Legal Sports Betting

Welcome to LegalSportsBetting.com, the #1 online resource for legal sports betting in The United States!!! Throughout the years, the overall consensus regarding whether or not sports betting should be legal has been in a state of constant change. For decades, the practice was largely unregulated and under the table so to speak. But, it would seem as if the state of legal sports betting in the United States is currently being viewed favorably by the majority of citizens and lawmakers. This has led to the legalization of sports betting across the nation, with more and more states continuing to research the industry. If your state has any type of gambling right now, then chances are that they will have sports betting soon. Browse through our website to find everything you need about legal sports betting in the United States including legal news, federal and state sports betting laws, reviews, advice, and more.

Latest Legal Sports Betting News

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. Any law in question will focus on the banking transfer or the sportsbook themselves, but none of the attention is placed on the bettor.

While these sites do not offer drink specials or an area to watch all of the games, they still provide bettors with excellent amenities and promotions. Casinos may offer free slot play or other promotions but the legal online sports betting sites we recommend all offer sports betting promotions. From a risk-free wager and a welcoming bonus (claiming up to $1,000 in free money for some sites) to an additional deposit bonus, free mobile bets, and more, online sports betting sites never cease to amaze bettors. These sites continue to get bettors on board with their amazing promotions and they are constantly updating them to keep bettors happy.

Another one of the biggest benefits of using these online sportsbooks that are located overseas is the ability to shop lines. As you can sign up for multiple accounts on different websites, (only one account per site is allowed) you are given the ability to discover what the best price of a wager is. Some sites may consider Team A the favorite while another site could see Team B as the favorite. Being able to scan the available options gives bettors an increased chance of making money in the long run. Also, these sites accept action from all over the world, meaning their betting lines and odds are less likely to be affected by local bettors. At a state-licensed sportsbook, every visitor is generally from the same area and generally want to bet on the same outcome. This can make the line more expensive or move immensely, unlike the legal online sports betting sites that keep everything balanced with action coming in from all over the world.

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Current State Of Legal Sports Betting In The USA

The current state of legal sports betting is one that would make longtime sports bettors proud. States are finally starting to understand how much tax revenue they can gain by regulating the industry and lawmakers are finally starting to see the value in having online and mobile sportsbooks available for their constituents. Billions have been wagered in New Jersey alone and billions more have been bet nationwide.

So far 18 states have legalized sports betting in some way and 13 of them have launched either land-based sportsbooks, online/mobile sportsbooks, or both. There were over 30 states that at least considered legalizing sports betting in 2019 and that same number is expected for next year. There are also states that are still in the process of going through their legislative session so even more states could begin to offer the activity soon. Some of the biggest sports markets including California, Florida, and Texas are all expected to take action on legal sports betting in 2020 as well.

Which States Will Have Legal Sports Betting In 2020?

With so many states starting to see the instant revenue gained by having legal sports wagering, the question of which states will have legal sports betting in 2020 is being asked across the country. One aspect to note is that 2020 is an election year which means even states that require a voter referendum will have the chance to legalize the activity. There were over two dozen states to introduce sports betting legislation in 2019, and just as many are expected to do so in 2020. But before that even happens, there are still a few legislative sessions that need to conclude.

legal sports betting statesMichigan and Ohio are among the two most likely to finish 2019 as new states with legal sports betting and by opening their first sportsbooks in 2020. Both states have sports betting bills sitting in at least one legislative chamber and have gained the attention of lawmakers on both sides. A few disagreements on tax rates are slowing down Michigan and deciding who gets to regulate the industry is what is holding up lawmakers in Ohio. Massachusetts has over a dozen bills sitting in a joint legislative committee, but the governor has gone on record saying he believes his people will get something passed in 2020.

Some states already legalized sports betting in 2019, but won’t launch legal sportsbooks until 2020. Those states include Illinois, Tennessee, North Carolina, Montana, and New Hampshire. Either certain regulations still need to be approved or sports betting suppliers still need to be awarded licenses before regulated sportsbooks start to pop up in these states. Maine also passed a sports betting bill and is awaiting a decision from their governor. The governor of Maine will have to make that decision within three days of the next legislative session so there is a good chance you can see legal sports betting in Maine in 2020.

