US Gambling Laws By State

  1. When you choose your state below, you’ll find all the information you need to get peace of mind on whether or not you can legally gamble, and where to do it.

Disclaimer

This is not legal advice. We recommend seeking independent advice for more information about gambling in each state. Laws are constantly changing and while we strive to keep up with the regulations, the information may become outdated.

Alabama

Alabama does allow a few different types of gambling, including fantasy sports and charity and tribal gaming, but it still prohibits key gambling activities.

A bill regarding a state lottery and mobile gaming advanced in 2021 but, perhaps partly due to its position in the Bible Belt, Alabama generally remains opposed to legalizing mainstream gambling.

Legal gambling age: 19

Online Gambling

No

Currently, online gambling isn’t legal in Alabama. Even bills regarding sports betting, proposed as recently as early 2021, have failed to pass. As such, it’s unlikely that gambling’s legal status will change here any time soon.

Sports Betting

No

Although sports betting isn’t legal in Alabama right now, legislation has been proposed to regulate betting on professional and college sports this year.

This may ultimately result in Alabamians being able to legally wager on sporting events, but we’re not at that point yet.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

Except for tribal gambling, you won’t find much in the way of brick-and-mortar gambling in Alabama; the Poarch Creek Indians own and operate three casinos in the state.

Attempts to pass a gambling proposal failed in 2021, and it’s unlikely the issue will be revisited before 2022. Until then, don’t expect to see any land-based gambling venues being built here.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
No
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Alaska

Alaska is known for its rigorous anti-gambling laws and current legislation reflects this, despite being home to two tribal casinos.

Commercial casino operators seem in no major hurry to set up shop in Alaska, and there doesn’t appear to be any urgency around changing existing laws here.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

With even sports betting remaining outlawed in Alaska, casino games and online poker aren’t looking likely either.

Then again, any changes made to the status of sports betting could open the door to potential changes for those too.

Sports Betting

No

As of 2020, legal sports betting is under consideration by the government in Alaska. With little in the way of news in 2021, it’s evident that this is going to be a slow process. For now, Alaskans who want to legally bet on sporting action will have to wait until 2022 at least.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

Brick-and-mortar gambling options in Alaska are few and far between. Historically, even Native Americans have struggled to open land-based gambling venues in the state – currently, just two tribal casinos operating here.

Revoking or rewriting some of Alaska’s restrictive gambling laws has been floated as a means of raising revenue by state leadership, but even these discussions have been tentative.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
No
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
No
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Arizona

With no legal casino gambling available online or off, Arizona isn’t a particularly welcoming state for gamblers. Online sports betting and brick-and-mortar tribal casinos are the core offerings here.

The recent regulation of sports betting is not expected to open the floodgates when it comes to any potential legislative changes.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Apart from sports betting and fantasy sports, online gambling isn’t legal in Arizona. The regulation of these two activities might seem promising, but the state has a big anti-online gambling legacy that remains difficult to overcome.

Sports Betting

Yes

In-person and mobile betting on sporting events began in Arizona in the latter half of 2021, with some commercial sportsbooks partnering with sports venues in the state.

Legal sports betting in Arizona is still in its infancy but, as of September 2021, both online and offline sports betting options are already available to players here.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

Commercial gambling isn’t legal in Arizona yet but, due to the presence of various Native American tribes in the state, there are more than 25 tribal casinos located close to numerous cities in Arizona.

The introduction of non-tribal casinos isn’t currently expected, but that shouldn’t be a concern for most players as there are already plenty of tribal venues to pick from.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Arkansas

Most of the limited gambling action to be found in Arkansas is centered around a small number of racinos and, as of 2019, legal sportsbooks.

The recent legalization of in-person sports betting, soon after the repeal of PASPA, suggests there is at least some desire to expand the scope for online and offline gambling here. At the time of writing, however, there are no bills in action to further change Arkansas’ gambling status.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Outside of fantasy sports, there isn’t any online gambling permitted in this state. There appears to be a lack of appetite to legalize other forms of online gambling too, including online poker or casino games. Even sports betting, which is available online in many other states, is only available in-person in Arkansas.

Sports Betting

Yes

Regulated by the Arkansas Racing Commission, sports betting activity has been legal in Arkansas since 2019. Currently, a few major sportsbooks are operating within the state.

Bets can be placed in person only, not online, so bettors need to find their nearest venue to wager. Expansion online doesn’t appear to be on the cards for the moment.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

Offline gambling laws in Arkansas are strict, with wagering only possible where the state licenses the gaming. Land-based gambling here centers around racinos; there are no tribal casinos in Arkansas.

There’s been talk of making it easier for commercial enterprises to create larger land-based gambling casinos within state lines, but nothing has materialized yet.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
Yes

California

Some offline gambling is available within California, mostly at tribal casinos and in cardrooms, but the same isn’t true when it comes to placing wagers online.

Sports betting, poker, and casino games all remain outlawed on the web in this state.

Legal gambling age: 18-21

Online Gambling

No

Right now, most forms of online gambling aren’t legal in California, other than fantasy sports.

Tribal leaders have resisted previous proposals, including one in 2020, to expand the scope of mobile betting and/or extend the gambling options available at land-based cardrooms.

Sports Betting

No

It seemed possible that a bill allowing sports betting in California would pass in 2021, on tribal land at the very least, but its progress later stalled.

Sports betting is back on the ballot for 2022, but in-person wagering isn’t expected before 2023. It isn’t yet known whether the opportunity to partake online will follow or not.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

Land-based gambling in California is limited to racetracks, licensed cardrooms, and tribal casinos. There are 60+ Native American gambling venues in the state operated by almost as many different tribes.

You won’t, however, find any large commercial brick-and-mortar gambling enterprises in California. There are no signs on the horizon that state lawmakers have any plans to change that.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Colorado

Although Colorado doesn’t currently offer online casinos or poker, they do allow for legal online and offline betting.

Land-based gamblers have plenty of options too, including Native American casinos.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

There’s been very little in the way of recent attempts to regulate online gambling in Colorado, with an online poker bill floundering back in 2013.

The legalization of sports betting and fantasy sports is a notable move but falls way short of bringing online casino games or slot machines to the state.

Sports Betting

Yes

After a ballot allowing wagering on sports in licensed casinos was approved back in early 2020, legal sports betting in Colorado commenced.

Both mobile and in-person sports betting are permitted, without any restrictions.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

There are 40+ casinos in the state, some of which are owned and operated by Native American tribes.

From slots and table games to racetracks and sportsbooks, Colorado-based gamblers have lots of choices when it comes to placing offline wagers.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Connecticut

Connecticut may be a small state but, when it comes to gambling, it’s a mighty one. Land-based gambling is available, but more or less confined to two large tribal casinos.

Very recent changes to the state’s legislation setup saw some forms of legal online gambling debuting here in October 2021.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

Yes

At the end of 2021, online gambling (including casino games and sports betting) was launched in Connecticut via a small number of licensed platforms.

This was a drastic change as, up until that point, Connecticut online casinos and online gambling remained illegal in the state despite smaller moves being made towards easing other betting restrictions.

Sports Betting

Yes

Late in 2021, in-person Connecticut sports betting began after being approved via a tribal-state compact. Options were initially limited, with mobile betting offerings following by the end of the year. Betting on in-state college teams remains prohibited.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

Despite commercial gambling being illegal in Connecticut, the state is home to two popular land-based casinos. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are owned and operated by Native American tribes.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
No
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Delaware

Delaware has a very progressive approach, allowing almost all forms of online gambling. If you can place a wager on it, you can probably do so on the web here.

Land-based gamblers can enjoy betting at a few racinos, but there are no tribal casinos or commercial venues within state lines.

Legal gambling age: 18-21

Online Gambling

Yes

Those residing in the state can legally play with online casinos regulated by Delaware and/or sign up to try online poker. There’s something appropriate about the fact that the first state to ratify the US Constitution was also the first state to legalize online gambling.

