Legal Sports Betting in the U.S.
Thanks for dropping by BettingIsLegal.com, where we intend to tell you why and how sports betting is legal in the United States. We have designed this site to be the go-to source for all things related to the legality of sports betting, both online and in-person. If you are new to the world of online sports betting in the U.S., you will most likely be in for a welcome surprise, as there are more legal places to wager on sports than most fans realize. In fact, not knowing the facts keeps many people away from this activity, but we're here to change all that!
This page is going to introduce some aspects that we will explore more fully in our expanded sections. You will learn about the legal situation for sports betting in America right now, as well as see which sites offer the best all-around bang for your buck. In addition, this website will go in-depth covering the inner-workings of sports betting sites including how to deposit, how to get money out, and we will even show you the bonuses and promotions that come along with using online sports betting websites that take Americans.
This is a question that many people seem to have a problem getting a straight answer about. While you're on this website, we'll do our best to set the record straight by leaving no stone unturned when it comes to breaking down the legality of online sports betting. The fact is, there are only a handful of laws that you will need to learn about. Most individual states, for instance, do not have laws regarding sports betting. This means that the only regulations you need to know about are on the federal level, and we're going to cover all online sports betting laws, plus those that regulate land-based bookmaking, in the aptly named section located just below this one.
Land-based sports betting is legal in a few states in the nation. Everyone knows that Nevada is the betting hub of America, and it is also where you will find the best legal brick and mortar sportsbooks. One other state, Delaware, also hosts limited wagering opportunities during NFL season. The reason there is such a dearth of opportunities in the other U.S. states is due to federal law called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. We will cover PASPA in more detail in the next section, but basically, it disallows states from regulating bookmaking in all but the two previously mentioned (NV + DE), as well as Montana and Oregon. This leaves the majority of us with no options for social wagering, but plenty of opportunities exist online which is where we will spend much of focus.
Our dear country is free and great in many ways, but there are some outdated and downright archaic laws that pertain to legal sports betting. Luckily, these laws do not affect your right to access a legal online sportsbook. The regulations mainly attack betting establishments that are set up in the US, but do not extend overseas where the majority of the fantastic sportsbooks operate. Learning about the laws may seem like a daunting task, but let us make sense of it all for you, as it is much easier than let’s take a look at two more laws that restrict some forms of US sports wagering.
The Wire Act of 1961 is a primitive law that now only affects the way a sportsbook can send wagering information. If a state has a legal sports betting establishment, it is not allowed to send information by wire (aka: the internet) beyond state lines. This means that, if there is a sportsbook in Nevada, only those who are physically located in Nevada, residents or guests of the state, are allowed to wager with that sportsbook. The excellent news regarding the Wire Act is that all of the premier online sports betting sites that accept US players actually reside outside of the US. That’s right, the sites you will be using all operate overseas, and therefore the Wire Act does not affect them. As long as the sites accept members from your state, you can join them. Almost all of the sites we review accept members from all fifty states.
A law that has passed since the advent of the internet, the UIGEA regulates financial transactions between your bank and sports betting sites that are located outside of the U.S. Under the UIGEA, American banks are not permitted to send or receive money, through electronic means, from non-U.S. gaming sites like online sportsbooks. This means that Americans could encounter trouble when trying to use their credit and debit cards with these sports betting sites, however most online sportsbooks worth their salt use everything from checks to Western Union transfers, to bank wires and Bitcoin to skate around this. Be sure that any sports betting site you are using, or may use in the future has numerous methods for depositing and withdrawal funds from player accounts.
The reason that most states don’t have sports wagering laws is because of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA. This law only involves itself with American sports betting establishments, and is the prime reason why it is so hard to find a real world sportsbook in the USA. The PASPA only allows four states to host land-based sports betting events, and only two of those states actually take advantage this leniency. Only Nevada, and to a lesser extent Delaware, have any kind of real world sports betting. Nevada has almost unlimited options and some great sportsbooks, while Delaware’s sportsbook only opens up during football season, and there are limited betting options.