There are other states that are getting ready to take action next year by conducting hearings now. Washington is among those states and is hearing arguments from stakeholders in the sports betting industry now. Missouri is doing the same, taking in all the information now before introducing a bill.  Kentucky, Maryland, and Louisiana were also among the states that came close to passing legislation in 2019. All signs point to them trying to pass a bill once more in their upcoming legislative sessions.

question

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. There are now over a dozen states that regulate sports betting either at land-based sportsbook locations or online sports wagering apps. 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 offshore sites that we recommend come backed by the reassurance of them being regulated by their gaming agencies. While individual US states don’t administer their operations, they are held to a higher authority and they 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. 

Biggest Sports Betting Events Coming Up

Upcoming events for sports bettors are all in the football realm currently as it is the season for it. The College Football Playoff National Championship and then the Super Bowl are the two biggest events taking place in the near future. Once football season is over, March Madness hits with college basketball, then PGA tournaments, and the Kentucky Derby. After that, there is the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals, followed by Wimbledon.

From there, it’s the World Series for the MLB and then we’ve come full circle to football again. Of course, other events of less significance are peppered throughout the year but there is always something going on that can be seen as an upcoming event for sports bettors. Find a full list of the biggest sports betting events of the year.

Sports Betting Handle: 2019 YTD
Nevada: $3.59 billion (through September)​
Delaware: $69.4 million (through September)
New Jersey: $2.97 billion (through September)
Mississippi: $215.7 million (through September)
West Virginia: $123.1 million (through September)
New Mexico: n/a
Pennsylvania: $590.0 million (through September)
Rhode Island: $154.4 million (through September)
Arkansas: n/a
New York: n/a
Iowa: $47.1 million (through September)
Oregon: n/a
Indiana: $35.2 million (through September)
Total: $7.80 billion
Revenue Tracker
Sportsbooks’ Revenue: 2019 YTD
Nevada: $213.8 million (through September)​
Delaware: $7.8 million (through September)
New Jersey: $190.6 million (through September)
Mississippi: $24.9 million (through September)
West Virginia: $11.3 million (through September)
New Mexico: n/a
Pennsylvania: $50.2 million (through September)
Rhode Island: $10.0 million (through September)
Arkansas: n/a
New York: $3.5 million (through August)
Iowa: $7.1 million (through September)
Oregon: n/a
Indiana: n/a
Total: $524.2 million
Revenue Tracker
Tax Revenue By State: 2019 YTD
Nevada: $14.4 million​
Delaware: $3.9 million (through September)
New Jersey: $23.1 million (through September)
Mississippi: $2.9 million (through September)
West Virginia: $1.5 million
New Mexico: n/a
Pennsylvania: $18.1 million (through September)
Rhode Island: $5.1 million
Arkansas: n/a
New York: n/a
Iowa: $480,535 (through September)
Oregon: n/a
Indiana: $813,103
Total: $69.7 million
Sports Betting States

States with Legal And Regulated Sports Betting:

In the immediate months following the downfall of PASPA, there have been numerous states that have passed legal sports betting bills. In the first half of 2019, nineteen states have made sports betting legal, and plenty more have plans to 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 in the state. As the list of states with legal sports betting continues to grow, It will become even easier to find somewhere to do some legal sports betting. Be sure to check back here to see if any other states have been added to the list. Read more about States with legal sports betting.

Nevada Sports 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 Sports Betting

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 Sports Betting

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 Sports Betting

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.

Illinois Sports Betting

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed sports betting into law on June 28, 2019, through the passage and signing of IL SB 690. Illinois sports betting will be available at the state’s 10 riverboat casinos and at its horse racing venues. Statewide mobile betting is also approved, as is the licensing/construction of six new casinos.

Delaware Sports Betting

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.

Oregon Sports Betting

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.

Pennsylvania Sports Betting

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.

West Virginia Sports Betting

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.

Iowa Sports Betting

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.

Indiana Sports Betting

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.

Arkansas Sports Betting

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.

Washington, D.C. Sports Betting

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.

Connecticut Sports Betting

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.

New Jersey Sports Betting

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.

Mississippi Sports Betting

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 Sports Betting

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.

