Analyzing Utah’s Timeline for Potential Sports Betting Legalization

Utah Legal Sports Betting Overview

Utah Sports Betting Law Details Status

Retail Sports Betting Launch Date:


Online Sports Betting Launch Date:


Licensed Sportsbooks:


Legal Wagering Options:


Legal Gambling Age in UT:


Sports to Bet On:


Permitted Banking Options:


Utah Gambling Regulator:


Utah Sports Betting Summary

Online and retail sports betting, along with all other forms of gambling, are prohibited in Utah. This strict stance against gambling is largely due to the influence of the Mormon faith, which considers gambling to be a vice. The state’s constitution reflects this view with its bans on gambling activities. Despite some interest in pari-mutuel horse racing betting, the chances of Utah relaxing its gambling laws are slim. Even if online gambling is legalized at the federal level, it will remain illegal in Utah according to the state’s criminal code. While residents of Utah may seek alternative ways to wager in neighboring states, such as Arizona and Colorado, it is unlikely that sports betting will be legalized within Utah itself anytime soon.

Utah Online Sportsbooks Summary

Utah has taken a firm stance against online sports betting, enacting HB 108 in 2012 to prohibit all forms of online gambling. This was done even before the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which allowed states to legalize sports betting. Utah’s criminal code specifically forbids online gambling, stating that the state will opt out of internet gambling even if federal law permits it. While Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games are not outlawed in Utah, online and pari-mutuel horse racing betting fall under the state’s strict gambling laws. Residents of Utah can visit neighboring states like Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Wyoming to engage in legal online sports betting. However, it is important to note that any potential future legalization of sports betting in Utah remains uncertain.

Latest Utah Sports Betting Updates

Currently, sports betting is illegal in Utah. The state’s strong influence from the Mormon faith, which views gambling as a vice, has resulted in strict prohibitions. There have been no recent legislative efforts to legalize sports betting in Utah, and it is unlikely to happen in the near future. However, neighboring states offer legal sports betting options for Utah residents who are interested in this form of entertainment.

Current Sports Betting Status in Utah

Sports betting of any kind, including online and retail betting, is illegal in Utah. The state’s constitution reflects the strong influence of the Mormon faith, making it highly unlikely for sports betting to be legalized without a public vote. Therefore, sports betting will likely remain illegal in Utah for the foreseeable future.

Timeline for Sports Betting in Utah

– March 5, 2020: Sen. Hinkins withdraws SB 181 under pressure from other Senators.

– February 18, 2019: Sen. Hinkins introduces SB 181 to legalize pari-mutuel wagering in Utah for the first time since 1927.

– May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), giving states the authority to legalize sports betting.

– November 3, 1992: Utah holds a public referendum on pari-mutuel horse racing betting, but the majority of voters do not support its legalization.

Utah Sports Betting Background

Utah’s aversion to gambling can be traced back to the mid-1800s when Mormons settled in the state. The Mormon faith considers gambling a vice and discourages its followers from engaging in such activities. Anti-gambling laws were introduced in the state as early as 1851, and a complete ban on all forms of gambling was enacted in 1895. While Utah briefly legalized pari-mutuel gambling in 1925, it was made illegal again in 1927 following corruption allegations against the racing commission. Due to the strong influence of the Mormon faith and the historical prohibition on gambling, the future of sports betting in Utah appears unlikely.

Future of Utah Sports Betting

Given the current anti-gambling sentiment deeply rooted in the state’s constitution and population, the legalization of sports betting in Utah is highly unlikely in the foreseeable future. Any significant changes to the state’s gambling laws would require a public vote, and the strict prohibitions are not expected to be lifted. As a result, Utah residents interested in sports betting will likely need to travel to neighboring states where it is legal to participate in this activity.

Utah’s Sports Betting Locations

Utah does not have any land-based or online casinos, and there are no retail sports betting locations within the state. If sports betting were to be legalized in Utah, it is likely that it would follow a mobile-only model similar to Tennessee, where online gambling is permitted. In the meantime, Utah residents can visit nearby states like Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, and Wyoming to access legal sports betting options.

