Legal US Online Sports Betting

USA FlagSports betting is simply the act of attempting to predict sports results while placing a wager on the outcome according to an agreed upon set of rules or laws. That wager can be made either against another single sports bettor such as yourself, against a "house" or bookie, and even involve multiple prognosticators such as playing the weekly office pool. The allowable forms of legal online sports betting may vary drastically form one state or country to another, and wagering on sports events on the internet has become a popular and multibillion dollar industry. Legal betting online has taken off on multiple levels, with sports betting being one of the most popular legalized options available.

Naturally the most commonly wagered on events include football, basketball, and baseball. The comprehensive sports betting sites that we feature also offer a wide range of betting lines that cover both popular sports niches as well as some of the more refined, less popular types of events. You may even find yourself interested in a sports category you really never knew much about until now.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal In The United States?

LawbookSome countries like the United States do not allow companies to offer gambling on sports on the federal level. There are actually very few destinations in which you can bet on sports in the US, with Nevada being one of them. Though the DOJ did make a statement that each individual state has the authority to determine their own destiny regarding online gambling, sports betting seems to be the exception to this rule. The only legal option for US bettors who are interested in participating in online sportsbook wagering is to visit licensed and regulated online sportsbooks that are located outside of the United States.

These sites are operated under the regulatory oversight of a governing jurisdiction which has already legalized online sports betting for their territory, legally allowing them to offer their services to bettors around the world, including those in the United States. Engaging in sports wagering at these types of sportsbooks which are operating legitimately within the industry is perfectly lawful. While the US does not allow anyone to operate a online sportsbook within US borders, this does not eliminate the option of visiting certified offshore brands. There are no federal laws prohibiting this type of online gambling. You can learn more about these options in our detailed sportsbook reviews.

Best Online Sportsbook For USA Players

Bovada Sportsbook And Casino
Bovada Sportsbook Page
USA Friendly

Compatibility

Bovada Sportsbook

50% Bonus Up To $250

Certified

Bovada Sportsbook is the largest and most trusted site who caters exclusively to US players. Their parent company "Bodog" has been around since the inception of online gambling and they've earned a sterling reputation in that time. Bovada is licensed and regulated in Canada and offer a complete one-stop solution for all your betting needs. Whether you want to bet on sports, horses, poker or even play online casino games for real money, Bovada is the preferred choice for American players.

Bovada offers new sports players a generous 50% signup bonus up to $250 on their first deposit. Players can also claim their incredible $3,0000 casino bonus in conjunction with their sportsbook bonus. Bovada understands that each player has a lot of different choices on where to play, so they do a great job saying thank you by offering competitive bonuses and perks to both new and existing players alike. And they pay out winners like clockwork which is why they've grown to be the largest and most trusted site.

 Pros

  • US Friendly
  • Most reputable name name in online sports betting
  • Generous 100% bonus up to $250 for sports
  • Easy deposits via credit cards and Bitcoin
  • Trusted - They've never missed a payout and always pay

Cons

  • Only US, Mexico And Brazil Players Accepted
  • Excluded US States: NY, NV, NJ, DE, MD

Legal Online Sports Betting Sites For USA Players

The following sportsbooks all accept U.S. players and are legally licensed do do business in their respective jurisdictions. They are also some of the most safe and reputable sites you could choose to bet on sports if you live in the United States.

SiteReviewBonus OfferUSAVisit
Bovada Sportsbook And CasinoRead Review50% Max $250Play now
Betonline LogoRead Review50% Max $2,500Play now
Sportsbetting LogoRead Review75% Max $1,000Play now
Bookmaker LogoRead Review50% Max $500Play now
GTBets LogoRead Review100% Max $250Play now
DSI LogoRead Review100% Max $500Play now

Is It Illegal To Bet On Sports In The United States?

No, online sports betting is not illegal in the United States. As we explain below in our laws section, only offering sports betting as a business is deemed unlawful under US law. With the exception of a handful of states that are exempt from Paspa Law, this is why so many brick and mortar casinos around the US cannot offer sports betting. So the only viable option for players is to turn to licensed offshore sportsbooks that are regulated in a jurisdiction where online gambling has already been legalized. These sites can accept real money wagers from U.S. players because they are not located within US borders.

Where Is Sports Betting Legal In The USA?

Sports betting has the potential to be legal in all 50 states given the recent SCOTUS decision that repealed PASPA. Just like online casino and poker gambling, states must vote in legal sports betting. Several states like New Jersey, West Virginia and Mississippi already passed legislation on legal brick-and-mortar sports betting meaning they should have wagering options for residents by the end of this year. It is possible that some states choose not to legalize sports gambling options. Licensed offshore sports betting will still be legal regardless of whether or not your state has legal regulated options available (unless a state passes legislation explicitly mentioning offshore brands as being illegal). We will keep this page updated on which states offer locally regulated sports betting options.

