States With Legal Sports Betting
Ever wonder about legal sports betting in the United States? And we mean really wonder, not just assume that since you had heard somewhere that placing bets on sports outside of Las Vegas was banned that you were not able to do it. An assumption like that would be terribly unfortunate, as there are actually plenty of opportunities for sports fans to get in on the action of betting real money on their favorite teams. Additionally, new developments in the realm of politics are about to blow the industry up bigger than ever before.
With that in mind, we want to welcome you to SportsBettingStates.com, a site where wagering on sports and the laws surrounding the activity here in the United States is the primary topic. The goal here is pretty simple. We want to veteran bettors and newcomers to the hobby alike the best and most current information relating to state sports betting. This is not just information on the current state of affairs either, but rather a general scope of all the options available as well.
In that last regard, there are actually plenty of options as far legally betting on sports in the US is concerned. We will take a look at how this works from the perspective of both land-based and online sports betting outlets – primarily those based overseas. There are some states where land-based sports betting has been legal for decades, and now that a key federal anti-sports betting law has been overturned by the US Supreme Court, there are going to be plenty more states offering sportsbooks too. Read on to find out all the ins and outs of this exciting hobby that puts fans in the middle of the action of their favorite sports.
Land-based sports betting can be done legally in the United States, but only one state has had any sportsbooks to speak of in the last quarter of a century or thereabouts. We are, of course, referring to Nevada, and you can bet everything imaginable at Sin City’s famous sports betting shops lining the Strip. While placing legal sports wagers has been limited in terms of geography until the recent repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) by the US Supreme Court, federal laws did previously allow for certain states to participate and regulate legal sports betting prior to PASPA’s overturn in May of 2018.
Though many more states will likely be looking to add sports betting services to their already established repertoires of other gambling activities following the SCOTUS justices’ 6-3 majority decision in favor of declaring PASPA unconstitutional, while the law was still in effect only four states – Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana – could legally permit sports betting. Because these four states had to carry the torch of sports betting alone for so long, it will help our readers gain a better understanding of the direction the hobby could take if we have a thorough grasp on where it came from since the early ‘90s. In many ways, the new sports betting states will probably be looking to follow the lead of these states that passed legislation regulating sports wagering activities so long ago.
Nevada - Nevada is without a doubt the state that most people in the US and indeed all over the world associate most closely with gambling of all kinds, and sports betting is definitely on the menu there. The Silver State is the most unrestricted state in terms of sports betting among the four that were grandfathered into the provisions of PASPA. Residents and visitors to Nevada had been are are easily able to place wagers on a variety of sports, and a variety of different types of bets at a variety of land-based bookmakers.
Sportsbook patrons get to take full advantage of straight bets, parlays, live betting and more. There is really just about everything one could imagine on the table when it comes to betting on sports at the licensed sportsbooks in Nevada. The SCOTUS decision to can PASPA probably won’t have too much of an impact on the Nevada sports betting industry, but only time will tell.
- Las Vegas: Caesar's Palace, Bellagio, Palms, Harrah's
- Reno: Harrah's Reno, Peppermill
- Tahoe: Harrah's Lake Tahoe, MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa
Delaware - Not many people may realize this, but Delaware has been a trendsetter and a very important player in the fight for legalized gambling in the United States. Sports betting is actually legal at three different places. However, betting on sports in Delaware at these licensed sportsbooks is, sadly, much more limited in scope than it is out in Las Vegas, and the state’s laws do not allow single game betting to take place. Nevada is, for now, the only state that allows single game betting, though that could change now that PASPA has been overturned by the Supreme Court, and Delaware’s lawmakers are no doubt looking into expanding their offerings at the state’s newly broadened sports betting marketplace.
For the time being, however, parlays are the only form of sports wagering for bettors in Delaware – still, that’s more than most other states could say for themselves until very recently!
