Is Online Sports Betting Legal In The United States?
Online sports betting is indeed legal in the United States. There are two types of legal online sports betting options in the US; regulated sportsbooks that are run by states and internationally licensed sportsbooks that operate in the US without issue. The latter is the most common option as all 50 states have access to these sportsbooks legally. Regulated online sportsbooks are taxed and are only available in select states based on partnerships and applications. No matter where you are, you find a way to legally bet sports online in the US.
Legal Online Sportsbooks
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Best Sports Betting Sites Legal For US. Residents
Below you will find a sportsbook review for each of the top legal sports betting websites in the US. Each of these sportsbooks is licensed in their home country and have been safely and legally providing a top-notch sports betting experience to U.S. sports bettors for over a decade.
America’s Favorite Legal Sports Betting Site
Bovada is the biggest online sportsbook in the US and legally supplies odds to the most bettors. Bovada is accepted in most markets (not available in DE, MD, NV, NJ, & NY) and supplies many US players with safe and legal odds. The sportsbook is one of the premier operators when it comes to betting options and accessibility.
More Crypto Options And Bonuses That Anywhere Else
One Of The Best Legit Sportsbooks
From player and game props to unique futures betting. MyBookie is home to a major variety of legal online betting. The sports betting site is filled with odds that you won’t find anywhere else while also allowing bettors to wager using cryptocurrencies and bet on all college sports games. MyBookie is also known for its selection of non-sporting events like odds for the Grammy Awards and the Presidential Election.
Legal US Betting
SportsBetting stands out as one of the best legal online sports betting options nationwide not only thanks to its bevy of odds and betting lines but also for bonuses and accessibility. SportsBetting offers a 100% deposit match bonus (max $1,000) for first time players. SportsBetting is also accommodating when it comes to banking methods, allowing for payouts through cryptocurrencies for players.
Trusted Legal US Sports Betting
United States betting fans choose Xbet constantly due to its crypto acceptance, college betting with no restrictions, and options for betting on contests and elections. Xbet is a major online sportsbook that hosts its full betting supply without the need for downloading an app. Xbet is also available in more markets than any regulated betting app, making it one of the most accessible online sportsbooks for US players.
Top State-Regulated Betting Apps
BetMGM holds a large chunk of the US betting market, located in most of the regulated states that are active with plans to launch in more. BetMGM ties in its sports betting app with its MGM Rewards program, allowing players to earn rewards for betting on sports and use them for other perks such as free bets, hotel stays, and team merch. Like other regulated sportsbooks, BetMGM is limited in its college betting offering in many markets. This is either no college betting at all or no college betting on local teams or in-state events.
Live Markets: AZ, CO, DC, IL, IN, IA, LA, MI, MS, NJ, NV, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY
DraftKings mobile sportsbook is the most widely available regulated sportsbook in the US, being active in 16 markets. DraftKings is known for its daily betting carousel that offers unique debts every 24 hours. DraftKings does not allow for college betting in select markets, and for many markets that it does accept college betting the options are limited to out-of-state schools and events. Additionally, DraftKings can only accept cryptocurrencies as banking methods in Wyoming.
Live Markets: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, LA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY
As the regulated sportsbook with the largest market share in the US, FanDuel has been a staple in the regulated market since 2018. FanDuel’s same game parlays are what give it the edge over many other local sportsbooks. FanDuel is limited with collegiate betting, making March Madness and college bowl game betting inconvenient for many users. FanDuel also does not allow for cryptocurrencies to be used to bet on sports. FanDuel is partnered with several local teams, hosting major events in select states.
Live Markets: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY
The Wire Act Of 1961 And Its Effect On Legal Sports Betting In The USA
The Wire Act of 1961 while having an affect on sports betting throughout history, has very little effect on the current state of sports betting. Also known as the Federal Wire Act was initially put in place regarding horse racing betting. The law prevented the transfer of money across state lines to be used to wager on horses. This was used as a method to attack the mafia at the time who were laundering money through horse race betting. Initially, the law was addressing those who would call in bets to racetracks over the phones and place wagers.
The law makes it a federal crime to knowingly use a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers. Initially, this law only included horse racing, but sporting events eventually were included over time. The law specifically does not state issues with the one placing the wager, but the business involved so this law does not directly affect sports betting fans.