Sports Betting

Yes

In-person sports betting has been legal in Delaware since 2018, initially at just a few land-based casinos. Options have expanded far beyond that since then, and players can now wager online and at various other locations.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

Delaware was quick to legalize online gambling and has had legal sports betting for quite a while too. Despite that reasonably progressive approach to gambling, there aren’t a ton of places to gamble offline in the state.

With no tribal casinos here, offline gamblers are restricted to playing at three large racinos. These venues are spread fairly evenly throughout the state.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Florida

Brick-and-mortar gamblers in Florida are well-served by tribal venues and racinos, but there are no legal commercial gambling entities to be found within state lines.

The state’s approach to regulating online gambling is currently in flux but does not yet include casino games or poker on the web.

Legal gambling age: 18-21

Online Gambling

No

Even though fantasy sports are available in Florida, and online sports betting seems set to join them imminently, partaking in other forms of online gambling remains a second-degree misdemeanor.

Although legal action against individual players is very unlikely, cautious residents will be hindered by the lack of regulated online gambling here.

Sports Betting

No

In 2021, a tribal-state gaming compact was approved with the Seminole Tribe. This allows for the provision of both in-person and mobile sports betting, but neither had debuted by the end of that year. It’s expected that there will be movement on this early in 2022.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

In addition to a decent number of racinos, Florida is home to several Native American-owned and operated gambling venues. One of the tribal casinos is the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa - the sixth-largest casino in the world.

There’s a big enough selection of racinos and Native American casinos in the state that many players might not even notice that there are no commercial gambling operators in Florida.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Georgia

Georgia continues to maintain its cautious approach to gambling, with only bingo, a state lottery, and fantasy sports on offer here.

Both brick-and-mortar gambling and online gambling are not legal here, with any changes to sports betting legislation facing an uphill battle in the coming years too.

Legal gambling age: 18

Online Gambling

No

With virtually all forms of gambling outlawed in Georgia – punishable by fines and even prison time – there’s no legal online gambling in this state. Fantasy sports are, for now, the only exception to restrictive legislation.

Sports Betting

No

Lawmakers have previously made efforts to legalize sports betting, with bills on the subject popping up in both 2020 and 2021.

Neither of these bills made it past the house though, so it doesn’t appear that the legal status of sports betting will be changing in Georgia any time soon.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

The prohibition of most forms of gambling in Georgia extends to Native American casinos. As such, no land-based casinos operate within state lines.

There is, however, one notable exception to this rule: head to Brunswick, near Savannah, and you can jump aboard the Emerald Princess II. This riverboat casino sails out to international waters, where Georgian gamblers can wager freely.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
No
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Hawaii

Hawaii is one of the few states that allow no forms of gambling, online or off. They don’t even have a state lottery or make allowances for charitable gaming.

One motivation behind this is a concern that tourists would end up gambling in resort casinos rather than exploring the islands and supporting local businesses.

Legal gambling age: N/A

Online Gambling

No

The bad news for players in Hawaii is that all bills from recent years relating to online gambling have been shot down. It seems highly unlikely that the state will change its stance on slot machines, casino games, and so on, with even fantasy sports blocked here.

Sports Betting

No

Despite Hawaii’s hostile attitudes towards gambling, legislation to regulate sports betting was proposed back in 2019. This was not passed and is unlikely to be proposed again soon.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

At present, thanks to Hawaii’s strict legislation around gambling, there are no land-based casinos located in the entire state. In 2020, a single resort property with casino gaming was proposed in Oahu, but it has not yet been built.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
No
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
No
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
No
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
No

Idaho

The state of Idaho does allow a few limited forms of gambling, such as charitable gaming and state lottery games, but these are generally exceptions rather than the rule.

There are a few tribal casinos here, however, which represent the best options for gamblers in Idaho looking for some real money action.

Legal gambling age: 18

Online Gambling

No

The Idaho constitution explicitly bans all forms of casino gambling, including table games and slot machines. It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for any company in the state to maintain any sort of legal online gambling presence.

Even fantasy sports operators haven’t made any efforts to crack the market in Idaho.

Sports Betting

No

Idaho is one of few states that haven’t made any moves to reclassify or change the legal status of sports betting. That process is a long one so, for that reason, it’s unlikely that legal sportsbooks will be appearing in Idaho soon.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

Idaho doesn’t have any commercial brick-and-mortar casinos, and there are no plans in the pipeline to change that. The state does, however, boast a handful of tribal gambling venues spread across a few cities where Idahoans can play for real money.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
No

Illinois

Illinois doesn’t have a ton of viable options for gamblers, with only a few scattered exceptions, including riverboat gambling, a state lottery, and as of 2020, legal sports betting.

There have been no major moves to regulate either online casinos or poker for players located within state lines.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Although actions were taken successfully to regulate online sports betting in 2019, this legislation didn’t extend towards online slots or casino games.

Those changes, along with Illinois’ rich history of offline gambling, still give those in the state some hope that other forms of legal online gambling might be possible in the future.

Sports Betting

Yes

Legal sports betting in Illinois commenced in 2020, less than a year after the state passed legislation allowing online and in-person sports betting. Wagers can’t be placed on minor league action or games involving in-state college teams.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

The offline gambling scene in this state centers around some riverboat casinos, thanks to Illinois’ Riverboat Gambling Act which was passed in 1990. Crucially, later changes to the laws around riverboat gambling mean that these venues can now be permanently docked.

Illinois citizens may not have any tribal casinos to visit but they can pick from a range of riverboat casinos, both immobile and mobile, that feel much like typical commercial venues.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Indiana

Although there are various options available for brick-and-mortar gamblers in Indiana, including both commercial venues and Native American casinos, online gambling is not permitted.

Apart from sports betting on the web, gaming for money online is currently explicitly prohibited within state lines.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Indiana hasn’t legalized or regulated online casinos yet but given the way the state treats the activity in general, there’s always a possibility that it may come in due course.

Plus, online sports wagering has already been approved, so there’s a prevailing belief that lawmakers might consider regulating other types of gambling.

Sports Betting

Yes

In-person sports betting in Indiana has been allowed from 2019 onwards, but eSports and high school sports are excluded from this. Online betting in Indiana is also allowed, although individual leagues and colleges can use geofencing to prevent wagers at their locations.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

Offline play has been part of the gambling scene in Indiana since the early ‘90s thanks to the state’s fairly liberal approach to the activity.

There’s plenty of variety when it comes to brick-and-mortar gambling here – poker rooms, tribal gaming venues, and commercial casinos are all part of the comprehensive offline gambling experience Indiana offers.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Iowa

With tight regulations and strict punishments that include felony charges, online gambling isn’t regulated for players within Iowa.

The situation is better, however, for residents of Iowa who want to gamble in brick-and-mortar venues – commercial, riverboat, and tribal casinos can all be found here.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

At present, online poker and casinos are illegal for both players and operators in Iowa.

The introduction of sports betting and fantasy sports feels like it should be promising, but several previous attempts to regulate other forms of online gambling have been shot down. Given these past failures, it’s unlikely that lawmakers will rethink the current stance soon.

Sports Betting

Yes

Several legal Iowa sports betting sites opened back in 2019 and have been here ever since. Mobile wagering is also allowed, but certain kinds of prop bets on college games are not permitted within the state.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

Iowa has a fairly lengthy history when it comes to brick-and-mortar gaming, with laws allowing some forms of offline gambling dating back to 1983. The state was home to some of the first riverboat casinos in the country.

In 2021, players can choose from a wide range of different brick-and-mortar gambling options – commercial entities, riverboat casinos, and Native American tribal casinos (including Hard Rock Sioux City).

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Kansas

Gambling is tightly regulated in Kansas, with tribal and some state-operated venues being the only options for gamblers.

Pickings are much slimmer online, where virtually all forms of gambling other than fantasy sports are outlawed.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Regulated online poker and casinos feel like they’re a long way off here, with fines and up to six months in jail awaiting anyone who partakes in unsanctioned gambling. It’s generally accepted that this very loose definition also includes online gambling.

