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Best Sportsbooks for March 2024: Top Online Sportsbooks for U.S.

Who do we rate as the best online sportsbook? FanDuel, DraftKings, ESPN BET, Fanatics, BetMGM, Betway, Caesars, or someone else? Know that the legal sports betting operators listed are the best sports betting sites, with the best sportsbook promos.

#1

Bet $5, Win $150 in Bonus Bets

Features

  • Top-tier app experience.
  • Same Game Parlays and SGP+.
  • Extensive promos and odds boosts.

FanDuel Review

FanDuel reigns supreme right now as the No. 1 betting site in America. And it has largely earned that spot on the strength of superior brand recognition, an easy-to-use product, an overwhelming number of markets for North America’s most popular sports, and representation in every state in which it is permitted to offer legal sports betting.

Features

#2

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

Features

  • Earn Caesars Rewards from betting activity.
  • Live streaming of NFL games.
  • User-friendly mobile app.
Bet Now

Caesars Sportsbook Review

Caesars is proving to be one of the most aggressively expanding brands in sports betting. Unfortunately, like all major U.S. sportsbooks, they are quick to limit you if you go on a tear and their odds boost promos offer low maximum bet limits.

Features

#3

Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets

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Features

  • Extensive live betting options.
  • More markets than any other sportsbook.
  • One of the best apps in the industry.
Bet Now

bet365 Review

bet365 is one of the largest and most popular sportsbooks globally. With a well-received mobile app, popular same-game parlays, and a wide variety of sports leagues to bet on it’s no wonder 80 million sports bettors worldwide continue to use bet365.

Features

#4

Get up to $1,000 in Bonus Bets

Features

  • Live in 15 states
  • Extremely powerful brand history and recognition
  • FanCash reward system is great for sports fans

Fanatics Sportsbook Review

Fanatics Sportsbook has launched its app in a dozen states already, with plans to expand to more in the near future. Fanatics is poised to be a major player in the sports betting industry.

Features

#5

No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000

Features

  • Lots of promos and odds boosts.
  • Wide range of sports and bet types.
  • Seamless integration with DFS.

DraftKings Review

DraftKings had a solid reputation as the leading DFS provider in the country, so the shift to legal sports betting felt natural. They offer one of the most voluminous collections of ongoing promos and odds boosts in the industry as they cater to the beginner crowd. However, their reputation has dwindled as outspoken CEO Jason Robins leads the charge of the anti-profitable bettor mentality that runs rampant amongst sportsbooks that are quick to limit winning players.

Features

#6

Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets

Features

  • Some of the best live-betting odds.
  • Casino Operator of the Year in 2021 and 2022.
  • Earn MGM Rewards from betting activity.
Bet Now

BetMGM Review

BetMGM is one of the top-rated sportsbooks in the U.S. offering some of the best live betting odds in the industry. They’re also the largest iGaming operator across the U.S.

Features

#7

Up to a $500 Second Chance Bet

Features

  • Competitive odds across all markets.
  • Live betting section is well organized.
  • Earn iRush Rewards from betting activity.
Bet Now

BetRivers Review

With its solid lines and user-friendly promos, adding BetRivers to your sportsbook rotation makers a lot of sense.

Features

#8

Up to a $250 Bonus Bet

Features

  • Massive selection of markets.
  • Easy-to-use interface.
  • Wide variety of banking options.

Betway Review

While this book won’t wow you with its design, you won’t find many apps easier to navigate – or with the sheer volume of sports markets Betway offers. And although you'll find more generous signup offers elsewhere, Betway remains a strong global sports betting brand that deserves to be mentioned among the second-tier sportsbook options in the U.S.

Features

#9

Get up to $250 in Bonus Bets

Features

  • Great user interface.
  • Deep selection of bets in major sports.
  • Ongoing promotions for recurring players.

ClutchBet Review

Bringing its successful track record from Australia to the U.S., ClutchBet is a solid addition to the Colorado, Iowa, and Louisiana sportsbook markets.

Features

#10

$100 in Bonus Bets

Features

  • Longstanding reputation in Atlantic City.
  • User-friendly betting site and app.
  • Competitive odds.
Bet Now

Borgata Review

Despite limited availability, the Borgata Sportsbook experience is considerably better than other operations similar in size due to being backed by MGM Resorts International and Entain. The experienced backing allows for a pleasurable user experience on the Borgata betting site and app.

Features

Affiliate Disclosure: Sportsbook Review may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook betting site.

21+. Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly

Top 10 promos in the U.S.

Best online sportsbooks

FeatureSportsbook
Best Sportsbook🥇FanDuel Sportsbook
Most Popular Sportsbook🥈Caesars Sportsbook
Best for Casual Bettors🥉 BetMGM Sportsbook
Best Welcome Bonus⭐ DraftKings Sportsbook

Editor's Note: Bonuses listed on this page are for U.S. residents only.

Best sportsbooks in US

1. Caesars Sportsbook 🏛

Caesars

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

Sportsbook Review may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook betting site. 21+. Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly

Caesars sportsbook's sterling industry reputation and player-friendly sports betting products lands this sports betting site at the top of the list. 

