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.
Today In Legal Sports Betting:
September 25th, 2020
- Read moreThe Pittsburgh Penguins have announced that a BetRivers Sportsbook is being developed inside of PPG Paints Arena. The sportsbook is estimated to be completed by the 2021 NHL season.
- Read moreGeoComply has received its Supplier Registration from the Tennessee Education Lottery. The company will help online Tennessee Sportsbooks ensure users are located within state lines.
- Read moreAfter a public hearing conducted by the Michigan Gaming Control Board concluded, state representatives are now hopeful that rules for MI sports betting can be submitted to a legislative committee next month.
- Read moreWith the first Presidential Debate only days away, online sportsbooks have released odds for whether or not Joe Biden will participate in all three. The results of the debates could have a massive effect on the presidential election odds.
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.
Latest Legal Sports Betting News
Current State Of Legal Sports Betting In The USA
After the courts struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, states across the country slowly began passing legislation to authorize retail (and in some cases online) sports betting. On March 25, 2020, Washington became the 21st state to legalize sports betting, and many more states are considering or have recently considered legislation to authorize sports betting. In 2019, three states (Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) each handled over $1 billion in sports wager, and legal sportsbooks around the country set records for revenue and handle.
There is currently a lot of uncertainty surrounding the future of legal American sports betting, however. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has ground global sports to a near halt, and many sportsbooks around the country have had to close their doors. Those that have remained open have been forced to turn to unconventional sources for betting, like politics, entertainment, and the few obscure sports leagues around the world that are still playing. The loss of so many prime betting events is likely dire for American sportsbooks, but as long as the country can unite to fight COVID-19 and return things to a relative state of normalcy in the next several months, the long-term future outlook of legal sports betting will remain positive.
Which States Will Have Legal Sports Betting In 2020?
Michigan and Illinois launched their first sportsbooks in early March and could license as many as ten casino sportsbooks each by the end of the year. Colorado launched its first online sportsbooks on May 1 as well. Tennessee, Washington, Virginia, Washington, DC, and North Carolina have all passed the legislative framework needed to begin sports betting operations and are just awaiting their licensees. Additionally, Oklahoma signed new gaming compacts with two tribes to allow sports betting even without new legislation. There are now 23 states with fully legal sports betting, and at least 21 should launch by the end of 2020.
Maine also passed a bill late in 2019 that would legalize sports betting, only to see it vetoed by Gov. Janet Mills. Kansas and Kentucky both look likely to pass their own sports betting bills in the near future and should be in a good position to launch their own sportsbooks by early 2021, but the Coronavirus crisis will likely interfere. Even among states that have already legalized sports betting, there could still be some potential positive changes on the horizon.
Several other states, including Nebraska and Maryland, are currently considering bills that would put a statewide referendum on sports gambling on the November 2020 ballot. California’s referendum bill is the most important in the country, as if it passed, a favorable referendum vote would instantly turn California into the U.S.’s largest sports betting market by total population. COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into many states’ legalization efforts and put much non-essential legislation on hold, but once the country can navigate the perilous waters of the virus, sports betting appears to be poised for healthy growth.
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
The sports world has been put on a nearly universal hiatus as the world contends with a pandemic of unprecedented scale. Major leagues around the world are suspending or canceling events to prevent the congregation of players and fans to limit the spread of COVID-19. The NCAA has canceled spring sports entirely, while other leagues around the world have suspended play indefinitely while they evaluate the risk to public health. Some major sports have already begun such as the MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS. Here are some of the sports that have not yet started and their expected return dates (dates subject to change):
- SEC Football Season Begins – September 26, 2020
- French Open – September 27, 2020
- NBA Finals Begin – September 30, 2020
- Preakness Stakes – October 3, 2020
- Big 10 Football Season Begins – October 24, 2020
- NFL Wild Card Round Begins – January 9, 2021
- NFC Divisional Round Begins – January 16, 2021
- NFL Conference Championships – January 24, 2020
- Super Bowl LV – February 7, 2021
|Sports Betting Handle: 2019|
|New Jersey:||$4.58 billion|
|West Virginia:||$226.0 million|
|Rhode Island:||$245.8 million|
|Total: $9.49 billion|
|Sportsbooks’ Revenue: 2019|
|New Jersey:||$301.2 million|
|West Virginia:||$18.6 million|
|Rhode Island:||$17.8 million|
|New York:||$7.8 million|
|Total: $680.5 million|
|Tax Revenue By State: 2019|
|New Jersey:||$36.6 million|
|West Virginia:||$226.0 million|
|Rhode Island:||$245.8 million|
|Total: $69.7 million|
|Sports Betting States|
NBA Bubble Betting
Looking at today’s Eastern Conference Finals action, the Miami Heat are looking to close out the series as they hold a commanding 3-1 lead. However, the Boston Celtics are favored to win Game 5 to bring it to a 3-2 lead. Bettors should remember, however, that the Miami Heat have been considered underdogs all throughout the playoffs.
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, 22 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 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 appeared prime for a March 2020 sports betting launch, but Coronavirus pandemic forced all casinos in the state to close. Online sports betting won’t be ready until 2021. Heavy licensing fees could prevent widespread adoption of sports betting in the state.
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 betting is not expected to launch until 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 Regulation Of Legal Sports Betting In The USA
With no barriers to entry, the future regulation of legal sports betting in the USA in 2020 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?
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
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 states.
In 2019, state-sanctioned sportsbooks handled $12.98 billion in total wagers, earned $887 million in revenue and paid $123.4 million in city and state taxes. The industry is projected to continue its rapid growth through 2020 and 2021.
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
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.
How To Contact LegalSportsBetting.com?
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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.