Legal Sports Betting
Welcome to LegalSportsBetting.com, the #1 online resource for legal sports betting in The United States!!! Since the repeal of PASPA in 2018, Washington DC and 25 states have turned gambling on sporting events into state-regulated industries with almost all of them currently offering some form of regulated sports betting to their residents. 2021 looks to be another prime year for growth with more states planning to discuss the possibilities.
States like Connecticut, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Oklahoma expect to see favorable outcomes for sports betting legislation in 2021, as these states nearly made it to the finish line in 2020 but were sidetracked by the outbreak of COVID-19. Due to the research showing that regulating sports betting has proved to be a lucrative source of revenue, those that were once opposed are more inclined to support as economies nationwide are hurting financially.
Browse through our website to find everything you need about licensed, regulated, and legal sports betting in the United States including legal news, federal and state sports betting laws, reviews, advice, and more. We have held one-on-one interviews with legislators that affect the legal sports betting industry as well as sportsbook operators that control the direction of the market. The knowledge behind US legal sports betting is vast but we do our best to not only inform readers of what they need to know but what they should know as well.
Today In Legal Sports Betting:
May 18th, 2021
- Read more Sports betting fans are placing action on who will be the next mayor of Atlanta. Former mayor Kasim Reed has the shortest odds at online sportsbooks.
- Read more The Florida Legislature began their special session to discuss regulated sports betting expansions on Monday and will continue today. The state expects to approve the new Seminole Tribal Gaming Compacts to open up a sports betting market by October for Floridians.
- Read more Barstool Sportsbook has officially launched in Indiana. This marks the 12th sportsbook to launch in the Hoosier State and the launch comes just in time for the start of the NBA Playoffs.
- Read more Senate Bill 319 that would have put gaming and sports betting on the November 2022 ballot for Alabama died in the House on Monday. A regulated sports betting market in Alabama may be seen in 2025 at the earliest timeline.
Legal Online Sports Betting Sites
No longer are bettors required to be at a physical sportsbook to place a wager. Sure, the atmosphere and comradery of a full casino and sportsbook can provide excitement to bettors, but other times, the noise and constant interaction can keep bettors distracted from the main reason they are there… betting on sports. With legal online sportsbooks, bettors can find betting lines surrounding their favorite games but at home or on the go. These sites, though located outside of the country, are legal due to the fact there are no state or federal laws that prevent offshore gambling sites. In other words these sports betting sites are legal for USA players and are the only option for players in most states.
Biggest Sports Betting Events In 2021
While sports around the world were on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have since returned to action but there are some new rules and guidelines that these sports leagues must follow. With that said, sports bettors around the world are rejoicing as they are seeing many familiar games and matchups in the list of the biggest sporting events in 2021. Aside from the entire event of March Madness, none compare to the Super Bowl, which betting sites saw billions of dollars in betting action in 2021. Keep in mind that some events are subject to change if a potential COVID-19 outbreak occurs but here are some of the biggest sports betting events that are going to be taking place around the world.
Super Bowl LV or 55 marked the crowning of Tom Brady as one of, if not the, single greatest player in NFL history as he led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Kansas City Chiefs in a huge upset win. The Bucs were slight underdogs (+3) to the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes, and ended up winning by 22 points thanks to a terrific performance from the Tampa Bay defense and two touchdowns from Rob Gronkowski. The Super Bowl was played in Miami, Florida with limited fan attendance.
The 2021 March Madness Tournament marked mark one of the most popular and chaotic betting events of the year. After the 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the pandemic, bettors had their hands full for double the madness on the sportsbooks in 2021. Online sportsbooks offer different betting contests for the tournament, in addition to hundreds of odds and lines throughout the competition. The 2021 NCAA Tournament was held strictly in Indianapolis, Indiana, and surrounding cities to keep the athletes and team members contained in a bubble. Ultimately, the Baylor Bears won the Championship as they took down Gonzaga in the National Championship game.
