States Most Likely to Legalize Gambling 2021

By  //  December 23, 2020

The year 2020 was a challenging one for online sports betting sites. With the sporting world being affected by COVID-19, many planned events didn’t go ahead. Leave it to gamblers to find other channels to flex there betting muscles, such as casino games, esports, and virtual sports.

The pandemic, however, also paved the way for new schemes. Many U.S. states have begun to legalize gaming, having boosted the economy after numerous failed to make a turnover.

You can even see updates of the changes in the law through a US online sports betting legalization tracker.

Once online gambling was given the thumbs up by one state, it didn’t take looking for others to follow suit. Here, we’ll take a look at those states that have yet to make online gambling legal and which may get the seal of approval by 2021. 

Legalized Gambling in the U.S.: As It Stands

A number of legislators offered a different opinion on online gambling over the past 12 months. Currently, the pastime is legal in 24 states. While a few of these states have only recently been approved, they will formally be allowed to offer online gambling within the coming months.

A Predicted Rise in Online Gambling in 2021

State finances were decimated by COVID-19 when both residents and businesses had difficulties in paying their taxes. Revenues dried up, resulting in legislators brainstorming on how to make up the income from other sources. That brainstorming turned out to be good for online gambling, especially when it came to sports betting.

Multiple reports revealed the extent of which U.S. states are missing out, with gamblers betting illegally online via sportsbooks and casinos from other countries. That fact changed minds and convinced some that legalizing it would have a positive effect on the economy.

So with new gambling laws, online betting will likely be given a financial boost in 2021. Following are details on why just some of these states have been predicted to implement a change in betting laws in 2021.


The state of California regulates the majority of gaming activities, which includes, but isn’t limited to gambling. An attempt was made to legalize sports betting in the state in 2017.

Then Assembly member Adam Gray said that both gaming and sports betting call for skill, and thus belong in the same category. The court may not have agreed with Gray, but a current referendum could see online gaming become legalized in California in 2021.


In 2019, State Senator Jeff Brandes filed three separate bills that propose specific conditions for sports betting. The main theme of the bills is that sports bettors could wager on games on their mobile phones or via national lotteries.


A 21-page bill that outlines Hawaii’s interest in sports betting talks about establishing a Hawaiian sports betting corporation that would oversee the sports betting industry in the state as a whole. While the bill remains at the consideration stage, we may see progress in 2021.


In 2019, Vermont legislator Thomas Burditt prospered a bill that differed from other states. It asked for mobile betting to be allowed, with the conditions that bettors be based in Vermont.

It allowed for sports betting, with the exception of the university, college, and high school events. That’s significant, considering how big college sports are in the U.S. Esports betting was also disallowed.

Gamblers in the U.S. can expect a significant change in online gambling. By next year, betting could be legalized in almost all states. With such a large number of U.S. sporting events available for international gamblers to bet on, it appears that U.S. punters will also be given the opportunity to enjoy wagering on their favorite sports.