New Mexico Sports Betting

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 Sports Betting

Sports betting in North Carolina became officially legal when Governor Roy Cooper signed NC SB 154 into law on July 26, 2019. The bill classifies sports betting under the list of Class III games that the two tribal casinos in the state can offer. There are also no provisions for mobile sports betting, meaning no betting app.

New Hampshire Sports Betting

Gov. Chris Sununu signed HB 480 into law on July 12, 2019. Sports betting will be available from up to five online vendors and on-site at up to 10 retail locations that are currently partners with the overseeing New Hampshire Lottery. In-state NCAA teams and events are barred, and the betting age limit is 18 years old.

Colorado Sports Betting

Sports betting in Colorado had to go through a few levels of approval before it became official. A bill had to be passed through the legislature, the governor had to sign off on the measure, and CO voters had to approve it on their November 2019 ballot but sports wagering is now legal. Best of all, the in-person registration won’t be required.

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 offshore books tend to offer additional methods. 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.

Deposit Methods for Legal Sports Betting

In order to start betting with online sportsbooks you must select the appropriate deposit method for you. The deposit methods for legal sports betting will depend on the type of site you choose. It must be noted that there are some differences in deposit methods between state-regulated sportsbooks as opposed to offshore sportsbooks. With state-regulated betting platforms, you can expect cash and credit card deposit methods. Some state-regulated online sportsbooks may require players to go through extra hurdles such as signing up at a retail sportsbook location, in order to make a seamless deposit. The biggest advantage offshore sportsbooks provide is that they usually offer bettors more deposit methods than state-regulated sportsbooks.

Since deposit methods can change based on the sportsbook, it’s best to look at each sportsbooks deposit fees too. The most common deposit methods accepted at offshore sportsbooks are credit and debit cards, bank wire transfer, checks, person to person, and various cryptocurrencies. Each deposit method has fees that can also change based on the sportsbooks you choose. However, if you use choose Bitcoin deposits as your method, you’ll have to pay little to no fees to start betting instantly. Most online sportsbooks have an FAQ section on their website that lists all the minimum and maximum deposit amounts allowed per transaction and the fees associated with the methods too. Read more about legal sports betting with bitcoins.

Payout Methods For Legal Sports Betting Sites

Using an online sportsbook doesn’t really mean much unless you can secure your winnings. However, your payout methods for legal sports betting sites will vary depending on the type of site you use. If you’re using a state-regulated sports betting app or website then you can expect some of the same payout methods. The most common methods include having a check sent to your physical address or picking up your cash at the casino from which the site is partnered with. Other methods could also include getting your winnings sent to a digital wallet like Neteller, Skrill, or most notably PayPal. Each of these comes with different arrival times so you’ll have to take that into account before you make a request through your method of choice.

Payout methods for legal sports betting sites based offshore are also pretty similar. You can request a check from those sites, however, this will take the longest time to get to you because they have to be sent across countries. Other methods include a bank wire transfer or person to person transactions. The biggest advantage that offshore sites have when it comes to payouts is that you can receive your winnings in Bitcoin. Making a withdrawal with this method is almost instant, but you have to make your deposits with that currency as well. Each online sports betting operator found on this site has a cashier section in their sportsbook which breaks down all the minimum and maximum amounts you can withdrawal as well as and fees associated with those transactions and an estimated arrival times. See which of the legal online sports betting sites currently has the fastest sportsbook payouts here.

Mobile Sports Betting Apps

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 occurs 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.

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

Future Regulation Of Legal Sports Betting In The USA

With no barriers to entry, the future regulation of legal sports betting in the USA in 2019 and beyond looks bright. Many states have already legalized sports gambling, with new bill proposals considered every legislative session. In the states that have already passed sports betting laws, the future holds expansion into online and mobile options. Many legislators were more concerned with just getting a law on the books rather than taking advantage of additional markets, so the majority of states have not drafted laws addressing Internet betting. In those that have, lawmakers may consider how to legally accept bettors from other states, and in doing so, they may reevaluate the Wire Act (which itself is currently being challenged in court).

Is Online Sports Betting Legal In The USA?

Is Online Sports Betting Legal In The USA?