New bettors will love how easy it is to sign up for a Caesars account and instantly be able to place a wager. Intermediate bettors will appreciate the generous Caesars Sportsbook promo codes and frequent (if somewhat profit-stunted) bonus offers. And power players have to at least respect Caesars’ place in the sports betting hierarchy when it comes to limits on wagers.

Caesars offers something beneficial to all who wager – and in an industry that tends to favor one type of bettor over another, that’s a massive benefit to players.

Caesars Screens Us

For more information, check out our Caesars review resource. 

2. FanDuel Sportsbook 🔵

FanDuel

Bet $5, Win $150 in Bonus Bets

Sportsbook Review may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook betting site. 21+. Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly

FanDuel reigns supreme right now as the No. 1 betting site in America, in what has been a battle pitting FanDuel vs DraftKings. And it has largely earned that spot on the strength of superior brand recognition, an easy-to-use product, an overwhelming number of markets for North America’s most popular sports and representation in every state in which it is permitted to offer legal sports betting. FanDuel is also among the fastest payout sportsbooks.

FanDuel, being one of the largest sportsbooks, is always in the mix for new US state betting launches, and the upcoming North Carolina sports betting launch will be no different. 

In all, new sports bettors – particularly those already familiar with the iGaming giant’s daily fantasy sports product – will have a special appreciation for its ease of use and the immense number of market offerings. More seasoned bettors will find reasons to quibble (among them, FanDuel’s head-scratching decisions on bet limits). However, there are enough good things here, including FanDuel promo codes, to make FD a popular option for most subsets of bettors.

One thing to watch for will be the upcoming March Madness tournament. The operator will likely have boosts and promos for new and existing customers in March in time for the tournament.

Fanduel Screens Us

For more information, check out our FanDuel review resource.   

3. DraftKings Sportsbook ⭐

DraftKings

No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000

Sportsbook Review may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook betting site. 21+. Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly

DraftKings is a tier-one betting platform that continues to dominate the U.S. market alongside FanDuel. It does so thanks to an extensive range of markets, including lots of specials, props, and futures unavailable elsewhere. Moreover, it also has the best micro-betting setup in the industry. The DraftKings website and mobile app are both known for being highly functional and user-friendly.

DK's massive popularity is partly due to its competitive bonuses for new customers. For just $5 on your first wager, users that lose their first bet will get a no sweat first bet up to $1,000 using the DraftKings promo code. Meanwhile, there’s also the standard 20% match deposit bonus capped at $1,000.

Even though DraftKings excels at new customer offers, it offers little to existing customers. That said, they feature a well-structured loyalty program through which you can earn “Crowns” to gain extra bet credits. A few areas where DraftKings can improve are its pricing (especially on same-game parlays) and the selection of daily odds boosts.

DraftKings will likely have boosts and super boosts in time for the March Madness tournament coming soon.

To learn more, we invite you to read our in-depth DraftKings review.

Draftkings Screens Us
DraftKings sportsbook state availability23
Online casinoYes (CT, MI, NJ, PA, and WV)
Sports betting welcome bonusNo sweat first bet up to $1,000
Welcome bonus promo codeDraftKings Promo Code
Mobile app ratingsApple Store: 4.8 Google Play: 4.6

4. BetMGM Sportsbook 🦁

BetMGM

Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets

Sportsbook Review may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook betting site. 21+. Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly

BetMGM is an industry-leading betting site for a good reason. They offer one of the best sportsbook platforms in the U.S. for casual, everyday sports fans. They frequently offer engaging ongoing BetMGM bonus codes that are accessible for the average bettor to take advantage of. The live betting platform at BetMGM is also on par with their competitors like Caesars and FanDuel.

BetMGM is very active in getting in at the ground floor for new US state betting launches, and the upcoming North Carolina sports betting launch will be no different. 

On top of their sportsbook offering, BetMGM has put extensive consideration into their online casino and poker, making this a one-stop-shop for people just looking to play for fun without a huge investment stake. The addition of an online racebook for horse racing fans gives even more reason to play here, especially for sports fans waiting for their states to regulate online sports betting.

All-in-all, BetMGM is in the elite tier of betting sites for the average sports fan.

Betmgm Screens Us

For more information, check out our BetMGM review resource.     

5. bet365 Sportsbook 🟢

bet365

Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets

Sportsbook Review may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook betting site. 21+. Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly

bet365 earns a top-tier slot in our sportsbook rankings for a number of strong reasons. For starters, it offers a generous welcome bonus with our bet365 bonus code that allows new bettors to pad their bankrolls early. 

After that, you'll find one of the widest varieties of betting markets on any sports betting app. Beyond the standard moneyline, point spread, and totals bets are creative props, intriguing futures, and potentially lucrative same-game parlay builds. The number of different wagers you can explore on bet365 is truly endless. 

bet365 is now live in nine states and growing quick in the U.S.