Utah Lottery Locations

Utah does not have a state lottery as it is considered to be against the teachings of the Mormon faith. The state’s constitution explicitly prohibits the lottery. Therefore, there are no lottery locations in Utah.

Off-Track and Stadium Betting Locations

While horse racing is legal in Utah, betting on horse racing is prohibited. As a result, there are no off-track betting facilities in the state. Additionally, due to the strict anti-gambling laws, it is unlikely that any stadiums in Utah will partner with sportsbooks for betting purposes.

Utah Responsible Gambling Resources

Despite the lack of legal gambling options in Utah, national organizations such as the Utah National Council on Problem Gambling and Gamblers Anonymous are available to assist individuals struggling with gambling-related issues. These organizations provide hotlines, live chats, recovery programs, and support groups for those in need of help.

Teams to Bet on in Utah

Pro Sports

Utah Jazz: The Utah Jazz, originally known as the New Orleans Jazz, relocated to Utah in 1979. The team had a successful run in the 1990s, led by Hall of Famers John Stockton and Karl Malone. Although they made it to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998, they were unable to secure a championship. In recent years, the Jazz have performed well, winning division titles in 2021 and 2022. However, the departure of Rudy Gobert in 2022 leaves a void for the team to address in future seasons.

In addition to the Utah Jazz, some Utah residents may support teams based in neighboring states:


  • Arizona Cardinals (NFL)
  • Phoenix Suns (NBA)
  • Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)
  • Arizona Coyotes (NHL)


  • Denver Broncos (NFL)
  • Denver Nuggets (NBA)
  • Colorado Rockies (MLB)
  • Colorado Avalanche (NHL)


  • Las Vegas Raiders (NFL)
  • Las Vegas Golden Knights (NHL)

Minor League Sports

Utah sports fans can also support various minor league teams:

– Salt Lake Bees: A Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels in baseball.

– Utah Grizzlies: An ice hockey team in the ECHL affiliated with the Colorado Avalanche.

– Salt Lake City Stars: An NBA G-League team affiliated with the Utah Jazz.

– Real Salt Lake City: An MLS franchise that won the MLS Cup in 2009 and was the runner-up in the 2010/2011 CONCACAF Champions League.

College Sports

Utah has several colleges and universities with notable sports programs:

– BYU Cougars: This team represents Brigham Young University and has achieved success in various sports, including football and cross country.

– Southern Utah Thunderbirds: Representing Southern Utah University, the Thunderbirds compete in various sports, including basketball.

– Utah Utes: The University of Utah hosts a wide range of sports teams, including football, gymnastics, and skiing, and has a rich history of success.

– Utah State Aggies: Representing Utah State University, the Aggies have a football team that competes in the FBS and has made several bowl appearances.

– Utah Tech Trailblazers: Formerly known as Dixie State University, this institution is transitioning to Division I and has various sports teams competing in the Western Athletic Conference.

– Utah Valley Wolverines: Utah Valley University sponsors a range of sports teams competing in the Western Athletic Conference.

– Weber State Wildcats: Representing Weber State University, the Wildcats have had notable achievements in basketball and football, including upsets in the NCAA Tournament.

Women’s Sports

While there are currently no professional women’s sports teams in Utah, there are plans to potentially bring back the Utah Royals FC, a professional women’s soccer team, in 2023.

How Does Utah Compare to Other States?

Market Coverage

When comparing Utah to nearby states, such as Arizona and Colorado, which have legalized sports betting, it becomes clear that a potential sports betting market in Utah could offer similar coverage. These states already have well-established online sportsbooks, including popular brands like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars, that offer a wide range of betting options on major sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, as well as niche sports like MMA, NASCAR, and European soccer. Additionally, these states allow betting on college sports.

Competitive Odds & Prices

Utah residents would benefit from competitive odds and prices if sports betting were to be legalized. The neighboring state of Colorado, for example, has a highly competitive online sports betting market with 26 different sportsbooks vying for customers. This competition helps drive favorable odds and pricing for bettors. Many sportsbooks, such as Caesars and WynnBET, offer consistent odds across different states, ensuring that Utah bettors would have access to competitive betting lines.