- Delaware Sportsbooks: Dover Downs, Harrington Raceway & Casino, Delaware Park Racetrack
Oregon - Oregon sports fans have been in a difficult and peculiar situation since 2017. On one hand, PASPA denied regulated sports betting to most of the states in the nation, yet Oregon was grandfathered in and allowed to continue offering what sports betting it had already regulated from years back. When PASPA took effect in the early ‘90s it contained a clause that stated that any state that had regulated sportsbooks at least ten-years prior to the law passing would be exempt from it.
Even though Oregon was one of the states that was allowed to legally offer sports betting according to PASPA, there are currently no state regulated land-based sportsbooks to be found inside the state lines. Still, you and your friends can get together and enjoy some great sports betting, or you can create an office pool. Unlike a lot of other states around the country that might take the occasion of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn PASPA as an invitation to radically alter their policies on sports betting, we don’t look for Oregon to suddenly reverse its surprisingly prohibitive stance on sports wagering just because lawmakers there can do it.
Montana - Montana is full of sports fans, and there are always seemingly plenty of opportunities to wager on games. Montana was one of four states that were exempt from PASPA’s prohibitions against passing laws to regulate and legalize sports betting because it already had laws on the books for at least 10 years prior to 1993, when PASPA took effect. While the state does not currently have any sportsbooks, there used to be many back in the day - and those glory days might come around again soon now that the US Supreme Court has struck down PASPA, thus allowing the states to decide for themselves how to chart their course regarding wagering on sports.
There is already a strong contingent of Montana political figures looking into how to integrate sports betting into the overall gambling industry there, but in the meantime Montana residents can join in on an office pool, or gather some friends and create your own sportsbooks. There are many ways to add excitement to your favorite team’s upcoming season and more could be on the way in the relatively near future, so keep your eyes peeled for any updates coming out of the state legislature.
In point of fact, the answer to this question is a resounding “NO.” And the reasoning behind that answer coalesces around the reality of online sports betting. Right now there are just a couple of states in the US where land-based sports betting is available, though the Supreme Court’s decision to repeal PASPA opens the door for other states to get in on the action as well. However, US bettors across the entire country have the ability to access legal sport betting sites based overseas.
These 100 percent legal offshore that allow players from the U.S. to sign up for an account and place real money wagers. Whether it's a single bet or a parlay, all betting options are on the table here, spanning many of the most popular collegiate and professional sports. Essentially, it boils down to the fact that placing an online wager in the US is legal. What the laws at the federal level attack are from the angle of the site operators. Bettors are only affected in the sense that any sports betting sites based in the US were banned, while those based offshore are happy to fill the void here.
In order to answer the question, we first need to explain some grey area on the topic. There are legal issues surrounding online sports betting in the U.S., because federal laws prohibit the operation of such sites from taking place within the national borders. This is explained just below in some more specific detail about the laws that impact legal sports betting sites. Nevertheless, the key takeaway for you to know is that the individual bettor can legally place at bet at a sportsbook allowing them to do so, so long as that sportsbook is not located in the United States.
Bettors who choose to go down this route will not have to worry about getting into trouble with the law – if indeed there are any laws that specifically mention sports betting or online wagering among their prohibited gambling activities. And if you choose to go with a reputable site like the ones that we have already mentioned on this page, you can know going in that you will get paid out the winnings that you earned.
But at the onset of this answer we did mention the issue of federal laws, for which they do regulate what can and cannot be done from the perspective of online sports betting in the United States. Further down the page we'll list out and briefly explain the key aspects of the sports betting laws that all bettors should be aware, because it paints the necessary picture to ease your mind about why using reputable offshore sites is the way to go.
You can legally bet on college football online at any reputable sports betting site. Legal online sportsbooks are based offshore and licensed to accept American bettors. With no federal laws that prohibit using an online sportsbook and only a handful of states with any type of online gaming legislation, finding states with college football betting sites is easy.
Whether you live in Nevada or some state that has zero sports betting, placing bets online might still be a better way to go then betting in Las Vegas. The truth of the matter is that there are tons of online sportsbooks that accept USA players, including some of the largest betting companies in the world. Online sportsbooks offer options that land based sportsbooks have not even dreamed of like buying points, bonuses, and more.