It may be small comfort, but at least fantasy sports are available within state lines.

Sports Betting

No

Five bills concerning sports betting have been put forward in Kansas, but none of this proposed legislation has been successful. As such, the activity remains outlawed here.

The state doesn’t appear to be on its way towards legal sports betting, and it’s difficult to see that changing unless there are new, unique proposals.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

In theory, placing wagers offline is not allowed in the state. In practice, however, there are a few ways that players can legally do just that. There are several tribal casinos where offline gambling is possible. In addition to these, the state itself runs four land-based venues where residents can gamble without breaking the law.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Kentucky

As one of the strictest states in the US, Kentucky only allows certain types of skill-based casino games.

Both sports betting and online poker/casino games are absent from the gambling scene here, leaving those who like to do their gambling on the web with very few options in Kentucky.

Legal gambling age: 18

Online Gambling

No

Anti-gambling attitudes have been rife in Kentucky for many years, with multiple bills aiming to regulate online poker or casino games failing before they could get off the ground.

Recent hearsay around the idea of a new sports betting bill, however, has some within the state hoping that online poker or even casino games might gather momentum.

Sports Betting

No

Despite its rich history of horse racing, legal sports betting is still outlawed in Kentucky.

That may change soon, however, with murmurs that lawmakers are considering a push to legalize and regulate sports betting in 2021 or 2022.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

Kentucky’s offerings are pretty limited when it comes to brick-and-mortar gambling. For example, there aren’t currently any tribal casinos here.

The state is home to some beautiful racetracks, like Churchill Downs. Several of these racetracks have casino-style offerings but can offer unique skill-based games, as games of chance aren’t legal within state lines.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Louisiana

There are all sorts of land-based betting options available in Louisiana, as attitudes towards gambling here are relatively liberal.

The situation isn’t as progressive online, with no online casinos or poker on offer, although the state is moving quickly towards the introduction of legal sports betting.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Although online sports betting appears to be imminent, there have been no efforts to push forward with the regulation of legal online casinos or poker within Louisiana.

In a way that’s understandable since land-based gambling exists in a grey area in this state; even online fantasy sports aren’t available.

Sports Betting

No

At the end of 2020, a ballot measure designed to legalize sports betting was approved in Louisiana. This continues to progress but, at the time of writing, we haven’t yet seen any regulated sports wagering arrive in the state yet.

However, the fact that many casinos have applied for sports betting licenses implies, that it may be just around the corner.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

Currently, Louisiana offers both commercial and tribal casinos. Players can also try riverboat gambling in the state, with 15 to choose from, or visit racetracks to play some casino games. In other words, Louisiana is currently very well-served when it comes to offline gambling.

A large commercial casino has also been proposed in New Orleans, but work hasn’t started on it yet.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
No

Maine

Maine’s approach to gambling has essentially reversed in the past 20 years, going from a firm anti-gambling stance to opening its first land-based casino in 2012.

Sports betting and legal online gambling remain off-limits, however, and there’s no guarantee that this will change any time soon.

Legal gambling age: 18-21

Online Gambling

No

Land-based gambling options are limited in Maine, and players who turn to the web won’t find things much better. Excluding fantasy sports, and unsubstantiated whispers that sports betting may be on the way, gamblers aren’t able to partake in legal online poker or casino games.

Sports Betting

No

Although an act designed to legalize and regulate sports betting within Maine was passed in 2019, it was vetoed soon after. Legal sports wagering remains in limbo for now, with the possibility that further legislation designed to move things forward will appear in coming years.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

Maine does have some options for land-based wagering, including two major casinos and limited racino gambling.

Native American venues can offer high-stakes bingo games, but don’t have the same range of games available at tribal casinos in other states.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Maryland

Gambling in Maryland is mostly confined to brick-and-mortar venues operated by the state, but there are plenty of racetracks around here too.

Most forms of online gambling remain out of bounds for the moment, although Maryland is moving towards the legalization of sports betting at the time of writing.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Maryland seems to be headed in the right direction when it comes to online gambling, with legal fantasy sports, horseracing betting, and sports betting reportedly arriving soon.

However, there have been no recent moves towards the regulation of casino games or poker on the web. It’s worth keeping an eye on the debut of legal sports betting, as the success of that might start to change lawmakers’ minds on that matter.

Sports Betting

No

Maryland doesn’t offer legal sports betting right now, but sports and events betting “for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education” was approved in 2020.

By the end of 2021, it’s expected that both in-person and mobile sports betting will be regulated and possible throughout the state.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

Although there are no tribal casinos in Maryland, the state is home to six casinos regulated by the state lottery. It should be noted that, when sports betting is legalized in Maryland, these casinos will automatically be granted licenses for in-person sports betting.

These casinos all opened in the 2010s, with Perryville’s Hollywood casino opening just before the end of 2010.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Massachusetts

Since the construction of major commercial casinos and slots facilities, with plans for more in the works, Massachusetts has an exciting brick-and-mortar gambling scene.

Online gambling remains a grey area due to the wording of state laws, but there are no opportunities for regulated poker or casino games on the web here.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Right now, Massachusetts doesn’t have legal online gambling. However, it’s worth pointing out that the state doesn’t have any laws that expressly forbid it either.

Couple this with the fact that it offers both regulated brick-and-mortar gambling and fantasy sports, and it’s reasonable to be optimistic that this could change in the future.

Sports Betting

No

There’s been plenty of talk around the issue of sports betting in Massachusetts, with a proposed bill moving all the way to the Senate in 2021.

That bill stalled once it got there though, and there hasn’t been much progress towards reviving the idea of legal sports betting here.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

The state of Massachusetts has a solid, albeit limited, land-based gambling presence. In addition to a couple of resort casinos and a slots parlor, plans are underway for two Native American casinos.

Previously, gambling boats sailing out to international waters have operated out of Massachusetts harbors. This hasn’t been going on since 2013, but there’s always a possibility they may resume service.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Michigan

Land-based players in Michigan have lots of choices for in-state betting, with both commercial casinos and many Native American casinos available.

Plus, Michigan is one of few US states that actively regulates online poker and casino games, as well as allowing legal sports betting.

Legal gambling age: 18

Online Gambling

Yes

Legal Michigan online casinos are a recent addition to the array of gambling action found in the state. The first regulated gambling sites for players launched here in 2021, with casino operators eligible to apply for licenses.

Those in the state have also been able to play online poker since the beginning of 2021.

Sports Betting

Yes

Legal sports betting in Michigan kicked off at several venues in and around Detroit in 2020, three months after the approval of the Lawful Sports Betting Act.

In-person and mobile wagers on sports are permitted throughout the state, with no notable exceptions.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

Although Michigan doesn’t have much in the way of commercial gambling operations – just three venues located in Detroit – the state boasts many tribal casinos. More than 25 such venues are operating in Michigan, operated by 12 different tribes.

With legal online casinos and sports betting in the state, we don’t expect to see a huge push for more commercial casinos coming up; gambling operators are already engaging with Michigan residents in other ways.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Minnesota

Minnesota is home to several tribal casinos, but the state doesn’t currently have any commercial gambling venues, except for racetracks.

Previous attempts to legalize forms of online gambling here have been unsuccessful. For the time being even sports betting remains outlawed in Minnesota, let alone poker or casinos.

Legal gambling age: 18

Online Gambling

No

Although fantasy sports and online horseracing betting are permitted in Minnesota, efforts to regulate other forms of online gambling have been resisted by both anti-gambling lawmakers and tribal casino operators.

Even participating in online gambling is considered a criminal act, although no one has actually been charged with this, so legal online poker and casinos don’t feel close at all.

Sports Betting

No

A bill that would have legalized sports betting was proposed back in 2019. If successful, it would have regulated sports gambling at tribal casinos, racetracks, and potentially on smartphones and tablets.

