Where Sports Betting Is Legal Across The Globe: A Detailed Guide in 2023
A combination of fun and financial gains is what gambling enthusiasts look for in a game, and sports betting gives them that.
As of June 2023, 27 countries and 44 US states have introduced sports betting legislation, joining the growing industry trend.
This article will further explore sports betting, providing you with the top legal betting destinations worldwide, on and off the screen.
Let’s get started!
Highlights of the Article
- Legal sports betting is available in over two dozen countries, amassing $155.49 billion by 2024.
- Sports betting’s growing legality, fame, and profit pressured more areas to legalize it.
- With over 30 states regulating sports betting, the US will bring $6.9 billion in 2024’s global market share.
- Some places offer in-person and online sportsbooks, while others provide either.
- Football is top-rated in most places, with Italy and London placing millions in bets.
- While many sports betting destinations exist, some places do it better than others.
- Checking reputable operators is crucial not to fall trapped with illegal sites.
- Leading online sportsbooks, like DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars, offer a unique gambling experience.
Looking Into the Legality of Sports Betting Worldwide
While sports betting remains illegal in some countries, many have jumped at the opportunity to legalize it as the market gains momentum.
The industry is large and lucrative. Millions of global sports bettors will make the market $155.49 billion by 2024, with the regulated US market contributing $6.9 billion.
Here’s a rundown of the legal sports betting worldwide:
|COUNTRY||SPORTS BETTING LAW|
|🇦🇷 Argentina||varies by city|
|🇦🇺 Australia||2001 Interactive Gambling Act|
|🇧🇷 Brazil||Law 13,756/18|
|🇨🇦 Canada||Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act (C-218)|
|🇨🇴 Colombia||Law 643a of 2001; eGaming Act 2016|
|🇨🇷 Costa Rica||Gaming Law of 2004|
|🇫🇷 France||Decree 85-390; Decree 97-456; Decree 2010-483|
|🇩🇪 Germany||2012 Interstate Treaty on Gambling|
|🇬🇭 Ghana||Gaming Act of 2006|
|🇭🇰 Hong Kong||Gambling Ordinance (Cap. 148) 1977|
|🇮🇸 Iceland||1972 Expansion of Legal Lotteries; 1986 First State Lottery|
|🇮🇳 India||varies by state|
|🇮🇱 Israel||Penal Law 5727-1967|
|🇮🇹 Italy||Abruzzo Decree 2009|
|🇰🇪 Kenya||1966 Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act|
|🇲🇴 Macau||Macau Gaming (Law No. 16/2001)|
|🇲🇽 Mexico||Federal Gaming and Sweepstakes Act of 1947|
|🇳🇿 New Zealand||Gambling Act of 2003|
|🇳🇬 Nigeria||Lagos State Lottery Law 2004|
|🇵🇪 Peru||Law 31806|
|🇵🇭 Philippines||Republic Act (RA) 9287|
|🇵🇷 Puerto Rico||PC2038|
|🇷🇺 Russia||Federal Law N244-FZ172|
|🇿🇦 South Africa||National Gambling Act of 2004|
|🇰🇷 South Korea||National Sports Promotion Act|
|🇪🇸 Spain||Spanish Gambling Act 2011|
|🇹🇼 Taiwan||Article 266 of the Republic of China Criminal Code|
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom||Gambling Act of 2005|
|🇺🇸 United States||varies by state|
Sports betting is prevalent worldwide. The following section will show you just how much people prefer it.
🇺🇸 Understanding the United States and Its Love for Sports Gambling
When the US Supreme Court set aside the federal law prohibiting gambling, the legal US sports betting industry skyrocketed.
From only a few states that legalized sports betting at the start, that number grew to over 30. Although relatively new, the US sports betting market will reach $10 billion by 2028.
Here are the most bet on sports among Americans:
Let’s dive into what extent sports betting is legal in the United States.
Arizona sports betting has been legal in-person and online since April 2021 under HB2772.
