Legal Hockey Betting In 2016

NHL Hockey Player We decided to include legal hockey betting in our guide for several reasons. Not only is it a popular spectator sport, but hockey also brings in a lot of money via gambling. Betting on hockey is huge business, and despite the simplicity of the game overall, there's actually a lot to bet on between the lines. A lot of the betting action that is seen globally originates here in the US, so we determined that the topic of legal hockey betting was very relevant to American hockey fans. This page will cover the legalities of betting on hockey in the US, offer some basic hockey betting tips, and take a look at who is poised win the 2015 Stanley Cup title. It is our objective to provide US hockey fans with a valuable resource guide for making informed decisions when betting on this popular sport that directs wagering to legally licensed and regulated destinations providing a secure and high quality wagering experience. We desire to dispel some misconceptions and false information circulating about US hockey betting and provide concise and accurate information to our visitors.

Is It Legal To Bet On NHL Hockey Games In The United States?

When it comes to the legal status of betting on hockey, it is and it isn't legal. What we mean by that is that there are legal options for American sports fans to place bets on the NHL hockey games, teams and players, but in order to remain on the legal side of things, you have to understand the landscape and know where and how to place your bets within the confines of the law. That is the purpose of this section of our guide. There are several US federal laws that address sports betting and online gambling throughout the United States. These gambling laws include the Federal Wire Act, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Each of these laws has some impact on the industry and we'll explain how.

How the Federal Wire Act and PASPA Affect US Hockey Betting Options

The Federal Wire Act and PASPA laws combine to effectively prohibit online and offline US based sports betting throughout the United States. The Federal Wire Act was deemed to apply to sports betting in 2011 by the DOJ, and makes USA based online sports betting illegal. The PASPA law was passed in 1992 and restricts US sports betting to four specific regions: Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon. Only two of these regions, Nevada and Delaware actually allow any sportsbook gambling. These two laws do set the stage for all sports betting located within the United States and on an extremely limited basis. Neither of these laws prohibits US players from engaging in online sports betting through legally licensed, regulated and compliance certified sportsbooks that are located outside of the United States. This means that legal hockey betting opportunities are readily available to American residents through legal offshore betting destinations.

The UIGEA and Its Impact on Internet Gambling

The final law impacting online gambling is the UIGEA. It actually doesn't have any bearing on USA friendly sports betting from a player perspective, but rather places regulatory oversight on how online gambling transactions can be processed. It does not prohibit American bettors from engaging in online gambling, including sports betting, as long as you are visiting legally sanctioned destinations that are legitimately operating within the industry. In fact, it doesn't address players or player participation at all. The law is solely directed to gambling site operators and payment processors. This being said, there are no federal laws that make it illegal for residents in the United States to enjoy placing bets on hockey as long as they are willing to only participate at licensed and certified sportsbooks that operate beyond US borders.

Best USA Sportsbook For Hockey Betting

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Bovada is a fantastic sportsbook that caters exclusively to US players and is very well known and reputable. They offer all sorts of different hockey betting options from parlays, to straight bets, to first period lines and so much more.

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We have scoured the Internet to located and examine US friendly hockey betting sites to determine which ones hold legal credentials, offer competitive hockey betting lines and odds, deliver a high quality betting environment and exceptional banking services and customer support. We closely evaluate the security profile at each sportsbooks we recommend to ensure they are capable and committed to keep your personal and financial information safe and your transactions secure. The brands you see listed on this page have gone through a very intense review process and offer premium services for betting on hockey and many other sports.