It didn’t pass though, and efforts to regulate the activity stalled in 2021.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

With the state’s limits on legal forms of gambling, brick-and-mortar play at commercial casinos isn’t available in Minnesota. What you will find here, however, are 20+ tribal casinos operated by 11 different Native American tribes.

The largest of these, Mystic Lake, is located just 25 minutes from the Mall of America and is a popular pick with tourists and locals alike.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Mississippi

Mississippi is home to lots of land-based gambling activity, with both riverboat casinos and Native American venues operating within state lines; in-person sports betting is possible here too.

Online gambling, including online sports betting, is a very different story and little progress has been made towards the regulation of online casino games or poker.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Currently, the only form of legal online gambling available in Mississippi is mobile sports betting while on casino property. Online casinos and poker rooms on the web are both illegal, and players can be fined up to the value of their winnings just for participating.

Due to this, and the lack of regulated sites to play with, many players in Mississippi choose to avoid online gambling entirely.

Sports Betting

Yes

Mississippi enacted a law that legalized sports betting in 2017, but the activity didn’t kick off until 2018. Currently, sports betting in Mississippi can be carried out in person or online, as long as you're physically on the property of a casino partnered with a sportsbook.

Fantasy sports is a notable exception to this rule and can be conducted online from anywhere in the state.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

Mississippi legalized gambling in the ‘90s, with the caveat that casinos had to operate on the water rather than on dry land. Despite tweaks to that law, land-based casinos must still be built very close to the water.

There are plenty of offline gambling venues in the state, including tribal casinos, but a combination of restrictive law and bad weather have seen many brick-and-mortar sites close.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
No
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Missouri

Land-based casinos in Missouri exist in something of a grey area, with riverboat gambling the only possibility for offline wagers.

There are currently no forms of regulated online gambling available within state lines, and that includes all types of sports betting except for DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports).

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Participating in gambling outside of licensed facilities is a class C misdemeanor in Missouri, which can be punished by up to 15 days in jail. Although this law was written with real-world activities in mind, it could theoretically be applied to online players too.

In other words, there are no legal and regulated forms of online gambling here outside of fantasy sports.

Sports Betting

No

At present, Missouri doesn’t have legal sports betting. Bills around the issue have been proposed but stalled in 2021. Changes to riverboat gambling laws demonstrate that the state is open to regulating the activity, but that attitude hasn’t yet extended to sports gambling.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

Like Mississippi, Missouri legalized riverboat gambling in the 1990s. As is the case there, the law has changed enough that land-based venues are now permitted if they operate close to the water and maintain an artificial moat.

That stipulation hasn’t deterred operators, though – there are 13 casinos here, licensed by the Missouri Gaming Commission.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
No
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Montana

Montana’s land-based casino activity is limited to tribal casinos, with in-person sports betting also permitted.

Online gambling is a different story, though. In fact, it’s written into state law that gambling businesses aren’t allowed to operate on the web here.

Legal gambling age: 18

Online Gambling

No

Montana’s legal code, updated in 2005, explicitly forbids the running of an online gambling operation within state lines; even fantasy sports are outlawed here.

Despite the introduction of sports betting in recent years, it seems unlikely that Montana will rush to reverse changes to legislation that was passed a relatively short time ago.

Sports Betting

Yes

Only in-person sports betting is allowed in Montana right now, and that’s been the case since the activity legally began here in early 2020. Mobile or online betting could theoretically be introduced later, but there’s no sign of that happening in 2022.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

Even though the activity isn’t exactly legal here, there are some 150+ venues offering retail gaming in the state. Things can be a little confusing when it comes to offline gambling in Montana.

Some of these venues are tribal casinos, but the remainder exist due to a quirk that saw liquor licenses and gambling licenses closely tied together. As a result, small venues that offer just a few electronic games are very common in Montana.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
No

Nebraska

Until recently, offline gambling was available here on tribal land only. In 2021, though, changes to Nebraska law came into effect that allow some expansion of land-based gambling.

As of yet, any similar attempts to legalize and regulate even limited forms of online gambling have all failed. It’s possible, however, that we’ll see more relevant bills being proposed.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Efforts have been made to regulate online poker and casino games in Nebraska but they’ve all fallen flat. The latest attempt was in 2015.

Although online gambling isn’t specifically forbidden by state law, we won’t see the activity regulated unless current legislation is amended to permit it.

Sports Betting

No

Taking a cautious approach towards sports betting, Nebraska permitted gambling at six of its horseracing venues in May 2021. The state is set to allow in-person sports betting (excluding in-state college sports) in early 2022. There aren’t any plans in action to legalize online or mobile sports wagers as part of that process, but from 2023 this might change.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

Land-based gambling options are limited in Nebraska, with only tribal casinos available. For a time, the only real choice for serious land-based gamblers was the Ohiya Casino & Resort. Recent years have seen some other smaller venues open as well.

In 2021, a casino and sports betting bill was signed into law. Among other things, this will regulate racino and sportsbook operations within the state. As such, there is potential for more brick-and-mortar gambling operations to spring up in Nebraska.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Nevada

As the home of Las Vegas, Nevada is the state to find all sorts of offline gambling opportunities in brick-and-mortar venues.

Although certain types of online gambling like poker and sports betting are regulated here, legal online casinos can’t operate within state lines. This may be due to concern that online gambling could take customers away from real casinos operating here.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Strangely, Nevada hasn’t taken a stance on online gambling that’s as proactive as some other states – online poker is legal, but other forms of casino gambling aren’t.

Brick-and-mortar operators are rightly concerned that regulated online gambling might lose them business. Even so, it’s hard to believe that state lawmakers will be able to resist the lure of profits from other forms of online gambling forever.

Sports Betting

Yes

Given Nevada’s long history with gambling, it’ll come as no shock that the state has been allowing people to place wagers on sporting events for decades. This can be done both in-person and online, using a mobile device or tablet.

Nevada is one of just a handful of states that doesn’t allow fantasy sports. Ironically, this may be due to the strict regulation of products related to gambling within the state, even though most fantasy sports operators claim their products shouldn’t be classed as gambling.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

Predictably, Nevada has the highest number of gambling venues per capita in the United States. Although the majority of these are casinos in Las Vegas, the state is also home to a range of tribal casinos operated by Native Americans.

With literally thousands of slot machines and table games available in Nevada, this is about as close to perfection as it gets for brick-and-mortar gamblers in the USA.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
No
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
No

New Hampshire

At the time of writing, New Hampshire has very little to offer residents in the way of brick-and-mortar gambling – it has no commercial gambling, no racetracks, and no tribal casinos.

The situation is a little better online, where players can legally partake in sports betting, but legal poker and casino games remain absent.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

There have been no recent moves to change the status of gambling in New Hampshire, except for the introduction of sports betting and fantasy sports.

That means the absence of legal and regulated online gambling, such as poker and casino games, will continue for at least the next couple of years.

Sports Betting

Yes

The state’s lottery operator is responsible for regulating sports betting, with mobile betting permitted also. The first legal sports wager in New Hampshire was placed at the very end of 2019 by Governor Chris Sununo.

With the activity now fully regulated, there’s a possibility that we’ll see more sportsbooks opening within state lines.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

For the next few years, opportunities for commercial gaming or playing at tribal casinos in New Hampshire aren’t likely. Charitable gaming is allowed in the state, but very few operators have taken advantage of this opportunity.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
Yes

New Jersey

Along with Nevada, New Jersey is one of the most gambling-friendly states in the United States.

The market for online and offline gambling in New Jersey is huge, with all gambling activity legalized and regulated here.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

Yes

Since sanctioning wagers on the web back in 2013, New Jersey is the largest market for regulated online gambling in the USA.

Virtually every retail casino operator in the state has a companion NJ online casino for in-state players, and playing poker on the web is legal here too.

Sports Betting

Yes

Sports betting in New Jersey is legal. The Garden State took a progressive approach to wagering, making it legal both online and off since back in 2018.

