021||21|
|Washington||September 9, 2021||18|
|Wyoming||September 1, 2021||18|
Pennsylvania is soon to follow. Reports have stated that a Pennsylvania lawmaker is moving to legalize eSports in their state, arguing that the eSports industry is worth $1.8 billion in the US.
If their legislation passes, state residents can bet on eSports events and require a legal betting age of 21.
Another state soon to legalize eSports betting is New Mexico. If eSports betting becomes available in their state, it may have a betting minimum of $5 and a maximum of $500.
Now you know whether eSports betting is legal in your state, it’s time to look for a betting platform. Here are sites you may want to try:
When choosing a sportsbook, it’s essential to consider your payment methods and the services you want.
These sportsbooks are available on sites and applications, allowing users to place bets conveniently. Brick-and-mortar locations like New Jersey and Nevada are also available.
Betting limits differ from one sportsbook to another. Maximum deposits range between $5,000-$500,000, and minimum deposits run between $10-$50. These betting limits may also apply to some states where eSports betting is regulated.
With the regulated states, bettors can access eSports betting, but there are specific rules and restrictions. Gamblers usually apply for licenses for running betting platforms.
Below are some of the regulated states, along with their gambling platforms and legal betting age:
|State||Gambling Sites/Apps||Legal Betting Age|
|Michigan||DraftKings DFS||18 and 21|
|New York||FANDUEL Sportsbook||N/A|
Michigan has two legal betting ages of 21 for online and retail sportsbooks. 18 is for tribal casinos.
The states above do not entirely legalize eSports betting. Yet, there are states where eSports gambling is completely prohibited.
Completely Illegal State
Some states do not allow eSport betting. Explore the reasons why as you read on.
Here are the states where eSports betting is entirely illegal:
The only sports betting operation allowed in California is horse racing with operators like Flif. Residents who want to gamble may travel to neighboring states, Arizona or Nevada.
Indiana is the 10th state to legalize sports betting but does not include eSports. According to House Bill 1015, college and professional sports betting are allowed, but eSports and amateur youth sports are not.
During the discussions of this bill, illegal sports betting in Indiana amounted to a $300 million industry. A legal framework on sports betting would help address the issue.
Yet again, eSports betting is not one of the legal sports to bet on. The bill only allows sports betting locations and mobile wagering on casinos.
In 2019, Montana was the first state to legalize sports betting, referring to tribal games like casinos. Yet, betting on eSports events is not permitted.
Betting on your mobile device is permitted only inside a licensed lottery facility. This restriction allows the bettors to ensure the safety of their money and information.
Residents who want to bet on eSports may need to travel to the neighboring state of Wyoming.
Launched in January 2022, Oregon has allowed online sports betting, retail casinos, and college and action sports. Yet, eSports betting is among the restricted activities in Oregon.
Apart from eSports, other forms of online gambling are prohibited in this state:
As Oregon has yet to legalize eSports betting, residents can look at other options. Washington and Nevada are the nearest states to Oregon, where residents can quickly travel to bet on eSports.
It’s recommended to take caution when betting in these states, as eSports events are prohibited. Some illegal betting sites might even lure you into using their website.
How to find which Esports betting site is legal in your state
Using illegal eSports betting platforms may lead to unwarranted access to your private accounts. It would be helpful to research which eSports betting sites are legal in your state. Here are the tips you may follow:
- Check credentials online
- Look for a license
- Read reviews
- Look for encryption
Credentials will show the eSports games that are available on their platform. Having a license means that their operation is legal.
Reviews will show the experiences of past and current users of the platform. Encryption protects your banking details and sensitive data against third parties.
What About Fantasy Esports Betting?
Fantasy eSports betting can be legal, just like regular eSports betting. They work the same. Depending on the performance of the team you bet on, you’ll earn cash or points. One of the most trusted betting sites and apps is DraftKings.
Fantasy eSports betting may be allowed or not in your state. When in doubt, you may ask an expert before doing so.
What are Legal Payment Methods
Brick-and-mortar betting locations may accept cash, but online sportsbooks are different. When paying for an online sportsbook, here are the legal payment methods and their examples:
|Credit or Debit Cards||Visa, Mastercard|
These safe methods will help you avoid money laundering and other crimes. Choose a secure and legal payment method to transact your bets.
In the US, there are states where eSports betting is legal, and some are illegal. Some states are on their way to legalizing eSports betting; this is why there are discussions over legislation in their federal government.
Find out the legal eSports betting sites in your state; there are tips that you may follow to protect your private information and money.
Legal payments include credit and debit cards, e-wallets, and cryptocurrency.
When you’re uncertain about your betting activities, consulting an expert is best.
How does eSports betting work?
Pick an eSports tournament or event and choose a match. Place your bet in an online sportsbook or brick-and-mortar location and wait for the results.
Is it reasonable to bet on eSports?
With a good knowledge of eSports teams and tournaments, eSports betting would benefit you. Betting on eSports would allow you to cheer for your favorite players and profit from doing so.
Can eSports players bet on themselves?
eSports athletes are not allowed to bet on themselves in general. Some states have laws with gray areas enabling players to bet on themselves in a few games.
Are daily fantasy sports and eSports the same?
No. With DFS, players have to outsmart AI and could run within a day. eSports players have to defeat fellow players and have tournaments within days.
List of Sources:
- Montana Legislature