Sports betting is experiencing a renaissance across the United States. Since 2018, 18 states have legalized sports betting. Many more are moving towards regulation, introducing bills to local legislatures. However, Utah sports betting is an entirely different story.
As the seat of the Mormon faith, Utah has unique ties to religion and deep-seated prejudice against all gambling. Therefore, UT sports betting fans face a complicated situation when it comes to gambling. With no Utah sportsbooks, casinos, or even a state lottery, the state is peculiarly opposed to gambling.
Prohibitions on betting in Utah even extend to horse racing, a usual exception across the US. Recently, Utah online sports betting was outlawed as a preventative measure if federal law were to legalize it. In short, betting in Utah isn’t just difficult; it may continue to be impossible.
As a consequence, there are no Utah betting sites at the moment. In theory, nothing is stopping the Beehive State from pursuing an amendment that legalizes sports betting. However, in practice, it’s quite unlikely to happen any time soon.
Still, if Utah sports betting is legalized, many operators would rush to enter the market. The following sportsbooks are the likeliest Utah sports betting apps in that scenario.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Utah
Daily fantasy sports are the sole legal reprieve for UT sports betting fans. In most of the US, DFS exist in a gray area of the law, unregulated by local legislation. A few states, such as Idaho, have ruled DFS to be equivalent to gambling.
This has resulted in DFS operators being asked to seek licensing, or exit the state, depending on local betting laws. As a rule, DFS companies have chosen to leave such states to avoid the costly licensing process.
However, despite Utah’s unfriendly attitude towards gambling, DFS remain legal in the state. Both FanDuel and DraftKings operate freely in Utah, having so far faced no legal opposition. DFS is a far cry from legal Utah betting sites, but they’re the best the state has to offer.
Most Likely Utah Sportsbooks
DraftKings is one of the largest daily fantasy sports & sports betting operators in the United States. If Utah sportsbooks become legal, DraftKings already enjoys considerable brand recognition in the state. The company already offers its DFS services to UT residents. It’s likely that DraftKings would be among the first Utah sports betting apps if they were legalized.
FanDuel is the second largest DFS operator in America and an increasingly popular online sportsbook. Many UT sports betting fans already use the company’s daily fantasy sports services, which are legal in the state. As a consequence, if Utah sports betting is legalized, FanDuel is ideally positioned to enter the new market.
BetMGM is the online sports betting arm of MGM Resorts International, one of the gambling industry’s largest players. As a brand, MGM has considerable recognition among UT sports betting fans, thanks to its presence in neighboring Nevada. If Utah legalizes sports betting, MGM would surely try to expand across the border into the state.
FOX Bet is one of the newest additions to the US sports betting repertoire. The brand is a joint project between Fox Sports and The Stars Group, of PokerStars fame. Combining TSG’s sports betting savvy with the name recognition Fox brings to the table, it’s expanded aggressively since 2019. It’s possible that a UT sports betting bill would draw FOX Bet to the state.
Utah Betting Laws
UT sports betting legislation is among the most restrictive in the nation. All forms of gambling in the state are banned outright, including casino gambling, sports betting, horse betting, charitable raffles—the works. Even tribal casinos are completely illegal in Utah.
The state’s criminal code even specifies that Utah online sports betting is illegal. Many other states have some ambiguity regarding online betting, but not UT as Legislators wanted things to be crystal-clear. In fact, the state bans Utah online sports betting even if the federal government were to legalize it nationwide.
Right now, no bills to legalize Utah sportsbooks have been introduced in the state. There are no projected bills pending discussion either. Betting in Utah seems to be lacking the necessary political and public support. The situation seems unlikely to change in the near future.
With no Utah betting sites or apps on the horizon, residents have few options. At the moment, the only legal recourse is to cross state borders and visit a neighboring territory with amicable laws. Due to its proximity, Nevada is a frequent outlet for Utah sports betting fans.
States where you can already place an online sports bet today :
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Future of Utah Online Sports Betting
It’s tough to say what the future has in store for Utah online sports betting. For years, it seemed impossible. However, the sudden repeal of PASPA in 2018 changed the picture for much of the country. Utah sports betting laws have been slow to catch up, but it’s possible.
In 2019, a local legislator introduced a bill proposal that would’ve legalized horse race betting. At the moment, horse racing is legal in the state, but wagering on the races isn’t. The law would’ve allowed the local horse racing industry to profit from betting revenues.
Nevertheless, it was sent back for revision by the very senator that proposed it. This doesn’t make many particularly optimistic for the future of Utah betting sites. It may take years before Utah sports betting apps hit the market, if it ever happens.
As more of the state’s neighbors legalize and regulate sports betting, the state may reconsider its position. No legislature appreciates lost revenues, and it could well light a fire under their feet. Still, this is all purely speculative. For now, Utah sports betting apps remain unavailable.
Utah Online Sports Betting: Events and Betting Markets
Despite the lack of legal Utah sportsbooks, there are many interesting sporting events in the state. If UT sports betting is ever legalized, they’d likely draw considerable attention from bettors.
Betting on pro sports teams in Utah
Should Utah betting sites ever become legal in the state, the following teams are the likeliest favorites with the locals.
NFL betting in Utah
There are no NFL franchises in the state. However, Utah residents usually back teams from neighboring regions.
