Retail and online sports betting are illegal in Utah. In fact, all forms of gambling are illegal in the state, and this is unlikely to change in the near future.
Utah has some of the strictest anti-gambling laws in the country, and due to the state’s strong ties to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this is likely to persist as many residents and lawmakers view gambling as immoral.
Here’s everything you need to know about online sports betting in Utah.
Recent News and Details About Sports Betting in Utah
- Utah is one of two U.S. states that does not allow gambling of any kind, including sports betting. It is also only one of five states without a state lottery.
- Due to the state’s deep connection to the church, it’s unlikely that sports betting or any form of gambling will be legalized in Utah at any point in the near future.
- Utah’s criminal code states that even if it is legalized at the federal level, online gambling would remain illegal in the state as long as the federal law allows for states to opt out.
- Utah residents that want to place legal bets can travel to bordering states like Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, or Wyoming — all of which allow some form of legal sports betting.
- Interestingly, horse racing is legal in Utah but actually betting on horse races is prohibited. This means that advance deposit wagering websites like TVG, TwinSpires, and BetAmerica are not available to residents in the state.
- Despite Utah’s very strict stance against all forms of gambling, the state has yet to outlaw daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests. As a result, major DFS platforms like DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo accept entries from players in the state.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Utah? A Timeline
Sports betting is not legal in Utah, and due to the state’s church leanings, it’s unlikely that it will pass related legislation anytime soon. Utah has a zero tolerance policy toward gambling, even going so far as to ban lottery games. While states around the country continue to legalize sports betting, Utah remains steadfast in its opposition to all forms of gambling.
- March 24, 2022: The attorney general’s office in Utah confirms to 2 News that they have never been asked to investigate DFS contests. As a result, DFS platforms are able to operate in the state for the time being.
- January 16, 2022: Utah continues to miss out on potential tax revenue as sports betting remains illegal. According to KUTV, Executive VP of the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook Jay Kornegay stated, “You’re probably looking at $7 million in tax revenue in the first year, if Utah were to offer it.”
- May 14, 2018: Despite a Supreme Court ruling that allows states to legalize sports betting, Utah will continue to prohibit all forms of gambling, including sports betting. Governor Gary Herbert’s spokesperson Paul Edwards stated, “Governor Herbert appreciates the Supreme Court’s reaffirmation of states’ rights to regulate gambling within their borders, a right Utah will exercise by continuing to prohibit gambling within our state.”
- 2012: With the expansion of internet gambling in the U.S., Utah chose to strengthen its anti-gambling laws. The state changed the wording of its laws to prohibit online gambling and clarify it would continue to prohibit the activity even if it were to be legalized at the federal level.
How Do Utah Residents Feel About Sports Betting?
Utah’s large Mormon population and strong ties to the church mean that many residents are firmly opposed to all forms of gambling. There have been no initiatives to legalize gambling or sports betting, though, so it’s difficult to gauge exactly how most residents feel about the latter.
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling’s National Survey on Gambling Attitudes and Gambling Experiences, only 36% of respondents from Utah disagree with the idea that gambling is immoral, while 44% are neutral, and 20% agree. Moreover, 56% of participants agree that moral weakness is a leading cause of problem gambling.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Apps Legal in Utah?
DFS apps are particularly popular in states that don’t have legal sports betting as they allow players to create fantasy sports teams, wager money, and compete against other players in daily contests for cash and other prizes. These contests are often permitted even in states without legal sports betting as they can be considered games of skill. However, other states prohibit them under their gambling laws.
Despite Utah’s strict stance against all forms of gambling, DFS contests have not been explicitly outlawed in the state. While they are not regulated, platforms like DraftKings and FanDuel accept contest entries from Utah residents.
Utah Sports Betting FAQs
|Is online sports betting legal?||No|
|Is mobile sports betting legal?||No|
|Is betting legal at retail locations?||No|
|Minimum legal gambling age||N/A|
Editor’s Note: Information accurate as of August 2022.
When will sports betting launch in Utah?
Sports betting likely won’t launch in Utah at any point in the near future. Utah has some of the most strict anti-gambling laws in the country, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Will there be online sportsbooks in Utah?
If Utah ever does legalize sports betting, it may include online versions. However, given that the state has never introduced any legislation in an attempt to legalize the activity, it’s difficult to determine what legal sports betting in the state might look like.
How old do I have to be to bet online in Utah?
As all forms of gambling are illegal in Utah, there is no legal gambling age. If sports betting is legalized in the future, the minimum betting age will likely be either 18 or 21.
Will you need to be a resident of Utah to place bets online?
You would likely not need to be a Utah resident to place bets online if the state legalized sports betting. But like other states with legal sports betting, you would need to be within state lines to place any wagers.
Who regulates the online sportsbooks in Utah?
There is currently no agency responsible for regulating online sportsbooks in Utah as online sports betting is illegal. If it were to be legalized, a new entity would need to be created to regulate online sportsbooks.
Is it safe to use online sportsbook apps in Utah?
No, it is not safe to use online sportsbook apps in Utah as sports betting is illegal in the state. Bettors should avoid using any offshore sportsbooks that claim to operate legally as they are unlicensed and unregulated.
Neighboring States That Legalized Sports Betting
Several of the states that border Utah have already legalized sports betting, including Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming. The only neighboring state to not offer legal sports betting is Idaho.
- Arizona: Sports betting went live in Arizona in 2021, and there are currently 18 online sportsbooks available in the state, including major platforms like DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars. There are also several retail sportsbooks located throughout the state.
- Colorado: Colorado has a thriving sports betting industry with over two dozen online sportsbooks. State law allows for each of the state’s 30+ casinos to offer online sports betting.
- Nevada: Sports betting has been legal in Nevada since the mid-1900s, and online sports betting has been live for over a decade. From Caesars to Golden Nugget, many of the state’s major casinos offer online sports betting platforms.
- New Mexico: New Mexico has yet to officially legalize sports betting, but tribal casinos began accepting retail sports bets in 2018, and the state government has yet to intervene.
- Wyoming: Sports betting is legal in Wyoming and is limited to online betting. DraftKings and BetMGM are among the online sportsbooks that have already launched in the state, and more are expected to start in the near future.