Online sports betting apps are fully legal and available in about a dozen states across the US. More states will likely join them in the coming years. Both Michigan and Virginia joined the list of states with legal online sports betting in the final days of January 2021.
All sports betting apps in the US offer a wide variety of odds on both professional and college sports. Most also include a range of international sports.
With the growing legality across the country and the convenience of wagering from a mobile device, the already-popular sports betting is becoming increasingly popular by way of online sportsbook apps and sites.
5 Best Online Sports Betting Apps In The US
- Accessible On: iOS, Android, Web Browser
- Available In: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
- Bonus Offer: Up to $1000 risk-free bet
- Why We Like It: The FanDuel Sportsbook offers a huge selection of sports and highly competitive odds. They also have one of the most reliable apps and some of the best ongoing promotions in the industry.
- iOS App: 41.4 MB
- Android App: 22 MB
Like DraftKings, FanDuel launched as a Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) platform, and it too is available in almost all US states, even those without online (or retail) sports betting.
In fact, the two companies planned a merger that was scrapped in 2017. And that may have been the best scenario for sports bettors, as the two brands compete against each other with awesome odds and exclusive promotion offers. We can safely say that joining both is probably a good idea to compare the odds before you place a bet.
New members can bet up to $1,000 risk-free on their first bet. If the bet loses, the money is refunded as bonus money.
- Accessible On: iOS, Android, Web Browser
- Available In: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey
- Bonus Offer: Two risk-free bets up to $1,500 – Use Bonus Code BIGBONUS
- Why We Like It: PointsBet is aggressively expanding across the US to offer lucrative odds and promotions.
- iOS App: 53.8 MB
- Android App: 74 MB
PointsBet is a lesser-known online sportsbook choice compared to FanDuel and DraftKings. This might change, though, due to its recent announcement of a 5-year partnership with NBC Sports, which can combine their noteworthy odds with the kind of on-air talent quality on par with FOX Bet and Barstool Sports.
For those in states where PointsBet is available, you’ll notice their odds for futures and even regular games can beat out many of the established big dogs in the US.
They’re also always changing up their promos. But when this was written, they were offering two risk-free bets up to $1,000 for first customers.
- Accessible On: iOS, Android, Web Browser
- Available In: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
- Bonus Offer: 20% match up to $1000
- Why We Like It: DraftKings is widely considered the premier online sports betting app in the US, with unrivaled stability and accessibility as well as highly competitive odds.
- iOS App: 153.5 MB
DraftKings was established in 2012 as a Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) platform. And folks in most states can legally play DraftKings DFS.
But over the past few years, the DraftKings Sportsbook has proven itself as arguably the best sports betting app and website in the US. As this guide is written, they’re the top-rated choice in the App Store, with 4.8 stars out of 5.0.
For new players, DraftKings features a 20% match on the first deposit for up to $1000. The bonus money is awarded as $1 for every $5 bet.
- Accessible On: iOS, Android, Web Browser
- Available In: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Nevada, West Virginia, Washington DC
- Bonus Offer: Up to $500 risk free bet
- Why We Like It: William Hill has an absolutely massive selection of sports, particularly international competitions, making them the best choice for European soccer fans.
- iOS App: 46.5 MB
William Hill is the top choice for online sports bettors in Nevada as the most well-known choice among the surprisingly limited options in the state. But William Hill is an easy choice no matter where you’re located, with a huge list of sports that span the globe. If you’re into betting on international events, particularly European soccer, William Hill will likely be your best bet – literally.
However, the William Hill app is notoriously unreliable, quitting unexpectedly or freezing here and there. This makes betting through a web browser the potentially better choice.
For new members, William Hill offers new members a deposit-matching free bet up to $500.
- Accessible On: iOS, Android, Web Browser
- Available In: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey (only as SugarHouse), Pennsylvania (also as SugarHouse)
- Bonus Offer: 100% up to $250 in Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan
- Why We Like It: BetRivers, which is reskinned as SugarHouse Sportsbook in some states, offers one of the best and most straightforward promotions in US sports betting.
- iOS App: 17 MB
- Android App: 52.3 MB
BetRivers, like William Hill, has a great selection of sports and competitive odds. However, the app is again subpar that’s rated 2.0 out of 5.0 stars or lower depending on the state. And that’s another somewhat annoying component: there’s a separate BetRivers app for each state it services.