Many land-based casinos in New Jersey now offer sportsbooks devoted to betting on all sorts of sporting events, with the exclusion of collegiate events held within the state.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

Home to Atlantic City, New Jersey is an excellent state for land-based gamblers; the presence of multiple commercial casinos here means that the absence of tribal gaming venues is no problem.

The only thing to bear in mind is that more than half of New Jersey’s casinos are located within the limits of Atlantic City, so players based elsewhere in the state may need to take a road trip to find an appropriate venue.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
N/A
Fantasy Sports
Yes

New Mexico

Opportunities for retail gambling in New Mexico are limited to tribal gaming and racinos, rather than commercial venues.

Sports betting comes with online restrictions too, except for fantasy sports, and other forms of casino games/poker aren’t legally available on the web either.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Technically speaking, all forms of gambling not conducted at a licensed venue are illegal and could result in a fine or even jail time. This legislation extends to online gambling and states clearly that New Mexico doesn’t license, regulate, or authorize any form of online betting.

The exception of fantasy sports has some gamblers in New Mexico hoping for changes to existing legislation, but there’s no guarantee this will ever come.

Sports Betting

Yes

In keeping with the state’s fairly restrained approach to gambling in general, sports betting in New Mexico is permitted in person at sportsbooks only.

Gamblers can’t wager on games involving in-state college teams, and it remains to be seen whether New Mexico will expand its treatment of sports betting to include any sort of mobile or online offering.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

At the time of writing, New Mexico doesn’t have any commercial casinos and there are no plans in the works to change that.

However, players here can take advantage of 20+ tribal casinos operated by 14 Native American tribes. The state is also home to five racinos that offer limited casino gaming.

Brick-and-mortar gambling action is scattered throughout New Mexico but most of it is concentrated in the northwest of the state.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

New York

New York offers various ways for players to gamble offline, including casinos, racinos, tribal venues, and sportsbooks with in-person betting.

However, it lags behind some other states when it comes to regulating online gambling; sports betting online is not an option yet, nor are legal online poker sites or casinos.

Legal gambling age: 18

Online Gambling

No

Although online gambling isn’t currently legal or regulated in New York, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see that stance change in years to come.

The state already has retail gambling and in-person sports betting, with fantasy sports as the only online offering. Existing regulations could be tweaked to allow additional forms of online gambling such as casino games in coming years.

Sports Betting

Yes

The state of New York passed a law legalizing sports betting more than six years ago, but activity didn’t start until 2019 after the opening of a major sportsbook.

Legal sports betting in New York is available online and in person, excluding only games involving in-state college teams.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

New York residents and visitors have plenty of different options when it comes to land-based gambling options, including 12 casinos and racinos regulated by the New York State Gaming Commission and 15 tribal casinos.

In fact, with venues scattered all over the state, New York’s brick-and-mortar gambling scene is regarded by many as a top-five market in the US.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

North Carolina

Legal brick-and-mortar gambling in North Carolina is almost exclusively confined to Native American venues, except for the lottery. However, in-person sports betting is legal.

Things are even more restricted online, where sports betting, casino games, and poker remain outlawed. With these laws in place, North Carolina continues to live up to its conservative reputation for gambling.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Outside of daily fantasy sports, online gambling is an absolute no-go in North Carolina. Lawmakers seem to have given up on trying to push the agenda of legal and regulated online casino games or poker.

Sports Betting

Yes

In 2019, a bill was signed to “allow sports and horse race wagering on tribal lands” in North Carolina. The first in-state wagers on sports were placed in early 2021, but options remain limited; wagers can be placed in person only at two venues - Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee and the Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

Retail gambling in North Carolina is mostly occupied by a couple of tribal casinos and a bingo hall, scattered across the state.

There are plans in place to build another large tribal casino, which currently exists in a preliminary temporary state, close to Charlotte. However, don’t expect to see commercial gambling operators in North Carolina any time soon.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
No
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

North Dakota

The presence of tribal gaming and charitable gambling stands in stark contrast with the fact that the activity is, theoretically, not legal in North Dakota.

Online Gambling has been upheld more firmly; only fantasy sports are available on the web, while poker and casino games remain unregulated.

Legal gambling age: 18-21

Online Gambling

No

The last real attempt to legalize online gambling in North Dakota was an online poker bill floated back in 2005 – it was shot down convincingly.

Interestingly, it would have made the state the first in the US to legalize the activity. Since then, lawmakers haven’t pushed to regulate online gambling again.

Sports Betting

No

North Dakota has a complicated relationship with sports betting. While commercial betting legislation is yet to pass, with the most recent attempt in late 2021, tribal operators do offer betting lines at four sportsbooks. With legal mobile betting also available, it’s widely considered that the next bill to move forward should be successful.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

At present, North Dakota has just a handful of Native American-owned gambling venues and a few charitable casinos operating within state lines. There have been unsubstantiated talk of introducing state-owned casinos here for several years, but they’ve never materialized. However, due to North Dakota’s small population, it actually boasts one of the highest numbers of casinos per 1,000 residents in the USA.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Ohio

Brick-and-mortar gambling is still fairly new to Ohio; four major land-based venues opened just over a decade ago, joining a number of existing racinos.

No legal sports wagering, poker, or casino games are available on the web here, although online gambling legislation is in the pipeline.

Legal gambling age: 18-21

Online Gambling

No

Until legal online sports betting arrives, which many expect to happen soon, fantasy sports are the closest thing to online gambling available here.

The tight control that the state retains even over land-based gambling means we don’t necessarily expect to see the imminent arrival of regulated online casinos or poker.

Sports Betting

No

Residents and visitors can’t legally wager on sporting activity today, although a bill is being negotiated this year that may change that. Senators and lawmakers have been quoted to be optimistic about new legislation in 2022.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

There are no tribal casinos in Ohio, but land-based gambling has been legal here since 2009. Four casinos were opened in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, and Toledo soon after that measure was approved.

The state is home to several racinos in addition to these fully-fledged casinos but all of them offer video lottery terminals only, with no table games available.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Oklahoma

Oklahoma is home to many tribal casinos, but no commercial brick-and-mortar venues for retail gamblers. Likewise, it seems like some progress has been made towards legalizing at least some forms of online gambling (particularly sports betting) but nothing has ever been finalized.

Legal gambling age: 18

Online Gambling

No

Although there’s plenty of land-based gambling in Oklahoma, only fantasy sports are available online. At the time of writing, online sports betting, casino games, and online poker are all fighting an uphill battle regarding legalization.

Sports Betting

No

In 2020, it seemed like Oklahoma was headed towards the regulation of sports betting. Although that could still be the case, various lawmakers have spoken out against the idea and the issue remains one that’s being hotly debated. As such, there’s no guarantee legal sports wagering will be coming to the state any time soon.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

Despite having no commercial casinos within its borders, Oklahoma has one of the highest number of casinos per capita in the USA. That’s because Native Americans operate more than 100 tribal casinos in the state.

In 2020, Oklahoma’s governor spoke of a desire to bring commercial casinos to the state but reactions to this idea were mixed. At present, because of a whole host of legal obstacles, there’s no sign of commercial gambling coming to Oklahoma yet.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Oregon

Although Oregon-based gamblers can take advantage of Native American casinos on tribal land, efforts to allow more retail casinos here have always been met with resistance. Some online gambling is allowed in Oregon, including different types of sports betting, but online options are limited overall.

Legal gambling age: 18-21

Online Gambling

No

Currently, there isn’t any legal online gambling legislation in Oregon for casino games or poker. However, fantasy sports, online sports betting, and horseracing wagering are permitted.

The glaring omission of online casino games and poker is down to restrictive laws that prohibit gambling websites from knowingly accepting players from Oregon.

Sports Betting

Yes

Historically, Oregon had laws in place that permitted sports betting, but they didn’t reappear, until 2019, after a long hiatus. Bets could initially be placed in person only, but the state lottery’s operator later expanded this process to allow online and mobile sports betting.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

There’s no commercial gambling in Oregon but, due to the presence of Native American tribes, gamblers will find several tribal casinos where they can take part in some land-based real money action.

