Less than a quarter of US states have made sports betting legal at the time of writing this article. Although, with many of them now taking the steps to legalize it, it’s clear that the strict stance on sports betting is becoming a thing of the past.

Washington D.C. is just one of the many states to be approaching the final stages of making sports betting legal, with the City Council having recently voted to allow wagers to be placed on sporting events within the district.

However, it turns out that there will be several exclusion zones in which bets cannot be placed. So, this means that officials will have to take appropriate measures to prevent VPNs being used to get around the strict geolocation restrictions.

With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know.

Which states have legalized sports betting?

As was mentioned earlier in the article, there are currently a small number of states with legal sports betting, with many others taking the appropriate measures to follow suit in the near future. At the time of writing, there are eight states that have fully legalized sports betting, all of which are displayed below:

  1. Nevada
  2. Delaware
  3. New Jersey
  4. Mississippi
  5. West Virginia
  6. New Mexico
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Rhode Island

As well as the above, you’ll also find that states such as Arkansas, Montana, New York, and of course Washington D.C. are close to passing laws that will make sports betting legal within their respective states.

Washington D.C. and the plan to legalize sports betting

Plans for making sports betting legal within Washington D.C. have long been in the pipeline. So it was only a matter of time before Congress would come to a final decision on the matter.

The Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 came into effect from May 3, 2019 onwards, which meant that for the first time ever, sports betting would become totally legal in the nation’s capital.

While the bill has now become effective, there’s yet to be any further official announcements on the matter. So, it remains to be seen when legalized sports betting will become a reality within Washington D.C., although it’s expected to be within the next few months or so.

With regard to online sports betting, those who would like to enjoy wagering on their phone will more than likely have to wait until 2020 at the earliest. This is because a specialist smartphone app operated by the District will need to be designed by a yet to be selected developer. Once this application has been created and approved for use, it will essentially allow anyone based within Washington D.C. to legally place wagers on sporting events.

However, the important thing to consider is that strict geolocation restrictions are going to form part of the finalised application, which falls in line with the district’s plans to have multiple exclusion zones whereby wagers cannot be placed when you are in a designated no-betting zone.

As with most geo-blocking systems, officials face a challenge. Namely, that VPNs will need to be banned in order to avoid anyone illegally placing bets outside of the specified areas. We’ll take a closer look at this further in the next section.

But first, here’s a list of some of the potential betting zones:

  • Capital One Arena
  • Audi Field
  • Entertainment and Sports Arena
  • Nationals Park

Betting companies in Washington D.C. – banning the use of VPNs

As we’ve mentioned above, geolocation restrictions are going to be implemented with the official sports wagering application that is going to be used for placing bets within Washington. This ensures that anyone who wants to wager on sporting events will only be able to do so when they are in a specified location.

In an effort to avoid people utilising tools to bypass the restrictions, officials are said to be considering a ‘VPN detection’ component as part of the application. This is something that has already been implemented within New Jersey – a state in which you cannot place bets if you happen to be connected to a VPN server. This works in a similar way to the systems which services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video use to block access to their content when you are using a VPN.

Taking this into consideration, it’s important to remember that there are no guarantees that the VPN which you choose will work for getting around the Washington sports betting VPN ban. For that reason, you’ll need to do your research beforehand – especially if you’re going to invest in a long-term subscription.

We’d highly recommend that you take advantage of a VPN which offers a free trial, or at the very least, some form of a money-back guarantee. That way, you can at least obtain a full refund should your chosen VPN fail to work for the purpose you require it for.

Recommended VPNs with servers in Washington D.C.

Each of the following VPNs each provide a refund within a certain time period if you are dissatisfied. So, it’s well worth considering investing in either of the options below – particularly due to the fact they each provide servers for legal online sports betting in Washington D.C.


While not the most cost-effective VPN out there, ExpessVPN comes out on top for most VPN reviewers across the web. With thousands of servers at your disposal including ones within Washington, you should easily have the ability to get around the Washington sports betting VPN ban. Prices start from $8.32 a month with a generous 30-day money-back guarantee.


With a 3-day money-back guarantee included, you can pick up a subscription to FrostVPN from as little as $2.99 a month. Supporting a range of excellent security protocols, all major platforms, and providing almost 140 servers across 40 countries, FrostVPN is a solid choice for getting around the Washington VPN ban.


VPNpro rating: 8.0/10


An unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee makes PersonalVPN a great choice for bypassing the Washington geolocation restrictions. Solid encryption protocols, up to 5 simultaneous connections, and high affordability enhance its appeal. Just be aware that to get it on the cheap, you’ll need to commit to a 36-month plan.

Final thoughts

As we mentioned earlier in the article, you should always opt for a VPN that comes with a money-back guarantee, as this means that you can always get a refund if you are dissatisfied with the service. With that in mind, each of the aforementioned services should work effectively – at least at the time of writing. So, if you’re looking to get around the imminent sports betting VPN ban in Washington, you’ll have the option to do exactly that by investing in a subscription to any of the VPNs listed above.