The only state laws that you need to involve yourself with are the betting ages. Most states set the age at 18 or 21, while some don’t even have a stated age requirement. While most online sportsbooks accept anyone over 18, we highly suggest looking up the age in your state to see if it is higher. If your state requires you to be 21, then you should probably wait until you are that old to join a sports betting site. This will simply reduce any chance of wrongdoing on your part, and you can wager without any anxiety.
Most sports betting sites offer more than just the “big four” leagues, but we don’t have room to go over every single sport or event. Below, our staff will show you how to legally bet on sports that are most popular in the United States…the ones that millions of Americans are making money on every day. Readers will be able links below that lead to individual pages that will help with finding the best sports betting sites to legally bet on that particular sport. If you are looking for the best overall sports betting sites that are legal then drop down to the section below.
Legal NFL Football Betting: NFL season always seems to be in the air or just around the corner, and if you are a football fan, these sites offer up the best odds and the fastest lines on every team, tournament, game, or contest. When you access the sportsbook head over to the football section and there should be no issue finding game lines, in-play lines, player props, team props, and anything else going on that is NFL related. Our legal betting on the NFL page will give you all the knowledge you will need to spice things up this season.
Legal College Football Betting: Depending on where you’re located, college football season is either slow or maniacally insane. If you are a fan, you are in luck. These sportsbooks offer the best lines on the web, and you don’t have to leave the house to bet. Be careful though, as betting on every single game can be very tempting. If you are new to sports wagering, I suggest only betting when your favorite teams are playing. The season is long, and you can’t expect to make a mil on one bet. Wagering on college football is more like a marathon than a sprint, so play the odds well and keep your wits about you; you might come out a millionaire by the end of the season.
Legal NBA Basketball Betting: There is no game that will make a sports bettor want to bang his or her head against a wall more than basketball. The tides can turn quickly and there is a new game every day, which is part of the fun and part of the stress when it comes to betting on the NBA. These legal online sportsbooks allow you to follow the shifting tides and bet on the highs and the lows of each season with ease. You get an automatic home court advantage with the fastest lines on the web, and navigating the book is simple and intuitive. You can never count an underdog out in a basketball game, so get ready to watch with clenched teeth as one of the most exciting sports to bet on is played out in front of you.
Legal College Basketball Betting: With more than three times (3x) the number of teams than the college football bowl subdivision, men's college basketball is another heavily wagered collegiate sports. First off, the season is much shorter. This makes the action more immediate, and more dangerous. Especially since these sportsbooks deliver the fastest lines and industry best odds to you for free. At the end of the NCAA year you could place wagers every day, so be smart and be careful. Basketball is tough to handicap in general, which makes wagering on it more risky, but much more exciting. If you are a thrill-seeker, head over to one of these US online sportsbooks during the college basketball season and you will be sure to have a blast.
Legal MLB Baseball Betting: Considered the ultimate American pastime, the game of baseball is loved by so many that it is really a national treasure. These sportsbooks offer MLB dime lines that beat the pants off the competition. Run lines (handicapped line), moneylines, and total wagers await users when accessing the MLB section of one of any of these sites, and don’t forget about player and team props, futures, and parlays. Whether you are in the stands using your iPhone or tablet or at home on your pc, you can access the best lines in the business.
Legal NHL Hockey Betting: Head over to the season props to get in on which team will win the trophy this year in the NHL. This game is fast and furious, and the odds at these USA sportsbooks update rapidly. Hockey is one of my favorite games, and I can’t tell you how much fun is added to a game by having some cash riding on it. These sites let you wager on all aspects of the game, and the sportsbooks are simply laid out so you can find any game easily, whether it is just about to start or it is a ways off.
There are plenty of things to keep in mind when seeking out an online bookmaker. We have already tread the legal ground and learned about how these sites operate and serve US players safely. The next step is to look into the various aspects and features that make these books great. A worthwhile sports betting site should have fast and secure deposits and payouts. That is a number one priority, and we will only point you in the direction of books that have the best funding methods. Another great part of wagering online is that you get perks and rewards that you won’t find at a land-based venue. Things like welcome bonuses and free plays await new members, and these sites never stop doling out the rewards. The next few sections will go over the many aspects that make up a great online sportsbook for US players.