The Triple Crown continues with the third and final leg, the Belmont Stakes, taking place on June 5, 2021. Going into the Belmont Stakes, Essential Quality, the fourth-place finish at the Kentucky Derby, is going in as the favorite and is followed by Hot Rod Charlie who finished third at the Derby. With the third shortest odds is Rombauer who was the winner of the Preakness Stakes.
The UFC has been one of the fastest growing sports in the world as more and more fighters are reaching their full potential and bigger fights are being scheduled. UFC 263 has a powerhouse main card which features Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori facing off in the main event as well as an undercard bout between Nate Diaz and Leon Edwards. At UFC 264, there is no shortage of action as it will be the trilogy between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
The NBA Finals begin in July this year, with the Los Angles Lakers and LeBron James looking to defend their title from the 2020 bubble season. The basketball world will celebrate a sense of normalcy following the events of the 2020 season, where the Finals took place from inside the Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. Betting odds for the NBA Finals see contenders from the East like the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat all vying for another shot at the Larry O’Brien trophy.
After the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed due to the virus, the July start date for the reschedule remains in question. Having the best athletes travel from all corners of the globe to meet in one isolated area during a pandemic sounds like a recipe for disaster, so many Olympic and Japan officials are closely monitoring the situation. While we all would love the Olympics to take place as scheduled, the status of the pandemic heading into the Summer will greatly affect if the Olympics are able to be held.
The tennis US Open will return in 2021 with the hope of a full crowd in attendance at the famous Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City. Dominic Theim won his first career major at the 2020 edition of the event, albeit with a limited field in competition. Tennis betting fans are looking forward to all the game’s biggest stars returning to the court for this late summer classic, with Novak Djokovic being the easy favorite on the US Open odds board.
It isn’t October without baseball, and the MLB will be looking to complete a full season in 2021 with the World Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers will be trying to make it two in a row while plenty other worthy teams will take their shot at the reigning champions. Betting on the World Series is already available, and will only heat up throughout the season as each team finds its place in the hunt for October.
Latest Legal Sports Betting News
|Sports Betting Handle: 2018-Present|
|New Jersey:||$13.55 billion|
|West Virginia:||$853.4 million|
|Rhode Island:||$594.0 million|
|New Hampshire:||$459.5 million|
|Washington D.C.:||$129.6 million|
|Total: $37.18 billion|
|Sportsbooks’ Revenue: 2018-Present|
|New Jersey:||$920.7 million|
|West Virginia:||$66.3 million|
|Rhode Island:||$52.2 million|
|New York:||$22.1 million|
|New Hampshire:||$33.9 million|
|Washington D.C.:||$20.1 million|
|Total: $3.71 billion|
|Tax Revenue By State: 2018-Present|
|New Jersey:||$118.2 million|
|West Virginia:||$6.6 million|
|Rhode Island:||$26.6 million|
|New York:||$2.2 million|
|New Hampshire:||$15.6 million|
|Washington D.C.:||$1.4 million|
|Total: $496.0 million|
|Sports Betting States|
Which States Will Have Legal Sports Betting In 2021?
There are now 21 states (plus DC) with regulated sportsbooks operating in their districts, as 2020 saw a strong movement forward for the legal sports betting industry. 2021 looks to be just as promising with states that legalized sports betting in 2020 (Virginia, Washington, Louisiana, Maryland, South Dakota) expecting to follow suit and launch as well.
2021 started off with the launch of mobile sports betting in Michigan in time for the Super Bowl (though retail sportsbooks were already operational). North Carolina also launched sports betting – in the form of two Harrah’s Sportsbooks in Cherokee and Murphy – just before the beginning of March Madness. As for Wyoming, sports betting with cryptocurrency has become the talk of 2021, with WY exploring ways to utilize Bitcoin for sports betting.
The end of 2021 could have as many as 30 states with approved sports betting laws in their jurisdictions though many won’t make plans to launch until 2022. Connecticut, Ohio, and Oklahoma are expected to see favorable outcomes for sports betting legislation during the new sessions as each of these states nearly made it to the finish line in 2020. Several states, including Massachusetts, California, and Florida have strong obstacles to overcome but are some of the major states in 2021 looking to regulate sports betting.
Which Countries Have Legal Sports Betting?