Screenshot of bet365 Sportsbook app on iOS device. 
bet365 iOS mobile app

See our exhaustive bet365 review for all the details. 

6. BetRivers Sportsbook ⭐

BetRivers

Up to a $500 Second Chance Bet

Sportsbook Review may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook betting site. 21+. Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly

Rush Street Interactive launched BetRivers in June 2020. The sportsbook is available across more than a dozen states. Moreover, players from select locations also have access to an online casino.

BetRivers belongs to a group of mid-level U.S. sportsbooks. Its strengths lie in the large selection of alternative lines and props, an efficient in-play betting section, and a well-designed bet slip area.

Live stream coverage is another notable feature of the sportsbook. As long as you have an active BetRivers account, you can stream events across various sports and leagues, including the NHL, international tennis tournaments, various basketball competitions, top-tier European soccer leagues, and more.

We also like the SGP Quick Pick section that offers suggestions on how to form a same-game parlay. Meanwhile, there’s a Prop Central where you can find all the major prop bets laid out across popular sports.

On the flip side, BetRivers could use a makeover, as it looks outdated compared to most of its competition. The sportsbook’s welcome bonus is rather subpar, giving new customers between $100 and $500 in bonus bets depending on their location. New users can use the BetRivers promo code SBRBONUS when signing up.

Our comprehensive BetRivers review provides additional useful info on this operator, so feel free to check it out.

BetRivers sportsbook state availability14
Online casinoYes (MI, PA, and WV)
Sports betting welcome bonusSecond-chance bets up to $500 (can be lower depending on the state)
Welcome bonus promo codeSBRBONUS
Mobile app ratingsApple Store: 4.4 Google Play: 3.4
BetRivers Screenshot
BetRivers iOS mobile app

How we rate and review sportsbooks

At SBR, we will never take shortcuts in our efforts to highlight the best sportsbooks in the business. We create accounts, interact with customer service, deposit money, navigate the site, place bets, and make withdrawals. This allows us to gain first-hand experience of the customer experience offered by each site. We are then careful to cross-check our findings with trusted colleagues and the community of nearly half a million sports bettors that use our forum.

Only then will we assign a rating to a site. This is an ongoing process: a sportsbook can be downgraded if it starts to fall short of our strict standards. It can also be upgraded, but the sportsbook must demonstrate a significant improvement over a prolonged period of time. The majority of upgrades or downgrades center around welcome bonuses, daily betting offers, customer service performance, and whether a sportsbook changes its bet limit policy (for better or worse).

The bottom line is that we play at the sites we recommend. Whether it be betting for NFL, Super Bowl, World Cup, MLB, NBA, or March Madness, we've been there. We have also played at the sites we do not recommend, and we can confidently warn you against using them. The best sportsbook betting sites featured on our top sportsbooks list are all safe and reliable, and we can vouch for them based on personal experience. Our stamp of approval gives you the utmost confidence when signing up with an online sportsbook.

The U.S. legal sports betting industry is growing at an astronomical rate – and that means plenty of competition, not only with regard to sportsbooks, but with where to find the best and most useful advice on where to sign up.

You need a site you can trust to provide the most comprehensive and transparent look at the sportsbook industry and your place in it. At Sportsbook Review, we serve as a one-stop-shop both for new players looking to sign up for their first sportsbook and existing bettors interested in trying a new sports betting site.

SBR has been reviewing online sportsbooks for more than two decades. We know what constitutes a great online sportsbook. First, it must pay out in full and on time on a consistent basis. The best U.S. books not only provide several convenient banking methods but also ensure that their customers aren't waiting for days to receive their withdrawn funds. We only recommend safe and secure online sports betting sites that have no history of mistreating their customers.

The best online sportsbook operators and real money online casino have worked hard to provide a strong overall user experience. The interface should be clean, uncluttered, and easy to navigate, with high standards in design and usability. The sportsbooks featured on this list all excel when it comes to user-friendliness. We also take the breadth and depth of each site’s sporting coverage into account when analyzing its strengths and weaknesses.

The leading online sportsbook websites featured on this page cover a broad range of sporting events in excellent depth, and they generally feature pre-game, in-play, and futures betting, with high-quality odds across the board. We also examine the quality of the bonuses and promotions on offer. This can really help you earn a profit over the course of the year.

Other key considerations for our reviewers include customer service levels, the strength of the mobile site, betting limits, and so on. You can read more about our review process further down this page.

It takes considerable time for a sportsbook to earn a place on this list. It must demonstrate a long commitment to upholding very high standards before it will be considered. Yet the list does change, as some online sportsbook websites prove themselves worthy of a place, while others drop off the list if standards slip. So bookmark this page and return regularly to check you are playing with the best online sportsbook possible.

For more on the standards we uphold in our content creation process, see our Editorial Policy.