States Where You Can Bet Sports Online Without The Fear Of Breaking Any Laws

While the following states haven't passed any laws to legalize sports betting, they also don't have any laws that specifically ban it either with the exception of Washington who makes it a class c felony for engaging in online gambling. Although we don't know of anyone that has actually been charged. So as we explain all throughout our website, players residing in any of the following states can legally bet on sports via an offshore sportsbook.

AlabamaIllinoisNebraskaSouth Dakota
AlaskaIndianaNevadaSouth Carolina
ArkansasKansasNew HampshireTennessee
ArizonaKentuckyNew JerseyTexas
CaliforniaLouisianaNew MexicoUtah
ColoradoMaineNew YorkVermont
ConnecticutMarylandNorth DakotaVirginia
DelawareMassachusettsNorth CarolinaWashington
FloridaMichiganOhioWest Virginia
GeorgiaMinnesotaOklahomaWisconsin
HawaiiMississippiOregonWyoming
IdahoMissouriPennsylvania
IowaMontanaRhode Island

What Federal Laws Affect US Sports Betting Options?

LawbookThere are a couple of different federal laws which are being used by the DOJ in their refusal to permit sports betting to those states desiring to legalize it. Many feel that these laws are arguable and are being implemented out of context. The laws in question include the Federal Wire Act, the PASPA of 1992, and the UIGEA bill. The following information addresses each of these pieces of legislation.

What Is The Federal Wire Act Of 1961 And How Does It Effect Online Sports Betting In The US

The Federal Wire Act prohibits gambling through an electronic means or by phone. When this law was established, bookies were set up by the mob and were running illegal gambling operations in excess. This law was the method by which law enforcement could put an end to these operations. Many argue that the law was never intended to regulate the future industry options of online gambling or prohibit something that was not even conceived at the time the law was implemented. However, this law is often cited by the DOJ and those opposed to the expansion of sports betting.

What Was The 1992 PASPA Law And How Did It Affect Sports Betting Legalization?

PASPA, or the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, prohibited 46 states from offering any type of regulated land based betting options. The law was passed in 1992 and exempted Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware. These 4 states already had some type of sports betting available so they were grandfathered in. All other states had a year to pass legislation that introduced regulated betting, but none did so. For over 25 years, PASPA limited these 46 states from introducing any type of sports betting. Even the 4 exempted states could not introduce any new type of betting that wasn’t present at the time of PASPA’s enactment. Only Nevada featured single-game wagering options.

How Did PASPA Come Crashing Down?

Over time, sports betting grew increasingly popular and the demand for legal betting options grew. New Jersey attempted to circumvent PASPA by passing legislation that authorized its existing casino locations to offer sports wagering. The state was sued by the major sports leagues and the law was shut down by the federal government.

New Jersey decided to appeal the government’s action. They lost multiple times in lower circuit courts but somehow landed an audience with the US Supreme Court. SCOTUS opened the case in December 2017 with oral arguments. After months of deliberation and testimony, SCOTUS ruled in favor of New Jersey and deemed PASPA unconstitutional. The law was repealed as of May 14, 2018. This means that the 46 states once blocked by PASPA can now vote in legal sports betting should they choose to do so.

The federal government may impose regulation on sports betting. Nothing has happened yet, meaning states are currently in control of how sports betting is ran. We will update this page if anything happens with the federal government. The sports gambling community is reeling in wake of this momentous decision by the US Supreme Court. Once the dust settles, we should have a clearer picture of how sports betting will now work in the US.

What Is The UIGEA And What Role Does That Play With Online Sportsbooks

The third and final important gambling related law in the US is the UIGEA law, also known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which does not affect the legality of player participation in online gambling, contrary to popular belief. This law in fact provides regulatory oversight concerning how online gambling transactions can be processed. It does not address or target players in any way, nor does it prohibit US players from enjoying online gambling options. This law is directed at online gambling site operators and payment processors, and attempts to establish a safe and secure environment for processing gambling related transactions free of fraudulent and money laundering activities.

When Is Regulated Sports Betting Coming To The USA?

Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have all legalized other forms of online gambling, and if those or any other US states successfully legalize and regulate online sports betting in the future, we will update our information here. In the meantime, those reputable online sports betting websites which support US players as well as international gamblers are listed on this page, and have all passed our extensive review process.

One reason states are going to find a move in this direction challenging is because there is some very strong opposition by powerful parties, including the NFL, NBA, MLB and NCAA, among others. These types of opponents come with heavy duty financial backing and influence, and are not easy to defeat. These sports associations are concerned with the corruption that can be fostered in the sports industry as a result of sports betting activities being integrated into it.

Personally I am not concerned about this as legal online sports betting has been available to US players for years from legitimate offshore online sportsbooks, and we have not seen an emergence of corruption throughout any of these sports leagues. That being said, based on the trouble that NJ is having achieving legal status for sports betting in their state, it may be some time before this niche of the online gambling industry makes any progress for state based sportsbooks. Should NJ be successful in their efforts, they may just be setting precedence for other states to also embrace state regulated online sports betting.

Will I Get Into Trouble if I Bet On Sports at Online Sportsbooks Regulated Outside of the United States?

