Where is betting on college basketball legal? Can I bet on March Madness in my state? The landscape of legal sports betting in the U.S. is a complex one, with certain states allowing betting and others banning it. Even within some legal states, there are rules banning some but not all college basketball betting.
Below, we’ll lay out where you can legally bet on the NCAA Tournament, where you cannot, and what kind of bets are allowed in those states.
March Madness Promos In Your State
Where Is Betting On March Madness Legal?
In most states that have legalized sports betting, you shouldn’t have an issue betting on the NCAA Tournament. In states like New York and Arizona, betting on March Madness this year just got easier with the launch of mobile sports betting in each state.
If you live in one of 26 U.S. states, you can wager on sports. Of those, 12 states allow you to fully bet on college sports via mobile device:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
An additional three states allow sports betting on college games, but they must be done at a retail sportsbook:
- South Dakota
States Where You Can Bet On March Madness Partially
With New York’s launch of mobile sports betting in early 2022, one of the nation’s largest sports betting markets opened up to let you legally bet on March Madness. Previously, some bettors were commuting across state lines to New Jersey to place bets on their phone. However, both of these states have restrictions on betting on in-state college teams. So teams like Rutgers are off the board in New Jersey and St. John’s not available to bet in New York.
Not immediately impactful, but New Jersey also has a ban on college games that happen in-state even if they don’t involve in-state teams. They’re set to host March Madness in 2025 and– as of today– bettors wouldn’t be able to wager on those games.
Indiana and Pennsylvania allow mobile betting on college sports. However, they both have a ban on college prop betting on in-state teams. While PA residents can bet on a Villanova point spread, player and game props would be unavailable. They can place prop bets on any team out-of-state.
Illinois recently changed their legislation and lifted their requirement to sign up in person at casinos for online sportsbook accounts. Registration is fully mobile now, and there are fantastic Illinois sportsbook promos. The Fighting Illini are one of the state’s most popular teams currently, but residents won’t be able to lay down bets on Illinois, at least not from their phone. While the legislation allows betting on in-state colleges, those bets must be placed in person. Prop bets are still prohibited.
Louisiana allows sports betting to be legalized on a parish-to-parish basis. The only restriction here is that you are located in a legal parish.
In-Person College Basketball Betting
The following states have blanket bans on college sports betting or mobile sports betting in general. Any wagers placed on the NCAA Tournament must be done in-person at a select few casinos, many of which are tribal:
- North Carolina
- New Mexico
Where It’s Illegal To Bet
For states like Ohio, residents will have to wait another year. The Buckeye State is on track to launch sports betting by Jan. 1, 2023. A handful of states are working on legislation, but only Ohio has a direct path to legal betting in the immediate future.
Nebraska and Wisconsin have pending legislation, with Wisconsin being allowed to place bets at Oneida Casino in Green Bay currently. Florida is in the midst of a messy legal battle over sports betting. Their betting circumstances are complicated, so triple-check before trying to wager on March Madness this year.
The remainder of the states not listed above do not have legal sports betting or an immediate path to legal sports betting.