How to pick the best online sportsbook

Your choice of sportsbook will largely depend on the qualities that matter to you, but here are a few general guidelines most bettors should follow:

  • Only search for legal sportsbooks — Only bet at sportsbooks with a license to operate in the state that you’re currently in. By doing so, you will remain on the right side of the law. As a result, you’ll receive fair treatment and protection of your personal information.
  • Look past the welcome offer — Rookie bettors often make the mistake of getting sucked in by a sportsbook based solely on its attractive welcome bonus. While the value of a new customer promo is important, those starting funds won’t last long. Instead, you need to think long-term and make sure the betting site features enough ongoing promotions and recurring incentives like reload bonuses, odds boosts, and a loyalty program.
  • Examine the sports and market variety — This tip doesn’t apply if you’re only planning to bet on major leagues and focus on main markets like the moneyline and point spread, as these are available in every sportsbook. However, if you want to browse some niche sports on occasion and wager on exotic props and specials, look for a betting site with a diverse menu and market selection.
  • Check out key features — Live streaming, early cashouts, data centers, pool contests, and quick picks are only some of the features that may elevate your online betting experience.

You don’t have to choose a single sportsbook — There’s no rule preventing you from joining multiple betting platforms. In fact, this strategy will allow you to compare the prices between sportsbooks and always bet with the one that gives you the best potential return.

Types of sports betting

There are numerous ways to bet on sports and create your bet slip. Here are the most common ones:

  • Moneyline — This is the most clear-cut bet of all, tasking you with predicting the winning side (or a tie, if feasible).
  • Point spread — Popular among football and basketball bettors, this market balances out the disparity between two teams by adding and subtracting points from each side. For example, if the Lakers are given -6.5 against the Knicks, you need to predict whether they’ll cover the spread and win by seven or more points.
  • Totals — Also called over/under, this standard bet applies to most sports. It revolves around predicting the total number of points or other scoring units in a game or match. For instance, you must predict whether the Eagles and the Jets cumulatively score over or under 46.5 points.
  • Futures — Also known as outrights, these are long-term wagers through which you can predict a team’s performance for the whole season or guess which player wins an award.
  • Props — Proposition bets cover a range of miscellaneous outcomes during a contest and can cover the game as a whole, one of the participating teams, or individual players. Props can include hundreds of different bets, from 50/50 ones like who wins the coin toss and whether the final score will be odd or even to how many assists a given basketball player records or how many touchdowns we’ll see in a football game.

Sports to bet on with top online sportsbooks

Each top-tier sportsbook features betting on over 20 different sports — most notably, football (NFL), basketball (NBA), baseball (MLB), and ice hockey (NHL). Soccer, tennis, golf, MMA, and Formula 1 are some of the other popular options.

NFL betting

Football bets at NFL betting sites account for the majority of wagers at every U.S. sportsbook in the 18 weeks between September and January. The market selection on football games is by far the most extensive one, with dozens of game and player prop betting sites and parlay betting sites readily available for every contest. The NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl are prime times when sportsbooks roll out some special promotions to try and attract new customers. Some of the top prop betting predictions include:

NBA betting

With its 82-game season and intense playoff campaign, the NBA serves as the main action source for basketball bettors at NBA betting sites. As a high-scoring sport, basketball is ideal for predicting team and player points statistics, which all top sportsbooks make possible through an extensive range of props. Users can get ready for the most exciting tournament with the March Madness betting sites.

MLB betting

The baseball season takes center stage during the spring and summer months when most major leagues are in the offseason. Each MLB team plays 162 games throughout the regular season campaign, providing plenty of betting action from March until October. From moneyline and run line to props like over/under on the number of home runs, there are a lot of betting options for every MLB duel at MLB betting sites.

NHL betting

The NHL brings together the most elite hockey teams in the U.S. and Canada in an action-packed 82-game season. Popular hockey betting markets include moneyline, 60-minute moneyline, puck line, goal totals, and a variety of game and player props. Check out all the best NHL betting sites here.

How to start wagering on online sportsbooks

  1. Pick a sportsbook from our top list and follow the links to visit their official website. If you’re on mobile, try finding the sportsbook’s app on the App Store or Google Play.
  2. Register an account by providing your name, setting up account credentials, and sharing the last four digits of your SSN.
  3. Deposit some money into your new account and make sure the amount is sufficient to make you eligible for the sportsbook’s welcome bonus.
  4. Claim the welcome bonus once your deposit goes through. Mind that some bonuses require special promo codes that you can find right here at SBR.
  5. Browse the sportsbook for games and markets you want to bet on.

Place a bet by clicking on the corresponding odds and filling out the bet slip with your stake.

Best for mobile betting

PointsBet Sportsbook 🔴

In what is becoming a more competitive space by the day, sportsbooks need to have well-designed, top-rated sports betting apps in order to stand out from the crowd – and PointsBet has achieved the rare feat of endearing itself to both iOS and Android users.

PointsBet Sportsbook has an impressive rating of 4.8 out of 5 based on more than 25,000 reviews on the App Store. That’s among the highest ratings of any U.S.-based betting sites, and speaks to the sustained popularity of the app among the general sports betting public. It has proven to be almost as popular with the Android crowd, registering an impressive 4.7 rating based on nearly 7,000 reviews on Google Play.

