Is Baseball and MLB Betting Legal in the US?

Is Baseball and MLB Betting Legal in the US?

Published Date · April 5, 2022 · Last Updated · Feb. 22, 2023 ·Read Time · 7 mins

Betting legally on baseball in the United States has been around since the Deadball era around 1869 and has a history with a black cloud around it (see the Black Sox scandal or Pete Rose). But as much as the game of baseball changes over the years, so does the sports gambling aspect of it. Where legal baseball betting action could only be found by a bookie or in-person betting at casinos, the US baseball gambling industry has made a significant shift to the online world with American bettors being able to place bets in numerous states. 

Before getting into the legal specifics of betting on baseball, you should know the MLB rules of betting on baseball. According to Rule 21, Section D of the MLB Rule Book: “Any player, umpire, or Club or League official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has no duty to perform, shall be declared ineligible for one year.” It also states that: “Any player, umpire, or Club or League official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform, shall be declared permanently ineligible.” In short, what this means is that if any employee of the MLB bets on a game that they’re not a part of, they receive a one year penalty. If they wager on a game that they are a part of, they can no longer be a part of Major League Baseball. 

Sportsbook of the Month: Unibet

What States Can I Legally Bet On Baseball?

Before looking to make a legal online wager on baseball, check out our list of which states betting online on baseball is available: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington DC, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. College Baseball, however, has certain restrictions regarding in-state events and teams. Our guide showing a state-by-state breakdown of collegiate team and event restrictions is available and should be used when making a college wager in a specific state.  

Where Can I Legally Bet On Baseball?

You can find odds for MLB games and futures at just about any accredited online sportsbook in the states mentioned above. After Major League Baseball bets, however, you may have to shop around different online sportsbooks in order to dive into different leagues. For example, some online sportsbooks may over individual game bets for College Baseball while others just offer Future wagers on who will win the College World Series. Betting online on baseball in International leagues requires looking at different sportsbooks as well. Some leagues that may be of interest to online bettors are the Japan League (NPB), Korean League (KBO, and Mexican League (LMB). While there may be a ton of options to bet online on baseball, make sure the sportsbook you’re wagering with is a licensed operator in the state they’re legal in. You can wager on an Offshore Sportsbook but we strongly recommend you do not wager any money on these sites as they cannot be confirmed to be legitimate.

BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM Online Sportsbook has a heavy emphasis on Major League Baseball when looking at baseball options on their site. The main carousel shows their most popular wagers including who will win the Cy Young in either league and who has the best odds of winning the World Series for the year. BetMGM Online Sportsbook also provides Pre-Season betting options with lines exactly like you would find during the regular season with Spread, Over/Under, and Money Line. BetMGM Sportsbook goes above and beyond with what they’re able to offer in terms of in-game features. If you’re familiar with MLB Gameday, BetMGM Sportsbook utilizes their own version that shows the current batter/pitcher matchup, strike zone, and all the other information you would find on the MLB Gameday platform. In addition to that, they also provide box score data, previous head-to-head matchup stats, in-game probabilities, play-by-play data, and live streaming of the game if available. BetMGM Sportsbook makes sure you don’t miss any piece of the action when it comes to online MLB betting. In addition to professional baseball, BetMGM also provides action on collegiate baseball. While there aren’t lines on every college game, you can at least find some betting options for the top teams like Florida, LSU, and Vanderbilt. You can also bet futures on who you believe will win the College Baseball World Series. The BetMGM Sportsbook app can be downloaded from both the Apple and Google Play store. BetMGM also offers betting on desktop as well as mobile. 

Fanduel Sportsbook

Fanduel Online Sportsbook is the most unique of the selected sportsbooks when it comes to their selections. The NCAA Baseball selections are the thinnest for the major online sportsbooks. Fanduel Online Sportsbook only has one futures bet available for collegiate baseball: “College World Series Winner”. No individual game line selections are available at the college level for Fanduel’s baseball betting section. Where Fanduel Online Sportsbook falls short for college baseball, they make up for in International Baseball leagues. While most online sportsbooks have wagering options for the Japanese Baseball League, Fanduel goes a step further and also has the Korean Baseball League (KBO). While the wagers are predominantly money line (picking the winner of the game), there are select games where the spread and over/under betting options are available. While Korean baseball games aren’t for everyone, it’s really nice to have the option if you can see value in games overseas. The main Major League betting odds are all there with the three major bets for individual games and all the options for future betting including betting on the next NL MVP and who will win the AL West. The Fanduel Sportsbook app can be downloaded from both the Apple and Google Play store. Fandeul also offers betting on desktop as well as mobile.

