Is It Legal To Bet With A Bookie?
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? First and foremost, it is important clarify we are not referencing a local individual when we say "bookie"-- we are referring to a licensed bookmaker. It is never advisable to use an unlicensed entity to place bets in the US. With that out of the way, it is legal to use a licensed bookie (bookmaker) to place wagers. As with most issues of legality, it really depends on where you are in the country. Only recently has sports betting become largely available in the United States. 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 the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), 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 that if you are in Nevada, it is legal to bet with a licensed bookie. The sportsbook's line, 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. Just remember that state-licensed sportsbooks are legal bookies. Using some guy off the street is not legal because he is unlicensed and they are likely screwing you over.
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 Are The Benefits Of Using An Online Bookie For Sports Betting?
The benefits of using an online bookie are that it is completely legal to do so and it is a major timesaver compared to going to a state-based sportsbook. 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. Online offshore sportsbooks are ready for you to make your deposit right in the comfort of your own home. There is even the fact that you can make a wager no matter where you are thanks to mobile wagering apps.
There is also the fact that the online bookies are just as reliable as state-licensed bookies. They will always pay out what they owe you and the online bookies will do whatever it takes to make sure you will receive your winnings. That is because their reputation is everything and if you go online and tell people you got screwed over, their business is sunk. Plus, they are safer than using an unlicensed bookie. If you want the safest and best sports betting experience, using an online bookie is essential to that.
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 really depends on what your priorities are and what you need out of bookie. We recommend that you go to an online bookie because there will always be benefits to using offshore sportsbooks over local legal books. For one thing, offshore books aren’t geo-fenced, meaning that you will be able to place your wagers regardless of where in your state or the rest of the US you happen to be. State-based online bookies cannot be taken out of the state, while our recommended offshore bookies can.
Secondly, and perhaps more pressingly, local sportsbooks have to balance their books against lopsided home-team action. That means that you will often get a better payout simply by using an offshore book to place the same exact wager you’d otherwise place in-state. Many bookies in Rhode Island suffered when the Patriots won the Super Bowl, and fans received a minimum payout because they were trying to prevent that loss. 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 that restrict you from doing so. Using one of our recommended online bookies will be the same if you start from Florida and end up in Alaska. The same cannot be said for state-based bookies.
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, live-dealer poker, bingo, enjoy horse betting, and more. Furthermore, physical casinos like physical money – cryptocurrencies aren’t in wide use at storefronts anywhere, and you’re not using the cryptocurrency to bet on the Vegas Strip or at other local sportsbooks. So, if paperless and privacy are your things, get a legal online bookie. The only advantage state-based bookies have on this front is that they often accept PayPal while our recommended list does not. Bu that is about it really.
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