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Legal Sports Betting In The United States

Lawbook With USA FlagWe have one simple goal here at sportsbetting.legal, and that's to provide you with everything you need to make an informed decision about your participation in legal sports betting entertainment.

This includes helping you find the most trusted legal online sports betting sites, avoid scams and predatory gambling operations, and to legally access betting options that give you the most value with competitive betting lines and odds.

As gamblers ourselves, we fully understand how crucial it is to find trustworthy sites. After all, you're putting real money into your accounts in hopes of winning, and you're also sharing your personal financial information with these sites.

We are avid gamblers as well as industry professionals, and we take the process by which we find legal, trustworthy gambling websites that are legally sanctioned and operating legitimately within the industry very seriously. If you want to learn more about the legal status of sportsbook gambling in the United States, we deliver this information to you in streamlined, unbiased fashion without the fuss and filler you'll find elsewhere.

Lastly, we're simply aiming to help our fellow gamblers, specifically American gamblers, find a destination they can trust so that doesn't put them at risk for violating any sports betting laws in the US.

Top Rated Online Sportsbooks
Legally Licensed For US Players

Each of the following sports betting sites is legally operating offshore in a jurisdiction where sports betting is considered legal. They are reputable, trusted sites that have demonstrated their commitment to USA bettors. We vetted these destinations for compliance certification, reliability, quality of customer support, the efficiency of their banking suite, and more.

Betonline Sportsbook 50% Bonus

Site NameCurrent BonusU.S.Visit Site
Bovada Sportsbook50% Max $250USA Players Legally AcceptedVisit Site
Review
MyBookie Sportsbook50% Max $1,000USA Players Legally AcceptedVisit Site
Review
Betonline Sportsbook50% Max $1,000USA Players Legally AcceptedVisit Site
Review

Update On Paspa - May 14th, 2018

New Jersey came out as the victor in the historical New Jersey VS NCAA case as they challenged the viability of PASPA.  The Supreme Court ruled in favor of NJ and has rendered the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act as unconstitutional and thereby null and void.  With PASPA repealed, states are no longer prohibited from implementing state regulated sportsbook gambling.

The Legality of Sports Gambling in America - Is Online Sports Betting Actually Legal in the USA?

Yes, it is, and in more ways than one. With the repeal of PASPA, which altered the application of the Federal Wire Act, both domestic and offshore online sportsbooks are now able to provide betting services to USA residents.  Neither of these laws has ever prohibited offshore sports betting, so those destinations that operate outside of the United States do have a head start on the US-based online bookmakers. The federal bans imposed through PASPA and the Wire Act only applied to US-based gambling businesses when they were fully in force.

PASPA - Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act

PASPA, also known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, made it illegal to own or operate a brick and mortar sportsbook anywhere in the United States with the exception of four specific states that were exempted from the law - those four states were Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana.

Now that PASPA has been fully repealed, states are currently passing laws to allow domestic sports betting and the industry is expanding quickly.  As of this writing, 10+ states have already legalized state-regulated sports betting, most of those states have launched some form of sports betting (brick and mortar, online, and/or mobile), and more than 24 states have pending legislation to follow suit.

Federal Wire Act

The Federal Wire Act does not prohibit American residents from placing bets online at offshore sportsbooks. Federal gambling laws in the USA do not have any reach into the international jurisdictions of offshore bookmakers. Since The Federal Wire Act deals only with the act of accepting bets or sending gambling information across state lines, there are no longer any federal laws preventing American citizens from placing bets at licensed online betting sites based within the US or offshore.

UIGEA - Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act

The UIGEA is a federal law passed in 2006 to impose strict regulatory oversight concerning how gambling related transactions could be processed by US banks and credit card companies.  The primary concerns at the time this law was passed included fraud, identity theft, and money laundering, all of which had been tied to the gambling industry by unscrupulous operators and gamblers. The UIGEA did shake the online gambling industry up quite a bit, and not in a very pleasant way, even for those who were participating legally as an operator or bettor.