Most tribal casinos are in the west of the state, so players located elsewhere in Oregon face a bit of a drive to play at a land-based casino. The arrival of commercial casino operators in the state isn’t likely in the next couple of years.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Pennsylvania

Brick-and-mortar gambling has a significant presence in the state of Pennsylvania, with no reliance on tribal casinos.

Legal sports betting, poker, and casino games are all available at regulated sites too, so anyone who’s of legal age can gamble on the web here.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

Yes

Legal Pennsylvania online casinos were first launched here in 2019 after the state changed laws around gambling in 2017. Most offline gambling operators are now running casino sites that can be used by players in Pennsylvania, and online poker is legal too.

Sports Betting

Yes

Legal Pennsylvania sports betting has been going on since 2018 and can be conducted either in person or via mobile devices. There are no restrictions on the action, so gamblers can even wager on games that involve in-state college teams.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

Despite the lack of tribal casinos in Pennsylvania, there’s plenty of brick-and-mortar gambling action going on here. From racinos and mini casinos to stand-alone venues and resorts, gamblers aren’t short of choice.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Rhode Island

Despite being the smallest state in the US, Rhode Island still has legal sports betting and two commercial brick-andmortar gambling venues.

Poker and casinos on the web aren’t specifically illegal here, but they’re not regulated either. However, sports betting and fantasy sports are available online.

Legal gambling age: 18

Online Gambling

No

Despite the recent introduction of legal online sports betting, punishment for other unregulated online gambling activities could mean imprisonment of up to thirty days.

Rhode Island has never actually pursued such action against casual players, but this represents a hurdle that would need to be cleared before the introduction of regulated web gambling in the state.

Sports Betting

Yes

Initially, from 2018 onwards, legal sports betting in Rhode Island was only available in a couple of physical locations. Laws have been tweaked to allow mobile betting since then, and there’s a possibility that more land-based sportsbooks will open in the state in years to come.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

Rhode Island is home to two state-owned casinos, Twin River in the north, and Tiverton Casino Hotel in the south.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
Yes

South Carolina

Legal gambling of any kind in South Carolina is limited to just fantasy sports and a state lottery. The strict legislation outlawing sports betting, casino games, poker, and more doesn’t look set to change either.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

With just fantasy sports available here and an anti-gambling stance from the state, it’s unlikely regulated online casinos or poker providers will appear anytime soon.

Sports Betting

No

It might not come as a surprise that the state hasn’t been in any hurry to make allowances for legal sports betting, since no land-based or online gambling is permitted in South Carolina.

That said, bills were proposed in 2020 and 2021 that would regulate this activity, but neither were successful.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

There are no tribal casinos, no commercial casinos, and no racetracks or racinos available in the state. South Carolina has always been restrictive when it comes to most forms of gambling, and there’s no reason to think that will change in years to come.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
No
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
No
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
Yes

South Dakota

Brick-and-mortar gambling in South Dakota centers heavily around the area of Deadwood, but there are some tribal casinos within state lines too.

Sports betting is legal here, including online when inside a casino property, but that’s the only action sports bettors can get in South Dakota.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

In South Dakota, legal gambling options on the web are scarce; online horseracing betting and fantasy sports are allowed, but that’s about all.

In fact, the state has a law that explicitly forbids the establishment of an internet gambling business within it. That would need to change before online gambling could be regulated here.

Sports Betting

Yes

Legal sports betting debuted in South Dakota in the final third of 2021, with sports wagering allowed both in-person and on mobile while on-site at casino properties in Deadwood.

This could be expanded to other tribal casinos, and maybe even off-site, but that process wouldn’t be complete for at least a couple of years.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

Yes

Almost all of South Dakota’s land-based casinos, except for some tribal casinos, are in the city of Deadwood.

Behind only Nevada, South Dakota has the second-highest concentration of gambling venues per 1,000 residents in the USA. However, as you can see above, the approach the state has taken to legal gambling is fairly unique.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Tennessee

Tennessee doesn’t offer much for gamblers, with no casinos, racetracks, or tribal gaming venues. Only the lottery and some bingo activity is allowed offline.

Online sports betting is available within the state but, for now, that’s where the line is drawn. Online casino games or poker at regulated sites aren’t yet in place.

Legal gambling age: 18-21

Online Gambling

No

Tennessee doesn’t have legal poker or casino games online but does still offer more online gambling options than it does land-based alternatives.

Players in the state can partake in fantasy sports, wager on horseracing online, and bet on sporting events, but no table games or slot machines are available.

Sports Betting

Yes

Despite the lack of offline and online gambling in the Volunteer State, sports betting in Tennessee is available online or via mobile devices. The Tennessee Sports Gaming Act allows, from 2020 onwards, sports betting without the need for a land-based anchor.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

There are no commercial casinos located within the state, and there aren’t any Native American gambling venues to visit either.

Offline gamblers in Tennessee are faced with crossing state lines to visit North Carolina or Mississippi if they want to enjoy playing for cash in a physical location.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
No
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
No
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Texas

Limited brick-and-mortar gambling is available at just one tribal venue in the state of Texas, which isn’t fully supported by the state governors.

The environment is similarly hostile for online gambling, with no legal sports betting, casinos, or poker allowed within state lines. Players here can enjoy fantasy sports, but that’s all.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

There are no indications that lawmakers in Texas plan to legalize or regulate online gambling. Even the status of fantasy sports here remains up in the air, with rumors lawmakers may seek to remove access for Texans.

Outside of DFS, there’s no legal online poker or gambling allowed.

Sports Betting

No

A bill that would regulate sports betting in Texas was proposed in 2021 but it didn’t go anywhere. Such recent activity means it’s likely lawmakers will try again in 2022, and beyond, if necessary, but legal sports betting isn’t a possibility within the state for now.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

As the largest state in the USA, you might well hope that Texas would have a bounty of land-based casinos to visit. Unfortunately, the opposite is true – the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle is the only major offline casino in the entire state.

Texas explicitly prohibits commercial casinos, and this venue can only operate because it’s owned and run by Native Americans. Even then, it offers just electronic gaming machines and doesn’t have tables.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Utah

This is one of only a couple of states where gambling is completely outlawed. With over 60% of those who live in Utah being involved with the LDS Church – which is strongly opposed to gambling - it’s very unlikely that the situation here will change any time soon.

Legal gambling age: N/A

Online Gambling

No

With the strict laws in place to prevent online gambling, you won’t find any sites directly offering online poker, casino games, or sports betting to anyone located within the state. This stance is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

Sports Betting

No

Utah’s anti-gambling stance is written into its state constitution. This means that, while other states are actively looking at legalizing sports betting and other forms of gambling, it would require a massive change in direction from Utah’s state government to even consider it.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

Utahans will need to look elsewhere if they’re hoping to partake in some in-person gambling, as there are no land-based casinos or tribal gaming sites in the state. Depending on exactly where you’re located in Utah, Las Vegas might just be a manageable drive away.

Gambling in Utah is a Class B misdemeanor, rising to a class A misdemeanor for repeat offenders, which is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
No
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
No
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
No
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Vermont

With no commercial or tribal casinos within state lines, Vermont has some of the toughest restrictions on gambling in the US. Things are no better online, with casino games and poker both unavailable. Other than fantasy sports, sports betting is still illegal too, although it is under consideration at the time of writing.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Vermont has legal fantasy sports and online horseracing betting, but that’s about as far as it goes when it comes to regulated online gambling.

In fact, the state’s gaming laws are likely broad enough that they cover unlicensed online betting. Punishments for illegal gambling activity can mean a fine of up to $200 or 60 days in jail.

Sports Betting

No

Vermont hasn’t had much to offer in the way of gambling for a long time, so it’s interesting that a bill allowing mobile sports wagering was considered in 2021.