But all that aside, BetRivers offers what may be the best bonus in online sports betting. They’ll double your first deposit by $250, and the only requirement is that you bet it at least once on odds -200 or longer. You could bet it all at once or place 250 individual $1 bets and anything between, which is a level of betting freedom most bonuses don’t offer.
Legal Online Sportsbook Apps In The US
888 Sports, like Unibet and William Hill, is better known in Europe than in the US. In fact, 888 is probably best known as an online casino and poker site than a sportsbook.
However, 888 Sports is already impressing bettors in New Jersey with competitive odds and interesting prop bets. And they’ve recently arrived in Indiana, beginning what we can safely expect is a slow but steady spread across America.
The 888 Sports welcome offer is fairly standard. They’ll refund your first bet up to $500 if it loses. Nothing special, but a good excuse to give this international sportsbook a try in NJ or IN.
Barstool Sports incorporates their on-air personalities into their sports betting app, making it a great choice if you’re already a fan of their coverage and humor. But, much like their analyses, the sportsbook isn’t all showmanship, offering a nice selection of sports and odds comparable to any of their competitors.
Right now, Barstool Sports, which is owned by Penn National Gaming, is available in Colorado, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
Barstool also offers the standard $500 risk-free bet to new members.
Available in only Colorado and Iowa, BetFred is relatively limited compared to the sports betting apps available in a handful of states. But it holds up among its stiff competition with a clean, high-quality app, odds that will make you do a double-take, and a list of sports that should cover almost all tastes.
BetFred offers that same, familiar welcome bonus of a $500 free bet. If you lose, you’re refunded in bonus money. These apps will need to get more creative to stick out among the sea of competitors.
BetMGM is easily in the top ten most popular sportsbooks in the US, and on many lists, it’s considered in the top five best of the best. That’s not without merit either, as BetMGM offers a sports betting app that matches the quality of gambling that the MGM brand is famous for.
BetMGM is also one of the top sportsbooks in Nevada, the home of Las Vegas and some of the world’s most prolific sports bettors. They’re also available in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
BetMGM also matches first deposits by 100% up to $500.
In the world of brick-and-mortar casinos, few names inspire dollar signs in the eyes like Caesars. And the sportsbook does that reputation justice with two different welcome bonuses alongside a large selection of events every day.
Caesars Sportsbook is available in Indiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
New members at Caesars Sports can receive a $10 no deposit bonus that can be used across the sports betting app. If you decide to deposit as well, they’ll match the first one by 100% up to $300. In combination, that’s one of the best offers in US sports betting.
Like BetFred, ELITE is only available in Colorado and Iowa for now. In fact, Colorado has a ton of sportsbooks only available in their state or one other. And that means Coloradans have an awesome variety that includes such high-quality options as ELITE.
If you’ve been waiting for a truly unique welcome bonus, ELITE has you covered. They’ll match the first five wagers you place by 50% up to $200 each. So if you bet the max each time, you’ll receive $500 in total free bets. We can’t help but give ELITE Sportsbook props just for the originality.
FOX Bet is available in Colorado, Indiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. And like Barstool, they lean heavily on their sports personalities to create the overall brand personality, even going so far as to have their experts pick odds boosters and parlays for special rates.
But also like Barstool, FOX Bet goes beyond showmanship to provide an excellent selection of sports, consistently high-quality odds, and one of the best-performing apps on the market.
Want to guess FOX Bet’s welcome bonus? Like so many mentioned above (and still more to come), new players receive a risk-free bet up to $500. Hey, at least you can try out all the sportsbooks without risking any money.
Even if you’ve never associated them with sports betting, you’ve likely heard of the Golden Nugget casinos of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. This is a gambling industry powerhouse that’s set the standard for excitement for decades. And they’re a welcome addition to the sports betting market in New Jersey, Michigan, and Nevada.
However, this is much more an online casino than an online sportsbook. To put it into perspective, they’re offering Michigan and New Jersey members a 100% match up to $1,000 plus 200 free spins at the online casino. On the sportsbook side? A risk-free bet up to $100, and that’s it.
Hard Rock Sportsbook
Sports bettors in New Jersey and Iowa can play the Hard Rock Sportsbook online. But much like the Golden Nugget online sportsbook, the offers and lines are second to the online casino games.
In fact, Hard Rock offers the exact same $100 risk-free bet to new sports bettors.
