Legal Sports Betting In The United States
When starting your search for sites that allow legal sports betting in the United States, one key issue to address is the risk involved in betting on sports over the Internet. In broad terms, no sports betting sites are technically “legal” in the eyes of the United States government – at least when those sites operate domestically without licenses and accept wagers placed across state lines. New rules and regulations have swept through the gambling community to make it harder for US gamblers to place money on their favorite events, the most pressing of these being 2006’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, or UIGEA. However, although no US-based site is “legal”, that isn’t a problem for US online sportsbooks that operate outside of US jurisdiction.
With the recent overturn of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA, 1992-2018), legal sports betting in the United States can be found online in a few domestic gambling locales. For example, Las Vegas casinos have online sports betting available to venue guests, with some even allowing residents and visitors anywhere in the state to place wagers. New Jersey has similar laws for its local online sportsbooks, and other states are currently working on rolling out their own Internet-based sports wagering products. The UIGEA has no impact on these books, though the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 limits participation only to those bettors located physically inside the states in question when their wagers are placed. This geo-fenced limitation (which isn’t going away anytime soon) is a big hurdle for the tens of millions of US bettors that can’t conveniently wager in or near their states of residence, and that’s where offshore books really shine. Remember, these books aren’t technically illegal, as the US federal and state governments do not criminalize individuals placing wagers with these services. The UIGEA is the government’s only tool to curb such participation, and it only addresses domestic banking institutions that “knowingly” process bet-related international and interstate transactions. The best offshore sportsbooks have long since rendered the law moot, and the advent of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has made the UIGEA even more toothless and antiquated.
PASPA Overturned By The Supreme Court!
For the longest time, sports betting was illegal – from a bookmaking and gambling operations POV – in most of the United States. This was due to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA, 1992), which effectively gave Nevada a nationwide monopoly on sports betting. States like New Jersey, with once-struggling casino industries themselves, lobbied hard for the elimination of the law, and NJ eventually got their case heard at the Supreme Court.
In the case of Murphy vs. NCAA, the SCOTUS sided with NJ, overturning PASPA on constitutional grounds on May 14, 2018. This has opened the door for every state in America to initiate and regulate their own sports betting laws and industries. While new federal regulations are possible, right now the US congress has only cursorily debated the subject. That said, it seems unlikely that the federal government won’t attempt to take back oversight of US sports betting, particularly if a majority of states don’t hurry up and implement their own rules and laws for the practice.
Mobile Apps For Legal Sports Betting In The United States
Right now, you will only find mobile apps for legal sports betting in the United States in those few states that have casino-based online sportsbooks available to the public. These apps typically are geo-fenced to the casino properties, allowing sports bettors to place wagers while enjoying any of the casino resorts’ other amenities. You can wager from the on-site restaurants, game rooms, casino floors, pools, cabanas, and sometimes even the attached golf courses. You can also use these sports betting apps to place wagers from your hotel room. Other venues (in states that allow such, like Nevada and New Jersey) will allow anyone in the state to wager via these apps. Access is limited to in-state wagers only, however.
Online sportsbooks located overseas and serving US customers, of course, don’t have to be geo-fenced in accordance with the Wire Act, as no domestic US laws apply to their operations. However, that also means that the App Store and Google Play will not host any official iPhone betting apps or Android betting apps for these brands. Fortunately, all the best offshore books have simply made mobile-optimized wagering portals available through your standard mobile browser (Safari, Chrome, etc.). This means that you can access all of your favorite sportsbook’s odds and lines in just a few taps from anywhere you’ve got an Internet connection, nationwide!
In-Game Legal Sports Betting For US Residents
In-game wagering, aka live betting, is all the rage, and it’s the newest and most popular way to gamble on your favorite players, teams, and matchups. Traditional betting is great, certainly, but you’ve always got to have your tickets in before the game starts. Not so with live betting, which is fast becoming the number-one method for legal sports wagering in the US. With live betting, you can actually place wagers as the game unfolds, in real time! Most marquee matchups will feature lots of live wagering options, with odds being refreshed and modified every few seconds.
Thanks to persistent Internet connections and high-tech smartphones, any sportsbook member can enjoy easy live betting without huddling in front of their computers. Just make sure that you place your wagers as soon as you see favorable lines, because those could disappear one play later. With live betting, you have literally thousands of extra chances to win big bucks each and every day of your favorite sporting seasons. Live betting – along with mobile betting – is the future of legal sports betting in the United States.
Questions About Legal Sports Betting In The U.S.
Are there exchange rates for USA Online sportsbooks?
Typically, no. The online sportsbooks that are considered to be legal will happily accept US funds and then pay out players in the same currency. Unless noted otherwise, bettors who use American dollars will not have to calculate any exchange rate. This is especially true with any betting website listed at this resource, as these all deal directly with US dollars.
How do I know where to find legal sportsbooks for USA players?
As noted above, American anti-gambling laws that are in effect universally pertain to the business of sports betting (i.e. the sportsbook and bookmaker), not the people making the actual wagers. Legal sports betting websites that accept USA players would not risk their business by taking such players if that practice were a risk to draw legal action. If an online bookmaker takes your action, it is typically a safe sportsbook for U.S. players, provided it is a well-known and established brand.