Unless you are attempting to operate an online sportsbook and take bets from other people, online sports betting is principally legal. The reason online sportsbooks are legal is because of the fact that they are located offshore and they do not have to follow US laws. There is not a federal law that penalizes US citizens for placing sports bets online, and most states do not have online sports betting laws in place either. It is precisely this absence of laws and regulations that makes it generally safe to bet on sports online, as long as you pick a reputable gambling site. The only factors that would make online sports betting even remotely illegal are if you reside in one of the very few states that has online gambling laws on the books or you bet on sports while underage. Read our article “Is sports betting legal?“.

Legal Sports Betting Revenue

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 their 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. While some states do not detail where their sports betting revenue goes, the majority allocate the money to a general fund that helps with infrastructure repair as well as essential programs for the state.

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.

Legal Esports Betting

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 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.

Free Sports Bets

Legal Political Betting

With elections happening all the time, legal political betting is gaining as much attention as legal sports betting is. Political betting is exactly what it sounds like, you are making a bet on the results of an election. Do you think a candidate will be the best President of the United States? Wager on presidential betting odds. Do you have a hunch about who is going to be the next governor of Florida? Bet on it. You can bet on highly contested political events that happen throughout the years. You will likely not find election odds on events such as state House seats, but if a federal House seat has a lot of eyes on it, you can possibly wager on it.

The only thing to remember is that US-based sportsbooks cannot take action on political betting. Most states have very specific laws on political elections being out of the realm of opportunity with state-licensed bookmakers. You need to go to one of our recommended online offshore sportsbooks to bet on politics. See the presidential election betting odds here.

Legal Political Betting

How To Contact LegalSportsBetting.com?

The team here is always ready to answer any questions you may have about legal sports betting in The United States. Just shoot us an email to the address below and one of our team members will get back to you as soon as possible.

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?

If you’re betting at a state-licensed online book, no. However, if you lie about your age and gamble underage at these books, you can expect the state to seek out some level of minimal recourse. Each state with legal sports betting within its borders has different penalties on their books for participating while underage, and you’ll want to look up the laws for your particular state at our state index.

If you use offshore sports betting sites, the likelihood that you would ever go to jail or be arrested for online sports betting is slim to none. The anti-sports betting laws in the United States are all focused on penalizing those in the business of providing and accepting sports wagers for profit, not those placing casual bets. In other words, US laws universally go after unauthorized bookmakers and gambling houses, not individual sports bettors. Any high-profile cases surrounding sports betting have been those against individuals who started illegal sports betting networks on US soil. You can bet on sports at offshore, online books without having to be in constant worry about being penalized, as these books are 100% safe and legal to use.

Why are non-regulated online sportsbooks located offshore?

If a sportsbook is not licensed by any US state, it will be located offshore so that US state and federal laws cannot apply to their operations. Because of the Wire Act, for example, residents of one state cannot wager online at a sportsbook in another state. Thus, each state has to legalize its own domestic sports betting industry. Many states haven’t done this yet, and before PASPA was overturned in 2018, no states could do this to begin with. Thus, because of the Wire Act and the now-overturned PASPA law, offshore sportsbooks became the de facto standard for US sports bettors looking for safe, legal means to place their wagers and build their bankrolls.

Offshore online sportsbooks are located in countries such as Costa Rica and Panama where the operators abide by rules and regulations set by their local gaming authorities. They are outside the jurisdiction of the US but are still held accountable by various governing bodies. That is why it is still safe to bet at offshore online sportsbooks even though they are not regulated by any US gaming commission or other governmental body.

Can Legal Sports Betting Sites Be Trusted?

Yes, online sports betting sites can be trusted by US players, whether they are local state-licensed books or offshore operators. Many of these latter sites cater to American bettors and therefore make sure to address any possible safety concerns. All of your financial and personal information is kept secure when you join an offshore sportsbook. Your financial account information is encrypted, as are all passwords and associated data. Your name, address, and other contact details are never sold or disclosed to any third-parties.