Before you download the app make sure to grab one of the great PointsBet promo codes.

Pointsbet Screens Us

Looking for more sports betting apps? Check out what the top sports betting apps are in your state.

Best sportsbook for promos

Caesars Sportsbook 🏛

The welcome offer for new customers with Caesars is a $1,000 first bet on Caesars offer. New customers must make their initial deposit and wager of $5 or more on any sports market.

  1. Make your initial deposit of $10 or more.
  2. Place a qualifying wager within 30 days of registration on any sports market.
  3. If your bet loses, you'll get your money back, up to $1,000, as a single bonus bet.
  4. You must use the bonus bet within 14 days, or it will expire.

Ensure you use the active Caesars Sportsbook promo code — SBRBONUS1000 — to claim the offer.

These credits can be accumulated through the operator’s rewards program and can be used for dining, shopping, hotel stays, and more.

For new state launches, like their Ohio sportsbook promo code, Caesars will often offer something special so make sure to check out North Carolina sportsbook promos for the North Carolina sports betting launch on March 11, 2024.

Sportsbook with best odds

PointsBet Sportsbook 🔴

Quality of odds isn't just an important factor in ranking sportsbooks – it's perhaps the most valuable component of the entire ratings process. And that goes beyond the relative odds themselves: the lower the vig (or "juice") on a standard wager, the more profit you stand to make as a bettor.

In this regard, PointsBet Sportsbook has set the gold standard for prominent U.S. sports betting sites. The Australian-based sports betting site routinely offers just 14 cents of vig (-107/-107) on lines and totals the competition sets at 20 cents (-110/-110) or worse.

PointsBet is also among the most competitive sportsbooks when it comes to odds across a wide variety of sports, so whether you're an NFL aficionado or you prefer the European brand of football, you know you're likely getting fair odds relative to the rest of the industry.

Best online sportsbook for NFL

FanDuel Sportsbook 🔵

The National Football League is king of the sports betting castle in the U.S., and FanDuel gives it a proper level of respect with thousands of available betting markets each week during the regular season and playoffs before ramping up considerably for the Super Bowl.

FanDuel is one of the most user-friendly NFL betting sites, with vig that rates as quite reasonable, and offers a wealth of popular Same Game Parlay opportunities throughout the season.

FanDuel also offers great football betting promo codes. If you're looking for more betting sites, particularly for the Super Bowl, check out our Super Bowl betting sites guide and top Super Bowl betting promos. If you're more interested in college football betting sites, FanDuel is a top contender there too. 

Best sportsbook for live betting

FanDuel Sportsbook 🔵

The live betting section at FanDuel is excellent. It covers more sporting events than the competition, and it is easy to browse. There are more live betting sites than ever - but FanDuel beats them all.  

The majority of live betting markets are continually updated throughout the game, and you can stream various sporting events live on the FanDuel app or website. You can also cash out a bet early if your team is winning but you think it might lose the lead later in the game.

While much of the focus in the U.S. has been on the growth of sports betting in the years following the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, the country's betting history goes back much farther than that.

Here's a look at the biggest moments and milestones in U.S. sports betting history:

19th Century: Sports Betting Begins

The earliest instances of sports betting in America centered exclusively around horse racing events – but that changed in the latter stages of the 19th Century with the introduction of professional baseball. The National League was founded in 1876, and sports betting soon followed. Between the Louisville Grays throwing games and legendary manager Cap Anson famously placing wagers on his own team, betting controversies soon made as much history as the actual sport.

Early 20th Century: Black Sox Scandal

You don't need to be a betting regular to acknowledge that the actions of the 1919 Chicago White Sox not only cast a shadow over professional baseball, but over sports wagering as a whole. Eight members of that White Sox team accepted bribes from a gambling group (allegedly led by New York City crime boss Arnold Rothstein) to throw the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds; all eight, including star outfielder "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, were given lifetime bans in 1921 but avoided any criminal charges.

1940s: Legal Sports Betting is Born

A decade after Nevada Governor Fred Balzar signed Bill AB 98 into law – allowing for legal gambling within the state’s borders – noted mobster Bugsy Siegel made history in 1941 as the first race disseminator in the state. Siegel’s race wire service provided centralized odds and results for bookies. The end of the decade saw Nevada officially legalize sports wagering, though betting was limited to turf clubs, which operated independently of the casinos.

1950s: Excise Tax Sends Sportsbooks Running

Just as the popularity of Las Vegas sportsbooks was climbing, the federal government stepped in and turned the industry on its ear. A whopping 10 percent excise tax on sports betting handle – part of the Revenue Act of 1951 – effectively shuttled many legal sports betting operators, while others sought out less-than-legal ways around the tax.

Regulation was the focus of the latter part of the decade. The state legislature created the Gaming Control Board in 1955 to help regulate the ever-growing Nevada gaming industry, while the Gaming Control Act was passed four years later, putting the Nevada Gaming Commission in charge of all gaming licensing. With the mob engaging in heavy illegal sports betting activity elsewhere in the country, more stringent regulations were on the way.