Eventually, online wagers were included in the bill as the internet and internet gambling became more prevent. This law is the reason why players in California cannot legally place a wager at a regulated sportsbook in Los Vegas without physically being in the state. The reason this law has little effect on the market today is that there are so many options for legal sports betting that the Wire Act does not stop players from betting from anywhere in the US. While users cannot use FanDuel in states that do not offer FanDuel (or even have to make new accounts when moving from state to state), sportsbooks like Bovada are always available regardless.
The UIGEA And How It Affects Legal Sports Betting In The US
The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act is a 2006 legislation that was a part of the SAFE Port Act. This bill made online gambling operators and US financial institutions unable to transfer funds back and forth. Essentially, major banks are prohibited from processing transactions associated with online gambling. This makes it difficult for many to seamlessly collect their funds from their online betting accounts directly into their bank accounts. This causes players to go through extra steps when cashing out.
While the UIGEA does not ban out prevent players from betting on sports, it has proven to be an inconvenience to many for years. In fact, in 2011 many online poker sites were caught violating the UIGEA and allowing players to deposit directly into their banks despite the law. These sites saw legal ramifications in an event known as “Black Friday” leading to fines.
To bypass this issue, online gambling operators, including online sportsbooks, have increased the methods in which players can bet on sports. This includes cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, money orders, mail order checks, and many more.
Overturned: PASPA - The Professional And Amateur Sports Protection Act
PASPA, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, was – by far – the law that had the largest and farthest-reaching effects on the legal sports wagering industry in America. Essentially, for the 25 years that PASPA was the law of the land, sports betting was not legal in the United States (except for in Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana, though these three latter states offered only the most limited possible versions of the pastime and were not able to offer Vegas-style single-game sports betting of the kind to which we are all now accustomed).
Briefly, PASPA was a failed attempt by New Jersey senator and former NBA player Bill Bradley to establish Atlantic City as Las Vegas’ East Coast counterpart. Because AC needed sprucing up and was in dire financial straits from the start, Bradley crafted PASPA with a key caveat: Any state that had 10 straight years of legalized casino gaming under its belt at the time of the law’s passage could legalize and open sports wagering venues within one year, thus exempting them from all of PASPA’s restrictions (as was the case with NV). The only non-Nevada state that met this criterion? You betcha: New Jersey!
Ironically, of course, internal political quibbling prevented NJ from offering single-game sports betting within that one-year window, and on January 1, 1994, NJ was barred from offering sports wagering outright, joining the rest of the US states. They fought this ruling practically ever since, and from 2012 to 2018, the state successfully got their case through the circuit courts and all the way to the Supreme Court. On May 14, 2018, PASPA was finally overturned by the SCOTUS in a 6-3 ruling (Murphy v. NCAA).
With PASPA now a thing of the past, all US states are currently free to establish their own sports wagering rules and regulations. But that doesn’t mean that sports betting is legal in the United States through and through. Yes, a few states have legalized the pastime and authorized such gaming to take place in certain venues or online via state-based vendors, but the vast majority of states have yet to pursue the initiative in any concrete way. Most industry insiders expect 35-45 states to have legal sports wagering installed within the next 3-5 years, albeit there is already a movement at the federal level to take back sole oversight of the industry. Hopefully, the states will not give such authority back to the same entity that foisted PASPA upon the nation, but political lessons are often tremendously difficult to learn the first time around. Only time will tell whether or not the US Congress gets involved again.
State Sports Betting Laws
Individual states run their own regulated markets, meaning that regulations and state sports betting laws will be different from state to state. Some markets don’t allow online betting, some don’t allow college betting, many don’t allow betting on local teams, etc. Another thing that affects a lot of regulated markets is the preexisting gaming compacts with local tribes. Since gambling in many states like Florida, Arizona, Delaware, and others is controlled mainly by local indigenous tribes, sports betting has to be curated by an agreement between the tribes and the states.
States do not have laws within their legislations that outright ban sports betting, but before a regulated market can go live, many agreements must be made. This can be anything from tax rates on sportsbooks, where the revenue from sports betting will be allocated, what sports are allowed to be wagered on, and even how many sportsbooks can the state have. The process takes a long time for state sports betting laws to pass, hence why there are so many states that have yet to launch online sports betting.