In New Jersey and Iowa, you can find better odds and promotions at several other sports betting apps. But if you also enjoy playing casino games, and if you want to earn Hard Rock loyalty points, then this is a totally valid place to win money on sports.
theScore is one of the most popular sports apps in the Apple App Store. From sports news to stats to, of course, the scores of the games, this has been a go-to choice among American sports lovers for years.
Now, theScore Bet has launched in Colorado, Indiana, and New Jersey, and it combines its real-time sports analysis with an extensive sportsbook. While theScore’s standard app focuses mainly on major league sports in the US, theScore Bet covers college and pro as well as international sports.
theScore Bet, like so many others, offers new players an up to $500 risk-free bet.
If you bet on the horses online, you’ve likely heard of TwinSpires (formerly known as BetAmerica), one of the biggest horse racing sites in the US. But they’ve recently expanded into offering all forms of online betting, including poker, casino games, and sports.
While the horse racing side of TwinSpires is available in over 30 states, the BetAmerica Sportsbook is available in Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. You can also bet on both sports and the horses, all from the same BetAmerica account, if you’re located in those states.
BetAmerica will match your first deposit by 100% up to $50. Not all that impressive, but you’ll have $100 to bet with after a $50 deposit, which isn’t all that bad either.
Unibet, along with William Hill and 888 Sports, is more well-known in the UK and Europe than it is in the US. But Unibet is making its brand known in the States, and it’s only at the bottom of this list because these are in alphabetical order.
Make no mistake, Unibet is one of the best sports betting apps out there. The selection of sports is absolutely massive, particularly in terms of their international events. And they offer a risk-free bet up to $600. Is that significantly better than the standard $500? It is if you win!
Unibet is currently available in Indiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
WynnBet Sportsbook is an impressive sports betting app and website offering a wide range of bets on major league and college sports. It’s available for iOS, Android, and directly on the website.
Sports bettors will find a lot of options, but the biggest standouts are the odds boosters for special parlays. The app is also clean, intuitive, and simple to navigate, including a search bar at the top of the screen at all times.
The welcome offer at WynnBet Sportsbook is a risk-free bet up to $500. A winning bet receives a payout, while a losing bet is refunded up to the maximum.
State-Specific Sports Betting Sites
This is a list of the sports betting apps and sites that are only available in specific states or jurisdictions:
|Sports Betting App||Only Available In|
|SBK by Smarkets||Colorado|
|Sports Bet Montana||Montana|
|Borgata Sports||New Jersey|
|Oregon Lottery Bet App||Oregon|
Where Is Online Sports Betting Legal In The US?
Online sports betting is fully legal in about a dozen states, including:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
By “fully legal,” we mean that several sports betting apps can receive licenses, creating a competitive market where bettors can shop around for the best odds and promotions.
However, the following jurisdictions also have sports betting, but with limiting restrictions.
For example, Washington DC has a single, state-run sportsbook app except for within two blocks of sports stadiums. Other areas like this include Oregon, Rhode Island, and Montana.
Online sportsbooks became legal in Colorado in 2019, and sports betting sites and apps officially launched in May 2020. Many sportsbooks in Colorado are well-known in the industry, while others are only getting started.
Wagering on both national and international professional sports is legal in Colorado, as are major college sports, motor racing, and more. You can also bet on in-state college teams, which is restricted in states like New York (where in-person sports betting is legal).
Bets including straight moneyline, total betting, prop bets, and other popular options are also available, depending on which app a user chooses to download.
Sports betting became legal in Illinois in June 2019 and is already available at physical sportsbooks across the state. Online sports betting sites started to launch over the summer of 2020. However, the state does not allow wagering on collegiate teams from the state (i.e. Northwestern, DePaul, and Northern Illinois).
The first physical sportsbook opened in March 2020 at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. Land-based casinos, according to the new law, will be given 18 months of a head start before online-only operators are allowed to move in, which begins January 2021.
Now that a handful of online sports betting apps have launched, betting will include all major professional sports, such as football, baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, and hockey.
In Indiana, online and retail sports betting became legal when a bill was signed in May 2019. Only a few months later, apps like DraftKings and BetRivers released apps for online wagering.
Indiana does have restrictions on wagering in that you cannot bet on sports with athletes who are under 18. However, you can bet on college sports in the state. This restriction basically only affects the future of betting on esports in Indiana.
Both residents and visitors can wager on sports as long as they are in Indiana and at least 21 years old. With so many casinos in the state, there are plenty of apps to choose from, but two of the best are listed below.