What are some of the laws hindering U.S. online sportsbooks?
The UIGEA is the biggest hindrance when it comes to sports betting laws in the US. This was attached to the Safe Port Act of 2006 as an unrelated (and unread) rider. In short, the UIGEA was intended to make it harder for gamblers to use funds from American banks to make their deposits and – sometimes – to receive check-based payouts. Credit and debit cards like VISA and MasterCard can sometimes be rejected when used in specific transactions with online bookmakers. When this happens, gamblers have a few options available to them: They can use a third party to deposit funds (Western Union, MoneyGram, etc.), they can purchase a prepaid credit card online (which must be good for international purchases), or they can use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, DASH, Litecoin, and others. Bank wire transfers are usually quite stable, as well, and some sites even support a new go-between service called Direct Pay. (The Wire Act, which prevents people from accepting wagers across state lines, is not a hindrance to US online sportsbooks, as these books are not domestically-based.)
By far, the biggest hindrance to online sports betting in the US was PASPA. This law, passed in 1992 and enacted on January 1, 1993, banned all states but Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana from offering legalized sports betting, and it was the #1 reason why, for example, New Jersey was unable to include sports betting as part of its legal online gambling package that launched in 2013. However, PASPA was overturned by the Supreme Court, thereby allowing every state in the US to legislate its own sports wagering regulations. Many states have now started to provide and accept sports wagers at area casinos and racinos, and legal sports betting in the United States is here to stay.
Are there transaction fees at U.S. Accepted Sportsbooks?
Sometimes. When using third-party sports betting deposit methods, like an eWallet, you can expect to be charged a small fee of less than 5%. Credit and debit cards also sometimes carry fees for international use. As a general rule, though, the best online sports betting deposit methods – like wire transfers and crypto transfers – are fee-free.
How many off-Shore Sportsbooks offer lines on American sports?
American sports events are among the most popular in the whole world. Gamblers in Europe and Asia even bet on them. Therefore, almost every online sportsbook offers lines on American events – and not just the sites that cater to US sports bettors, but those that exclusively serve other countries, too.
Will I Get In Trouble For Betting Sports Online?
Individual users are within their rights to place real-money wagers on sports online. The federal laws in place cover the operation of unlicensed, US-based bookmakers, not bettors who simply wish to place wagers with these or other services located overseas. As such, offshore sites are the best options for true legal sports betting in the United States. Where players can get into trouble is if they use a website while underage. Gambling underage is a serious offense at online sportsbooks, which require their users to be at least 18 (though you should err on the side of caution and go with your state’s legal gambling age, if there is one). If you sign up and/or wager at these sites while under 18, your account will be terminated, you will be permanently banned, and all monies held in your account will be forfeited.
Best Legal Sportsbooks For U.S. Players
So, are you ready to see what you need to do to actually place a wager online? Well, look no further, because the online sports betting websites we've listed below are the absolute best legal sportsbooks for US players. These websites are very reputable and have been in operation for decades – otherwise, we wouldn't be active members ourselves! Remember, we bet on sports just like you’re looking to do, and we’ve tried all of the major sites on the Internet. This is how we know what you want, and it’s why we feel confident in helping you find the right sportsbook for you!
Bovada Sportsbook - Accepts All U.S. Residents Except New Jersey, MD, NV + DE
Bovada is one of the most popular sportsbooks on the Internet, and it is the most-trafficked venue for legal sports betting in the United States. Bovada offers a wide range of betting lines on everything you can imagine, from NASCAR to NFL odds and everything in between. You can also wager on a multitude of international sports at Bovada, including rugby, cricket, and soccer. Bovada also features some of the most innovative ways to bet real money on sports in an atmosphere that is friendly, inviting, and most of all, safe. And if you’re just starting out with sports wagering, Bovada actually has an excellent primer series of tutorials for all members.
Bovada also offers great rewards, like their Sports Welcome Bonus which gives you a 50% match of up to $250 when making your first deposit. This bonus is the best in the industry, with an extremely generous 5X rollover requirement. (Competing services often have bonus rollovers of 10X or greater.) Because of its wide range of wagers and its easy-to-use deposit methods, Bovada's online sportsbook is probably the best legal sports betting site that allows US residents. And that’s probably why over 10 million US betting enthusiasts call Bovada home for all their sports wagering needs.
BetOnline Sportsbook - No U.S. Residents Meeting Legal Age To Bet In Their State Turned Away
In a matter of minutes, you can be registered and wagering money on whatever betting line you choose if you decide to sign up with BetOnline. This website is very professional and would be a no-brainer if it weren't for other bookmakers like the ones listed on this page, which all have their strong points (which is why it’s a good idea to sign up at several different books, especially to shop around for the best lines, even though BetOnline will almost always bring you top value for your money). With that said, BetOnline has the best bonus promotion going, which is a 25% perk worth up to $1000 on every deposit for life, and this free money brings users back with frequency.
Of course, BetOnline's ultra-quick deposit methods are very nice, but the fast payout options are what truly separate it from the rest of the pack. At BetOnline, it can take less than 24 hours to get paid with cash depending on the day/time your payout request is made and processed. This timeline is shortened even further if users elect to be paid via Bitcoin or another supported cryptocurrency.
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