1960s: Feds Crack Down on Mob Betting Activity

The U.S. government came down hard on illegal sports betting operations in 1961, implementing the Interstate Wire Act (also known as the Federal Wire Act). The act, which remains in effect today, prohibits sports wagering from crossing state lines:

Whoever being engaged in the business of betting or wagering knowingly uses a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest, or for the transmission of a wire communication which entitles the recipient to receive money or credit as a result of bets or wagers, or for information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

Elsewhere, the beginning of the decade saw Nevada crack the $200 million mark in annual gross gaming revenue – and it also marked the beginning of an incredible casino expansion.

Caesars Palace’s opening in 1966 was the most notable addition to the Las Vegas casino scene, punctuating a stretch in which Harvey’s, the original Aladdin, Circus Circus, Landmark, International, and the Monte Carlo all made their debuts.

1970s: Welcome Tax Relief for Sportsbooks

As more casinos popped up along the suddenly-expanding Las Vegas Strip in the 1970s, Congress finally made things right after nearly a quarter-century of exorbitant sports betting handle tax. 

After much urging from Senator Howard Cannon, Congress finally decided in 1974 to lower the excise tax from 10 percent all the way down to two percent. One year later, following the state passing of a law allowing casinos to host sportsbooks, Union Plaza Hotel and Casino owner Jimmy Gaughan made history as the first man to do so.

Elsewhere, Nevada briefly had company in the sports betting sphere. Delaware introduced its sports lottery in 1976, then shuttered it just three weeks later (and voiding all active tickets in the process) after incurring more than $376,000 in debt.

1980s: Vegas Sportsbooks Rejoice

The 1980s brought more good news for Nevada, as Congress lowered the tax rate on licensed books to 0.25 percent. This, combined with a 6.75 percent state tax on gross gaming revenue and one percent licensing fees, put operators in a position to compete with – and ultimately outdo – illegal sportsbooks.

Meanwhile, two other states tried their hand at a less polished form of sports betting. The Montana Lottery was created in 1986 and offered limited sports pools and fantasy sports wagering, while Oregon's Sports Action parlay offering was introduced three years later. These new ventures raised concerns in Congress, setting the stage for a bombshell that would stun the sports betting world.

1992: PASPA Limits the Playing Field

In response to a growing number of states interested in implementing some form of sports betting, Congress enacted the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which banned sports wagering in all states except for the four (Nevada, Oregon, Montana, Delaware) which had already put sports betting options in place.

All states that had operated licensed casino games for the 10-year period prior to PASPA's enactment were eligible to add sports betting to their gaming offering but were given just 12 months in which to do so. New Jersey was the one state expected to take advantage of this window but failed to do so.

2000s: Nevada Rebounds From 9/11

Nevada’s continued growth explosion finally came to a sobering halt after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Tourist activity dried up significantly, resulting in mass layoffs and shutdowns; it would take until 2005 for things to return to normal.

Even with a massive slowdown earlier in the decade, Las Vegas returned as one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations when people started to feel safe traveling again. Revenue passed the $10 billion mark annually in 2004, and more casino-hotel combos popped up, including Wynn Las Vegas, Encore Las Vegas, and The Palazzo.

2011-13: NJ legislation passes; leagues fight back

A New Jersey sports-betting referendum held in November 2011 was overwhelmingly approved, leading to the Sports Wagering Act of 2012 that allowed for “wagering at casinos and racetracks on certain professional and collegiate sports or betting events.”

Alas, it wasn’t that simple. The biggest sports organizations in North America (NFL, MLB, NHL, and the NCAA) blocked legislation, successfully arguing that New Jersey’s bill violated PASPA. New Jersey followed up with an appeal, but it was also unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, the early 2010s proved to be the most challenging period for Las Vegas in decades. Early during that period, a deep recession significantly curtailed tourism and spending, resulting in widespread layoffs and major delays to casino construction, expansion, or refurbishment projects.

2014-17: NJ Wins Audience With SCOTUS

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who had unsuccessfully tried to push through the first sports betting bill, had another trick up his sleeve. In October 2014, he signed off on legislation that would allow casinos and racetracks to offer sports betting by repealing state law that bans the practice.

The leagues wasted no time responding – and this time, the NBA was involved as well. The organizations suggested that Christie was simply trying to find another way around PASPA. After an injunction was granted, the U.S. Third District Court of Appeals upheld the decision 2-1 in the summer of 2015.

Frustrated but undaunted, New Jersey lawmakers sought to take their case to the highest court in the United States. But even before they got the opportunity, the Supreme Court asked U.S. Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall to weigh in – and he recommended in May 2017 that SCOTUS not even bother with a hearing.

Just over a month later, SCOTUS stunned just about everyone by agreeing to grant New Jersey’s petition for a hearing. While the path to this moment had been largely a solo journey for the Garden State, a whopping 20 states filed amicus briefs with the court (along with the highly respected American Gaming Association) in support of New Jersey’s quest to legalize sports betting.