Despite the influx of sports betting in the United States, legal sports gambling has occurred outside of the country for much longer than may know. Between the age-old betting parlors of the United Kingdom to the new regulations being set in Brazil, sports betting can be found all over the globe. Some countries have legalized online sports betting while others remain stuck in the pre-internet times, only allowing wagers at gambling establishments. Knowing the limitations and boundaries of legal sports betting countries may be difficult to maintain, but we help by explaining the policies of the most visited countries as well as some of the most popular sports betting countries.
Like the United States, each country has its own standard when it comes to what is accepted and what is not regarding the industry, and some countries break down the policies even further. Just as each individual state can create their own laws, some countries even break down their sports betting laws by state or province as well. With this, it is imperative to stay on top of the various regulations in order to ensure every bettor is complying with the enforced rules.
Regulated Sports Betting In The US & Abroad
Regulated sports betting has become increasingly more popular ever since the repeal of PASPA in May of 2018. Proponents of regulated sports betting have long argued that with the state overseeing the industry, sports bettors can be better protected and the integrity of the games can be better monitored. It’s a solid argument given the fact that sports bettors have long used sports betting sites that are regulated in other countries.
All of the online sportsbooks that we recommend come backed by the reassurance of them being licensed by their gaming agencies. While individual US states don’t administer their operations, they are held to a higher authority and would not be in business if they broke their local gaming laws. It is because of this very reason that sports bettors in the US feel safe using these sites and why major sports networks like ESPN, Fox Sports, and NBC Sports have used their sports betting odds in the past to promote upcoming games and matchups.
States with Legal And Regulated Sports Betting:
In the immediate months following the downfall of PASPA, there were numerous states that passed legal sports betting bills. Shifting into the new decade, over half of the country has made sports betting legal and plenty more have plans for this year or next. All of these states will offer full-scale sports betting, just like they do in Vegas. However, there may be limitations on which teams and sports can be wagered on a local basis depending on the laws and sports betting regulations. As the list of states with legal sports betting continues to grow, it will become even easier to find somewhere to engage in legal sports betting and especially legal online NFL betting.
Nevada is the original sports betting capital, first legalizing the activity in 1949. The state was slow to the digital age, but there are now a variety of mobile betting apps as well. With multiple cities offering sports gambling across the state, NV will always remain “The Capital of Gambling” even with increased sportsbook competition.
Montana moved forward with legalization by agreeing to multiple sports betting bills on May 3, 2019. On-site mobile betting and land-based options will exist for those who are 18 or older. The whole operation will be ran through the Montana Lottery. It will still take some time before sportsbooks launch in the state.
Rhode Island’s gambling market is young, with voters approving casino gaming in 2012 (and reaffirming in 2016). There are two active casinos in RI and both of them are under the name of Twin River. Originally, they could only offer retail sportsbooks but with the passage of new sports betting laws, mobile wagering is now active in RI.
Tennessee approved sports betting through online platforms only, becoming the first state to do so. Sports betting revenue will be taxed at 20% and fund education, infrastructure, and problem gambling. HB 1 went into effect on May 24, 2019, without a signature from Governor Bill Lee. Sports betting has not launched in TN just yet.
Sports betting was legalized in June 2019 with the passage of SB 690, which permits both retail and online sports betting. Illinois launched sports betting in March of 2020 but got off to a rocky start due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now with all of the sportsbooks back up and running, both land-based and online sports betting are in full swing.
Delaware was the first state to offer legal sports betting after PASPA was lifted in May of 2018, opening its three racino-based sports betting lounges in April of 2019. Since then, no other retail sportsbooks have opened in Delaware. Even though mobile sports betting is allowed, there are no online sportsbooks in the state.
Sports betting in Oregon officially launched on August 27, 2019, through a tribal casino. Tribal casinos are able to set up land-based sportsbooks only and offer collegiate betting. The state lottery is able to provide a statewide mobile sports betting app and but will only allow betting on professional sports at this time.
