Is It Legal To Bet On Sports In The U.S.?

Sports betting in the United States is certainly a complex issue. And when it comes to it, there are only a few states in which sports betting in legal some form. This is land-based though, and not online, which is a different entity. When one thinks of placing a wager at a sportsbook, Las Vegas is probably the first thing that comes to mind. And rightfully so. But there are other states where some forms of sports betting are legal.

Back in 1992, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was enacted to prevent wagering on sports. However, this only applied to states which did not previously have a legal form of sports betting already established. So states like Montana, Oregon, and Delaware all have forms of sports betting that are legal. All of the legal forms of sports betting by these states are licensed. It's when you get in with bookies and things of that nature that you run into illegal forms of sports betting, even in the aforementioned states.

Are Online Sportsbooks Legal?

Again, the answer to this question is complex. There is no federal ban against online gambling, however the federal government has enacted laws that hinder online gambling entities and the way that they are funded. There are two specific pieces of legislation dealing with this. The first is the Federal Wire Act.

The Federal Wire Act of 1961 prohibits businesses from knowingly using wire communication for processing a bet or a wager. These types of operations are prohibited in the United States. However, the law does not specifically pertain to the person making a bet, merely the way that the bet is processed. It's an important distinction.

The next federal law is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. This act prohibits the use of credit cards and other forms of electronic funds that aids in financing gambling activity. But again, this doesn't specifically talk about the individual making the bet and therefore they can be considered exempt. But we will get into more about this down the page with deposits and withdrawals.

There are a handful of states that have various bans against online sports betting, but these are not enforced at the consumer/citizen level. They are important to note but all you really need to know is that you will not get into any trouble when using these websites... it's when you decide to operate one + profit from taking bets is when problems arise.

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Best Legal Sports Betting Sites

There are a number of quality and trusted online sports betting sites out there, for which are completely legal for U.S.A Players to make wagers on. When looking for the best ones to open an account, look at the ones who offer big bonuses for betting sports online, but also plenty of options to withdraw money from your account as well. The quality online sportsbooks will make it very easy to deposit, but also easy to withdraw your money. It's quick (just a few minutes) and simple to sign up, and they don't cost a dime to become a member.

Bovada Sports - New Players Get 50% - $250 Bonus; No NY, MD, WA Players

Bovada is one of the foremost and trusted online sports betting sites out there today. They have been in the business almost two decades, and offer a ton of betting odds for a variety of sports. This sports betting sites frequently offers bonuses when users sign up at Bovada, but also keep up to date with the latest happenings in sports, like their NCAA Tournament Bracket challenge.

ReviewBesides being one of the best legal betting sites for players in the U.S., Bovada provides everything you could ever want from an online betting site. Among their specialties are NFL Football, NHL Hockey, UFC Fights but they are also very popular when it comes to betting on the NBA, NASCAR, MLB and all the sports in between.

BetOnline Sports - No One That Meets Their State's Gambling Age Denied

BetOnline is another quality online sports betting site out there. They have all the sports you would want to wager on, from the NFL, NBA, College Football, Horse Racing, soccer and plenty more. Best of all, this legal online sportsbook is legal for players in all 50 states!!! It only takes a few minutes to get registered and you will soon be making a bet on sports at BetOnline with ease.

ReviewBetOnline also makes it easy to deposit into your account, and offers a number of options for making a withdrawal, from wire transfers, a check through the mail, or other forms of Internet payment mediums. Either way you go, each of the different deposit + withdrawal options are solid, work with high success, and trusted. Looking at it like that, BetOnline is one of the most legit sports betting sites on the market today!

SportsBetting - Friendly To All Players In The U.S. / Minimum Age Required: 18+

One of the top online sports betting sites legal to take part of is SportsBetting. This sportsbook is able to allow many countries, including the united States, the opportunity to place legal real-money wagers. SportsBetting is located in Panama City, Panama, and is not under U.S. federal law. They are very welcoming of players in the U.S., allowing all 50 states to create an account.

