Ever since the US Supreme Court’s decision in 2018 declaring the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) to be unconstitutional, sports betting became subject to state law and has swept across the country. Some states have already gone so far as to legalize online sports betting, which has led to a wave of mobile sports betting apps. These apps aim to bring the fun and excitement of sports betting to the mobile sphere, allowing players to place sports wagers from the comfort of their couch.
Most sportsbook apps available these days let you bet in major sports markets using a variety of wager types. Some of the best apps create such a realistic user experience that is feels like you’re actually in a brick-and-mortar sportsbook. They’re also pretty easy to use, even compared to desktop versions.
However, sportsbook apps are not yet legal in every state. Available app features may also vary according to state laws. Below, we’ve compiled an overview of online sportsbook apps in the US. Be sure to check out the section for your state to find out where it stands.
What US States Have Legal Online Sports Betting Apps Today?
The sportsbook app sector is rapidly expanding. Here are all the states where you can now legally enjoy mobile sportsbooks.
New Jersey Online Sports Betting Apps
New Jersey currently benefits from over a dozen sports betting apps, all of which are fully licensed and regulated. Many of these apps have well-known casino chains as partners, and most are available for download on iOS and Android devices.
DraftKings Sportsbook App
The DraftKings sports betting app is perhaps the champion of the industry, featuring a wide selection of betting markets (including some eSports!) and a fantastic interface. New players enjoy a 100% up $1,000 sign-up bonus.
Caesars Sportsbook App
Caesars Sportsbook features a simplistic white and red interface and standard roundup of sports betting options. Popular US sports like basketball, baseball, and American football are easy to find. However, international sports like cricket and rugby are nowhere to be found. The app’s opening bonus includes $10 in free credit and a first deposit bonus of up to $500.
Pennsylvania Online Sports Betting Apps
Although Pennsylvania only recently joined the online sportsbook scene in 2019, they already have nearly half a dozen online sportsbooks. Pennsylvania is now one of the states that earns the most profit from its sports betting ventures (even compared to New Jersey and Nevada). On the downside, some of the apps in Pennsylvania are not yet accessible on iOS devices.
Unibet Sportsbook App
Unibet provides a wide variety of sporting options in major betting markets, including staple sports like football and basketball, as well as games like darts and cricket. As an opening bonus, Unibet provides a no deposit bonus of $20 for free betting to new players. This value is broken down into two $10 bets.
SugarHouse Sportsbook App
SugarHouse combines its online casino and sportsbook into a single app. Its sportsbooks have plenty of available sports betting markets and a selection of easy-to-access promotions via a scrolling banner at the top of the screen. New players get a 100 percent match on their initial deposit up to $250.
Indiana Online Sports Betting Apps
Indiana online sportsbooks launced in October 2019. There are seven online sportsbooks currently active in the state, with a few more negotiating partnerships with brick-and-mortar gambling locations (they are required by law to pair up with a licensed retail casino).
BetMGM Sportsbook App
The BetMGM app is a quality sports betting interface through and through, featuring an easy-to-understand layout, live betting opportunities, and easy bet creation. It offers an opening bonus in the form of a risk-free bet up to $500.
PointsBet Sportsbook App
PointsBet provides a huge selection of sports betting markets. It specializes in points betting, which is distinct from most other traditional sports betting wager types. The app also offers an opening bonus that includes two risk-free bets up to $200 total.
Colorado Online Sports Betting Apps
As of May 1, 2020, players are now able to enjoy online sports betting apps in Colorado. Only a few major operators are currently available due to the recency of legalization, but more are expected to launch soon.
FanDuel Sportsbook App
FanDuel’s sports betting app is another one of the standing champions in the industry, providing one of the best apps in terms of interface and betting slip functionality. Even the welcome bonus is excellent: a $500 risk-free bet in all three states where you’ll find the app.
SugarHouse Sportsbook App
The SugarHouse betting app for Colorado works the same as it does in Pennsylvania, featuring many excellent casino games and a wide variety of sports betting markets. The same opening bonus applies (a $20 no deposit bonus that you can use for two bets of $10 each).
West Virginia Online Sports Betting Apps
West Virginia legalized online sports betting and wagering in 2020. Currently, only three online sportsbooks are available in the state, but more are on their way.
FanDuel Sportsbook App
FanDuel offers the same solid sports betting app here as well. Its opening bonus is also the same: a first bet up to $500 risk-free.
DraftKings Sportsbook App
As king of the industry, DraftKings offers tons of benefits, including an excellent series of sports betting markets. It even features a “betting carousel”, which is a customized suggestion palette based on your betting history.
Iowa & Nevada Online Sports Betting Apps
Iowa sports betting apps & Nevada sports betting apps are unlike the states above, you need to register in-person before you can start betting on a mobile device. Once you register in-person you can bet, deposit and withdrawal without having to go in-person.