However, since that time, gambling operators and payment processor have evolved and have learned to operate within the industry while adhering to the confines of this law. Most reputable brands have returned to the US gambling market and gambling transactions, online payment options, and identity protections are much safer.  With very few exceptions, this safety net is not in place at online sportsbooks that are not licensed and regulated, which is why we focus on providing information that points to legally sanctioned and reputable online sports betting destinations.

Have the Changes to US Federal Gambling Laws Allowed Expansion to the Online Gambling Market in the United States?

There are actually some online gambling sites that operate legally inside of the United States. After the Department of Justice reinterpreted the Federal Wire Act in 2011, several states such as Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana, and Delaware, took it upon themselves to legalize various combinations of online casinos, sports betting, and poker sites in their jurisdictions.

Offshore sports betting at legal online bookmakers is not prohibited in any of the federal gambling laws in the United States. Only Washington State and Connecticut make it a crime for its residents to gamble online through their state gambling laws. No other state specifically prohibits its citizens from gambling online at legitimate offshore gambling sites. These offshore sportsbooks offer attractive incentives, a wide range of betting lines, odds and wagering options, and their lines and odds are comparable to those offered at the Vegas bookmakers.

Check out our section about states that offer legal sports betting. We cover all 50 states, which laws are in play and which online betting sites can legally accept players from that specific jurisdiction. States which recently legalized sports betting but do not offer online wagering include Washington D.C., Mississippi, Rhode Island, Montana, New York, and New Mexico.

Will The Legal Status Of Sports Betting Ever Change In The United States?

Many states have already passed legislation that legalizes some form of sports betting with some states pushing online betting already. Since the Supreme Court overruled PASPA as unconstitutional, several states have expanded their gambling forms. At this moment in time, several states have legalized sports gambling in some form, though not all have launched yet:

Why Offshore Sportsbooks Are So Popular

Sportsbooks are definitely experiencing an uptick in their popularity, and this means more and more bookmakers are welcoming US-based players to participate in real money wagering. Technological advancements have made it possible to experience secure, high-quality sports betting action online through our computers and mobile devices.  Here are a few reasons offshore sportsbooks have gained tremendous momentum among USA bettors:

  1. Mobile Friendly - betting on the go from anywhere with an internet or cellular connection.
  2. Bonus offers - multiple incentives to attract and retain new bettors - offshore promotions are typically (not always) significantly larger than domestic sportsbook promos.
  3. Range of sports coverage - offshore bookies typically offer far more sports categories and on a global scale that spans both domestic and international sports events, matches, games, and contests, as well as politics, entertainment, current events, and more.
  4. Variety of betting lines and wagering options - including extensive prop bets.
  5. US friendly online payment options for deposit and withdrawals, including cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple and more.
  6. Access to additional platforms online, including casino games, live dealer games, poker, esports, and horse racing.

Convenience is certainly an important factor in online betting popularity. Currently, only a handful of states have launched online sports betting options, and bettors must be within a specific proximity to the brick and mortar destination in order to participate.

Technology provides the opportunity for sports events to be broadcast on a global scale, ensuring more of the world's population is engaged and certainly makes live in-play betting even more popular. Offshore sportsbooks facilitate live betting on your PC, laptop or mobile device.  Technology has expanded the sports betting market to most corners of the world. In addition, online sportsbooks also offer inviting bonus offers and promotions that sweeten the deal quite a bit.

What We're Here to Do for U.S. Sports Gamblers

Our primary goal here at sports betting.legal is to offer a comprehensive and up to date guide about betting on sports legally throughout the world. Currently, we have a focus on helping players in the United States since it's one of the most confusing markets from a legal perspective.

Sports betting is not a zero-sum game. The more people who bet, the more money there is to be won! So we want you to find the best and most reliable online sportsbooks with which to bet. It works out better for everyone that way.

We're going to direct you to the leading offshore sportsbooks that are licensed and trustworthy after we've thoroughly vetted them from head to toe. We look at reputation, security, banking options, betting lines and options, software used, where they pull their lines from, and so much more.

When we find a quality sportsbook for you, we'll offer our recommendation along with a detailed review. All you have to do is read the info and make your decision. It's that simple.

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