2018: PASPA Vanishes, Sports Betting Launches

After a wait of five-plus months, the Supreme Court finally ruled – and by a 6-3 count, SCOTUS declared that the federal ban on sports wagering is unconstitutional. That set in motion a frenzy of activity across the country – most significantly in New Jersey, which was expected to become Ground Zero for the new era of U.S. sports betting.

The following month, Governor Phil Murphy signed Assembly Bill 4111, allowing for the introduction of legal sports betting at casinos and racetracks. Less than two months after that, DraftKings Sportsbook became the first online sportsbook operator to go live in New Jersey – and the first to operate anywhere outside Nevada.

NJ wasn't the only state to jump on board the sports betting train in Year 1 post-PASPA. Delaware was actually the first state outside NV to provide legal sports betting (via a retail location), while New Mexico, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia also took their first wagers in 2018.

2019: NJ Dominates Sports Betting Landscape

Having done much of the legwork ahead of time, New Jersey was miles ahead of the rest of the country at rolling out legal sports betting – and it showed. Serving as a test case for the other states, New Jersey saw immediate success, putting together five straight months of $300+ million in handle to open 2019.

From there, the NFL and NCAA football seasons took center stage – and New Jersey saw truly eye-popping numbers in terms of handle, bringing in nearly $2.6 billion from September 2019 to January 2020 while finishing the calendar year at $4.6 billion.

The industry also saw a significant number of new states enter the fray. Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Oregon all took their first legal sports wagers in 2019.

2020: COVID-19 Halts Momentum

Just as an ever-increasing number of legislated states set their collective sights on another set of monthly records, the COVID-19 pandemic sent the entire North American sports calendar into flux. Sportsbooks, casinos, and tax collectors all took a major hit over the four-month period from March to June 2020 (though the state still pulled in $520 million in handle over that span).

As sports gradually returned over the summer and both the NFL and NCAA football rolled out full schedules (or close to them), bettors came back in droves. New Jersey set monthly handle records in three straight months before ending 2020 in style with a $996 million showing in December (the topper to a $6-billion year). Several other states smashed their monthly handle marks, as well.

COVID-19 also did little to slow down the implementation of sports betting legislation in a handful of other states. Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Tennessee, Washington and DC all entered the market in 2020, though many of those states saw modest early handles due to the coronavirus.

2021: Records Fall Everywhere

The U.S. sports betting phenomenon reached a whole new level in 2021 – and as usual, New Jersey was at the epicenter. On the heels of a $959-million handle for January, the state regularly shattered monthly records post-NFL – then saved its best for the 2021 season, posting the first billion-dollar handles in each of the final four months of the season. The final tally: $10.93 billion in handle.

This trend hardly belonged to New Jersey, with every state operating legal sports betting having enjoyed record numbers in 2021. As expected, even more states became part of the U.S. betting landscape, with Arizona, Connecticut, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming accepting legal wagers for the first time.

2022: No Stopping New York

Despite massive growth in the U.S. sports betting industry, none of the Big Four states offered legal sports wagering going into 2022. That all changed in the second week of January, when New York (No. 4 in the country in terms of population) joined the club – and promptly raked in the dollars.

Empire State sportsbooks brought in an unbelievable $1.69 billion for the month despite not launching until Jan. 8 – and that momentum carried through the first half of the year, with New York bringing in more than $10.6 billion in handle through its first eight months of operation.

It was otherwise a much slower year in terms of new state legislation, with only Louisiana joining NY as of October 2022.

2023: Four states add legal sports betting

2023 was the year of states adding to the legal betting scene. Ohio, Massachusetts, Kentucky and Vermont joined the legal sports betting landscape and join the 30+ states total.

2024: North Carolina will have online betting....soon

It's almost time for North Carolina residents to have legal online sports betting in the state. The expected date is March. 11, 2024.

Sports Betting Regulatory Bodies

While repealing PASPA was the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, each state is responsible for determining its own set of sports betting regulations and restrictions. Here are the main governing bodies for the most notable states with legal sports wagering in place.

New York State Gaming Commission

New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement

Nevada Gaming Control Board

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

Illinois Gaming Board

U.S. sports betting quick facts

⚖️ Legal States
💻 Online Betting26 states
🎰 Retail Betting32 states
🏇 Upcoming Legal State LaunchYes - North Carolina
💲 Cryptocurrency:Yes*
🏆 Best sportsbook appDraftKings
💰 Best sportsbook bonusCaesars
🏆 Best sportsbookFanDuel
🇺🇸 U.S. Population (Jan. 2023 est)334.2M
⭐ Last VerifiedMarch 2024

*Only a small number of sportsbooks accept transactions in cryptocurrency.

Payment options for online sportsbooks

There is a long list of payment options you can use to fund your online sportsbook account and request payouts.

Almost all sportsbooks accept credit and debit cards from main issuers such as Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, and Discover. Some platforms also offer their branded Play+ card, which is an FDIC-secured reloadable card specifically designed for online gambling transactions.