Betway Sportsbook

Betway Online Sportsbook gets right to the point when you attempt to click on the “Baseball” page. First, it will give you the option of choosing your country, whether you would like to wager online on baseball in America or Japan. Having the choice immediately as well as the Japan betting option makes Betway stand out from other competitors. Betway Online Casino features its pages without the bells & whistles of other top online sportsbooks in the industry. With a simplistic look, it’s clear what games are going on and what wagers are available. One thing that makes Betway Online Sportsbook stand out is its addition of statistics. Betway partnered with Sport Radar to provide in-depth analysis of all sorts of data that can have an impact on your wager. From Head to Head data, league average metrics, and a list too long to write out here, Betway Online Sportsbook does not let their bettors make any wagers in the dark. There’s a bunch of info to help make informed decisions. While the list of collegiate games to bet on are not long, they’re still available as well as wagering on the College World Series Champion for the year. Japanese baseball games also have statistics available for each team and in-game matchup, where the mainline of bets are available for each game that happens in the NPB. The Betway Sportsbook app can be downloaded from both the Apple and Google Play store. Betway also offers betting on desktop as well as mobile.

Caesars Sportsbook

Caesars Online Sportsbook has a baseball page with a main focus on Major League Baseball. In fact, you’re unable to access any other baseball league on the “Baseball” page without clicking into another league. The plus side to this is the feature that allows bettors to add a league to their “Favorites” page, giving them easy access to whatever baseball league or otherwise they would like to wager on. Caesars Online Sportsbook provides your typical three line wager bets as well as more of the niche wagers related around runs and innings. For example, you can make a wager in the Los Angeles Dodgers versus Texas Rangers game that there will be 3 or more runs scored in the 6th inning. You can also make a plethora of Future bets with wagers such as “Most Stolen Bases by a Player” or “Most Runs Scored by a Team”. In addition to MLB bets, you can also wager on select NCAA Baseball games at Caesars Online Sportsbook with either a Moneyline wager or an Over/Under wager. You can also wager on who you think will win the College World Series. What really makes Caesars Online Sportsbook standout is that you can wager on the Japan League (NPB) and their individual games. Like betting on Major League Baseball games, you can wager on NPB games and the three major lines available (money line, run line, and total runs). The Caesars Sportsbook app can be downloaded from both the Apple and Google Play store. Caesars also offers betting on desktop as well as mobile.

Draftkings Sportsbook

Draftkings Online Sportsbook has perhaps the widest selection of online baseball betting out of the top sportsbook options. Like most online sports betting websites, MLB is the main page when it comes to their baseball section. In fact, you have to click into each section separately when on Draftkings site as there is no dedicated baseball page. The MLB betting options are vast, especially with unique future betting options related to what’s going on currently in Major League Baseball. For example, there are two future bets pertaining to Albert Pujols and his final home totals by the end of the 2022 season that were not available at any other online sportsbooks. College Baseball also has significant standing on Draftkings Online Sportsbooks with bettors being able to wager on most games and bet two out of the three major lines (Over/Under and Money line). There’s also the collegiate baseball futures bet of who will win the College World Series. On the International end, Draftkings offers both the Japanese professional baseball league (NPB) as well as the Korean professional baseball league (KBO). While most wagers for the KBO are only on the Money line, the top games also provide the option to wager on Run line (spread) as well as the Over/Under. The NPB has wagers available for individual games where bettors can wager on the Run line and the Money line. The Draftkings Sportsbook app can be downloaded from both the Apple and Google Play store. Draftkings also offers betting on desktop as well as mobile.


Ian Dincuff

US Content Writer