The number of online sports betting sites that accept USA players may be high, but the number of trusted sportsbooks is very limited. There is less then 10 online sports betting sites that we reccomend at this time, and it has been that way for quite a while. The USA sports betting sites that we list have all been online for years and have solid reputations in the industry. No matter what state you live in, we have quality sports betting sites that will accept players from your state.
Check out the sites below and then click on the review to see if that particular sportsbook accepts players from where you live. If they do not, then one of the other ones do. There is not a single state that does not have at least a few sportsbooks that will accept them.
If you are looking at the possibility to place a bet online, you want to get familiar with the name Bovada. This is because Bovada Sportsbook comes in at No.1 on our list of top sports betting sites that are legal for the American player. This sportsbook happily accepts U.S. players, though if you reside in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, or Nevada, unfortunately you will have to seek an alternative.
What you will find at Bovada is an exceptional list of sports that are available to place a bet on. Bovada works just like any sportsbook, where players can lay down money and win money if they get their wager correct. Among the sports offered, Bovada has a fantastic NFL section complete with game odds for every matchup on the schedule, plus Super Bowl betting lines up year-round.
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You could live in Florida, New York, California, or anywhere in between and be accepted at BetOnline is you are the legal age to gamble. BetOnline Sportsbook is an American sports bettor’s best friend, featuring a ton of ways to play for real money and bet on a number of sports.
BetOnline is a safe and legit sportsbooks for American players that has never had an incident of any payout to a player been missed. The Offshore Gambling Association regulates BetOnline and has never received a complaint. BetOnline is legal because they operate out of Panama; though cater to the American player, which you can easily tell simply by the design and content of the site.
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In your quest to find a great online sportsbook where USA players can create an account safely and play for real money, SportsBetting might just be the thing you are looking for. All 50 states are able to sign up here at SportsBetting, which is certainly a nice feature. Not every sportsbook allows this, but SportsBetting is one that does as long as you are at least 18 years old or the minimum age to bet in your state.
We trust SportsBetting for a number of accounts, and have had nothing but success and reliable service. We play here because it's legal to do, and it has a record of impeccable service and reputation. You won't hear of an American player legally old enough to gamble getting into trouble here. Based in Panama, the online sportsbook at Sportsbook is as good of an online sports betting site as you will find.
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5Dimes Sportsbook does accept players from the United States and to our knowledge they do not limit any states from the ability to create a new account. This is great news for bettors, because 5Dimes has a lot of great things to offer their players who choose to sign up for an account with them. In fact, this sportsbook is one of the few that does not default to each state's legal age to bet to determine whether a potential player is allowed to wager; users only need to be 18 years old in order to register and wager with 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Some of the notable features that you can expect to spot at 5Dimes include certifications and licenses to ensure legitimacy. 5Dimes is very transparent because they want their players to be comfortable knowing that they are with a trusted American-friendly sportsbook for which you are legally allowed to bet real money.
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Three main federal laws impact the legality of sports betting in the U.S. All three approach the issue from different angles, and all three (until quite recently) remain a key part of limiting sports wagering in the US outside of a few states and jurisdictions. Each law serves a distinct purpose in the federal government’s ongoing plan to limit the spread of sports wagering, be that by insisting on protecting the integrity of the game or to stop criminal organization from profiting from setting up illegal betting schemes.
Professional And Amateur Sports Protection Act - PASPA is a federal law relating to land-based sports betting. This law passed in 1992 and banned sports wagering in all but a few states. Nevada and Delaware are the two states with active sports wagering today, though Montana and Oregon also have the legal ability to offer some form of sports betting.
This pervasive and widely powerful law was overturned on May 14, 2018, by a majority decision from the US Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of New Jersey in its case against PASPA, Murphy v. NCAA. The SCOTUS justices ruled that PASPA is unconstitutional on the basis of its infringements into the rights of states to regulate wagering activities, and therefore struck it down. This means that all 50 states are now free to pursue policies of legalizing, regulating and taxing sports betting as they see fit.