Gambling Revenue

While Utah does not currently have legal sports betting, neighboring states like Iowa provide a useful comparison in terms of potential gambling revenue. Iowa has a similar population size to Utah and does not have any major professional sports teams. As of July 2022, Iowa has generated over $4 billion in sports betting handle and more than $250 million in sports betting revenue. If sports betting were to be legalized in Utah, it could potentially generate similar levels of tax revenue, which could be used to fund various public services and initiatives.

Betting Taxes

If sports betting were to be legalized in Utah, taxes on betting winnings would apply. Taxes would be owed both at the federal level to the IRS and potentially at the state level as well. The specific details of tax obligations would depend on the legislation enacted in Utah, but it is common for states to require individuals to report their gambling winnings as part of their overall income for tax purposes. It is important for bettors to follow all tax regulations and consult with a tax professional to ensure compliance.

Who Oversees Sports Betting in Utah?

Currently, there is no regulatory body overseeing sports betting in Utah due to its illegality. Once sports betting is legalized, lawmakers would need to establish a regulatory body responsible for enforcing state sports betting rules, ensuring the safety and fairness of the industry, and overseeing the licensing of sports betting companies.


Is betting legal in Utah?

No, sports betting is illegal in Utah. The state’s strong association with the Mormon faith, which considers gambling a vice, has resulted in strict prohibitions on all forms of gambling.

Who would govern sports betting in Utah?

If sports betting were to be legalized in Utah, a regulatory body would need to be established by lawmakers to oversee the industry. This body would be responsible for creating regulations, ensuring the safety of bettors, and licensing sports betting operators.

How old would you have to be to bet in Utah?

The minimum betting age in most states is 21, and Utah would likely follow this trend if sports betting were legalized. Additionally, there may be additional restrictions in place, such as prohibiting athletes or sportsbook employees from placing bets.

When will sports betting launch in Utah?

There are currently no indications that sports betting will be legalized in Utah in the near future. No recent legislative efforts have been made, and any potential changes would require further discussions and public voting.

Where will I be able to bet on sports in Utah?

If sports betting were to be legalized in Utah, it is likely that online betting would be the primary method of wagering, similar to states like Tennessee. However, there are currently no retail sportsbooks or obvious locations for sports betting within the state.

Will sportsbooks in Utah be safe?

If sports betting were to be legalized in Utah, lawmakers would establish regulations and safety measures to ensure the integrity and safety of the industry. Licensed sportsbooks would be required to adhere to these regulations, providing a level of consumer protection.

Would I have to pay taxes on betting winnings in Utah?

Yes, if sports betting were to be legalized in Utah, bettors would be required to pay taxes on their winnings. Winnings would need to be properly reported to the IRS, and the state may also impose taxes on gambling income. It is essential for individuals to comply with all tax regulations and consult with professionals if needed.

Can you play DraftKings in Utah?

No, you cannot play DraftKings in Utah as sports betting is illegal. However, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games offered by DraftKings are accessible in the state.

Can you play FanDuel in Utah?

No, FanDuel is not accessible in Utah. Although it is available in some states where sports betting is legal, it is unlikely to launch in the state in the foreseeable future. However, FanDuel’s DFS games may be accessible in Utah.

Can you play BetMGM in Utah?

No, you cannot use BetMGM in Utah as sports betting is illegal. However, you can access BetMGM in states where sports betting is legal, such as Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming.

Can you play Caesars in Utah?

No, Caesars is not available for betting in Utah. Caesars Sportsbook can be accessed in other states where sports betting is legal, including Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado.

Can you play TwinSpires in Utah?

No, TwinSpires Sportsbook is not available in Utah. Additionally, its online horse racing betting site is also prohibited. TwinSpires has been shutting down its sportsbook in several states.

Which sportsbooks will be available in Utah in the future?

Considering the strong opposition to gambling in Utah, it is unlikely that sportsbooks will be available in the state anytime soon. Current laws and public sentiment make it difficult for sports betting to be legalized. Utah residents would need to travel to neighboring states to participate in sports betting, or they can engage in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games within Utah.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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