Iowa officially legalized sports betting and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in May 2019. The first online sportsbooks launched shortly after. The wrinkle in Iowa is that bettors need to visit a retail casino or sportsbook to complete registration before placing their online bet. This restriction is expected to be lifted in January 2021.
With Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan all legalizing online sports betting, the Midwest has become a hub for placing bets on both pro and college-level events. And seeing as Chicago is planning on opening up multiple casinos within the city limits in the coming years, this status is only expected to become more prominent.
Folks in Michigan voted to legalize retail and mobile sportsbooks in December 2019, about four years after the most recent attempt prior. And the first retail sportsbooks started to accept wagers in March 2020.
Online sports betting and casino games launched in Michigan in January 2021. Ten of the biggest brands in the US sports betting went live in Michigan on day one.
New Jersey introduced legal sports betting online in 2018. As one of the first states to legalize online sports betting, it also offers one of the widest varieties of apps.
New Jersey has more than 15 sportsbook apps, and most of them include fantastic betting lines, great odds, and excellent bonus offers.
Most apps for sports betting in New Jersey are user friendly and also include web-based options if you prefer not to download the app. What can vary is the type of software, the level of customer service, the payment methods, and what bonuses are available.
The first sports betting apps were launched in Pennsylvania in May 2019, led by Play SugarHouse. Since then, PA has added a variety of options to its roster.
Unlike some states, there are no restrictions on betting on college sports, so those in the state can wager on Penn State University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Villanova without any trouble.
Even though online sportsbooks are new to the state, more than 65 percent of all sports betting is done using sports betting websites and apps. With all the great promotions and bonuses available through these apps, that number is only expected to grow.
After legalizing sports betting in April 2019, Tennessee launched the first round of online sportsbook apps on November 1, 2020. These included FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM, which are some of the biggest and most popular brands in online sports betting.
What is unique about online sports betting in Tennessee is that because there are no land-based casinos in the state, all sportsbooks will be online only, with no local partner. It is anticipated that more sportsbooks will launch in 2021.
Also, Tennessee’s only requirement for online sports bettors is that they’re at least 21 and physically located in the state. That means anyone from their neighboring states can cross the border and place bets to their heart’s content.
Along with Michigan, Virginia launched its online sports betting at the end of January 2021. It was a relatively quick process, with the Virginia Lottery receiving applications in the fall of 2020 and the first app to launch on January 21, 2021, just a day before Michigan. Although Michigan had a big bang launch with 10 apps launching on day one, Virginia is rolling out sportsbook apps. Within the first week, FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM became the first three sportsbook apps to launch in Virginia.
FanDuel launched in partnership with the Washington Football Team, which is headquartered in Virginia but plays in Maryland. Virginia is interesting in that the state hosts no professional leagues of their own. All the favored professional sports teams play in either Washington DC or Maryland. Although Virginia bettors are able to bet on college teams, there are restrictions on betting on in-state Virginia college teams, like UVA and Virginia Tech. Georgetown, Gonzaga, and West Virginia University are permitted.
West Virginia launched sports betting in 2019, and they currently host a handful of options, including top choices such as FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and William Hill. These brands also must have brick-and-mortar locations as part of West Virginia law, so you can also bet at all of them in-person as well.
You need to be at least 21 to bet online or in-person in West Virginia, but you don’t need to be a resident. That meant many in Virginia would visit the state to place bets online, but Virginia is set to launch online sports betting sites and apps in early 2021.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Legal Online Sports Betting Apps In The US?
The benefits of using legal online sports betting apps in the US over illegal sites are numerous.
For one thing, you’re not breaking the law, so you avoid any potential legal consequences for betting at an illegal site.
But beyond that, you know for sure that licensed sports apps will pay out your winnings no matter what. They also aren’t notorious for hiding their terms and conditions like illegal sites, which can “legitimately” withhold your winnings because you didn’t meet the 35x (or higher) playthrough requirements of a bonus.
The Apple App Store won’t list illegal apps either, so if you’re an iOS user, there are no sports betting apps unless they’re legal.
How To Install Online Sports Betting Apps On An Android Device
The Google Play Store does not allow real-money gambling apps (legal or otherwise). However, you can still download sports betting apps on Android using the following steps:
- Visit the sportsbook website of the app you want using your mobile device.
- Download the application for Android onto your phone, making sure to allow the device to download apps from a third-party source.
- Now that the app is installed on your device, you can tap on the icon like any other app to open it.