Michigan approved sports betting in 2019 when Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed MI HB 4916 before the end of the year. On December 20, 2019, the governor signed her name onto the bill, making Michigan the 20th state to approve legal sports betting. The state will receive 8.4% of all sports betting revenue from the licensed sportsbooks in the state. Sports betting launched in early March 2020 but was quickly halted by COVID-19. Online sports betting launched in Michigan in January of 2021.
Oklahoma did not pass any new laws relating to sports betting, but in April 2020, the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribe both negotiated new gaming compacts with the state government that will allow them to offer retail sports betting to patrons at any of their nine total casino facilities. Gaming compacts last for 15 years and many are set to expire in 2020, meaning that more tribes will likely negotiate sports betting rights before the end of the year.
Pennsylvania is now the largest state with legal sports betting, and the pastime was approved in 2017 before PASPA was overturned. There are a large number of retail sportsbooks in Pennsylvania. In 2019, before the start of NFL season, Pennsylvania launched online sportsbooks as well, with great mobile apps.
WV opened their first sportsbook on September 1, 2018 and seemed to have a comprehensive plan in mind. Though only a handful of brick-and-mortar locations were licensed to launch, mobile was legalized as well. While the online aspect has been shaky, WV mobile betting is fully up and running as of August 27, 2019.
Any of the 19 casinos throughout the state can offer legal sports betting, which is overseen by the Racing and Gaming Commission. Iowa joins Nevada as the state with the lowest sports betting tax rate at 6.75%. Mobile sports betting is allowed in Iowa, but you must go to a retail sportsbook to register an online account.
Both land-based and mobile betting were approved in IN along with the 14 casinos in the state, though the new law also allows for more casinos to be built. The bill was signed into law on May 8, 2019. Mobile sports betting also allows bettors to bet on their favorite teams from any location in the state.
Voters legalized sports betting in Arkansas in November 2018, but the AR Racing Commission’s rules weren’t approved until Q1 2019. Arkansas sports betting launched at the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort on July 1. The bill that legalized sports betting Arkansas did not mention mobile or online sports betting, so that is still restricted.
Sports betting was legalized in Washington, D.C., in 2018, and it will be overseen by the D.C. Lottery. The sole sportsbook provider for DC will be Intralot. Once sports betting finally launches in the area, city residents will be able to wager at stadiums, liquor stores, restaurants, and via a geo-fenced mobile app.
The state of New Hampshire legalized both retail and mobile sports betting in July 2019. Due to their strict gambling laws, there are no casinos for which to set up sports wagering lounges. This will take NH some time to figure out the logistics for the law’s allotted ten locations. Until then, residents have access to New Hampshire’s mobile/internet sportsbook. The state launched their DraftKings sports betting platform in December 2019.
Washington became the first state to legalize sports betting in 2020 with the March passage of ESHB 2638. This bill will authorize all 29 tribal casinos in Washington to offer brick-and-mortar sports betting but does not permit online sports betting. Before any sportsbooks can launch, a state gaming commission will need to establish rules for governing and taxing sports betting, so launch may not occur until late 2020 or even early 2021.
Sports betting has made its way to the Copper State after Gov. Doug Ducey signed HB 2772 into law on April 15, 2021. The bill allows for there to be 20 sports betting licenses available which is expected to be split evenly between tribal casinos and professional sports teams in the state.
New Jersey was at the forefront of the effort to expand legalized sports betting across the United States. In May 2018, the state was finally successful in their attempts to end the ban imposed by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Now, NJ has a thriving land-based and online sports betting market.
Currently, sports betting in Mississippi is growing extremely fast with the opening of new brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Although the state does allow for online and mobile betting, it is currently restricted to being on the casino floor. New sports betting legislation could appear to allow for mobile betting to occur statewide.
New York voters approved sports betting at four upstate NY casinos through a 2013 voter referendum. Tribal casinos are also able to offer sports betting. Several are now active and accepting sports bets. NY lawmakers failed to pass mobile sports betting laws, so NYC residents will have to go upstate to make their bets.
There are only a few legal sports betting options right now, but legal sports betting is growing fast in NM. Sports betting is only served in the state’s tribal casinos. Due to this, mobile sports betting is not allowed in the state. More NM sportsbooks are expected to be on the horizon.
