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Is Betting on Sports Legal in Utah Now?

Is Betting on Sports Legal in Utah Now?

With the recent Supreme Court Decision, many have asked, is betting on sports legal in Utah now? The short answer is no. In May 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the federal prohibition on sports gambling. However, Utah, like most other states, still has laws in place that make sports gambling illegal in that State. The Utah law is found here.

State vs. Federal Law

Currently, Nevada is the only state that legally allows sports gambling. In all other states, it is illegal to place bets on sports. What has just occurred is the national law prohibiting sports gambling law has just been appealed. In other words, it is federally legal to place sports bets.

Is sports gambling legal in Utah now?

Not yet. Federally or nationally, sports betting is legal now. However, in order for an individual’s sports bet to be legal, sports betting must be legal federally and in that particular state. Sports betting is now legal federally and many states are in the process of passing bills to make sports betting legal in their individual state. Once the state passes that bill, sports betting will be legal just like in Nevada.


The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) was passed prohibiting sports gambling in most states in January of 1993. On May 14, 2018, the PASPA act has been repealed (done away with). States that want to offer sports gambling can now begin the process of doing so. Since 1992, Nevada has been the only state to legally allow sports gambling. The process of legalizing sports gambling may take some time, but states such as New Jersey and New York are beginning the process immediately. In other words, states can now act on their own with regard to legalizing sports gambling.


Nevada sportsbooks have incurred billions of dollars as a result of legal sports gambling. Nevada sportsbooks acquired over $4 billion in 2017. With the repeal of PASPA, other states will more than likely see similar revenue. Currently, there is a large revenue in illegal sports gambling in the United States; over $150 billion annually.

New Jersey has been the main push for this federal law to be repealed. New Jersey has spent just under $10 million dollars in legal fees over the last years. However, it is predicted that New Jersey will collect over $250 million dollars in revenue in its first year of legal sports betting. The legal fees will be minimal compared to the profit in which the state is predicted to make.

The Future of Betting on Sports in Utah? 

There are already several states that are in the process of passing a bill that legally allows sports betting in that state. The leagues around the nation are not involved with illegal sports betting. With the legalization of sports betting, leagues will have to determine with certain legal organizations about the approach of sports betting and revenue. Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner, states that “regardless of the particulars of any future sports betting law, the integrity of our game remains our highest priority.”

Many believe that within only a few years, sports fans will be legally placing bets from their cell phones while attending live sporting events in Utah and every other state.


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