Compared to other US states, Utah doesn’t have any big brand names when it comes to professional sports, or college sports really, but those few teams that they do have, the state supports fully.
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And much like Oklahoma, they don’t really have anything in terms of gambling at all. There are no casinos in Utah, not even a tribal casino. If Utah residents want to bet on just about anything, they need to visit neighboring states, like Nevada, to get their gambling fix.
In 2012, lawmakers decided to tighten the laws around gambling as a whole and decided to ban all forms of gambling, meaning no casinos, racetracks, sportsbooks, online betting, or off-track betting.
Section 2a of the Utah law 76-10-1101 indicates that gambling is defined as “risking anything of value for a return or risking anything of value upon the outcome of a contest, game, gaming scheme, or gaming device when the return or outcome is based upon an element of chance…”
This is definitely an interesting way to put it, as sports betting does take skill to be able to properly handicap games and matches effectively and win. Even the teams playing the games aren’t leaving everything up to chance, teams have skill sets and work hard during the competition to win the game - there is no real element of chance or luck if you really look at it.
It’s fairly safe to say that Utah has some of the strictest gambling laws in the United States, so we likely won’t see Utah introducing sports betting anytime soon. All forms of gambling are banned in the state - even the lottery. There are no pending sports betting bill on the agenda, and we may not see one in years to come.
Though things look bleak for sports betting when it comes to Daily Fantasy sports betting, Utah residents are able to participate. Shocking, we know. The lawmakers recently allowed DFS to be played in Utah, solely because it was deemed a game of skill versus a game of chance.
Can I bet on Sports in Utah?
All forms of gambling are illegal in Utah, so no, you won’t find a sportsbook popping up within state lines anytime soon.
The only option for Utah residents is to bet online on offshore sportsbooks. All operations occur outside of the United States, so gambling sites such as online sportsbooks technically aren’t legal to wager on because they aren’t regulated on U.S. soil.
There are plenty of online sportsbooks to choose from, so choosing one that’s safe and secure should be your top priority.
Betting on Utah Sports Teams
There are few sports teams in the state of Utah, but Utah residents back those teams and pack the stadiums.
The Brigham Cougars college basketball team have been a big name in the state since Jimmer Fredette took the reigns in 2001, they’ve made 11 appearances in the March Madness tournament, and though they are usually booted in the first round, the exposure for the team is enough to keep them fresh in everyone’s minds.
The Utah Jazz is the resident NBA team and though they have never won a championship, they have found a way to make the playoffs in over half of their years as a franchise. They have some quality talent like Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, who were named as reserves for the 2020 All-Star game, which marks the first year since 2007 that multiple Jazz players were selected for the team.
Utah Sports Betting Legalization Timeline
Before the 2018 PASPA Decision
Even before the breakdown of Nevada's monopoly on sports betting, Utah was taking extra steps to prevent the legalization of gambling in the state.
Gambling is not allowed in Utah, according to the State's Constitution. Even in this case, in 2012, the state proactively updated its gambling laws to include new forms of gambling with the internet. The criminal code was update to include:
(4) If any federal law is enacted that authorizes Internet gambling in the states and that federal law provides that individual states may opt out of Internet gambling, this state shall opt out of Internet gambling in the manner provided by federal law and within the time frame provided by that law.
(5) Whether or not any federal law is enacted that authorizes Internet gambling in the states, this section acts as this state’s prohibition of any gambling, including Internet gambling, in this state.
2018-2021: Little Movement in this Anti-Gambling State
Between 2018 and 2021, there were no significant attempts to legalize sports betting in the state. A small attempt was made to open up horse racing in the state, as so many people in Utah travel to nearby states to enjoy this pastime. It did not go very far.
Top Online Sportsbooks for Betting on Sports in Utah
Since online betting is the only option for Utah bettors, finding an online sportsbook that is of superior quality should be your main goal. You will want to have the full sportsbook experience, all in your mobile device or computer.
Finding the right sportsbook that has the features that matter most to you is important to us as well, so we compiled a list of our favorite sportsbooks – some of the top sportsbooks in the industry, and created in-depth sportsbook reviews for you to get all the facts before signing up. Check them out and find a sportsbook that you can get the most out of in the state of Utah.