So, Is Online Sports Betting Legal In The United States?
Yes, online sports betting is legal in the United States. Individuals will not get into any legal trouble for betting at state-regulated or overseas-based online sportsbooks in the United States. The only laws that exist against sports betting are targeted towards unauthorized sportsbook operators, so individual bettors are at no legal risk.
Can You Legally Bet On Sports With Cryptocurrency?
Yes, you can, you have no reason to worry about betting on sports with cryptocurrency on an online sportsbook for several reasons. First off, there are no laws in place by the federal U.S. that would prohibit you from using these crypto online sportsbooks. The one thing to note though is that you can only bet on sports with cryptocurrency at the online sportsbooks that we list on this page and they have several crypto options for you to choose from. Some of those crypto options include:
Will Online Sports Gambling Ever Be Regulated Nationwide?
There is no indication that the US would create a nationwide sports gambling market. States are content with the market being state-regulated as they can determine the rules and tax rates for sports betting. Sportsbooks are also not likely motivated to lobby for a federal market as they work closely with states in order to launch in each market. There are no plans to create federal sports betting laws that would create one market either. Additionally, gambling laws are also state-run. The implications of creating a nationwide regulated market would affect more than just sports. Many gaming compacts and local casinos would be affected by such legislation.
Is NFL Betting Legal?
NFL betting is legal in all 50 states. Currently, 30 states offer state-regulated NFL betting; the rest allow bettors to utilize overseas-based online sportsbooks, since there are no laws against their use in any state.
What Other Sports Are Legal To Bet On At US Online Sportsbooks?
One of the greatest things about wagering at offshore sportsbooks over the Internet is not necessarily the sheer convenience of it all (though this is a big point in its favor). Instead, it’s the fact that – being based overseas – these sportsbooks actually follow, study, and post lines on tons of sports that US books don’t bother with. On average, you’ll get more than a dozen extra popular sports to wager on just by using an offshore book compared with an in-state book, and you can wager on a huge selection of sports, leagues, and more.
Just a few of the supported sports that these top offshore books offer include the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NCAAF, NCAAM, NASCAR, golf, tennis, MMA/UFC, boxing, rugby, cricket, soccer, international basketball, international ice hockey, track and field events, the Olympics, futsal, volleyball, weight lifting, bowling, billiards, darts, and more. If it’s a sport and people watch it, you can bet on it at offshore sportsbooks. With thousands of wagers to place each day, the fun never stops!
Legal Sports Betting Age
The legal sports betting age varies by state; however, most states’ legal betting age are set at either 18 or 21 years old. Online sportsbooks, such as the ones recommended on this page, typically set their minimum age requirement at 18 years old. Despite this, it is advised to wait until your state’s prescribed age to avoid any legal issues.
Can I Bet On Sports Online In My State?
The short answer, yes you can bet on sports online in your state. While the options vary from state to state, every resident has access to online sports betting sites that take Americans in some form. Bovada, BetOnline, and MyBookie are available in nearly every state, with the few markets that do not host odds from these sports betting sites having other online sportsbooks including Bookmaker. Most regulated sports betting markets host in-state online sportsbooks and mobile apps and the regulated markets with no regulated apps still accept odds at sports betting sites.
We here at USAOnlineSportsbooks.com are not lawyers. We are avid sports bettors and knowledgeable on every aspect regarding the landscape of the sports betting industry, from the how-tos to the current events happening both on the legal end and gambling end of the market. This site offers readers our opinions, knowledge, and general thoughts on sports wagering. However, if there is ever any doubt as it pertains to the legal side of the industry, we advise our readers to contact a legal professional with their questions to be absolutely certain that their concerns are addressed properly.
Legal Online Wagering FAQs
The offshore online sportsbooks we mention offer betting lines on not just American sports like the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and collegiate sports, but they also have lines on international soccer leagues, cricket, rugby, golf, MMA, boxing, and a ton of other globally popular sports. The variety of wagers and wager types available is simply incredible, often providing you with even more action than the best casinos in Vegas. Most of the top sportsbooks available online will have several thousand wagers posted per day (which increases even more when you include live betting).