More: Learn More About PAPSA
Wire Act - Ruled in 2011 to apply only to sports betting, the Federal Wire Act targets sports betting businesses and the way that they accept payments for a bet. No forms of wired communication, including interstate internet connections, are allowed to be used for betting purposes under the Wire Act by a betting business to help in the process of a financial transaction for such an act.
This law was originally conceived of in the 1960s as a means of combatting the influence of organized criminal organizations, which had by that time in history come to rely on illegal betting practices such as racketeering and match fixing as a more profitable income stream than even the illicit drug trade or prostitution. The Wire Act has been in effect longer than any other comparable federal anti-sports betting law and is still quite powerful and important today, as states are beginning to consider offering online sports betting platforms for in-state users only.
Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act - The UIGEA, like the Wire Act, forces American bettors to go to offshore sites if they want to legally place bets on sports. This law bans domestic financial institutions from processing payments for bets and wagers carried out over the internet, making it difficult even for legal overseas-based offshore operators to accept payments from or make payments to some credit cards.
To sum it up, the sportsbook sites can't do what they are designed to do, though the actual betting process is not outlawed, meaning individual bettors cannot be prosecuted under this law. Nowadays, the industry’s leading legal offshore sports betting sites all utilize their own in-house financial processors, making the use of debit and credit cards a much smoother process overall, enhancing reliability and security for account holders looking to make a deposit or collect their winnings.
With there being 50 states in the US, the potential exists for many different forms of sports betting laws to be made at the state level. Some states have many sets of betting laws, though many others rely strictly on the federal government’s own legislation relating to allow sports betting practices and what those laws say. In any case, the potential for states to implement their own betting laws is there, and now that the US Supreme Court has overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), we will in all likelihood be seeing some huge changes in this area in the near future.
If you are interested in your state betting laws, we invite you to check out pages dedicated to your state specifically, and check out online sportsbooks that allow bettors from your state to play for real money.
Access to sports betting is very limited when it comes to being able to walk into a sportsbook on land here in the US. The one real exception to that rule for many years was Nevada, where residents and visitors have plenty of options with regard to legally place a bet on their favorite team, player or event. For those individuals living in the other 49 states, we could not until very recently have said that there were many choices at all.
Even in the case of Delaware, one of the states in which some form of sports betting is legal according to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) there are specific restrictions on what was and what was not an allowable wagering activity. As far as what the future holds for betting on sports, there are governing bodies in the major professional and collegiate sports leagues - including leagues like the NFL and organizations like the NCAA that have historically been against any expansion of sports betting outside of Nevada. Nevertheless, the US Supreme Court’s May 2018 ruling to overturn PASPA for violations of the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution has shaken things up quite a bit, as all 50 states are now able to pursue their own course of action regarding the legalization of online sports betting in the US.
There are many constituents fighting to legalize sports betting in America. It was long thought by many people – bettors, athletes, politicians, gambling operator and industry analysts alike – that PASPA was outdated, and by now, most people agree that it does more harm than good by creating even more illegal bookies and nefarious betting rings throughout the states. New Jersey came the closest to overturning the federal ban, and former Governor Chris Christie took the now fateful fight all the way to the SCOTUS justices for a ruling – and what a ruling the Garden State got!
What’s more, the number of states fighting to get expanded sports betting rights has risen tremendously in the years leading up to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down PASPA. New York, West Virginia, Minnesota, Indiana, Mississippi, Texas, Kansas and South Carolina (among many others) have all considered sports betting bills of late, and several of them even managed to pass laws that, like those passed by New Jersey in 2014, would allow gaming operators in their states to secure licensed for sportsbooks if PASPA were to be overturned.
Now that PASPA has been defeated, more and more state lawmakers are starting to voice their opinions on this crucial matter as well, and we could very possibly see legal nationwide sports betting become reality in the next few years.