Is It Legal To Bet With A Bookie?

With a few “social gaming” exceptions, you can’t place a sports bet without a bookie. So if you’ve ever wanted to let some cash ride on the big game, you’ve probably wondered: Is it legal to bet with a bookie? The answer is that, as with most issues of legality, it really depends. In the United States, sports betting at on-land casinos has been largely illegal. From 1992 to 2018, Nevada was the only state with single-game wagering and Delaware was the only other state with local bookmakers. This is because PASPA, or the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, essentially gave Las Vegas the exclusive rights to operate sportsbooks in America (with betting in Delaware being effectively limited to NFL parlays). While the law had major implications for the U.S. sports betting industry, it is no longer in play after it was struck down by the Supreme Court.

The standard way of thinking has always been ‘If you are in Nevada, it is legal to bet with a bookie’. The sportsbook, after all, is set by the bookmaker, which is where the term “bookie” comes from. But now that more states will be offering land-based sports betting options, it changes your legal options for using a bookie. For that reason, it is important to understand what differentiates a legal bookie from a criminal one.

How Can I Legally Bet On Sports With A Bookie?

If you’re not actually in one of the states that have legalized sports betting, don’t worry – you can still bet on sports with a bookie, and do so legally, even though it’s “illegal.” Aren’t ineffective, unenforceable laws fun? Here’s what you do and why it works: Any time you want to get in on some legal sports betting, just use a reputable offshore sportsbook. Services like those from Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, 5Dimes, and other legal betting sites are free to use and there are zero federal laws making them illegal for casual bettors to use.

This is possible because federal gambling laws like the Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (2006) all put the offense on the parties taking sports bets. In other words, it is legal to bet with a bookie, but it is not legal for the bookie to bet with you. Sure, if you use an illegal local bookie to place bets in your town, you might get caught in a wider police dragnet, but online, you run no such risk. Nor do the bookies, because they aren’t based in America and are thus not beholden to US law. It’s almost as if this legislation were purposely written to send the sports betting business overseas. Now that said business has grown into a $500 billion untaxed behemoth, the US state and federal governments desperately want to wipe the egg off their faces. Hence why the federal sports betting ban has been lifted and state-operated sportsbooks are on the rise.

What Is The Process To Bet With An Online Bookie?

As long as you pick a reputable Internet sportsbook, it is as simple to bet with an online bookie as it is to order a pizza for the big game. Just get a free account at any of the best sportsbooks, load it up with a legal betting deposit via Visa, Mastercard, Bitcoin, etc., and start making your wagers. That’s all there is to it – you don’t even have to talk to a real human being!

What Are The Benefits Of Using An Online Bookie For Sports Betting?

If you’re using an online sportsbook, it’s not only legal to bet with a bookie, it’s also a massive time-saver. You don’t have to leave your house or even plan ahead, as bets stay open until the very last minute and there’s no queue or line in which to wait. Additionally, you won’t run into any of the legal headaches you might otherwise face trying to place a sports bet in some seedy nightclub or dimly-lit back alley.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of betting on sports with an online bookie is the guaranteed payout. If you win a bet and your local bookie doesn’t come up with your cash, there’s no recourse because none of it is legal anyways. It’s not like you can go to the cops or file a complaint with the BBB. However, if you win a bet at an online sportsbook, you can trust that they’ll pay out what they owe. While you still can’t go to the cops, if an online bookie refuses to honor their debt, you can take your complaint viral and do tons of damage to their reputation. Obviously, in the world of online sportsbooks, reputations are everything, and no bookie wants to be seen on anything but the up and up. Plus, they’ve got their own countries’ regulations to consider, and fraud isn’t legal anywhere.

If Both Are Legal, Should I Use A Local Or Online Bookie?

If you’re in a state where it’s legal to bet with a bookie both online and on-land, it seems obvious that you should pick a local bookie over sending your money offshore. In most cases, this is probably the smartest thing to do. A couple of states do have laws prohibiting all forms of unregulated online gambling, so rather than having to do research, you can stick with sportsbooks licensed by the state. In most cases though, residents will not have to worry about such prohibitions because the majority of states do not have online sports betting laws.

There are also other reasons to choose an online bookie. For one, overseas sportsbooks are more than just online bookies. You can also play real-money casino games, bingo, horse betting and more. Furthermore, physical casinos like physical money – Bitcoin isn’t in wide use at storefronts anywhere, and you’re not using the cryptocurrency to bet on the Vegas Strip or other local sportsbook. So if paperless and privacy are your things, get a legal online bookie.

The best part of all? On the Internet, it is legal to bet with a bookie any time, any place. All you need is a smartphone and a basic data plan. You don’t even need pants! Ain’t the future grand?

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