With 17 active online sportsbooks in the state, here are some of the top sports betting sites preferred by players:
- DraftKings – Best sportsbook for major events
- Caesars – Best sportsbook for bonuses
- BetRivers – Best sportsbook for social immersion
- FanDuel – Best sportsbook for usability
- BetMGM – Best sportsbook for flexibility
(Miami Herald, LSR)
Arkansas was one of the first states to allow sports betting. In-person wagering was legalized in 2018, while online betting launched in 2022.
There are three casinos and three online sportsbooks available in the state.
(colorado.gov, Action Network)
On May 1, 2020, Colorado became the 19th state with legal sports betting. Players at least 21 and physically in the state can bet with authorized sportsbooks.
HB19-1327 is a positive move to maximize consumer protection and state revenues while balancing support for the gaming industry.
Blockchain casinos offer transparent, fair, and secure gambling, a trend that bettors must watch out for.
(New York Post)
After the initial attempts in 2019 and 2020 failed, Connecticut’s legal online, mobile, and retail betting finally came to life in 2021.
The state’s sports betting market is tied to the traditional tribal casinos that have always serviced the Constitution State.
Here are the top 3 Connecticut sports betting sites you might like:
- FanDuel – Best value odds
- DraftKings – Great stat analysis
- PlaySugarHouse – State lottery option
Gov. John Carney passed the 2009 sports betting bill in 2018. He also placed and won the first legal bet on the state, betting $10 on the Phillies to beat the Chicago Cubs.
The state limits sports betting to in-person only at any of these three casinos:
- Delaware Park
- Dover Downs Hotel & Casino Race & Sportsbook
- Harrington Raceway & Casino’s Murphy’s Race Sportsbar & Grill
District of Columbia
(DC.gov, New York Post)
The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 (Act 22-594) was signed into law on May 3, 2019.
The law did the following in the District of Columbia:
- Legalized sports betting
- Authorized Office of Lottery and Gaming to regulate and operate sports betting
- Assigned Department of Small & Local Business Development to ensure operators comply with CBE Plan
Sports betting in Illinois is legal with the passage of SB 690 in 2019. Players aged 21 and above can bet on 7 online sportsbooks and several retail locations.
- Allowed: Foreign and domestic players betting within the state
- Not allowed: Key sports employees betting on their sports
The Hoosier State ushered in legal sports betting in September 2019, making it the 13th US and 2nd Midwestern state to go live.
Here’s a full list of the state’s active online and retail sportsbooks and their launch date:
Iowa is among the earliest adopters of legal sports betting. The state’s first online sportsbook went live in August 2019, and the market grew by 11.
Although there is no major professional sports league representation, the state is filled with sports fans betting on these top leagues:
- College Sports
An NHL game ticket will cost around $80 to $350. Check out the most expensive NHL arenas if you are on a budget or looking for a fancy experience.
(LSR, The Kansas City Star)
One of the newly legal sports betting markets is Kansas, after SB 84 passed in May 2022. The state’s four casinos can operate retail sportsbooks and partner with three online sites.
It’s important to bet with legal, licensed online sportsbooks to benefit from consumer protection laws and guarantee a payout.
- Licensed: BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, and DraftKings
- Unlicensed: Bovada, BetUS, BetOnline, and MyBookie
While Kentucky passed sports betting during the 2023 legislative session, Kentuckians must wait until September for retail and online sports betting to go live.
Surrounded by states with legal sports betting build the momentum toward legalization in the Bluegrass State.
Sports betting is legal in Louisiana, with BetFred Sportsbook first debuting at Paragon Casino on October 6, 2021. Legal online sports betting followed on January 28, 2022.
Here are Louisiana’s sports teams worth betting on:
- NFL: New Orleans Saints
- NBA: New Orleans Pelicans
Louisianians can also bet with neighboring Texas’ pro teams:
- NFL: Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans
- NBA: Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs
- MLB: Houston Astros, Texas Rangers
- NHL: Dallas Stars
- MLS: Austin FC, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo FC
Gov. Janet Mills signed LD 585 in August 2022, officializing Maine’s legal sports betting. However, Gambling Control Unit announced it won’t be available until November 2023.
(Lineups, Miami Herald)
Maryland’s sports betting market has thrived since the state legalized it in November 2022.
Here are some quick facts about sports betting in Maryland:
(Massachusetts Gaming Commission, WCVB)
Massachusetts sports betting is legal and live, with Massachusetts Gaming Commission overseeing the industry.