It’s not immediately clear whether legal in-person betting would also be regulated but, unless any legislation passes, all forms of sports betting remain outlawed.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

Vermont has zero land-based gambling venues, including tribal casinos.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
No
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
N/A
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Virginia

The legal status of gambling in Virginia is up in the air right now – there are no offline gambling facilities here currently, but that’s set to change in the coming years.

Those adjustments haven’t yet extended to any forms of online gambling other than sports betting, but it’s tempting to think that casinos or poker on the web might land on the agenda.

Legal gambling age: 18-21

Online Gambling

No

The only forms of online gambling currently legal in Virginia are fantasy sports and horseracing betting, and there’s no guarantee that will ever change.

Then again, the state did recently take significant steps towards allowing land-based gambling within state lines. If that move is a successful one, they might revisit and look at online casinos and/or poker in the future.

Sports Betting

Yes

Sports betting in Virginia is a relatively new addition to the Old Dominion State’s gambling playbook, arriving at the beginning of 2021, after almost a year in the making. Online betting is permitted, but not on in-state college sports teams or other youth sports. Retail sportsbooks are expected to open at newly-built casinos in 2022.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

At present, Virginia doesn’t have any land-based casinos within its borders. That also includes tribal casinos. Until recently, all forms of casino gambling have been explicitly prohibited. However, that’s all due to change very soon.

In 2019, legislation was passed that would make the construction of casinos possible in five cities in Virginia – Norfolk, Richmond, Bristol, Danville, and Portsmouth. None of these cities, however, will have a permanent casino presence before 2023.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
No
Fantasy Sports
Yes

West Virginia

Brick-and-mortar gambling options in West Virginia are few and far between, with just a handful of venues offering a limited range of offline games.

Things are very different here for those gambling online, however, as residents can enjoy legal and regulated forms of virtually all casino games.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

Yes

Players in West Virginia have been able to gamble on the web using legal WV online casinos since 2020, which makes the state one of the first to regulate the activity. Online poker sites are likely to appear in 2021 and beyond.

Sports Betting

Yes

In some ways, the state has quite a progressive approach to gambling, and the treatment of sports betting in West Virginia is no exception. In 2018, the state became just the fifth to offer legal sports betting with the opening of a brand-new sportsbook.

In-person and mobile wagering are permitted, with no notable exclusions.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

Despite the state’s nimble and open-minded approach to online gambling and sports betting, brick-and-mortar gambling remains non-existent in West Virginia. There aren’t even any tribal casinos to visit here.

As an exception to the above, West Virginia is home to five land-based venues (four racinos and one club that’s limited to hotel guests) that offer limited forms of offline gambling.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
N/A
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Wisconsin

Wisconsin has a decent number of tribal casinos where players can enjoy some action in an offline space. That experience doesn’t carry over online, though, where Wisconsin has made no allowances for any forms of gambling, including sports betting, poker, casinos. Fantasy sports are available though.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Wisconsin’s online gambling laws are restrictive, and limit virtually all forms of gambling to tribal lands. Even the introduction of fantasy sports here has been tentative, with the activity neither regulated nor expressly prohibited.

All in all, it seems that lawmakers have little interest in legalizing or regulating other forms of online gambling within the state.

Sports Betting

No

Wisconsin has not made any moves to change the legal status of sports betting. Any changes to the legality of the activity would be a lengthy process, so don’t expect to see legal sportsbooks or sports gambling online pop up here any time soon.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

Although commercial gambling isn’t permitted in Wisconsin, and there are no obvious signs that’s set to change, land-based gaming is possible in tribal casinos owned and operated by Native Americans.

As of 2021, there are more than 25 such venues in 20+ different cities. Perhaps the best known of these are the Ho-Chunk casinos, which regularly land in lists of Wisconsin’s best casinos.

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
No
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
No
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Wyoming

On the face of it, Wyoming appears to have an open-minded approach to wagering offline; it offers charitable gaming, racetracks, and a state lottery, but most of its gambling activities are constrained to tribal land.

Online gambling isn’t permitted within the state, except for sports betting. There’s a possibility that other exceptions could be made, but no guarantees have been made.

Legal gambling age: 21

Online Gambling

No

Wyoming law currently prohibits all types of gambling not authorized by the state, punishable by a fine and up to six months in jail, and that includes online gambling.

Sports Betting

Yes

As is the case in Tennessee, legal sports betting in Wyoming is online-only. That means bettors can place wagers from anywhere in the state without needing to travel to a brick-and-mortar casino or sportsbook. This all kicked off in the latter half of 2021, so the scope to include in-person betting in the next few years is still there.

Brick & Mortar Gambling

No

As of 2021, there are no commercial casinos in Wyoming, and there’s not currently any reason to think lawmakers plan to change this. There are, however, several tribal casinos that residents and visitors to the state can check out.

These are all located on the Wind River Reservation in Fremont County, which means that folks located elsewhere in the state might be in for a bit of a drive if they’re hoping to do some land-based gambling

Other Types of Gambling

Charitable Gaming
Yes
Social Gambling
Yes
Parimutuel Betting
Yes
Racetracks
Yes
State Lottery
Yes
Tribal Casinos
Yes
Fantasy Sports
Yes

Contents

States where gambling is illegal

In continental US, there are still states in which virtually all forms of gambling remain illegal – Utah and Texas are two common examples. Whether due to religious reasons, in the case of the former, or conservative values in the latter, it’s reasonable to believe that legal gambling may never be possible in these states.

Of course, there was a time when people thought that gambling might never come to Connecticut or Maryland, but these states now allow limited forms of the activity. That bodes well for states that have historically been strict on gambling, such as New Hampshire and Kentucky, but now seem to be considering the regulation of certain forms.

States Where All Forms of Gambling are Illegal

Texas state flag

Texas

Utah state flag

Utah

The punishment for breaking laws designed to prevent online gambling can be harsh, with fines of up to $1,000 and 30 days of jail time being the norm. In general, however, prosecutors tend to focus on pursuing illegal operators rather than players.

Interestingly, some games such as Three Card Monte (and any that use loaded dice) are illegal even in states where other forms of gambling are permitted. That’s because these games are cons, designed to fool players, rather than true games of chance. Depending on the state, that might be classed as petty theft, false representation, and/or being a public nuisance.

Did you know?

Washington has extremely strict punishments for illegal gamblers, with prison sentences up to 10 years and fines of up to $50,000.

By now you’ll know that the legal status of gambling differs greatly between states and the same applies to legal gambling ages. The age limits can fluctuate within each state depending on the game you’re playing.

Here’s a quick breakdown of gambling age by state:

State Minimum Age
Alabama 19
Alaska 21
Arizona 21
Arkansas 21
California 18-21 (Casino), 18 (Lottery)
Colorado 21
Connecticut 21
Delaware 18 (Lottery), 21 (Casino)
District of Columbia 18
Florida 18 (Lottery), 21 (Casino)
Georgia 18
Hawaii 21
Idaho 18
Illinois 21
Indiana 21
Iowa 21
Kansas 21
Kentucky 18
Louisiana 21
Maine 18 (Lottery), 21 (Casino)
Maryland 21
Massachusetts 21
Michigan 18
Minnesota 18
Mississippi 21
Missouri 21
Montana 18
Nebraska 21
Nevada 21
New Hampshire 21
New Jersey 21
New Mexico 21
New York 18
North Carolina 21
North Dakota 18-21
Ohio 18-21
Oklahoma 18
Oregon 21 (Casino), 18 (Other)
Pennsylvania 21
Rhode Island 18
South Dakota 21
South Carolina 21
Tennessee
Texas 21
Utah Illegal
Vermont 21
Virginia 21 (Casino), 18 (Other)
Washington 18
West Virginia 21
Wisconsin 21
Wyoming 21