Alternatively, you can use popular e-wallets like PayPal and Apple Pay, transfer money directly to and from your bank account via online banking, or opt for VIP Preferred e-checks. Lastly, you can request to pick up your winnings at a cash cage at your sportsbook’s nearest retail establishment.

Depending on the payment option, deposit and withdrawal limits may vary. Furthermore, limits can differ not only between payment processors but also between sportsbooks. Transaction times can also fluctuate based on the method, as can service fees. Some sportsbooks will approve your withdrawal request within several hours, while others may take a few days. Another thing to consider is whether the deposit method you’ve selected is available for withdrawals, too.

Why choose online sportsbooks

You can always run down to the nearest retail betting shop and place your bets there, but we’re here to tell you that online sportsbooks are a far more convenient option, and here are the main reasons why:

  • Accessibility — You can reach a betting site or load a betting app whenever you want. This is especially useful when the game you want to take action on is about to start, and you don’t have the time to go to a physical sportsbook. There won't always be a retail sportsbook nearby, not to mention that you may have to travel to another state to reach one, as not all states allow retail betting.
  • Live betting — Betting while the game is in play is possible when you’re at a physical sportsbook. However, the whole process can be very impractical, so it’s best to do it while using a computer or a smartphone.
  • Bonuses — Online sportsbooks offer bonuses, while retail ones don’t. This is a clear advantage of mobile betting, as it effectively means you’ll be wagering with a bigger bankroll.
  • Odds shopping — Another convenient thing about online betting is that you can easily switch between betting apps in search of the best odds. 
  • More payment options — Online sportsbooks offer plenty of banking options, including cards, e-wallets, online bank transfers, and even checks.

To be fair, retail betting does have some advantages. Maybe you wish to order a drink and watch the big game on a big screen while socializing with friends. In this case, it makes sense to go to a land-based sportsbook. Also, withdrawing your winnings from an online sportsbook can take a few days, while it’s almost instantaneous when you go to a betting window.

Even though licensed online sportsbooks are heavily secured, many people are concerned about leaving traces of their personal and financial information online. Meanwhile, going to a retail sportsbook offers more anonymity.

Best sportsbook promos for other regions

Here are sportsbook promotions and bonuses for other regions:

Responsible gambling with online sportsbooks

Sports betting can be really fun, but only when practiced responsibly. Gambling addiction can pose a serious issue to both the individuals involved and the people around them. Sadly, we’ve seen the number of problem gamblers spike drastically since the sports betting wave started spreading across the country.

Sportsbooks have developed a variety of tools that their customers can use to limit themselves from betting recklessly. These include deposit, wager, and loss limits, along with session limits, time-outs, and complete non-reversible self-exclusions. There are assessment tests you can take to determine whether you’re displaying any signs of addictive behavior.

For those who need further advice and the support of professionals, sportsbooks also provide hotlines and links to various organizations dealing with problem gamblers, so help is always a click or a phone call away.

Best online sportsbooks in other regions

Legal Canada News

Stay updated on the status of Canadian sports betting in provinces where it is legalized:

Best US sportsbooks FAQs

What are the best online sportsbooks in the US?

A handful of online sportsbooks have secured a top rating in our industry-leading guide. These sportsbooks include CaesarsBetMGMFanDuel and DraftKings. These are all safe, secure, trustworthy sportsbooks with great odds, interactive bonuses and promos, and above-average features. They all have unique strengths, so you can read the reviews in more detail in order to find your perfect match.

How many states offer legal online sportsbooks?

As of May, 2023, 33 states – along with the District of Columbia – offer residents legal mobile sports wagering. 

Which deposit options do US sportsbooks support?

Most major U.S. sports betting sites accept a wide range of deposits, including (but not limited to):

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Other major credit cards
  • PayPal
  • eCheck
  • Bank transfer

Note that some deposit methods (credit card options in particular) might not be available in certain states or with certain cards, while others might come with a fee.

Which withdrawal options do US sportsbooks support?

Most major U.S. sports betting sites provide several withdrawal options, including (but not limited to):

  • PayPal
  • eCheck
  • Bank transfer

Payout speeds depend on your chosen method. The fast withdrawal betting sites will offer several methods. PayPal is typically within 12-24 hours but can take up to three business days with bank processing included. Only use PayPal to withdraw if you have already made a deposit via PayPal, or you’ll get delayed with ID verification processes. Online bank transfers range from 3-5 business days. ACH e-Check takes about five business days.

Why do odds vary between different online sportsbooks?

There are several reasons why the odds vary at different online sportsbooks. Sometimes the odds compilers at rival sportsbooks have a different opinion on how a game might unfold, so they provide distinctive odds on the outcome. In other cases, one betting site might offer more attractive odds than its rivals in a bid to drum up new business and seize market share from its competitors.

The odds on a sporting event also change to reflect the amount of money wagered on either team, and some sportsbooks are slower to react than others, presenting bettors with the opportunity to quickly gain an edge. It also depends on which sportsbooks outsource odds from a supplier like Kambi or curate their own odds in-house. It’s usually best to look for a sportsbook with in-house odds and technology like PointsBet for the most flexible options.