Denver Broncos betting
Many of the state’s orphaned NFL fans support Colorado’s Denver Broncos. The team has a long history in the NFL, and Denver is a road trip away from Salt Lake City. Fans like to visit Denver to support the team during home games.
Arizona Cardinals betting
Another popular alternative for NFL fans in Utah is to back the Arizona Cardinals. While Arizona borders southern Utah, it’s a longer drive down to Phoenix. Nevertheless, many UT fans prefer the Cardinals over the Broncos, for various reasons. Importantly, driving to Denver gets tricky in the winter, while Phoenix is a smooth ride all year long, which could be a factor.
NBA betting in Utah
NBA fans in Utah are incredibly lucky that, despite the state’s relatively small size, Salt Lake City has a top-level basketball franchise: the Utah Jazz.
Utah Jazz betting
The Utah Jazz moved to Salt Lake in 1979 after facing financial troubles in New Orleans. Players like Karl Malone and John Stockton gave the team much prestige, but it’s struggled to shine since their retirement. As there are no Utah sportsbooks, local backers don’t engage in much Utah Jazz betting. However, if Utah betting sites are legalized, that would likely change overnight.
NHL betting in Utah
There are no NHL teams in Utah. Much like with the NFL, Utah residents default to backing NHL teams that are based nearby instead.
Colorado Avalanche betting
Located just west of the Beehive State, Denver holds the closest and most popular NHL team with UT backers. The Colorado Avalanche is favored by most NHL fans in Utah.
Las Vegas Golden Knights betting
Beyond the southern border of Utah lies Nevada, and within, the polar opposite of pious Salt Lake City: Las Vegas. Sin City is home to the Golden Knights, a very popular NHL team with many UT sports betting fans.
MLB betting in Utah
The MLB isn’t all that popular in Utah. Nevertheless, the league does have its fans, and they usually look to Colorado for teams to back.
Colorado Rockies betting
Based in Denver, the Colorado Rockies are a prominent MLB team, part of the National League’s West division. Playing out of Coors Field, the team is fairly popular with Utahns. If Utah sports betting apps become legal, most UT bettors will likely be backing the Rockies.
Other Utah teams to bet on
Outside professional sports, Utah has many teams to keep an eye on. Local sports fans often focus on the collegiate level due to the lack of professional teams in the area. If Utah sportsbooks and betting sites are legalized some day, these teams would likely dominate the betting action.
Betting on College Football in Utah
The state has a very healthy collegiate football scene, boasting several NCAA Division I teams.
Utah Utes betting
The Utah Utes football team represents the University of Utah in the NCAA Division I FBS. They play in the Pac-12 conference and are very popular in the state. Based in Salt Lake, they play out of Rice-Eccles Stadium.
BYU Cougars betting
The Brigham-Young Cougars football program dates back to 1922. They’ve won almost two dozen conferences and a national championship, back in 1984. Today the team plays in LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah.
Utah State Aggies betting
Utah State University is represented in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision by the Aggies. The team has long-standing rivalries with both the BYU Cougars and the Utah Utes. They play out of Maverik Stadium in Logan, Utah.
Betting on College Basketball in Utah
College basketball is pretty popular in the Beehive State. The following teams would likely draw most of the action in any future Utah betting sites.
Utah Utes Men’s Basketball betting
The Utah Utes represent the University of Utah in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball tournament. They play in the Pac-12 Conference out of Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.
BYU Cougars Men’s Basketball betting
The BYU Cougars represent Brigham-Young University in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball tournament. It’s an old-school team with a history that dates back to 1902. It’s currently part of the West Coast Conference playing out of Provo’s Marriott Center.
Utah Online Sports Betting FAQ
Below, we have tackled a few common questions from users regarding Utah sports betting apps and bookmakers.
Where can I bet on sports in Utah?
Nowhere. There are no Utah sportsbooks, casinos, betting parlors, or legal bookmakers. All forms of gambling are banned throughout the state, including Utah sports betting.
Is sports betting legal in Utah?
Not at all. Both Utah sports betting apps and land-based sportsbooks are illegal in the state. The only form of sports-related entertainment available are daily fantasy sports (DFS).
Can I bet online on my phone in Utah?
No, you can’t. There are no Utah sports betting apps for you to wager with, as gambling is banned in the state. Barring some sort of legal action, there’s no way to bet in Utah, on your phone or otherwise.
Will online sports betting be legal in Utah?
It’s hard to tell. While PASPA being repealed has made the national legal landscape friendlier towards gambling, Utah remains reticent. No bills proposing to legalize Utah sports betting have been presented in the state legislature.
Final Thoughts on Betting in Utah
Overall, Utah sports betting fans are among the unluckiest in the nation. The state has severe legal restrictions on gambling, meaning they do not even allow a state lottery. As such, the future seems rather bleak for any potential Utah betting sites.
It’s a real shame, considering the deep roots that sports have in the state. Despite its relatively small population, the state boasts pro franchises that would be ripe for Utah sports betting action. However, changing the status quo would require a constitutional amendment.
This isn’t necessarily difficult to accomplish, in theory. Bills change state laws every day. Utah sports betting does lack crucial political support, though. If any politicians favor legalizing Utah sportsbooks, they’ve been quite timid about it. No bills have even attempted it thus far.
Needless to say, it’s a frustrating state of affairs for Utah sports betting fans. For now, their best bet is to head over to neighboring Nevada or Colorado.