As long as you limit your sports wagering to legally licensed and certified sports betting destinations on the Internet which are subject to genuine regulatory oversight by a respected governing jurisdiction, then you will not be breaking the law. Should you be recruited by a sports betting site that is operated within the US, then you would be participating in illegal gambling activity because the site itself would be unlawful. The online sportsbook brands recommended throughout this guide have been carefully vetted by a team of analysts, and are all licensed and compliance certified to offer their sports wagering services to players in the US and around the world. This is the very first element of their operation that we verify because any site that does not meet these requirements for legitimacy are immediately eliminated from consideration for inclusion on this website.

Sportsbook Bonuses

Online sportsbooks employ at least one incentive to try to attract customers whose history can be traced back to the "house comps", or complimentary bonuses, that started in Las Vegas at traditional brick-and-mortar casinos. These sportsbooks will often times offer a welcome bonus matching a percentage of your initial deposit when you open an account. For instance, a particular sports betting site may offer an extra $25 for every $100 you deposit as a way of saying thank you for favoring their company over another. With approximately $10 billion wagered on the National Football League Superbowl globally every year, much of it online, it is easy to see why websites are happy to spend money to attract customers.

When coupled with the 24/7 access and worldwide reach of the World Wide Web, this generous welcome bonus offers an attractive advantage over physical land-based sportsbooks. And for those sports lovers who enjoy the excitement that sports betting can provide, but do not have a physical proximity to a brick-and-mortar sportsbook, the Internet provides a simple answer. There are also financial and time considerations to be made when you plan on wagering in a land-based casino. These considerations simply do not exist in the current world of wagering online, and help drive the global multibillion dollar business in its current state.

Betting Types

The most common form is the "straight bet" that allows for wagering against a spread. The spread, or line, is a number created by online sportsbooks and offline bookmakers used to handicap one side of a wager, while favoring the other. If one basketball team is significantly better than another, the weaker team will be given points to even out the betting. Those points, or spread, are then added to the weaker team's point total at the end of the game to determine a winner. Other popular sports betting types are parlays, teasers, proposition bets and totals. And since sports wagering is not legal everywhere in a land-based format, and the nearest casino may not be close by, online sportsbooks have become extremely popular in the 21st century.

Additional Sports Betting Guides Included In Our Series:

Betting online has truly become one of the most popular venues of online entertainment. Following are some of the niches that make up the most popular betting lines found at most sports betting sites that accept USA players. You can check for up to date player and team stats, game schedules, latest news, and more. All this information will assist you in making informed wagering decisions. The recommended sites you see above also provide great statistical information and the latest news on the players and teams to help you in your wagering options.

Legal Online Football Betting - Who doesn't want to enjoy some legal football sports betting action on the most watched event in sports....the Superbowl!

Legal NFL Online Betting - NFL Season is one of the most anticipated sports seasons covered by sports betting sites, so signup with one of our recommended sportsbooks to bet on the NFL this season.

Legal Superbowl Betting - The Superbowl is the culmination of the entire season's activity and is one of the most watched events on television each year. We'll provide you with access to current odds and legitimate, trusted sports betting options.

Legal College Football Betting - College football fans are some of the most serious sports bettors participating in online gambling. Our guide will provide you with helpful information to make informed wagers.

Legal Online Basketball Betting - Millions of die hard basketball fans eat, live, and breath NBA and NCAAB action. Our guide offers some great content and recommendations on where to bet on USA basketball legally.

Legal Online NBA Betting - Check out our list of the best sports betting sites that offer legal NBA betting options.

Legal Online Baseball Betting - The World Series is an event that you see lots of betting line options for, from player and team props to live betting.

Legal Online MLB Betting - Check out which sportsbooks offer legal MLB betting and the best lines in baseball.

Legal Online Golf Betting - Golf enthusiasts can wager on golf matches legally. Learn tips and more in our informative golf wagering guide.

Legal Online Soccer Betting - Soccer is actually the biggest spectators sport on the planet. It's just not as popular in the United States as it is abroad. However there are plenty of soccer fans that will appreciate our guide that includes the best soccer betting sites as well as tips that will help you win.

Legal Online Nascar Betting - Nascar is a very popular sports in the United States. And it's fun to put a sweat bet on a particular race. Learn which sites are the safest to place your wagers with and which sites offer specific Nascar wagering lines.

Legal Tennis Betting - Learn how to bet on tennis matches and the various betting options available to tennis fans such as head to head matches, prop bets, live wagering ect...

Legal Olympics Betting - The 2016 Rio Olympics is just around the corner, and we've updated our guide to include the most reputable USA friendly sportsbooks that offer betting odds for the summer Olympics.

Legal Bitcoin Sports Betting - We just launched our Bitcoin gambling section which is a very thorough guide into how to use Crypto Currencies and whether or not Bitcoin gambling is legal in the US.

Additional Online Betting Platforms:

For online gambling participants who enjoy action on various betting verticals, check out your options for legal poker sites and USA legal casinos.