You can also trust that offshore sports betting sites have fair odds and betting opportunities. Many of these overseas online sportsbooks have been operating for over two decades, which has allowed them to build up a trustworthy reputation among hundreds of thousands or even millions of regular US players. Reliable banking and being able to trust that your money is in good hands has always been the biggest concern for USA bettors. When you use a legit offshore sports betting site, you are guaranteed to get fair lines and receive your winnings no matter which payout method you choose.

How old do I have to be to use legal online sportsbooks?

The legal sports betting age is determined on a state-by-state basis. If your state has already legalized sports wagering, you will need to abide by that law regardless of whether you wager at local venues or at offshore sports betting sites. These latter sites all ask that bettors comply with their local age guidelines before joining. That said, these sites will accept players aged 18 years old and older. For states that have not yet passed any sports betting laws, this is the age limit that you have to meet in order to join and play. Remember to never try to get around this requirement. Sportsbooks all require their members to abide by their terms of service, and the age limit is one such term. If you join an offshore book while underage, that book will almost certainly confiscate your funds (including any pending payouts) and ban your account permanently. Some books will ask for ID in order to verify your age when signing up, but others will only ask for verification before you make your first withdrawal. Keep this in mind, and always defer to state laws regarding legal sports betting ages.

What Sports Can I Bet On At Online Sportsbooks?

There is a wide range of sports that you can bet on at legal sports betting sites. As a general rule, however, state-licensed domestic online books have fewer options and higher wager prices than their offshore counterparts. When it comes to offshore books in particular, if you can think of a sport, chances are there’s a site that has odds on the day’s game or games in question. Any USA-friendly offshore sportsbook will allow you to bet on the major US sports leagues, such as the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, or NCAA (football and basketball). In addition, there are markets for entertainment and political betting odds that many bettors are unaware of, and these aren’t available at domestic online books. You can bet on the winner of the summer’s hot reality show, the next presidential election, the current season of Survivor, and plenty of other events outside of traditional sports. International sports are also fully represented at all top offshore sportsbooks (though you’ll also get some international action from state-licensed online books). The list of available sports to bet on is expansive, but here are a few of the standard options:

Football, Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, UFC/MMA, Table Tennis, Horse Racing, Rugby, Futsal, Politics, Boxing, Summer Olympics, Winter Olympics, eSports, Snooker, Tennis, Motor Sports, Hockey, Golf, Cycling, Aussie Rules Football, Cricket, Darts, Volleyball, Handball, and MORE!

What does it mean to “shop lines” when betting on sports?

Shopping lines is the simplest and most effective way to increase your sports betting bankroll. When you shop lines, you are comparing different sportsbooks’ prices on identical bets. Remember, these books are competing with one another for your business, and one way they do that is in trying to give you the best deal compared to their competitors. While you might like one site better than another and do 90% of your business there, you will sometimes be able to find better lines at other books. No book always has the best odds for the way you want to wager, and that’s why having a membership at three, four, or even five different offshore books is the best strategy for guaranteeing maximum returns on winning wagers. (Even if you have already joined a legal state-based online book, you’ll want to shop lines between it and your offshore options as a matter of course.)

If one book has Team A at -140 and the other book has the same team at -185 for the same matchup, you’re leaving a ton of money on the table if you take that bet at -185 odds! Shopping lines is much more difficult with in-state sportsbooks, too, making it all the more crucial that you join multiple offshore sports betting sites. If you want more bang for your buck – and more BANK for your LUCK! – join a few books and compare their prices each time you wish to wager.

How Do I Deposit Into Legal Sports Betting Sites

Making a deposit at legal sports betting sites is simple, and there are numerous options to choose from. When you join an in-state book via a website or app, you can expect to see credit and debit support as well as payment processor support from companies like PayPal and the like. (PayPal, it should be noted, is not accepted at any offshore sports betting site for American players.)

When most bettors sign up at an offshore sportsbook to participate in real money sports betting, they opt to use their Visa or Mastercard accounts because there is nothing more convenient than using the card you already use for other purchases. Credit and debit card deposits are instantaneous, so you can transfer your funds and start wagering right away. Bitcoin is another instant deposit option, and you can typically get higher maximum deposit limits using this and other cryptocurrencies than you can get with a credit card. Bitcoin is not currently supported at any domestic US online books, by the way.

