While the majority of news on gambling laws focus on online casinos and online poker rooms, that doesn’t help US citizens who enjoy sports betting. There are a number of laws that leave no confusion to the legality of sports betting in the US.
The Laws on Sports Betting
The United States has banned sports betting on a Federal level. There are currently four states exempt from this law, and other states who are working to be added to that short list. Of course Nevada is the mecca of legal sports betting and the casinos in Nevada would love it to stay that way. One example of this is New Jersey, who passed a state law allowing sports betting, but until they are exempt from the federal law, or the federal law is repealed it is still illegal to place wagers on sporting events. All other states it is illegal to bet on sports. In fact, the NCAA has threatened to ban playoff games in states that allow sports betting and the NFL has also been openly against any and all sports betting legalization.
A 100% legal way to placing sports bets is using the fantasy sports league betting “loophole” which allows daily sports leagues. The biggest advantage here is that these are 100% legal and are actually run by US companies like FanDuel.
Can I place sports bets online?
While sportsbooks are technically illegal in the US (besides Nevada), sports betting online is in a grey area where it is not technically illegal. The Wire Act was passed in 1961 only prohibits the transmission of bets on sporting events as an attempt to stop illegal sports betting rings and prevent money laundering. However, the UIGEA banned financial transactions with any gambling establishments, which includes sportsbooks. There are a number of different options for online wagers, however.
Where to place bets online
Thanks to the UIGEA, many online casinos and sports books do not accept US players. The ones that do accept US players may stipulate that players from certain states cannot make accounts. However, there are a good selection of online sportsbooks who welcome US players.
Because the selection is small, it is important that players do their research. Every sports book is different, and players should research to find the sports book with the lowest vigorish (the book’s profit margin) and the best odds and promotions. Not all sportsbooks will offer the same odds. It’s also in player’s best interest to find a sportsbook that offers generous promotions. However, before depositing players should always verify that there is a convenient deposit and withdrawal options available. Thanks to the UIGEA, US players are very limited – however most places will still take credit card.
Once you find a good betting site from any of the available U.S. sportsbooks online, the next step is to create an account and make a deposit. This is the easiest step of them all because online sportsbooks include simple directions to help you along the process. Now you are ready to place your first online sports bet. You will see a list of sports from which you can choose specific teams and upcoming matches. From there, it’s simply a matter of choosing who you want to bet on and how much money you want to wager.
BetOnline, Bovada, 5Dimes, TopBet and Bookmaker are five of the best US online sportsbooks available to residents of most states. Each of these books meet all the requirements we discussed above and should be more than sufficient for US sports betting need. They all have a deposit bonus offer to start you out as well, which is always a plus as it will help offset our losses…
Where to place sports bets in Person
When it comes to placing bets in person, there are only four states that currently allow sports betting facilities. Legitimate, US licensed and US regulated sportsbooks can be found in Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon. New Jersey is currently attempting to join the ranks of these states. Currently residents of Nevada can use sports wagering kiosks at various locations within the state, including kiosks at some Buffalo Wild Wings!
Why you shouldn’t resort to a Bookie
Unfortunately in most states, players who enjoy betting on sports are resigned to friendly bets with friends or colleagues. The determined will seek out bookmakers, or “bookies” and place illegal bets. This is dangerous because not only can they be prosecuted for breaking the law if caught, but illegal bookies do not offer security, no guarantee of fair odds, no transparency in profits and most importantly, no guarantee that you will actually be paid your earnings. I would never ever use a bookie, unless I have known them personally for years and I hear experiences from others who have used this bookie.
Recently, betting on sports in the US has been made legal only in four States; Delaware, Montana, Oregon and of course Las Vegas. In the USA, millions of business owners as well as office goers are involved in sports betting every week. If you are in the United States and one of those wanting to do some online betting on a sport, then the first thing you need to do is look through our reviews and choose from one of the better rated sportsbooks. There are scammers flooding the internet and you want to make sure you will be able to cash out your winnings. But honestly, the real truth is that there are less online sportsbooks accepting US players anymore. We have founds the best online sportsbooks that are open to US sports fans and you can bet on anything from College Football Games to NBA playoffs..
The most important thing you can do to get started is to sign up and use safe and reliable sports betting sites – live Bovada and BetOnline. There are a lot of them to choose from but if you stick with one of the sportsbooks reviewed here, you will be in good hands.