North Carolina lawmakers approved legal sports betting with the passing of SB 154. Governor Roy Cooper signed the bill into effect on July 26, 2019, but it took more than a year for sports betting to officially launch. The regulations for sports betting went through many debates during the following months, as the final details were ironed out. Sports betting officially launched on May 18, 2021.
Sports betting is actually already legal through the passage of CT 6948 back in 2017, but it is not ready yet. Connecticut is debating sports betting exclusivity with its tribes and other commercial operators. Sports betting could come to Connecticut in 2019, but the existing tribal compacts are proving a major hurdle to overcome.
Sports betting was legalized in Colorado via a referendum in November 2019 and the first sportsbooks in the state launched on May 1, 2020. Both retail and online sports betting are legal, and all 33 casinos in the state are eligible to apply for a sports betting license. During the Coronavirus crisis, betting will be online only. Major national online sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel have already been approved.
Virginia passed two sports betting bills, SB384 and HB896, in April 2020. These bills become law on July 1, 2020. The legislation will allow for up to 12 total retail and online sports betting licenses. It will also authorize any major league sports franchises that relocate to Virginia to offer legal sports betting within their game-day facilities, as well as the state’s two pre-existing NASCAR tracks.
Legal Sports Betting Banking Options
Sportsbooks have begun to offer numerous convenient options to help fund any bettors bankroll. When choosing a sportsbook to place your wager with, there are various legal sports betting banking options. First, it’s best to check options with your local sportsbook if you are living in a state with legal sports betting. Funding options vary depending on the particular operator. There will be a handful of options, but international books tend to offer additional methods. One of the best parts about betting through these sites in 2021 is the ability to bet with cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Choosing the best deposit and payout methods can make a huge difference in getting the best returns on your bets because the fees assessed by sportsbooks and banking providers will vary. Furthermore, some banking methods process quicker than others, so it’s always best to check with sportsbooks to determine the amount of time it takes for deposits and payouts to be processed.
Mobile Sports Betting Apps
Mobile sports betting apps allow for bettors to access betting lines and odds from not only inside of a sportsbook but around the country as well. Some mobile sports betting sites require the downloading of an app, while others are simply presented to you by a mobile-optimized webpage. No matter the style, those who bet on sports from their phone are able to conveniently be one step closer to all of the action. Everything that you would find at a retail sportsbook or through an offshore sportsbook can be found on their mobile betting app. This includes registering your account, depositing funds, reviewing the betting lines, submitting a wager, and withdrawing your winnings.
When using a state-licensed mobile betting platform, users are required to stay within state lines when wagering. This is because of a federal law that the sportsbooks must follow to ensure they are not breaking any laws. If a bettor attempts to wager out of the state’s jurisdiction, no punishment will come to the bettor other than the inability to submit that potential winning wager. Also, some states have required that users sign up at a licensed sportsbook when creating their account for the first time. This is a rarity across the states with online sports betting, but bettors should always be aware of this beforehand. For the offshore sites, there are no location restrictions, giving bettors the ultimate freedom to wager from anywhere around the world. While some countries and states are banned for use, the majority of online sportsbooks allow bettors to use their mobile betting platform from pretty much anywhere.
Legal Live In-Game Betting
Legal live betting is the next step in sports betting, as the United States has yet to fully embrace its offering. It is estimated that almost four-fifths of all betting in the United Kingdom occur through live betting, while the USA is somewhere around a quarter of the total handle. With live betting, it is exactly how it sounds – instead of risking your money before the game begins, it permits bettors to continually bet on a contest no matter how much time in the game has passed.
This style of betting is for the more experienced gambler, as the odds and lines for live in-game betting shift quickly. However, correctly guessing the outcome at the right moment can lead bettors to win much more than what they were offered before the game started. Nearly every sportsbook in the country or is licensed overseas offers live betting.
Something else that could be done while live betting for those confident sports bettors is chasing a win. What this means is that if a team is down and you still think that they are going to win, you can bet on their odds every time they shift, especially if they are the underdog, and end up with a huge payout.
