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United States Legal Sports Betting Online Options Explored

July 9, 2014
Law Book

Legal betting online in free play formats is expansive. Social networking Goliath Facebook typically claims its most popular games and applications as those which allow users to play virtual casino games, poker and bingo. These social betting applications are entirely for fun, but players can spend money for upgrades and add-ons. There are even a few social sports betting sites that work in the same manner. No real money wagers are accepted, since US companies offering sports betting are illegal currently in the United States. But global sports betting is estimated to generate between $380 billion and $450 billion, according to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission.

Where Are US Sports Bettors Legally Placing Wagers?

Much of that is generated in the United States, so where is the money going? Illegal local bookies which are undependable and unreliable at best handle a small portion of that total, and of course you have Las Vegas, Nevada. The old saying that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas is true when it comes to legal sports betting revenue, as Nevada is the only state other than Delaware in the US which legally accepts sports betting wagers. But still, the question remains. With 33.5 million Americans playing fantasy sports in the US annually, many of those cash league players, and major sporting contests consistently ranking as the most viewed television broadcasts every year, where exactly is the majority of legal US sports betting happening?

Some Legally Regulated And Licensed Sports Betting Sites Honor US Bettors

To answer that question, we have to take a little trip. Costa Rica has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Canada’s economy is thriving while many countries struggle in that regard. And the United Kingdom boasts one of the largest and most stable economies as well. What do those three areas have in common? They all offer legalized and regulated online gambling industries. Along with Gibraltar, Malta and Panama City, Panama, they exist as a handful of the most respected and identifiable legal betting online license providers in the world. And many of those jurisdictions support United States sports bettors through their legitimately obtained and updated licensing.

In 2011, federal authorities in the United States decided that the Wire Act of 1961 only held sway over sports betting. However, the law was passed to primarily disallow US-based companies from engaging in offering and accepting sports bets over wired and wireless communications technologies. No federal law exists that says a USA citizen cannot place a sports wager if he or she so desires. State-based and regulated in-state sports betting was recently proposed by New Jersey, but the application of the 1961 Wire Act was upheld by the Supreme Court, disallowing the Garden State from offering its own regulated sports betting industry.

A legitimate alternative then means that US citizens can safely place sports wagers at legally licensed offshore locations which qualify for certification provided by the online gambling industries we mentioned above. This includes but is not limited to the most popular Internet sports betting destination for US residents, Bovada. If you remember the Bodog Internet gambling entity that developed a massive US following, Bovada is the new face of the old Bodog management team. With stringent anti-sports betting legislation currently not allowing US companies to care for the obviously popular needs of residents in the states, seasoned and respected offshore sports betting providers like Bovada are providing legitimate alternatives.