Legal USA Hockey Betting Sites (All US Accepted)

Bovada Sportsbook 50% Max $250 5 Star Site Rating USA Friendly Visit Site Review
Betonline 25% Max $1,000 5 Star Site Rating USA Friendly Visit Site Review 25% Max $1,000 5 Star Site Rating USA Friendly Visit Site Review
Bookmaker 15% Max $2,500 5 Star Site Rating USA Friendly Visit Site Review
GTBets 100% Max $250 5 Star Site Rating USA Friendly Visit Site Review
        Sportsbook Reviews

About Hockey and the NHL

Although you will find that countries like Russia and Canada are the world's foremost hockey enthusiasts, it's actually the USA that boasts the world's most popular hockey league. The NHL is considered the true big leagues for hockey players, and the teams of the Nation Hockey League feature an incredibly diverse cast of players from all around Europe, Canada and beyond. Much like the NBA, the NHL is split into two main conferences, the Eastern and Western, and its 32 professional teams play an 82-game schedule, and then a playoff system to reach their final, which is known as the Stanley Cup Final. The winner of said final earns the Stanley Cup trophy for a year, after which they pass it off to the next winner. The NHL has been around since 1917, and over the years it has grown tremendously.

Hockey Betting Tips

Before anyone attempts to bet money on hockey, however, you might want to learn a few betting tips. These are basic, general suggestions to help you control your hockey bets. Let's go over a few things that will help you approach hockey betting in a logical, productive fashion.

Remember How Hockey Operates

The first thing you should keep in mind about hockey is that we're not talking about betting on NBA or NFL here. Hockey games are very low-scoring affairs, which means most under lines are going to have higher-percentage moneylines; e.g. O/U 2 (-135), which means the under is the most realistic bet, eating away at 35% of every dollar; or, in other words, taking $135 to win $100. The low-scoring nature of hockey does, however, make it very appealing to gamblers who like to bet spreads. For instance, if you're looking at the Sabres vs. the Penguins, and the Penguins are +1 ½, this is a very attractive bet. The Penguins don't have to win; the Sabres just have to win by fewer than 2 goals. As one might imagine, this is the norm in hockey. Rarely do teams have runaway wins whereby they put up 4 or more goals. Typical games are decided by a single goal. Understanding how the games operate will help you make logical, measured bets.

Don't Bet for Long Shots

One minor hiccup with a lot of hockey fans is that they expect minor miracles on the ice. Since the US beat Russia in the 1980 Olympics, and Al Michaels uttered his famous line, "Do you believe in miracles?" hockey fans have come to expect the miraculous. Unfortunately, this leads a lot of gamblers to chase long odds. For instance, let's say the Red Wings are playing the Islanders in the playoffs, and Detroit has a 2-0 lead. You have favorable odds to bet on an Islanders' comeback, not having to put up a lot to win a lot. But you must face reality; the odds of a comeback for a series win are improbable. Don't get caught up on long shots. Keep the odds in your favor.

Bet Logically, Not as a Habit

The hockey season is very long, and the playoffs have 16 total teams, meaning that you're getting four rounds of playoffs. In total, we're looking at well over a hundred game nights, with thousands of matches played. You don't have to bet on them all! It should go without saying, but a lot of gamblers have a habit of betting their favorite team on a nightly basis, trying to keep action on all 82 matches in the regular season. Save up, do your research, and bet only on the occasional game. Wait until a favorable line comes along that offers great odds. Wait until a time you can enter into a bet with an advantage; e.g. you want to bet on the Penguins at the Capitals and Alex Ovechkin is injured. Being selective with your betting is the best way to stay ahead.

Who is the Front Runner for the 2016 Stanley Cup?

There are 32 teams that have a chance at the Stanley Cup every year, but every sports fan knows that realistically speaking, only a few teams have a true shot at making a run through the playoffs. Over the past three or four seasons, two teams have been habitual contenders: The Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks. And despite other contenders out there like the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins, the oddsmakers are keeping things simple for 2015. The Ducks are favorites this year, just slightly over Chicago. The Blackhawks may end up with an easier playoff road, and that will make all the difference. So keep that in mind as the season unfolds. All things being equal, the Ducks are odds-on favorites; but should the Ducks run into trouble in the playoffs, the Blackhawks may be the team in the finals. You can check out a more updated preview on our USA Stanley Cup betting page.

No matter for whom you root or on whom you bet, remember to always gamble responsibly on hockey.

Hockey Betting Resources

NHL Official Website - This is a great all in one resource for hockey fans covering everything from scores, game previews and so much more.