US Sports Betting Laws
We have seen a number of changes over the past couple of years as the federal government and individual states look at how to best regulate US sports betting. Below, you will find the current status on each of the major sports betting laws that affects how states will operate going forward.
State Sports Betting Laws
With state sports betting laws in the power of each individual state government, rules and regulations will vary from state to state. With seven states joining Nevada in offering legalized sports betting within just a year of the landmark PASPA ruling, the number will only continue to grow. To find out the current sports gambling laws in your state, you will want to visit the website of your state lottery or gaming commission.
Federal Sports Betting Laws
Federal sports betting laws dictated the nature of the US sports betting industry for decades. Over the years, however, there have been changes to the applicability and validity of certain rules. Learning more about these laws’ original meanings and new interpretations are important in order to understand the full scope of sports betting laws. The most pertinent federal acts to review are the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 (active), the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA, overturned in 2018), and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA, active).
Future Regulation Of Legal Sports Betting In The USA
The future regulation of legal sports betting in the USA will see a continued upswing as more states in the nation legalize the pastime. Since 2018’s repeal of PASPA, more than half of the country has made sports betting legal over the last two years. With legislative sessions beginning in 2021, many states without an industry are looking to join in to find a new revenue stream in the comeback from the financial burden caused by COVID-19. While mobile sportsbooks have been the most popular, some lawmakers are uncomfortable with this platform and may only make retail sports wagering legal in future bills. However, as with any law, this can be changed and mobile sports betting can be added later if everyone is in agreeance on it.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal In The USA?
Online sports betting is legal in the United States with the use of regulated internet sportsbooks. The reason that these operators are able to offer their services to people in the U.S. on a legal basis is that they are out of the jurisdiction of the country and do not need to abide by specific federal laws on the industry due to their location. This doesn’t mean they are without rules and regulations as they have had to become licensed in their home countries to be able to have such businesses. While there are no laws that prohibit joining these sportsbooks, there is typically a gambling age law set within states that sports bettors should follow because sportsbooks have a legal gambling age of 18 and some states require gamblers to be 21. Some states do not allow online sportsbooks and it’s always best to follow the states’ gambling laws before joining one of the recommended sportsbooks.
Legal Sports Betting Revenue
With sports betting legalized, one of the best benefits is the ability of the state and local governments to collect taxes from the industry. Each state has the right to set its own licensing fees and tax rates, meaning each state has its own responsibility in how to make money from sports betting. The first eight states to legalize sports betting after the repeal of PASPA (Nevada included) ranged in their taxation rate from 6.75% (Nevada) to 51% (Rhode Island).
In 2019, about a half-dozen states launched their own industry but tax rates remained relatively mild compared to some of the higher numbers from 2018. This taxation rate comes directly from the amount of money kept by the sportsbooks after paying out winning wagers. Because these rates fluctuate so much, a state can make more money than another even if less money was wagered, or kept by the sportsbooks.
The industry and legal sports betting revenue itself were projected to continue its rapid growth throughout 2020 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic hitting. It did take a hit with all major sports around the world coming to a complete halt; however, once sports returned in early August, the industry saw record-breaking legal sports betting revenue numbers. In, 2019-2020 seeing how much Americans bet on sports really drives home exactly how much revenue can be made by the sportsbooks and taxed by the states.
Legal Esports Betting
One of the most popular and growing events to watch is esports, and you can legally bet on esports online. Esports are essentially video game competitions and tournaments. There are a large number of video games that people can compete in and with the bigger esports scenes, people love wagering on them. With how much legal sports betting is growing in the US, people are wanting to wager on esports more every day. Although retail sportsbooks in the US do not take action on esports just yet, online offshore sportsbooks take esports action every day. If you are an esports fan and you want to be more engaged in the competition, give esports betting a try at a reputable online gaming site. See how quickly this new niche of sports wagering gained traction. Learn how to bet on Esports here.