Here are important dates that ushered sports betting in the state:
- August 10, 2022: Gov. Charlie Baker signed HB 5164 to regulate sports wagering in the state.
- January 31, 2023: Retail betting opened at Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield, and Encore Boston Harbor.
- March 10, 2023: Online betting launched with 6 sportsbooks available.
Michiganders can legally bet on sports online or at most of the state’s retail casinos. However, all the excitement was cut off when COVID-19 broke out in March 2020.
The state also had to postpone the online sports betting launch from November 2020 to January 2021.
(New York Post)
Mississippi was one of the first states to jump on the opportunity of legalizing sports betting in May 2018. BetMGM was the first retail sportsbook to open in the state.
However, Magnolia State has been slower in authorizing online sports betting.
Montana legalized sports betting in May 2019 and launched in March 2020. Former Gov. Steve Bullock made this possible upon signing H275 into law.
As the state does not prevent Montanans from betting offshore, the following foreign sportsbooks are the best among bettors:
- BetOnline – Top NBA betting
- XBet – Top-rated bookie with the best odds
- MyBookie – Best sportsbook in Montana for 2022
- BetUS – Best mobile betting experience
- Bovada – Best live-streaming sportsbook
- Sportbetting.ag – Wide range of sports and betting markets
(The Sports Geek)
While other states quickly adopted sports betting, it has been different for Nebraska. Nebraskans waited for two years to legalize sports betting since the bill’s introduction in May 2021.
|Here’s a quick guide on LB561:|
(LSR, Vegas Insider)
Nevada’s sports betting law is the oldest in the US. The state was the first to allow online bets in 2010 and the only state with legal sportsbooks until 2018.
Every month, legal sports betting states release numbers regarding handle, gross revenue, taxes, etc.
Here’s the report of the Nevada Gaming Commission for May 2023 (mobile only):
- Total Handle: $527,438,596
- Gross Revenue: $30,064,000
- Taxes: $2,029,320
(Lineups, NH Lottery)
New Hampshire became the 16th US and 2nd New England state to legalize sports betting. In 2019, Governor Chris Sununu signed HB 480 into law.
Although NH bettors can initially wager online, the state adopted new bills in 2021.
- HB 354: Allowed the retail sportsbooks operation
- HB 330: Raised the authorized retail sportsbooks to 10
New Jersey legalized retail and online sports betting in 2018 under PL 2018, c. 33. With 18 sportsbooks available, the state has been experiencing tremendous market growth.
- Gov. Phil Murphy placed the first bet at William Hill’s retail sportsbook.
- DraftKings launched the first online sports betting site and app.
- NJ surpassed Nevada as the largest betting state.
- Online sports betting annual handle reached over $4.5 billion.
- Wagers amounted to over $6 billion despite the pandemic.
- NJ became the largest sports betting market in the country, with a $10.93 billion annual handle.
- NJ reached over $10 billion for the second year, unaffected by New York’s newly regulated market.
New Mexico sports betting has a unique legal situation, with only five tribal casinos available and allowed to operate.
- Ruidoso Downs Race Track
- Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino
- Sunray Park & Casino
- The Downs Racetrack & Casino
- Zia Park Racetrack & Casino
Since New York legalized sports betting in 2019, there have yet to be in-state sportsbooks available. Resorts World Catskills and FanDuel Sportsbook are the go-to options for New Yorkers.
Bettors can also wager on the state’s 9 mobile sportsbooks and make different types of bets:
- Straight Bets
- Point Spreads
- Parlays, Teasers, Pleasers
- In-Game/Live Betting
North Carolina is among the newest players in the sports betting market, legalizing in June 2022. However, it is only available at tribal casinos.
While bettors wait for online sports betting to arrive, here’s a guide when betting in the state:
- Retail and Online Sportsbooks: Must be 21 or older
- Retail Sportsbooks: Must show proof of identification
- Online Sportsbooks: Must undergo age verification steps
(National Football Post)
North Dakota legalized sports betting in December 2021, authorizing tribal casinos to accept wagers in person.
The Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise owns and operates the state’s three retail sportsbooks:
- Dakota Magic Casino and Hotel in Hankinson
- Dakota Connection in Sisseton
- Dakota Sioux in Watertown
Ohio bettors could have started sports betting early when the state signed HB29 in 2021. Instead, they waited until early 2023 for the platform’s official launch.
The massive tax revenue of neighboring states’ regulated markets motivated the Buckeye State to accelerate the legalization.
While most states prohibit college sports betting, Ohio celebrates its 232 sports programs with fun and gambling.
Oregon is one of four states exempt from PASPA as it has a long history of sports betting. Oregonians can bet online and in person from these available sportsbooks:
The mobile app doesn’t allow players to bet on college sports, while some physical tribal casinos allow it.
The passage of HB 271 in 2017 allowed online, mobile, and retail sports betting in Pennsylvania and opened to the public in 2018.
- November 2018: Recorded the first in-person sports betting wager
- May 2019: Recorded the first online sports betting wager
Rhode Island pioneered legal sports betting in 2018, passing H 7200 for retail sports betting and S 37 for online sportsbooks.
As the smallest state, only two commercial casinos and one online sportsbook offer sports betting.
SJR 501 brought legal sports betting to South Dakota, with South Dakota Commission on Gaming regulating the industry.
While there are no remote sportsbook options, South Dakotans can go to one of these Deadwood casinos:
- Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort
- Dakota Connection
- Dakota Sioux Casino
- Gold Dust Casino and Hotel
- Holiday Inn Resort Deadwood Mountain Grand
- Mustang Sally’s Casino
- The Lodge at Deadwood Gaming Resort
Tennessee’s legal sports betting, established in 2019, offers online betting only. While it took the state some time to launch online, it looks like it for its retail sportsbooks.
Be guided by the licensed sportsbooks in Tennessee so you won’t commit against Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-502.
|American Wagering, Inc.||Jazz|
|Betfair Interactive US LLC||XBet|
|Crown TN Gaming, LLC||Bovada|
|FBG Enterprises Opco, LLC||BetUS|
|KeyStar TN, LLC||Everygame|
|Penn Sports Interactive, LLC||BetNow|
|Seminole Hard Rock Digital, LLC||GT Bets|
|Tennessee Action 24/7 LLC|
|WSI US, LLC|
(NBC, Vermont Public)
Gov. Phil Scott gave Vermonters a legal avenue to bet on sports after signing H.127 into law on June 14, 2023.
The Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery will oversee sports betting when it launches in 2024, in time for the NFL season.
SB 384 and HB 896 succeeded when the Virginia General Assembly passed them in 2020, bringing legal sports betting to the Old Dominion.
Sports betting apps allow Virginians to bet on their favorite sporting events:
- Minor league sports
The sports industry is big, with expected revenue of $1.3 trillion in 2023. One of the most profitable sports worldwide is Soccer.
(Washington Gambling State Commission)
Washington legalized sports betting limited to tribal casinos following the passage of HB 2638 in March 2020.
Each of Washington’s 30 tribal casinos can legally operate, complying with the required licenses.
(Covers, Miami Herald)
Among the early bird in the legal sports betting industry was West Virginia. Senate Bill 415 allowed retail wagers in March 2018 and online sportsbooks in August 2019.
With 1% of Americans having a severe gambling addiction, West Virginia allows online sports bettors to set daily or weekly betting limits.
(USA Today, The Badger Herald)
Wisconsin allows sports betting, although no regulations exist. Tribal casinos are only entitled to offer retail sportsbooks.
While players wait for legal online sports betting, they can explore daily fantasy sports, which is not explicitly legal but has long been allowed in the Badger State.
(Wyoming Gaming Commission)
When Gov. Mark Gordon signed the House Enrolled Act No. 50 (HB-0133) on April 5, 2021, online sports betting was legal in Wyoming.
Wyomingites can bet online since the platform was launched in September 2021. Retail betting options are not yet on the books.
Here’s where other states currently stand on sports betting:
Navigating the World’s Top Destinations to Travel to for Sports Betting
Seasoned and newbie bettors worldwide prefer retail casinos for their appeal, dealers, and high-energy gambling atmosphere.