Illinois Sports Betting Apps
Illinois legalized sports betting through a bill that passed on June 3, 2019. As of September, there are 5 online Illinois sportsbooks: Draftkings, FanDuel, PointsBet, William Hill and BetRivers. You can also currently register online after Illinois governor signed an emergency order allowing for mobile sportsbook registration.
According to Illinois law, only one mobile license is allowed per retail betting entity. For that reason, casinos, horse tracks, and other gambling locations are scrambling to find online sports betting operators to license. Some operators are already letting Illinois residents pre-register for online accounts in anticipation of being among the first online sports betting apps to arrive in the state.
Internet-only sports betting providers such as DraftKings and FanDuel are also looking to move into the state. However, they’re currently suspended under a short-term penalty period because they were operating daily fantasy sports businesses illegally in the state.
It’s currently likely that the first sports betting apps will launch in Illinois in early 2021. By that time, DraftKings and FanDuel will be able to join in the launch as well.
What Other States Are Getting Legal Online Sports Betting Apps Soon?
Other states in the US are on the cusp of allowing legal online sportsbooks. Several factors go into whether a state offers online sportsbooks, such as the legalization of online sports betting and operator interest.
Online Sports Betting In Michigan
Michigan legalized both retail and mobile sports betting in December 2019, although legislative efforts have been in place since 2015. Brick-and-mortar sportsbooks began accepting bets in March 2020.
Efforts to launch online sports betting apps in Michigan have stalled because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, this hasn’t stopped some Indian casinos from setting up agreements with various online sportsbook operators in preparation for things to return to normal. BetPoints Sportsbook, for example, may soon launch a sportsbook app based out of the Northern Waters Casino in Watersmeet.
Still, there’s no concrete timetable for when we can expect apps to launch in Michigan. Right now, it’s likely that it will happen in 2021 or 2022.
Guide To iOS Legal Online Sportsbook Apps
What Legal Sportsbook Apps Are Available In The Apple App Store?
Technically speaking, the App Store is the only official location where you can download legal real money sportsbook apps. Google Play Store, the main app store for Android, doesn’t allow real money betting apps on its platform. Right now, the Apple Store offers:
However, there are some sports betting apps that are no longer allowed on the App Store as of 2019. That’s because Apple changed its Terms of Service, stating that all apps on the store need to be written in native iOS code.
This is a problem because many sports betting apps are connected to casinos using regular HTML code. It’s no longer viable for a company to just slightly modify that code into a form that works with the App Store.
While some operators like FanDuel have made the adjustment, others have not. In those cases, you’ll have to download the app through alternative methods.
Can I Download Legal Sportsbook Apps With Older iPhones and iPads?
Yes, in most cases, as long as your iOS system is recent. Most sports betting apps require you to have an updated iPhone or iPad. If you don’t, your device might ask you to update your iOS before you can download the app.
Step-By-Step Guide To Downloading A Sportsbook App From The App Store
Downloading a sportsbook app from the App Store is pretty easy. All you need to do is:
- Visit the App Store yourself.
- Type in the name of the sports betting app.
- Click the “Download” button when prompted.
Alternatively, you can visit the operator’s website and find a download link on that site. This will likely redirect you to iTunes or an App Store webpage, where you can then click the same “Download” button and begin the installation process.
Guide to Android Legal Online Sportsbook Apps
What Legal Sportsbook Apps Are Available In The Google Play Store?
None, really. Google doesn’t allow gambling apps in its Play Store. This means you can’t use the main Android app store to get any kind of mobile sportsbook.
However, this hasn’t stopped many major operators. Instead, most have created links on their own webpages to let you download the app through the official website instead of using the Play Store. You can find most major online sportsbooks available for download to Android devices this way.
In general, the same apps available for iOS devices are available for Android ones, with only a few rare exceptions.
Can I Download Legal Sportsbook Apps On Any Android Device?
Yes, so long as the older Android phone runs Android 6 Marshmallow or a later operating system.
Step-By-Step Guide To Downloading a Sportsbook App For Your Android
You have to put a little more effort into downloading a sportsbook app for your Android device:
- Visit the operator’s website. There should be a link for Android device users somewhere on the main page. Click it.
- There should be a “Download” button on the next page. Click it.
- A prompt will appear asking you to accept unknown source files – You’ll need to accept to move forward.
- To accept, navigate to your Settings menu and select “Unknown sources” to grant those files permission for your phone.
- You can then accept the prompt and choose “Trust” when asked – this gives the files permission to be installed on your phone.
- A .apk file should appear for the online sportsbook, which will automatically be downloaded to your device.
- After the download is complete, the installation will begin and the sports betting app will be available shortly thereafter.
Are Legal Online Sportsbook Apps Legit?
Absolutely. In fact, legal online sports apps are the only way to go! It’s been a long time coming, but now people can benefit from mobile sportsbooks without having to go through shady third-party operators or suspicious websites that are run by offshore companies.
All Legal Online Sportsbooks Are Licensed And Regulated
For starters, all the legal online sportsbooks mentioned above and throughout the rest of this site are heavily regulated and licensed. This means that all their activities (and all the money they bring in) are overseen by some regulatory body, normally the same one that handles brick-and-mortar gambling activities in the state you’re playing in.