Free Sports Bets
Free sports bets are something that sportsbooks offer their customers, usually when depositing money into their accounts or after a certain amount of activity. Many sports betting sites stipulate their rules for redeeming free plays. Some will give you a risk-free bet that can be wagered on your first bet placed. This usually serves as a way to get bettors in the door, especially at grand openings at brick and mortar books. Other free sports bets might come during certain times of the year in order to encourage betting on a specific event. One of the main advantages of looking into free sports bets is that there is typically no rollover requirement, meaning you can cash in right away when your bet hits. Both state-licensed and offshore books have free bet offers all year-round.
Legal Political Betting
Political betting is both legal and very popular with sportsbooks as politics is a constant source of wagering, with events happening globally every day. However, the biggest wagers come from the elections of political figures. The highest-grossing political action worldwide can be seen through the bets on the U.S. Presidential Election. The winner of the United States presidency is a hot topic that only comes around every four years. From campaigning through Election Day, the door is open for a wide variety of prop bets.
In fact, the 2024 Presidential Election is already seeing prop bets posted on sportsbooks for who potential candidates could be. Outside of the U.S. presidency, other American political bets include those on a state-level like who will win a House seat to gubernatorial elections. Legal political betting is a fun way to engage in current events by staying informed on what’s happening and still getting a little action on the side to make it that much more exciting, like some of the most famous politicians have been rumored to do.
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FAQ's About Legal Sports Betting
Let’s face it, the United States sports gambling industry is complex and the rules are constantly changing. Though we are as thorough as possible in the information we provide, sometimes it helps to just get down to the basics. That is why we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about legal sports betting. These are the comments and concerns that we commonly get in our inbox from readers, in one easy-to-digest format. Our running list of sports betting FAQs will help you to better navigate the legal betting world.
Will I Go To Jail For Online Sports Betting?
No, you will not go to jail for online sports betting. Even in states that don’t offer legal online sports betting, international gambling websites are legal because they fall outside state jurisdiction. Additionally, anti-gambling laws are written to target providers rather than individual gamblers. No individual has ever gone to jail in the United States just for betting on sports.
How old do I have to be to use legal online sportsbooks?
Every state sets its own laws governing age requirements for sports betting, but with international online sports betting sites, the legal sports betting age to play is 18 years old. You do not have to show a valid ID to sign up, but you do have to present proof of a valid, government issued ID before you can withdraw your winnings. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of said winnings.
Is it legal to Bet On Sports With My Friends In The USA?
Some states do have prohibitions against social betting, but these are generally archaic laws that were simply never taken off the books. States do not enforce these social betting laws unless there’s some other criminal act involved. Your March Madness office pool or your friendly Sunday wager are completely legal. You can also legally bet with your friends using online sportsbooks.
Can I safely wager on sports with a local bookie?
No, for one, betting with an underground bookie is against the law. While you won’t be prosecuted simply for placing a bet, betting with a local bookie puts your money at risk of government seizure. Two, local bookies shouldn’t be trusted in general, as they will usually give you worse odds and their payouts are unreliable at best. If you want to wager on sports, do so either through a state or internationally regulated sportsbook.
Can I use the phone or Internet to place a bet at a sportsbook in another state?
No, all sportsbooks in the United States are off-limits to bettors physically located in another state. This is the result of the Federal Wire Act of 1961, which has since been re-interpreted to apply to domestic online sports betting. The Wire Act does not apply to international online sports betting.
Of course, all of this applies only to domestically-based, state-licensed sportsbooks. You can use offshore sports betting sites regardless of which state you live in, and you are not violating the Wire Act (or any other law) in doing so.
When Will My State Have Legal Sports Betting?
Unless you live in Utah, soon. Since the 2018 Supreme Court decision to strike down PASPA, states around the country have been passing legislation to legalize retail and online sports betting. While some states have seen heavy opposition to legal sports betting (usually either from religious groups or tribal casino representatives), it is likely only a matter of time until most states have legal sports betting.
Do I have to pay taxes on my winnings when betting on sports?
Yes, you absolutely have to pay federal and (when applicable) state taxes on your gambling winnings. Failure to report gambling winnings on your taxes constitutes felony tax evasion and is prosecutable under the law. The federal gambling winnings tax rate is 25%, while many states also charge gambling winnings as income. Gambling losses are also generally deductible up to the same amount as your winnings.