For high roller sports bettors who don’t wish to use crypto, bank wires are preferable because there typically are no limits to the amount that can be deposited into offshore books. Transfers are usually completed in 1-3 business days, but this will always depend on your bank. You can also express ship a check to most offshore online sportsbooks if you prefer to deposit via a more traditional method. Check deposits usually arrive within 2-4 business days when you use carriers like FedEx, UPS, or DHL. Read more about legal online sportsbook deposit methods.

How Do I Collect My Winnings From Sports Betting Sites?

You will have several options when it comes time to get paid your winnings. Legal sports betting sites have reliable withdrawal methods that range in processing speed and payout limits. In-state books will usually give you the option of receiving payouts at their physical book partners, while others will do direct deposit or allow you to receive a check in the mail, and so on.

Bitcoin – which is only an option at offshore books – is the quickest way to receive your winnings, with funds reaching your wallet in as little as 4 hours depending on the sportsbook you’re using. There are never any withdrawal fees when you request a Bitcoin payout or other cryptocurrency payout. Supported cryptos include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, DASH, Cardano, Stellar, and more, and different sites will usually accept different coins. Bitcoin, however, is universally accepted and is thus the number-one choice.

Paper checks are also a trusted withdrawal method at online offshore sportsbooks, with the cashier mailing you a check that can be cashed at your local bank. Some sites require that the check is first deposited to your bank account before being pulled out as cash, and there may also be a fee to mail the check. Other withdrawal options include money orders, Western Union, and MoneyGram.

Can I Bet On Sports With My Friends In The USA?

If your state has laws that prohibit land-based sports betting, there could possibly be a provision against placing bets with your friends at the bar or at a game. There are a few states that do have social gambling laws, but it varies depending on where you reside. Even if its just with friends, the internet is the best option for legal sports betting in the United States. You can safely bet on sports with your friends online because there are no overarching laws that state otherwise. You and your friends can place as many bets as you’d like at an online sportsbook. In either scenario, there have not been any reported instances of law enforcement penalizing residents for placing bets on sports with their friends.

Can I safely wager on sports with a local bookie?

Betting with an unlicensed (aka black-market) local bookie is not only against the law, it is really a terrible idea. First of all, there is nothing you can do about it if your bookie decides not to pay you, unless you are ready to break his ankles or something. Second, they are committing some serious crimes by taking your wagers, and you do not want to be any part of anything like that. There are plenty of legal online sports betting sites that players can use, including several with some really fast payouts. Honestly, there is simply no need to take the risk of betting with local bookies. If you use state-regulated or legal offshore sportsbooks, you are going to get more lines, better odds, and much bigger payouts. Betting is all about mitigating risk, and you can’t do that with a local underground bookie.

Can I use the phone or Internet to place a bet at a sportsbook in another state?

Since sports betting is legal in some states and illegal in others (at least in a land-based domestic capacity), many prospective bettors wonder why they can’t simply call one of these books – or use the Internet – to place wagers with them. This is due to the Wire Act, which bars sportsbooks from taking interstate bets. No legitimate sportsbook operator is willing to risk their business to accept wagers from out-of-state bettors, and proxy betting is largely considered off-limits as well. (Proxy betting is where a local representative places wagers for out-of-state bettors on the events of their choosing. In most cases, the proxy is considered to be in violation of the Wire Act).

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.

Can I call A Sportsbook In A Legal State And Place A Bet?

Since sports betting is legal in some states and illegal in others (at least in a land-based domestic capacity), many prospective bettors wonder why they can’t simply call one of these books – or use the Internet – to place wagers with them. This is due to the Wire Act, which bars sportsbooks from taking interstate bets. No legitimate sportsbook operator is willing to risk their business to accept wagers from out-of-state bettors, and proxy betting is largely considered off-limits as well. (Proxy betting is where a local representative places wagers for out-of-state bettors on the events of their choosing. In most cases, the proxy is considered to be in violation of the Wire Act).

When Will My State Have Legal Sports Betting?

That’s the million-dollar question! Fortunately, there are two good answers. Firstly, if your state doesn’t yet offer legal sports wagering in a domestic, state-licensed capacity, chances are good that such will be legalized within the next year or two. Most industry analysts estimate that by 2023, 40 or so US states will have legal sports betting venues within their borders, with the majority also offering statewide online books. (If your state is historically more antagonistic towards gambling in general, of course, it could be many years until you see a legal local betting lounge or online option. States like Utah and Hawaii come to mind as being particularly regressive about gambling and sports wagering.)