ReviewDeposit options come very easy here as well, as we want to highlight the credit card choices of a Visa and American Express. These are two of the most popular credit cards in the world, so you and are very popular on site as well. Credit cards are very safe and fast ways to make a deposit into your SportsBetting account.

5Dimes Sports - For Advanced Bettors; Friendly Rules On Parlays, etc...

5Dimes probably has the biggest collection of betting lines out there, having them well in advance, and feature lines that some of these other betting sites don't have. With over 1,000 wagering options every day, 5Dimes has certainly made a name for themselves. The make it easy to deposit and make a withdrawal from your account. Plus, when you deposit, you get up to $500 in free bonuses.

ReviewBeyond all of that, 5Dimes is very legal + very U.S.A. friendly in terms of who is accepted. In fact, this sportsbook will accept all USA players that are at least 18 years old - 5Dimes doesn't defer to the local states' age to determine whether or not that person is allowed to bet real money on sports there.

Legal Online Sportsbooks Accepts Players From... Sign Up Bonus Go To
Bovada Sportsbook No Players In New York, Maryland or Washington Up To $250 - 50% Match Bovada
BetOnline Sportsbook Accepts U.S. Players From All 50 States Up To $1K - 25% Match BetOnline
SportsBetting.ag Accepts U.S. Players From All 50 States 25% Match / $1,000 Free SportsBetting
5Dimes Sportsbook Accepts U.S. Players From All 50 States Up To $200 - 50% Match 5Dimes

More Legal Betting FAQ

Is Online Sports Betting Safe?

In today's online community, it's hard to guarantee the complete safety of anything that you do online. But these online sports betting sites who deal with a ton of money would not be in operation if they were insecure. In fact, they would have no customers at all. The best legal betting sites, who we have mentioned on this site, have a reputation of protecting personal and financial information for their account holders, so that you can feel confident in depositing and withdrawing money from your account. These online sports betting sites keep your information as private as possible and all steps are taken to prevent it from being revealed to unauthorized users.

Will I Go To Jail For Betting On Sports?

From a legal perspective, there are laws in place that specifically deal with operators of online gaming and betting sites in the United States. There are also some states who ban online sports betting at their state level. As we told you before about the two federal acts, and some of the laws at the state level, online sports betting is a complex issue.

But, will you go to jail?

Unless you own and operate an illegal sports betting site, you will not go to jail for betting on sports online. Those online sports betting sites that we detailed do not operate in the United States, and are outside of the U.S jurisdiction. Most operate in Panama or Costa Rica (close to the U.S) and cater to U.S.A players. - Read More

How Old Do I have To Be To Bet Sports Legally Online?

If you were to ask everyone you meet, the general consensus would be that Americans need to be at least 18, but it is important to consult and view the rules and regulations of the specific sportsbook that you are looking to bet at. Also remember to check the local gambling age for your state or area. Even if these online sports betting sites are legal for U.S.A players, you don't want to violate the laws of the gambling age. The same can be said about any legal betting site whether it be a legal online casino or poker room.

How Do I Deposit Into Legal Online Sportsbook?

There are a variety of ways in which you can deposit into your online sportsbook account. A Credit Card is one way, but there are also other forms of electronic transactions like a wire transfer. Western Union is a good example of a wire transfer. Other ways include the use of e-wallets (similar to PayPal), bank wires, sending a check through the mail, or using a prepaid card; it all depends on what is available at the particular betting site you're interested in using.

How Do I Withdraw Money From Sports Betting Sites That Are Legal?

Just like depositing, there are a number of ways which you can withdrawal money from online sportsbook account. Internet payment mediums like the ones we mentioned, such as an electronic wallet (similar services to PayPal), cash wire transfers, bank transfers etc. However, one option that is almost always on the table is a check sent through the mail from the sportsbook. This typically takes the longest, but you would avoid some of the small fees associated with using these electronic transfers of funds.