Gambling Laws - All US States

State Online Sports Betting Brick & Mortar Charitable Social Parimutual Racetracks State Lottery Tribal Casinos Fantasy Sports
Alabama No No No (Tribal only) Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Alaska No No No (Tribal only) Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes
Arizona No Yes No (Tribal only) Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Arkansas No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
California No No No (Cardrooms and tribal only) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Colorado No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Connecticut Yes Yes No (Tribal only) Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes
Delaware Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Florida No No No (Tribal and racings only) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Georgia No No No Yes No No No Yes No Yes
Hawaii No No No No No No No No No No
Idaho No No No (Tribal only) Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No
Illinois No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Indiana No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Iowa No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kansas No No Yes (Tribal and State only) Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Kentucky No No No (Racetracks only) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Louisiana No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Maine No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Maryland No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Massachusetts No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Michigan Yes Yes Yes (Mainly tribal) Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Minnesota No No No (Tribal only) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mississippi No Yes (In-person only) Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes
Missouri No No Yes Yes No No No Yes No Yes
Montana No Yes (In-person only) No (Tribal only) Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Nebraska No No No (Tribal only) Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Nevada No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No
New Hampshire No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes
New Jersey Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes N/A Yes
New Mexico No Yes (In-person only) Yes (Tribal and racinos only) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
New York No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
North Carolina No Yes No Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes
North Dakota No No No (Tribal only) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ohio No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Oklahoma No No No (Tribal only) Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Oregon No Yes No (Tribal only) Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Pennsylvania Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Rhode Island No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
South Carolina No No No No No No No Yes No Yes
South Dakota No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Tennessee No Yes No No No No No Yes No Yes
Texas No No No (Tribal only) Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Utah No No No No No No No No No Yes
Vermont No No No Yes Yes No No Yes N/A Yes
Virginia No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Washington No No (Tribal only) No (Tribal only) Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
West Virginia Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes N/A Yes
Wisconsin No No No (Tribal only) Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Wyoming No Yes No (Tribal only) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Federal Gambling Laws - A Brief History

In addition to state laws, the US is also subject to federal laws. These apply to the whole of the United States, although some state laws contradict their equivalents at federal level.

In this section, we’ll be looking at some of the key moments in America’s gambling history with federal law:

1961

Interstate Wire Act

Instituted at the beginning of the 1960s, this law prohibits certain types of betting businesses in the USA. The text itself refers to “bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest”, which is vague wording that has never been satisfactorily clarified.

Clearly the act covers sports gambling, but it was never 100% apparent how it related to other types of gambling such as poker or table games. This has been debated all the way up until 2019, when US District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro issued a judgement that it only applies to sports gambling.

(Interstate Transportation of) Wagering Paraphernalia Act

In addition to introducing the Interstate Wire Act, the US government doubled down on their gambling crackdown with the Wagering Paraphernalia Act.

This act criminalized the interstate transportation of “any record, paraphernalia, ticket, certificate, bills, slip, token, paper, writing, or other device used, or to be used, adapted, devised or designed for use in” bookmaking or other gambling activities.

Another day, another act with vague wording! But the aim of the US government here was fairly simple: to make it illegal, and therefore more difficult, to transport any sort of supplies that could be connected with the act of gambling.

1970

Illegal Gambling Business Act

Enacted as part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, the main targets of this act were large gambling operations. The government believed, accurately in some cases, that such operations were connected to and/or financing organized crime.

The act stipulates that any gambling business that involves five or more persons and “has been or remains in substantially continuous operation for a period in excess of thirty days or has a gross revenue of $2,000 in any single day” is illegal. Clearly, the latter of those statements would very likely to apply to anyone operating an online casino within the USA.

1992

PASPA

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, also known as the Bradley Act, has been overturned since it was introduced in the early ‘90s. It’s still, however, worth covering here in the interest of forming a complete picture of gambling’s history in the USA.

The text of the act is lengthy and complex, but the text of the bill gives you more than enough clues to figure out its aim: “An Act to prohibit sports gambling under State law.” It covered much the same ground that the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 did, but specifically addressed other activities (such as fantasy sports) that hadn’t previously been covered.

2006

UIGEA

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 prohibits gambling businesses from “knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet.”

What’s interesting here is that this act specifically refers to accepting payments, rather than the act of gambling itself.

Clearly, this opened a number of grey areas that would be gamblers could take advantage of, such as using anonymous payment methods or playing with international casino sites that might not be subject to American laws.

Federal and State Taxes on Gambling

If you’re serious about gambling, we advise discussing taxation on gambling activity with an accountant or tax expert with relevant experience in your state. With that said, there are a few key questions related to gambling and federal tax covered below:

What are deemed as gambling winnings?

In practice, most wins from any activity in which you wager real money – lottery payouts, bingo or keno, poker, slot machines, or other casino games – are deemed gambling winnings. Even non-cash prizes such as a vehicle or a vacation are considered gambling winnings, and their FMV (fair market value) should be included in income statements.

How are players taxed on gambling winnings?

Because gambling winnings are seen as a type of income by the US government – and are often also called gambling income – they’re subject to federal income tax. In states where it applies, they may also be subject to state income tax.

A silver lining is that you may be able to declare gambling losses up to, but never more than, the value of your gambling winnings. You’ll need to keep a close eye on your losses if you intend to do this, as well as collect relative documentation.

Are there federal taxes on your winnings?

Unfortunately, just about any gambling win you’d get legitimately excited about is subject to federal taxation, usually at a flat rate of 24%. You should be provided with a Form W2-G if your winnings exceed the following thresholds:

Withholding is required when winnings, reduced by wager, are:

Which states tax gambling income or not?

As well as at the federal income tax level, you may also need to pay state income tax on gambling winnings. The only states that don’t require residents to pay state income tax on them are as follows:

States don’t require gambling income tax

Texas state flag

Alaska*

California state flag

California

Florida state flag

Florida*

Hawaii flag

Hawaii

Nevada state flag

Nevada*

New Hampshire state flag

New Hampshire*

South Dakota state flag

South Dakota*

Tennessee state flag

Tennessee*

Texas state flag

Texas*

Utah state flag

Utah

Washington state flag

Washington*

Wyoming state flag

Wyoming*

*States marked with an asterisk either don’t have any state income tax or don’t tax earned wages, so gambling is only exempt because it falls under that heading.

US vs International Gambling Laws

It’s easy to say that the US has a restrictive approach to gambling when compared with countries like the UK or Mexico. It’s key to note, however, that the ease with which you can gamble varies enormously depending on the state you’re located in.

Many state governments are now switching their attention from outlawing gambling, and especially online gambling, to making sure it can be conducted safely in an environment that fosters responsible play.

Or, to be cynical, they’ve realized that they can make money from it by taking this route.

Aside from states like Utah and Hawaii, which currently outlaw all forms of gambling, we predict that more and more states will loosen some of restrictions that they currently have around using online casinos, sports betting, and other forms of gambling.

FAQs

Is it illegal to bet for someone else?

Casinos and gambling sites will only accept bets if they can verify the identity of the person placing them. Legally speaking, you shouldn’t be placing bets for anyone else or asking them to do so on your behalf.

How many states have legalized gambling?

Given the different status of every state, it’s hard to put a blanket figure against this. However, if you include lotteries, some form(s) of gambling is legal in 48 out of 50 US states.

Is it illegal to gamble at home?

This depends on the nature of the gambling activity, as well as the state you’re in. Lotteries, for example, are widely available in most US states but online gambling is permitted in far fewer.

What was the first state to legalize gambling?

When most people think of American gambling, they think of Las Vegas. Not by coincidence, Nevada was the first US state to legalize gambling.

Is illegal gambling a felony?

If the act of illegal gambling is conducted as a business, this constitutes a federal crime. On a personal level, however, the act of playing may be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the state it’s conducted in.

Where can I gamble legally online?

Residents of many US states, more details on which above, can now gamble legally at online casinos created specifically for American players.

Are betting syndicates legal in the US?

Legally, you’re not allowed to place a bet on the behalf of someone else, however betting syndicates have been a form of illegal gambling activity for several decades.