Legal Sports Betting Online – What’s The Deal?

Legal Sports Betting Sites

For as long as there have been athletic competition, there has been betting on sports. Wagering and sports go together, and as long as the players are getting an adrenaline rsuh from playing, the bettors will strive for the rush of betting against the bookmakers.

Sports wagering is a billion-dollar industry globally, and bettors in the U.S are often confused as to how to safely, and legally bet on sports, both online and at an outlet. The answer can come across as confusing, but fortunately there are indeed safe and secure legal sports betting sites available to bettors in the USA.

Laws against online sports betting in the U.S

Confusion around the legality of online sports betting is mostly due to some of the convoluted some laws that the U.S government enforces. The 1961 Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 being the most notable.

“The Wire Act” was in place a long time before the internet became a thing. The Wire Act prohibited citizens who “engaged in the business of betting” from wiring money across U.S state lines with the intent to be used in placing bets. This law was passed as with the intention of fighting organized crime related to gambling, as it was often criminals gangs that were operating illegal sportsbooks during this time.

The “Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act” was a renewal of the original Wire Act, confirming that it was illegal for businesses and individuals in the United States to make transactions with the intent of betting on sports in the U.S or overseas. This resulted in banks and third-party financial institutions to stop the transfer of funds to sportsbooks.

Is sports betting legal in the United States?

Below is a table of the most popular offshore online sports betting sites used by U.S residents as of 2018.

BetOnline Bovada SportsBetting 5Dimes
U.S Accepted?
Legal States ALL 50 45 STATES EX: DE, MD, NJ, NY, NV ALL 50 ALL 50
Live Betting
Mobile Betting


This is a question that is easy to answer to with any great confidence, but we’ll do our best to make it simple. To be frank, sports betting is the most restricted type of gambling, both  in-person and when it comes to online gambling laws. If you read these laws, they make it sound like you’ll spend life in prison if you bet a penny on a sports betting market. However, that’s not the case when the bettor goes about it the right way.

We say the “right” way because there is a wrong way to bet on sports that could land you in jail or see you paying some hefty fines. This is definitely true when it comes to online sports betting. But as we said, if you go about it right, you’ll avoid trouble and the risk of prosecution, fines, or worse.

Here is why some online sports betting sites are considered legal for U.S residents while others aren’t. We recommend offshore sportsbooks because they don’t operate under the jurisdiction of United States sports gambling laws. Neither the government or any other U.S. authority are able to access their records that could point the finger at you.

If by some reason you were identified as an individual user of an offshore online sports betting site, they would not waste resources in order to prosecute. To put it simply, regulators aren’t trying to catch the bettors, they want to stop the operators themselves. But, their authority is only within the U.S, and that’s the reason you should bet with offshore sites.

If you are betting with an illegal sportsbook, operating within the United States, you may want to put a stop to that ASAP. It’s just a matter of time until that website or illegal bookmaker you are using is busted, at which point your records will be turned over. Should that occur, you may not go to jail but you’ll certainly guarantee that the tax-man will be looking for his share of your fortune (if you were so lucky). Basically, stay well clear of smaler, shady operators, and stick with the bigger brands offshore.

Millions of Americans go online to bet on sports each year, the majority of which are betting at our recommended sportsbooks for U.S. residents. This is because they are trusted, fair, with the odds and markets that Americans want. These offshore sportsbooks offer a variety of deposit methods for U.S. players, including Cryptocurrency, should you need to go super-stealth.

What makes sportsbooks legal?

Fortunately for U.S residents who love to bet on sports in the United States, U.S. laws against online sports betting do not apply outside of U.S. soil. Many countries around the globe offer legal online sports betting within their country, and many trusted wagering operators have set up base in these countries.

While the U.S. may not like this, they have their hands tied when it comes to enforcing gambling policies to other countries. Antigua and Barbuda fought the U.S. and demanded sanctions for its interference in global trading affairs back in 2005, and once that was settled there have been no more attacks on sports betting, leaving offshore sports betting sites to continue operating in other countries unhindered.

Bettors are not the target

With both the “Wire Act” and the “Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act”, players aren’t targeted in the writing of the bill and have never been targeted legally by either bill. These laws were put in place to go after the sportsbooks themselves only and those people running them, not the individual bettors placing bets.

As a result of these laws, legal U.S. sports betting sites no longer exist, though many people and lobbyists are still aggressively fighting for their return. Despite being located outside of U.S. soil, many sportsbooks cater to American sports bettors.

Making deposits offshore

Due to current laws in the U.S. against transferring money to sports betting companies, it’s not as simple to deposit into online sports betting sites as it once was. Banks and third-party companies will often decline deposits intended for sports betting.

However, there are plenty of ways to make deposits quickly and simply. Players can use credit cards or prepaid cards at many legal sports betting sites, with direct money transfers also popular. In many cases, legal sports betting sites will pay for fees that come with a deposit if deposit requirements are met.

The introduction of crytpocurrency to sports betting sites has also given bettors the freedom to deposit and withdraw funds in record time, with anonymity.

Freedom to gamble in other countries

Residents of countries like Canada, Australia or the United Kingdom have it easy, with the USA’s laws against sports gambling transactions not applying. Players in these countries and others can deposit straight from their bank, or use a number of other third-party options to make deposits or withdrawals.

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