How to do Sports Betting and Trading in the US (State by State) | Taxes, Laws and Bookmakers


We’ve been writing about how to do sports betting and trading in many other countries, and in each and everyone of them we were able to give a short answer to this question. But when it comes to the USA, the short version of this question would be, yes and no.

In May 14, 2018, the supreme court of the USA lifted the long lasting federal ban on sports betting. This means that sports betting in theory is legal, but that is only if your state allows it!

In this article we will list every state where sports betting is legal, which states it’s legal in but highly regulated and which states where it’s only legal in some tribes. Yeah we know, it sounds complicated, but bear with us.

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Sports betting is legal in the following states (as of the 8th of April, 2020): Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia and most recently, North Carolina.

In addition to the mentioned states above, it has been voted over and is about to be legal in the following states: Colorado (expected May, 2020), Tennessee (expected in mid 2020) and Washington D.C. (unclear when).

Then we have 2 states where sports betting in general is illegal, but it still offers a so-called Class III gaming act, which means that games that are played in casinos (roulette, blackjack etc.), are allowed. These 2 states are Washington and New Mexico, this means online sports betting is illegal, but the casinos in both states offer some legal Sportsbooks which you can play on.

Other than that, the only general rule is that you have to be over 18 years-old, even though some states or casinos require that you’re over 21 years-old.


Even though sports betting is legal in many states, and probably going to be legal in the rest of them some day in the future, there is some bad news regarding sports betting and gambling in USA. Gambling income is almost always taxable income!

The main rule is that you have to report every win and every loss on your federal income tax return, there is also a flat 24% tax on every winning. You may also be subject to an income tax withholding if your winnings is over $5,000 and comes from, for example, poker tournaments or lotteries.

You’re probably thinking hopefully that’s it, but unfortunately it’s not! The same rule applies if you ever win a non-cash price. Let’s say you win a trip or a car, you will still be required to pay 24% tax on the market value of the price!

However, there are some loopholes. If you’re doing sports betting, you generally don’t have to report your winnings as long as it doesn’t exceeds $600, or as long as your winnings doesn’t exceed the amount of the bet at least 300 times.


There is a lot to take into considerations when deciding which bookmakers to use, such as the bookmakers margin, the customer service, the welcome bonus and so on.

Even though sports betting is very strict in the United States, we still support many US legal bookmakers, send us a message in the chat if you have any questions regarding bookmakers in your state!

Here are 2 of the most popular ones:

Bet365: The biggest of all European bookies and the most visited one, they are also legal in USA. Being the biggest they have a large selection of games from numerous leagues and countries.

They have the biggest selection of niche sports, so if you’re into Gaelic sports, Darts and Surfing, this is the site for you. Their odds are not the best though, and if you win a lot, they are unfortunately quick to limit you.

William Hill: Maybe the oldest one on the list, William Hill has been a part of the British gambling industry for around 80 years. An easy website to navigate and has a great statistical section which will make it easier as a customer to do research before a game. Odds aren’t that good though, and they can be slow to deposit money.


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There are several things you need to consider when choosing a bookmaker bonus for your sports betting adventure.

First of all, the bookmakers you pick all need to be licensed in your country. Secondly, they need to give away amazing welcome bonuses. Finally, they also need to have a website that’s available in your language, which as an American you’re lucky as almost every site is in English.

If you are a bettor from USA, here are a couple of online bookmakers that match all the criteria discussed previously:


Bet365 is one of the biggest sportsbook operators in the world. Not only does it accept players from USA, but it also gives them a welcome present. It comes in the form of a 100% match deposit bonus up to $100 which you can turn over for free with our matched betting software called Oddshero.


Intertops offers new customers a $100 signup bonus if you deposit $100.


888Sports is a famous name in sports betting, and thanks to their market leading betting exchange, they are also one of the best sportsbooks currently in operation in the US today.

For American punters, they’re offering a $500(!) risk-free first bet bonus for new customers.

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Sports betting has become extremely popular in the USA. Data starting from 2018 to date, reports there has been a staggering $20,540,838,628 wagered over that time period!

New Jersey is the second biggest sports betting state in the USA, being responsible for over $6.8 billion of the total amount wagered since 2018.

The biggest sports betting state in USA, yes you guessed it, is Nevada. Responsible for over $8.8 billion since 2018!

The sport which attracts the highest amount of betting money annually in the U.S is American football, with the NFL bringing in the greatest volume!

Thus, it is fair to say that sports betting in the USA is extremely popular, so why not make a profit while doing it?

Have you seen our article series on 10 People Who Got Rich On Sports Betting?

Check out how to exploit arbitrage opportunities in sports trading and the stock market here.

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