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Home / Articles / The Legal Part of the Business

The Legal Part of the Business

America's Bookie

AmericasBookie Sportsbook/Casino and Horses.
By: America's Bookie     Date: Sep 26, 2021
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Many people question the legality of bookies and if being a bookie legal. Bookmakers accept bets on different sporting events and settle won bets.

Some of them credit punters' accounts within minutes. Read on to learn more about the legality of the bookie business in the United States.

States Where Sports Wagering is Legal

Some states haven't legalized sports gambling despite the Supreme Court legalizing it recently. The 2018 Murphy v. NCAA case allowed some states to legalize the practice. Before then, punters were able to wager freely in Nevada only.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Federal government doesn't have the power to prohibit states from creating and passing gambling laws. This prompted some state legislatures to legalize sports betting. They include:

  • Illinois: the state passed the sports gambling law while targeting the 2020 NCAA Men's Basketball competition. Its sportsbooks recovered lost revenue when the football season began.

Illinois has various sports gambling options like online bets and in-person wagering. Its initial rollout entailed registering at a brick-and-mortar casino before you bet online.

  • Indiana: sports betting started in the state in September 2019. The Hoosier State generated hefty revenue from online betting. Its rapid market dwells more on national sportsbooks operations.


  • Arkansas: it accepted its first sports wagers in July 2019. The state's initial rollout took place at the Oaklawn Racing Casino and Resort.

The Saracen Casino Resort was established in October 2019. To date, the state only allows in-person gambling and has banned online betting.

  • Colorado: lawmakers took a while to legalize sports betting unlike the consumption of recreational cannabis. They passed the gambling law last year. Punters can wager online or in-person.


  • Delaware: the state has been the first to pass several laws in the past. Still, it has a strict sports betting system.

For example, the Delaware State Lottery regulates sports betting in three casinos. Online gambling is illegal in Delaware.

  • Iowa: it legalized sports betting in August 2019. You can engage in online and in-person getting. In the past, punters had to register in-person to place online bets.

But this requirement ended on January 1, 2021. The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis teams have a big market in Iowa.

  • New Jersey: it was among the first states to legalize sports wagering. You can place bets online or in person.


  • New Mexico: Native American casinos in the state-run sportsbooks and the state prohibits online gambling.


  • New York: Governor Cuomo is expected to allow all forms of online gambling soon. Even so, you can wager in person in New York or at selected casinos.


  • Oregon: Oregon Lottery monitors all sportsbook operations in the state. Oregon legalized sports betting in 2019 but it has prohibited collegiate sports bets.


  • Michigan: MGM Grand Detroit runs the first sportsbook operation in Michigan in March 2020. The state has many collegiate and professional teams.


  • Mississippi: the state legalized sports gambling in august 2018. It has big casino resorts in Lula and Biloxi. You can bet in person but Mississippi allows online gambling with a technicality.

States That Will Legalize Sports Gambling Soon

Virginia, Washington D.C., and North Carolina legalized sports betting last year. Several online sportsbooks will launch this summer in Virginia and North Carolina. Punters in Washington can only place online bets at casinos.

Tax revenue is a major reason why some states have legalized gambling. American states that have illegalized sports betting want to retain money in their jurisdictions. Yet, casino and sportsbook operators pay licensing fees before they start accepting wagers.

Is being a bookie legal in the U.S.? Sports betting is legal in more than 15 states including Pennsylvania, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon. Investors need to understand the gambling regulations in their target location before they apply for a gambling license. 

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