Which US states will never open up for sports betting?

Sports betting is a huge sector right now and seems to be attracting more people than ever. Whether it is backing your favorite side in football or getting involved with betting on the NBA, lots of people all over the world get involved in sports betting to add even more fun to sports. Although it might have been slow off the mark, the US is now beginning to open up to legal sports betting as well.

This has seen the picture around sports betting in the USA change greatly in recent years as more states choose to legalize this activity. Despite this, though, there are a few a states that seem opposed to gambling on sports and are unlikely to ever sanction it. But which states might these be?


There are plenty of things to do in Utah but legal sports betting does not look likely to happen. This comes down in large part to Utah being a strict Mormon state. As people from this religion generally take a dim view of gambling, the chances of sports betting ever being given the green light here are slim. This is especially true when you consider that Mormons have a majority in Utah’s state legislature and account for around 90% of representatives there.

This means there are simply not the people in power to make it happen, nor the political will to drive it through. When you also add in the lack of demand for sports betting from most of the population in this state, sports betting here is essentially dead in the water.


With streaming taking over in gaming and people choosing to do more than ever online, you would think all US states would move with the times in areas like sports betting. Although it is surrounded by other states that have made gambling on sports legal, there just seems no will for doing this in the Gem State. Like Utah, Idaho has strong ties with the Mormon church, due to their close proximity. This means legal sports betting might never happen In Idaho either.

When you also consider that this state rejected proposals to legalize Daily Fantasy Sports in 2016 and won’t even allow horse racing within its borders, the outlook for sports betting gets bleaker. As a result of all this, there are no bills up for discussion on state legislature and no interest among most of the public or politicians in changing this.


On the face of it, the situation for legal sports betting in Alaska looks more promising than some other states. This, however, is somewhat misleading and many think a move to make wagering on sports legal here will never happen. Although lawmakers have commissioned studies and chatted about it, nothing concrete has happened since 2018. As with Utah and Idaho, there just seems to be no real appetite for sports betting across Alaska.

Unlike Idaho and Utah though, this is not based on religious convictions. Alaska is so far removed from general politics in the US and what everyone else is doing that it feels no pressure to follow the general trend on sports betting. In addition, its location means it has no concerns about neighboring sports betting states taking their visitors and making more money than them in tax revenue.


Could sports betting ever be legal in Hawaii? The answer seems to be a resounding “No!” at the moment. Although some bills were put forward at the start of 2021’s legislature, which will move into 2022, not much has actually happened. This lack of movement leads many to believe the chances of legal betting on sports being signed off in this state are slim.

As with Alaska, Hawaii’s isolated position from the rest of the US means that they face less pressure to make it legal, or even to follow what other states are doing. Hawaii also has plenty of other attractions to tempt tourists and so may not feel the need to make sports betting legal to pull in visitors.

Sports betting may never happen in some states

Many US states have seen the benefits of legal sports betting and have opened their borders up to it, but not all are on the same page. This is a real shame for people there who miss out on the fun and excitement that betting on sports brings. Although the future is hard to predict, it does seem that the states discussed here are unlikely to ever open up to sports wagering.