- Now, all you need to do is log on or create an account to start using the sports betting functions.
How To Install Online Sports Betting Apps On An Apple iOS Device
There are quite a few sportsbook apps available in the Apple App Store, and the process to download these apps are quite simple and straightforward. Just follow these steps:
- Open the App Store and search for the sportsbook you want, making sure it’s the one that’s specific to your state. In some cases, like DraftKings and FanDuel, the same app applies to all states. But BetRivers and others are state-specific (e.g., BetRivers Sportsbook Illinois).
- Click on the download button.
- After installation, you can sign in to the application or register for an account if you do not have one yet.
Are Legal Online Sportsbook Apps Legit?
Yes, legal online sportsbook apps are legit, and there are many reasons that we can say that with total confidence.
Everything Is Backed By Laws And Regulations
State regulators are extremely strict when it comes to how a sports betting app operates. Player safety is prioritized over everything else, and you can be sure that all winnings will be paid out, and all bonus terms and conditions will be honored.
Further, if something were to go wrong with a sportsbook app, the legal ones are backed by regulators. Those same regulators offer options where you can dispute issues that you run into.
Rather than hoping an operator will do something in a case where you feel there was wrongdoing, a regulator who doesn’t represent the sportsbook will determine what happened and how it should be handled.
Legal Sportsbooks Rarely Close Down
Unlike illegal sportsbooks that might close down and pop up again with another name, legal sportsbooks are less likely to go under.
Even if this were to occur, there are processes in place to ensure customers receive their money back. Users don’t have to stress about a potential sportsbook closing and taking whatever they have deposited.
The essential thing to be aware of is that you have recourse when working with legal sportsbooks if something goes wrong. This cannot be said for sportsbooks that are operating illegally, whether online or in-person.
If a sports betting app were to swindle its customers, it’d be shut down immediately. And that possibility is simply not worth the risk for these giant companies.
How We Rate Online Sportsbook Apps
When rating legal online sportsbook apps, several things are essential to consider. We try to take into account anything that affects how well a sportsbook operates so you can trust our assessments. Here are the top five things we look for when reviewing a sportsbook app.
- Legal and Licensed – Every good sportsbook app should be both legal and licensed, which is the first thing we look for. This ensures that the application is legitimate, and comes from a company that you can trust.
- Stability and Performance – Legal sportsbooks should also have a high level of performance and stability. We look at this to ensure that the app won’t quit out or freeze on you, which can be incredibly frustrating.
- Usability on iPhone and Android – While the majority of mobile phone users prefer iOS devices, a huge number of sports bettors prefer Android. There is no excuse for these companies not to offer both.
- Great Odds and Unique Betting Options – While many sportsbook apps have the same betting options, some go above and beyond. Considering how many betting options are available is also crucial in our ratings. We also compare and contrast odds on an ongoing basis to ensure our picks consistently offer the best.
- Promotions and Bonuses – The number of promotions, and how much of a bonus they can provide, also factors into our ratings. Who doesn’t love free money?
Legal Online Sportsbook Apps In The US: FAQs
Because they are regulated and required to follow specific rules. Unlike illegal sportsbook apps, the legal versions have to answer to regulators in terms of what they offer. Because there are many rules behind these apps, you can trust that they are legitimate and fair for the user. Regulators keep an eye on the apps to ensure they operate legally.
Yes. Some of the significant sportsbook sites that include eSports are Pinnacle Sports, Bet365 Sport, 888 Sport, and William Hill. Lesser known ones include Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, Betway, Betfair, and 10Bet. Betting on eSports is becoming more popular as time goes on and can be used with games like League of Legends, StarCraft 2, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and others.
Using the sportsbook’s website. Rather than downloading apps for sports betting on the Google Play Store, you need to visit the sportsbook’s website with your device to download the app. Once it’s downloaded onto your smartphone or tablet, you can install it like other applications. While these apps don’t come directly from the Play Store, they are legitimate apps that work in the same way.
Yes. While Android users cannot download sportsbook apps on the Play Store, those with iOS devices like iPhones can download them directly through Apple App Store. It’s as simple as visiting the App Store, searching for the sportsbook app you are interested in, and downloading it onto your phone. From there, you can bet on various sports using the app from the comfort of your own home.
No. Legal sports betting apps can only be used in states where online sports betting is legal. So, those in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, Colorado, and other states with legal online sports betting can use these apps. Those in other states are prohibited from doing so, however.