For instance, if you play with an online sportsbook app in New Jersey, any licensed app will be regulated by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. They ensure the integrity of all types of gambling activities, including sports wagering, casino games, horse racetrack betting, and more.
A big advantage of this is that it prevents companies from manipulating their users or engaging in sketchy practices. A third-party sportsbook app might try to take small amounts of money from all their players over time, and there isn’t any regulatory body to turn to. Licensed and regulated sportsbook apps can’t do this, as they are required to turn over their monthly earnings to the regulatory body that oversees them.
Furthermore, licensed and regulated mobile sportsbook apps usually benefit from better cybersecurity. This makes it much less likely that a hacker or cyber-criminal will be able to steal money from your account or otherwise breach the data of the gambling agency. This keeps your personal identity safe and makes it almost impossible for someone to cheat at the digital betting lines, for instance.
Most Online Sportsbooks Are Attached To Gambling Organizations/Partners
Legal online sportsbook apps are also legitimized by being attached to or partnered with established gambling organizations. That’s because most states require that the apps have licenses from existing casinos or brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. So you’ll see, for instance, DraftKings partnered with Ameristar Casino Resort in Indiana. Or you can find FanDuel partnered with Blue Chip Casino.
All this is to say that their activities are further regulated and you can trust their authenticity. These are legitimate organizations that work hard to maintain a reputation for fairness and security. It’s how they draw new players to their apps and activities all the time.
Handling A Dispute Is Easier Through These Apps
Lastly, these apps are great choices if you’re looking for legitimate mobile sports betting opportunities since handling disputes is a lot easier. Let’s say that you do think that one of the apps is swindling you or not being fair with their odds. It’s a simple matter to contact the regulatory agency and start an investigation.
It’s also a great thing since you can call on those regulatory bodies if you ever get your money stolen from some kind of cyber attack. There are measures in place to handle such incidences. Meanwhile, if you were to use a third-party mobile sportsbook app, there would be no one to turn to if your money was ever stolen.
How We Rate Legal Online Sportsbook Apps
We find and present to you the best legal online sportsbook apps by focusing on the below aspects.
Legality and Licensing
We first make sure that the app in question is fully licensed for the state we’re discussing. This is important because not every state allows every app, let alone online sports betting in general. This way, you’re always armed with information you can use for your enjoyment immediately instead of trying to use an app that’s outlawed in your state.
Stability And Performance
We also take a hard look at stability and performance with every app. We want to make sure that the app in question runs smoothly on whatever operating systems it’s available for. Plus, smooth and fast-loading apps provide better experiences than laggy ones.
Usability On Phone And Tablet
We check to see whether the app is available on smaller and larger mobile devices. It’s the difference between being able to place sports betting wagers while you’re on public transit and having to wait until you’re on the couch with your tablet. Then we also examine each app’s functionality on larger and smaller screens.
Unique Betting Options
Most apps provide some unique features or betting options to make them stand out from the crowd. We look at these specifically to show you want unique value each app has to offer so you know whether you want to switch from your regular choice to a new operator.
Promotions And Bonuses
Lastly, we take a look at what promotions and bonuses that an app might offer to entice new players. Sometimes these bonuses sound a lot better than they actually are. So we make sure to explain how the bonuses work so you aren’t set up for disappointment when you make an account.
Legal Online Sportsbook Apps In The US – FAQ
Can credit cards be used to deposit at legal sports betting apps?
Yes. Virtually every legal sports betting app will allow you to use one or more types of credit cards for deposit. Accepted methods are usually known brands like Visa or MasterCard. Mots apps will also allow other deposit methods like e-check, PayPal, and so on.
Do all currently legal online sportsbooks have a mobile app component?
Not quite, but the vast majority do. Online sportsbooks are distinct from mobile apps because online sportsbooks can be run for a website or desktop application. However, those that do have mobile apps normally make smaller versions of their existing desktop website. The two versions are usually pretty similar and easy to navigate.
Can you use a legal sports betting app anywhere in the United States?
No. You can only use legal sports betting apps in states where online sports betting is legal already. Furthermore, many online sports betting apps have state-specific versions that you need to download.
This is because online sports betting apps use geolocation technology to make sure that only adults within legal jurisdictions are using their services. If you try to use an app that you download in a legal state, like New Jersey, in a state where mobile sports betting is currently illegal, like Florida, you’ll be blocked.
Do any of the legal sports betting apps currently offer wagers for eSports?
Only a few do at this time, mostly because eSports wagering hasn’t caught on to the same degree as major professional sports. DraftKings is one notable big operator that offers eSports wagering for a variety of professional games like League of Legends. Other operators may eventually offer eSports bets in the future.
Do legal sports betting apps usually let you also play online casino games?
Many of them do. The sports betting apps that also have casino components are usually apps made by existing retail casinos (like BetMGM).