Those who love sports and gambling will be glad that plenty of great destinations worldwide offer both.
Keep reading to help you plan your next sports betting adventure.
Malta is a small island yet a big player in the global online gambling market. With 8.9 million newly created accounts, active players on Malta-licensed sites reached 19.3 million in 2022.
Its robust regulation, enticing gaming opportunities, and tax-free gambling winnings make it a prime destination for enthusiasts and operators.
East Coast, Atlantic City
(Atlantic Salmon Restoration)
With its wide range of casinos and convenient location, Atlantic City is one of the premier destinations for sports bettors.
Interestingly, the resort city beat Vegas and Monte Carlo as the world’s best gambling destination in 2015, with this wealth of sports to bet on:
Monte Carlo, Monaco
When you think of Monte Carlo, the first thing to come to mind is its luxurious lifestyle. The city’s high-end casinos housed some of the best sportsbooks worldwide.
- MC has high prices, so be prepared to spend more.
- Casinos follow dress codes, so pack appropriate attire.
- Be ready for a more sophisticated gambling experience.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Interestingly, the UAE could generate up to $6.6 billion of gambling revenue annually and surpass Singapore, where Marina Bay Sands resides.
Sports betting is illegal in Dubai and all over UAE. However, foreign and local sports bettors can still wager through offshore sportsbooks.
Upstate New York
(SportsPro, The Frisky)
Although New York State lacks mobile sports betting, it’s an underrated haven for casinos, such as the following:
- Del Lago in Waterloo
- Yellow Brick Road in Chittenango
- Turning Stone in Verona
Here are New York’s sports betting figures in 2022:
- Sports betting handle: $16.2 billion
- Total bets placed: $1.62 billion (December)
- Sportsbook gross revenue: $1.4 billion
- Sports betting tax revenue: $693 million
- Gross Gaming Revenue: $1.36 billion
(Forbes, LVCVA, feri.org)
Vegas is the world’s sports betting capital, with over 100 sportsbooks available 24/7. In 2022, 38.8 million people visited the city, generating $446.7 million in revenue on $8.7 billion in wagers.
- Make sure you set a budget
- Find the best odds
- Gamble responsibly
(West London Sport)
With 9 million bettors, the United Kingdom considers London the largest betting market. Londoners patronize 500 legal sites and 9,000 betting shops.
UK’s Gross Gaming Yield appears to be £786 million ($968.46 million) wagered on football alone.
With most casinos operating 24/7 in Aruba, it’s no surprise that the island at the tip of South America is the “Vegas of the Caribbean.”
Here are a few casinos worth checking out:
- Wind Creek Crystal Casino
- Copacabana Casino
- Casablanca Casino
- Stellaris Casino
(Analytics Insight, Business Wire, PUNCH)
With 60 million Nigerians betting on sports yearly and 53% of surveyed individuals betting daily, it’s a no-brainer that Nigeria is the second-largest betting market in Africa, behind South Africa.
The increased demand for sports betting among Nigerians can be attributed to the following:
- Growing population
- Advancing technology
- Developing country
- Increasing liberal mindset
(Kashmir Observer, Analytics Insight)
Almost 1.1 billion Indians follow cricket, basketball, horse racing, rugby, football, fantasy sports, and Kabaddi.
The country’s annual gambling market is $60 billion, attributed to over 140 million regular Indian bettors and 370 million major sports events bettors.
(Global Data, Statista, SBO.net, TGM Research)
Italy is among the most active European country in sports betting. With a market size of $2.2 billion, it’s no surprise the country is the fourth biggest sports betting market worldwide.
(Analytics Insight, Bold Sharps)
There are many reasons sports betting enthusiasts go to Canada. The country offers numerous betting sites, gaming authorities, and sporting events.
Those were just the tip of the iceberg. Foreigners and locals love to bet in Canada for these reasons:
- Regulated market
- Great Internet services
- Tax-free gambling winnings
(Analytics Insight, Samba Digital)
Many people call Brazil the home of football. Its talented national team is one of the most highly anticipated in the FIFA World Cup.
Brazilians translated their love for sports into sports betting. The market had a dramatic growth in three years.
