With a flurry of US states legalizing sports betting in recent years, it is no wonder that the industry has seen strong growth in both popularity and revenues. Notably, most sportsbook operators usually launch their betting sites and mobile apps well ahead of retail sportsbooks. But that still does not subtract from the appeal of in-person betting.

In this article, you will explore the basic idea behind a retail sportsbook, as well as the main US states where in-person wagering is legal. You will also learn about the common sports bets you can place. Continue reading to learn more about retail sportsbooks.

What is a retail sportsbook?

As an in-person gambling alternative, a retail sportsbook lets you place wagers on your favorite sports using a physical location. Typically, you will find retail sportsbooks at major casinos across eligible states.

A retail sportsbook usually comes with state-of-the-art amenities, including wagering kiosks and windows. You can find tellers and ticket writers as well. All the big names in the industry frequently partner with equally prestigious land-based casinos to present their offerings to the sports betting public. Alternatively, they may offer to bet at a company-owned casino site. Further, you can normally bet on major leagues and tournaments across the country and from around the world, as well as state college games.

What states have retail sportsbooks?

An increasing number of US states offer retail sportsbooks. Below, you can briefly review some major ones.

  • Washington – Regarding sports betting, Washington is a rare state with only in-person betting options. The state legalized sports betting earlier in March 2020. The first bet went live in September 2021. As of now, only select tribal casinos offer sports betting amenities.
  • South Dakota – This state also permits in-person betting only. You can place wagers at select casinos in Deadwood. About a year after the legalization of sports wagering in November 2020, the first sportsbooks saw the light of day in September 2021.
  • North Dakota – While the state government makes no explicit room for sports betting, the federal government has authorized retail betting in North Dakota. As such, you can place bets within the state borders, much like you can in New Mexico.
  • New Mexico – Some half a dozen land-based casinos have been offering sports betting facilities, starting since late 2018. The tribes that run the casinos see this as being compatible with their gaming contracts with the state.
  • Wisconsin – The Green Bay casino is the sole venue in the state to offer sports betting options. Sports betting has been available in Wisconsin since November 2021.
  • Mississippi – This state has been providing retail sports betting alternatives since August 2018. While it was relatively early to jump into the action, it has made little progress over the years in expanding the scope of betting.
  • North Carolina – The state legalized retail sports betting as early as 2019. But the first sportsbooks took bets only in March 2021. Presently, sports betting is available at a couple of tribal casinos that are only miles from the state’s major cities.
  • Delaware – This state has merely three in-person sportsbooks within its borders. The betting market is primarily lottery-based, even though the first sports bet was underway back in June 2018.

Common type of bets on retail sportsbooks in the US

You can choose from a wide variety of bet types on retail sportsbooks in the US. Below, you can briefly unpack all the important ones.

  • Points spread – This is a straightforward bet to place. The sportsbook chooses a winner and predicts the number of points lead the team will have at the end of the match. Your task is to judge if the prediction is right.
  • Money line – This is perhaps the simplest type of bet. All you need to figure out is the expected winner of a contest. A money line is also called a winning bet.
  • Totals – The sportsbook will determine the total number of points by the end of the game. These refer to the combined points of both teams. Your task is to predict whether the actual total will exceed the totals or run short.
  • Futures – This bet is not about individual games but a given season or tournament as a whole. Typically, you need to decide the winner of a league such as the NFL, long before the season even begins.
  • Props – It is a unique yet versatile form of sports bet. You can make a prop on practically any metric. There are standard props on the first goal, first run, and the first point, depending on the sport.
  • Teasers – A teaser bet requires a lot of coordination to place. Essentially, you make a selection of bets and then tinker with the points spread to tilt the wager in your favor.
  • Live bets – As the name suggests, a live bet is any wager you place during the live course of a contest. This type of bet is extremely popular during major league seasons and international tournaments.
  • In-Play bets – This is just another name for live or in-game bets. Basically, you can make wagers while a contest, say one from the Super Bowl, is still underway. However, the experience is best on mobile, with real-time tracking benefits.


How do I know if my state offers retail betting at sportsbooks?

You can know if your state offers retail betting at sportsbooks right here on this page. This website lists all the central US states with in-person gambling options, including sports betting. Further, you can learn about the different sportsbook operators, as well as their land-based casino partners in the respective states.

Is retail betting as safe as online sports betting?

Yes, retail betting is as safe as online sports betting. This is mainly because you do not have to worry about the legitimacy of a betting site. There is also no risk of online fraud or theft of any kind. But crucially, there is less privacy owing to the public element in betting.

Can I bet on Daily Fantasy sports at a retail sportsbook in the US?

No, you cannot bet on Daily Fantasy Sports at a retail sportsbook in the US. DFS contests nowadays take place mostly online. So, you cannot take part in them in person. With that said, however, they are quite popular on leading betting sites. You can readily wager on DFS games using a site such as FanDuel or DraftKings.