Is online sports betting legal?
That’s a question you might be asking yourself now that sporting events are resuming after COVID-19. You’re also coming across more and more ads for sports betting sites and apps.
Sports betting online is poised to be the next big thing, with growth forecasts anticipating at least 9% growth every year between 2018-2022.
You still might be wondering if it’s legal to place bets online in the U.S. We have all of the answers. Read on to learn about sports betting, the law, and how you can make sports betting profitable.
A Brief History of Sports Betting in the United States
Let’s go back to the 1800s when horse racing was starting to become more organized and a big moneymaker in the U.S. Many saw gambling as something that attracted a “bad element,” so they wanted to have laws that made gambling illegal.
Sports betting was also legal, but there were instances where gangsters sought to influence games, and members of teams would do the same as the Chicago White Sox in the 1919 World Series.
Over the next few decades, Congress would try to pass laws to outlaw sports betting, but nothing seemed to stick until 1992. That’s when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was passed.
States had the option to tell the federal government before the bill became law whether or not they wanted to keep sports betting legal in their state. Nevada opted in, while Oregon and Delaware, and Montana opted in with limitations.
All of the states that didn’t do anything effectively made sports betting illegal. Horse racing was still legal thanks to the 1978 Interstate Horse Racing Act, which made it legal to bet on horse races in different states.
In 2011, New Jersey wanted to have ways to revive the casino industry in Atlantic City. A statewide referendum was passed to make sports betting legal. The sports industry fought this referendum and blocked it from becoming law, citing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.
It became a court battle that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that New Jersey had the right to open up legalized sports betting.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal?
You would think that with the Supreme Court’s decision in 2018, sports betting online and in-person would be legal across the United States.
Not so fast. The Supreme Court’s decision only applied to New Jersey. It opened the door for other states to pass legislation to approve sports betting in their state.
As of right now, sports betting is legal in 18 states and Washington, D.C. There are 12 states that tried to pass legislation to legalize sports betting, but failed.
The kicker is that while some of these states have legalized sports betting, not all of the laws made online sports betting legal.
For example, in North Carolina, sports betting in-person is legal, but online sports betting isn’t. It’s the same in New York, Washington, Washington, D.C., Rhode Island, West Virginia, New Mexico, Montana, Michigan, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Arizona.
As you can see, it’s a complicated mess of laws that govern online sports betting.
How to Bet On Sports Online
How can you bet on sports online? You want to start with your location since that’s the key to betting legally in the U.S. You have to be in one of the states where online sports betting is legal.
You may think that you can get around that problem by using a VPN since that can mask your online location. Many online sports providers will block your connection or require you to enter a local address to create an account.
It’s also illegal since you’re betting on sports in a state where online sports betting is illegal.
You have to be physically present in a state where online betting is legal. You could be a resident of that state or just visiting. If you live near a state border that has online sports betting, then you can drive to one that location, pull over, place a bet, and go home.
You also have to find an online sportsbook to place your wagers. Sports betting online seems to be everywhere. You want to find a site that is registered and licensed to operate.
You also want to find a sports betting site that offers a wide range of betting options. If you like to bet on horse racing, you want to be able to bet at tracks all over the world. For basketball, you want the option to bet on a wide variety of leagues, not just the NBA.
Also, check to see if there are other gaming options besides sports betting online. Some sites only have sports betting, while others have an online casino. That gives you the option to play slot games and live casino games.
Check Out Promotions
You’ll want to sign up at sports betting sites that offer great promotions. Some sites will offer specials like $25 to wager with no money down. Others will match your deposit up to $500. These promotions give you the best chance to make your deposit last.
The promotions also offer an opportunity to try different sports betting sites to see which ones you like the most.
Legal Online Sports Betting
Is online sports betting legal in the U.S.? The legalities of online sports betting are confusing at best.
The law is changing fast. Since COVID-19 has drained a lot of state revenues, more states may pass legislation to legalize online sports betting to increase revenue. You want to keep an eye on the laws in your particular state and contact your local legislators to let them know that there is a demand for online sports betting.
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