One of the greatest things about using an online sportsbook for US players is that each one offers exceptional deposit options that are fast and secure. You may wonder why a site cannot just payout funds directly to your bank account, and this is because of the UIGEA, which limits the types of funding methods these sites can use. You can still make deposits with a credit/debit card, but you cannot request payouts with this method. We will go over payouts in the next section. As far as deposits are concerned, most sites offer credit/debit deposits, cash wire services such as MoneyGram and Western Union, bank wire transfers, bitcoin, money orders, gift cards, and more. Take a look at our sportsbook deposits page to learn all about the various methods.100 and the maximum is $650. There is a fee of between $12 and $20 depending on the amount sent.
More: US Sportsbook Deposits
As we mentioned earlier, there are many reliable payout methods, but one of them is not credit/debit cards. This is because the UIGEA doesn’t allow sites to send money overseas to your credit card account. This is not a problem for the millions of Americans that use these sites. Legal online sportsbooks rely on alternative methods such as checks, cash wire services, bank wires, cash/gift cards, bitcoin, and more. You will always have an efficient option available, and the millions of players that visit these sites daily are very satisfied with the payout options that are available. There is plenty of additional information at our sportsbook payouts page, so head on over if you are interested.
More: US Sportsbook Payouts
Many of you are probably wondering if there are any advantages to using a USA online sportsbook over a land-based one. Beyond the mere fact that there are only two states that have land-based options, there are plenty of perks and rewards that make the online sportsbooks far superior to their real-world counterparts. First off, each of these sites will reward you just for signing up and making a first deposit. These welcome bonuses can add somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000 in bonus cash to your initial deposit. The rewards don’t stop there either, as there are lifetime reload bonuses that will add a certain percentage to every qualifying deposit you make during your time with the site. This extra cash is an amazing deal, and one that you will not find at a land-based establishment. There are plenty of other bonuses that you will find as well, including reduced juice rewards, mobile and live-betting rebates, refer-a-friend, and many more. A perusal of our sportsbook bonuses page will blow your mind with how many rewards are in store for you.
More: US Sportsbook Bonuses
If you live outside of Nevada or have ever been away from your computer when your favorite team is about to play, you know the pain of missing your shot at putting money on the game before it starts. Well, now with current technology these sites can offer a world-class wagering experience to you wherever you might be, whenever you might be there. With mobile betting, you can take advantage of a complete sportsbook from the palm of your hand. You can even use your iPhone, Tablet, Android, or other internet-connected device to manage your account, make deposits, and request payouts. Check out our mobile betting page to learn everything there is to know about this exciting new way to play.
More: US Sportsbook Mobile Apps
Now that you know about the federal laws such as PASPA, you know that you will only find land-based sports betting in two states, Nevada and Delaware. Those that don’t know about online books think that this leaves the majority of Americans out of luck. As we mentioned earlier, there are numerous legal and reputable online sportsbooks that accept U.S. residents, and they are where the majority of people play. We have made the search for a premier sports betting site simple by wagering with all of them ourselves for many years. This site will include in-depth reviews of our favorite sites, and you are sure to find one that suits your tastes.
What happens at BetOnline stays at BetOnline. That’s what you will be thinking when you realize just how amazing this sportsbook is, and how much you can potentially take home in any given week. Speaking of taking the money home, BetOnline offers some of the fastest funding methods in the business. Deposits can be made with credit/debit cards as well as many other methods. For payouts, you will find cash wire transfers that will process within 12 hours, and bitcoin, which processes in minutes. There are also many other great methods such as checks, bank wire transfers, gift cards, and more. Check out the BetOnline online cashier to learn more, or head over to our deposit and payout pages for in-depth information about each method.
BetOnline has a phenomenal sportsbook that gets expert odds and predictions, and delivers insider news to members for free. Wagering here is simply one of the smartest moves a sports fan can make in this day and age, and the competition is amateur by comparison. Head over to BetOnline today to experience first-rate sports wagering action.