Is Sports Betting Legal In The United States

One of the most commonly asked questions that we have come in contact with among those interested in sports betting in the United States is the question of legality. In other words, "is sports betting legal in the USA?" The short of the long of it is that there are legal ways to bet sports in the United States. It's not complicated, nor is it shady or on the border of being illegal, so you don't have to worry about that. Learn more about some of the laws relating to sports betting in the U.S., and how they are applied plus why and how betting on sports in the U.S. can be done legally as you read down this page.

Is online sports betting legal in all 50 states?

The good news is that there are plenty of legal sports betting sites that accept players from all 50 states. And, there has never been anyone arrested for online sports betting in the U.S. unless they actually owned the sportsbook and were acting as bookies. Although they have never enforced any of their laws and nobody has ever been arrested for sports betting, there are a few states that have some sort of law regarding online gambling in general. But just remember, even if you live in these states, there is little chance of getting in trouble and it does not necessarily mean that you are breaking the law just because you bet on sports online in these states.

The states that do have some sort of laws regarding online gambling are Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, & Wisconsin. However, the laws in these states are poorly written and they would probably not stand up in any court because of that. They do not state exactly what is illegal and what is not and that is why they have never arrested anyone for gambling online. Truth be told, the laws in place were mostly put there by lobbyist for big casino companies like Harrahs so they can try and lock down the online gambling market with bs laws.

How is it legal for online sportsbooks to accept USA players?

The main reason that online sportsbooks are able to accept USA players is because they are located offshore. Being located offshore means that they do not have to follow U.S. regulations and gambling laws. Plus you add in the fact that there are no laws that make sports betting illegal for the individual bettor and there are no real issues. Until the U.S. government makes it clearly illegal for players to place bets online, online sportsbooks will continue to accept USA players.

Is sports betting legal on a federal level?

There are three important federal laws that relate to sports betting in the United States. This includes betting sports online in the U.S. but can also apply to betting in-person. In addition to that, the concept of state gambling laws for sports betting is also addressed, because different states will have different legislation in place.

Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act - Established in 2006, the UIGEA stipulates that businesses can not knowingly accept payments or process transactions for the use of a bet or wager that is made with the Internet. Essentially, the way in which an online bet would be made cannot occur legally under the UIGEA Act. This law only applies to banks and businesses, and not the bettor who is placing the wager.

Wire Act - A recent 2011 ruling by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals said that the Wire Act now applies only to sports betting, with the other forms of online gambling having not yet been ruled upon. The Wire Act prohibits bets or wagers from being made, taken, and processed through any use of wire communication. Here again though, the individual bettor is left out.

Professional And Amateur Sports Protection Act - Formed back in 1992, PAPSA defined what sports betting in the United States was, and then banned it. PAPSA gave a one-year window for states which that had at least a 10-year history of licensed gambling, to create their own sports betting laws which would allow sports wagering to receive immunity from the law. There were only a few states which took advantage of this. Some states today, in particular New Jersey, are fighting hard against PAPSA and these other laws to make sports betting legal.

Is sports betting legal on a state level?

State Laws - There are many state gambling laws across the country, but only a couple of states actually allow legal sports betting in their state still to this day. They would be Nevada and Delaware. States are able to formulate many of their own gambling legislation, given the fact that the federal government has largely given them control but sports betting isn't one of those things. The above mentioned PAPSA limits which states can regulate sports betting (Nevada, Delaware, Montana, Oregon) and forbids all others from venturing into the field.

What is the legal gambling age?

The legal age for which bettors in the United States can wager on sports is decided by the states, and not the federal government. As such, these ages are not consistent across the board. They are consistent in the sense however, that they only vary between two ages. Those ages would be either 18 or 21. There are other age requirements that must be met as well, such as when signing up to play at an online sports betting site. These sites also mandate that bettors meet a certain age requirement to create an account.

Disclaimer About Legal Sports Betting

It is important to note that we are not lawyers, nor affiliated with the law in any way. We have simply reviewed, researched, and are sports wagering enthusiasts who are trying to bring you the best information that we have. If you feel compelled to research this topic further, we encourage you to do so, and to even go so far as to consult your local government in your state to find out all of the laws that may pertain to you. is for informational pruposes only.

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