- 2019: $300 million
- 2022: $1.1 billion
Argentina is the next highest bettor worldwide after Brazil, generating $3.5 billion in taxes. The country regulated online and retail gambling.
As Argentinian sportsbooks filter people not betting in the country, gambling enthusiasts have a reason to visit and experience Argentina’s sports betting.
(Times of Malta, European Gaming)
Sports are increasingly popular in Poland. Although its restrictive gambling laws made sports betting smaller than in other European countries, bettors are guaranteed more protection.
(ABC News, The University of Melbourne, Victoria University)
Over 60% of Aussies are involved in one form of sports betting or the other, whether it’s a Boxing Day Test, The Australian Open, football, soccer, or any matches against England or New Zealand.
Some noteworthy facts set Australia apart from other betting countries:
- Highest gambling per capita loss worldwide
- Spending $287 million yearly on gambling advertisements
- Generating $7 billion in annual revenue
- Bets are placed via telephone or at a venue
Showcasing 2023’s Best Online Sports Betting Sites
More sports fans are getting in on sports betting since many states legalized it in 2018. Knowing the best sportsbooks is a good idea if you want to join this growing trend.
The history of online gambling dates back to the late 90s, when 15 gambling sites existed in 1996, 200 in 1997, and 700 in 1998.
For starters, the best sportsbooks come with good sign-up bonuses. While choosing the right sites in such a crowded market can be difficult, below is a list of some of the best to help you.
DraftKings Sportsbook is making its name in the online sports betting landscape. Its prop betting menu, live betting, and betting pools are some of the best offers for players.
However, it has limited promotions compared to competitors.
|Bonus||Bet $5, win $150|
|Not Legal In|
|Site Link||Bet Here|
FanDuel Sportsbook’s user-friendly app and website have become the go-to option among sports bettors. Its same-game parlay and wide player props selection are among the top features.
Although it has fast and safe deposits and withdrawals, cryptocurrency payment is unavailable.
|Bonus||$1,000 No Sweat First Bet|
|Not Legal In|
|Site Link||Bet Here|
Many players consider Caesars Sportsbook among the best sports betting sites due to the broad market coverage, comprehensive Help Center, and competitive rewards program.
The sportsbook could improve its live streaming quality, page responsiveness, and promotional terms and conditions clarity.
|Bonus||Up to $1,250 on a losing first wager|
|Not Legal In|
|Site Link||Bet Here|
BetMGM has become a market leader in legal sports betting states. The app is distinct with its “edit my bet” and “easy parlay” features.
However, bettors must know that the app needs some getting used to and isn’t known for the most competitive odds.
|Bonus||Up to $1,000 on a losing first wager|
|Not Legal In|
|Site Link||Bet Here|
*Note: Bonus not available in DC, KS, MS, NV, or NY
Bet365 is among the largest sportsbooks worldwide, expanding in the US. Its beginner-friendly and customizable app offers different sports to bet on and reliable customer support.
|Bonus||Bet $1, win $200|
|Not Legal In||47 states except for:|
|Site Link||Bet Here|
Another sportsbook most preferred by bettors is BetRivers. It provides valuable stats and tips within the game listings, alternate lines, and props selection.
Although BetRivers has multiple progressive jackpots, it needs more table games.
|Bonus||Up to $500 second-chance bet|
|Not Legal In||47 states except for:|
|Site Link||Bet Here|
Whether you want the thrill and energy in physical sportsbooks or the convenience of online betting, you can have the best of both worlds by knowing these safe and legal sports betting destinations.
While the online sports betting industry is at its peak, you can make the most of it.
What is the minimum age to bet on sports?
Sports betting age requirement varies per state, mostly requiring bettors to be 18, while some require 21 or older.
Are there any taxes on sports betting winnings?
The IRS collects taxes on any gambling winnings in the US. To win tax-free, you may visit Malta and Canada’s sportsbooks.
Who can offer sports betting?
Licensed sportsbook operators can operate from a country or state with regulated sports betting.
How to tell if a sportsbook is legal?
A legal sportsbook has the seal of the state that licenses and regulates it. Bettors can easily find it on the site’s footer.
List of Sources:
|Legal Sports Betting||Washington Gambling State Commission|