Which States Are Most Likely To Legalize Online Gambling in 2022?

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Two young bearded men celebrate online sports betting on their phones.
BetMGM Aug 13, 2022, 7:45 AM

The US is a mixed bag when it comes to the legalization of online casinos and sports betting, so it’s easy to get confused about where you are – and aren’t – allowed to play online casino games

There are currently around 30 states in the USA where sports betting is now legal, of which 18 states have legalized online sports betting. When it comes to online gambling, however, you can only play casino games like online slots. Moreover, sports betting is legal in only seven states, and crypto gambling remains a legal gray area in many regions.

Read on to learn which states seem most likely to legalize online gambling in the near future.

Why are more states legalizing online gambling?

More and more states are legalizing online gambling in all forms, whether those are online slots, table games, live dealer online games or sports betting. This is because they are starting to recognize the benefits they could reap from the economic push of online gambling. There is simply no denying how popular online casinos have become. 

States that have legalized online gambling in all its forms have shown formidable tax revenues – and it’s a consistent trend around the world. Governments with legalized online gambling stand to earn tax revenues from players and casino operators, which can provide extra revenue for important government initiatives and projects.

Aside from the obvious tax benefits, the gambling industry offers more employment opportunities to professionals like game developers, back-end developers, IT security specialists, online dealers and much more. It’s little wonder that many states are pushing for the legalization of online casinos and sports betting, and it’s hard to imagine why it would still be illegal in many states.

States likely to legalize online casinos and sports betting in 2022

Since regulated online gambling first emerged in the US in 2012, and the Supreme Court overturned PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) in 2018, several legislators have changed their stance on online casinos and sports betting.

There are currently 30 states that have legalized online gambling in some capacity. A few of these have only recently received approval, with implementation coming in the next few months. While gamblers in those states are (or soon will be) playing their favorite games, players elsewhere in the US eagerly await news of legalization in their home state.

We have good news for some of you, as there will likely be a few more states legalizing online gambling (particularly sports betting) this year. Let’s look at which states are the most likely to legalize online casinos or sports betting in 2022.

Ohio

Those wanting to play casino table games or participate in sports betting online in Ohio will have to wait a little longer. Ohio has been on the verge of legalizing sports betting for a few years now, with the failure to gain approval in the last few years proving a big disappointment to players in the Buckeye State. Ohio, also known as “The Heart of it All,” happens to be surrounded by states that have either already legalized sports betting or plan to introduce legislation that will.

With the proliferation of sports betting in the Midwest, we’re hoping that Ohio makes a move this year to legalize online gambling and truly become “the heart of it all.”

Massachusetts

Young bearded man celebrates a winning bet with his phone and laptop.

Despite having almost a dozen attempts at legalizing sports betting fail (even with support from Charlie Baker and the General Court,) legalization advocates in the Bay State have more motivation than ever to get a bill passed this year.

There are still a few universities in Massachusetts that oppose the idea of legalized betting options on their sports programs. But with two neighboring states having legalized sports betting and Connecticut seemingly on the way, there may be enough pressure on the situation to give Bay State residents reason to be optimistic again.

New York

While it’s already possible to bet on retail sportsbooks at casinos on the ground, the question in New York is about online sports betting and the potential for a recovery in terms of a massive budget shortfall. Even political officials who, previously, vehemently opposed the idea of online sportsbooks have realized that it might be worth embracing such a substantial new revenue stream – which potentially means good things for gamblers in the Big Apple.

Though it will be a hard call to make and still somewhat of a long shot with the complexity of recovering such a deficit and the support (or lack thereof) from the governor, we are still optimistic that New York will approve online and mobile sports betting within the year.

Nebraska

Nebraskans are still in the honeymoon phase of welcoming land-based casinos and the best casino games after being given the nod during the November 2020 election – but why stop there? Now that the race tracks are allowed to feature casino games (and are now being affectionately called racinos,) the question this year is about online sports betting.

The Cornhusker State has been ready to take on online gambling for some time now. While November’s bill still needs refinement – it ambiguously refers to “all games of chance” and thereby puts games of skill into a gray area – we believe there’s reason to keep an eye out for Nebraska going online in the coming months.

In which states are online gambling or sports betting legal right now?

If you were wondering where in the US you’d need to be to play your favorite casino games or place a wager, here’s a little list of the states that have legalized online gambling or sports betting so far:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida (pending)
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota 
  • Tennessee
  • Washington
  • Washington, DC
  • West Virginia

Legalized betting in Canada and Puerto Rico

Although Canada and Puerto Rico don’t fall within US states, they’ve had some exciting progress regarding online sports betting and casinos. Both countries have expanded their legal framework, and BetMGM is proud to partner with them in offering the best online casino games and sports betting options to new players within their borders.

Know where to gamble when your state becomes legal

If your state did not appear on the list, don’t count yourself out of the running just yet. Many more states are getting closer to legalizing online casinos and sports betting. Before long, we hope, it will be up to the people to decide whether (or not) they want to gamble.

When your state eventually goes online, get your sports betting and online casino game fix when you register with us at BetMGM. We provide betting options on all sports, including all major league sports and the best online casino games. From live dealer casino games to massive jackpot slots, you’re sure to find the game for you at BetMGM.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.