The other answer is more cut-and-dried: Sports betting is already effectively legal in your state if you use an offshore sports betting site. While a few states do have criminal codes that imply that the act of wagering is unlawful, none has explicitly stated that residents cannot use offshore sportsbooks to place their wagers legally and safely. Nobody in any US state has ever been fined, arrested, or jailed just for betting on sports with offshore books, and you are not going to be the first. Offshore books operate outside of US jurisdiction, and no law prevents you from enjoying their real-money betting services.

Is is better to bet online or at a brick and mortar sportsbook?

This largely depends on how far away from a legal land-based sportsbook you live. If you live in the same city as an operating brick-and-mortar sportsbook, it might make sense to gamble at this venue as a part of your regular weekly routine. Sports betting lounges are great places to get a bite and watch the game, after all. However, if you have to drive or fly long distances just to place a few bets, that’s not particularly reasonable. Remember, sports wagering is a daily or weekly thing for most bettors, and with thousands of wagering options on most sportsbooks’ daily odds boards, the Internet is a much more compelling solution for the dramatic majority of the population, even in states with legalized sports betting.

Can individual states make offshore sportsbooks legal?

There has been some speculation that individual states could make offshore sports betting illegal in an effort to direct all sports betting action to their own homegrown sports wagering markets. However, no state has flirted with this idea as of yet, and there is precedent among member nations of the World Trade Organization (including the US) that guarantees free trade between constituent countries provided the product in question – in this case sports wagering – is legal at the site of the completed transaction (and there are no active trade sanctions in place). It is unlikely that any individual US state will willingly get involved in a dispute with the WTO.

Do I have to pay taxes on my winnings when betting on sports?

Absolutely. The US state and federal governments treat sports betting as income, and you have to pay taxes on it. Some state-based books will even report winnings over a certain amount to the IRS on your behalf as part of their legal operational obligations. However, even when you use offshore books, you need to pay taxes on your winnings.

It is a common misconception that you don’t have to treat offshore sportsbook winnings as taxable income, and this has led to financial ruin for many bettors. Always claim your sports betting winnings as income, and always follow your state’s tax laws – and federal US tax laws – to the letter. Some states allow deductions for losing wagers (up to a certain limit), but this varies, and you should definitely contact a tax professional if you have any questions. To make your filings easier, the US government has put together the following primer on how to claim all gambling winnings. Also, it is critical to note that you are in no danger of being prosecuted for using offshore sports betting sites when claiming winnings earned from these services.

How do sportsbook bonuses work, and what is “rollover”?

Domestic sportsbooks that offer bonuses (not all do) usually have a host of venue-specific rules and standards. However, offshore books usually all follow the same bonus model. At the top offshore betting sites, every bonus comes with something called “rollover.” Rollover refers to how many times you have to wager your deposit amount before being eligible to withdraw any associated winnings. All sportsbook deposits require a minimum rollover of 1X before pulling out your money. In other words, you can’t deposit $1000, bet $500 of it, win, and immediately withdraw. You’ll have to wager the remaining $500 first. When you get a bonus, that multiplies the necessary rollover.

For example, let’s say your site offers a 50% deposit bonus that adds up to $250 to new members’ first deposits and has a 5X rollover. If you sign up, deposit $500, and accept the bonus, you’ll have $750 in funds to bet with. The 5X rollover means you will need to bet this amount 5 times over before withdrawing any associated winnings. That is, before you can withdraw any payouts, you’ll have to wager at least $3750. This sounds like more than it really is, and most novice bettors won’t have trouble meeting this particular threshold.

Bonus rollovers can be anything from 5X at some offshore betting sites to 14X or even more at others. The best rule of thumb, generally speaking, is that high rollers and frequent bettors should accept bonuses, while infrequent bettors and low-ballers should not take bonuses. Also, if you bet on sports for supplemental income to pay monthly bills, you should not accept bonuses, as these can delay payouts and cause problems for you.