US States With Legal Sports Betting
Legal sports betting in the United States is highly regulated, which makes finding states with legal sports betting rather hard. Over the course of nearly sixty years, the US federal government has created laws that limit how and where sports betting can be done in the states. While these federal laws have successfully been able to eradicate land-based sports gambling in almost every US state, today’s digital age has helped give residents more options. Online, offshore sportsbooks provide US states with legal sports betting options that they wouldn’t be able to find at land-based locations. On this page, we’ll review everything you need to know about US states with legal sports betting, both land-based and online.
US States With Land Based Sports Betting
There are only two states with legal land-based sports betting in the entire country and they are Nevada and Delaware. The truth of the matter is that this is a direct result of the federal law PASPA. Passed in 1992, this law prevents states from legalizing and regulating sports betting either land based or online. At the time of its passage, there were four states that had legalized sports betting in one form or fashion. These four states (Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon) became exempt. Of these four, only two still exercise this ability. Delaware and Nevada are the only US states with legal sports betting at land-based locations.
Legal Sports Betting In Nevada – The Biggest Sports Betting State
Sports Betting in Nevada is all-encompassing. Nevada is the only US State with sports betting that can be done on single games for every sport. This is because NV fully legalized all aspects of this form of gambling in the late 1940’s, well before anyone began passing laws that restricted legal sports wagering. In Nevada, sports betting must be done in a licensed bet shop or at a casino-hosted sportsbook. Businesses with liquor licenses (sports bars) are not authorized to start their own sportsbook or offer legal sports betting.
A unique feature of sports betting in Nevada is that you can actually use mobile betting apps. The casinos that own and operate sportsbooks have apps that allow you to place wagers and track your bet slips from your mobile device, giving you the ability to leave the casino and still get your bets in. These apps can only be used within the state of Nevada.
Most of Nevada’s sportsbooks are located in Las Vegas, Reno, and Henderson. While individual betting shops used to be very popular back in the 50’s and 60’s, they’ve all but gone out of business since the casinos and hotels took over the sports betting business. That being said, you’ll still be able to find small sportsbooks in cities scattered throughout the state.
Types Of Wagers Offered At Vegas Sportsbooks
Because of its full exemption from PASPA, Nevada sportsbooks are able to offer every type of wager they think will make money. Nevada sportsbooks will have everything from basic game lines like moneylines, spreads, and totals, to parlays, props, futures, specials, pleasers, teasers, if-bets, reverse if-bets, Asian Handicaps, and more. These sportsbooks bank on the fact that they are able to offer something that every other state is denied the right to, so you’ll definitely be able to find the wager types you’re looking for.
Legal Sports Betting In Delaware
Delaware is the only other US State with legal sports betting aside from Nevada. This is because, in 1976, Delaware expanded its lottery laws to include NFL parlay cards. They weren’t very popular and ceased offering this form of legal sports betting after a single year. But because they never repealed the law, Delaware became one of the four states grandfathered in to the federal law PASPA. Sports betting in Delaware can be found at each of its three racetracks, Dover Downs, Harrington Raceway & Casino, and Delaware Park Racetrack. Delaware may only offer 3 or more team parlay cards to bettors during the NFL regular season.
Parlay Betting In Delaware
Because parlay betting was the only form of legal sports betting in Delaware at the time of PASPA, it is the only form of wagering that can be offered today. Parlay cards containing a minimum of three contingencies can be wagered on during the NFL season. The racetracks that offer these cards offer a number of different ways to participate in parlay betting in Delaware. They include things like half-point cards, Teaser and Super Teaser cards, off-the-board parlays and more. Each track does things a little differently, but you get the basic idea. It’s just all different types of parlay bets.
States With Legal Online Sports Betting
Fortunately for players who enjoy betting on sports but don’t feel like driving or flying to Nevada to do so, there are many more states with legal online sports betting than there are states with legal land-based sports betting. This is because most states have not passed legislation that disallows the use of online gambling platforms. Legal sports betting can be done at online, offshore sportsbooks in any state that has not passed anti-online gambling legislation. To date, that’s 43 states.
The states that do not have legal online sports betting are Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. That being said, their anti-gambling laws don’t actually mention sports betting by name, it’s just assumed under the umbrella of gambling. Also, most of these laws target the person who operates the site, rather than the person who places a bet. So it’s really at the bettor’s risk if they want to bet online.
Does The Wire Act Make Sports Betting Illegal?
No, the Wire Act does not make sports betting illegal. The Wire Act actually makes it unlawful for someone to take your bet, rather than to place one. The law was written this way in order to prevent interstate sports wagering from occurring. Federal lawmakers knew that if they made betting illegal, people would find a way around it. They figured that going after the person who takes the bets would be the more prudent course of action because people would just try to keep themselves out of trouble and stop taking bets on the phone or online. They were right because the Wire Act still prevents interstate sports betting from occurring today. Fortunately, though, the Wire Act is a US federal law, and so it has no jurisdiction over online sportsbooks that are located overseas. US laws cannot tell people in other countries what to do. Because of this, the Wire Act has no effect over online, offshore sportsbooks taking your wagers.
Regulating Online Sports Betting By State
You might be wondering how a single country’s gaming commission or control board can regulate offshore sports betting sites that serve a global community. While the laws in each country vary greatly, legal sports betting still abides by the same principles and basic standards. Those basic principles and standards are what create the framework that these gaming control boards use for regulating sportsbooks. To earn and keep a license, these legal sports betting sites have to maintain the standards set forth by the gaming commission in their country. If they don’t, they get their licenses taken away.
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