United States Sports Betting

USA sports betting

USA Sports Betting
Status: Gray Area
B&M Availability: Nevada
Online Availability: Yes
Minimum Age: 18+
Restrictions: Depends on State Laws

Though sports betting is a multi-billion-dollar industry in the United States, the clear majority of bets placed in the country are placed “illegally.” For every $100 wagered on sports in the US, $99 is bet at unregulated. Much of that amount is bet at online sportsbooks.

In recent years, the US government has softened their position on some forms of online gambling, such as casino gambling and poker. However, online sports betting continues to remain the red-headed stepchild. If you are interested in more details, we have an in-depth article that reviews that history of online sports betting in the United States.

In this article, bettors will learn all about aspects of sports betting in the United States as it stands today. Legality, safety, cashier methods, along with recommendations for our favorite sportsbooks and betting sites available to American residents.

United States Sports Betting Legality

It’s essential that we remind readers before going further that placing an online sports bet is not expressly against federal law. Some states criminalize betting online as a misdemeanor and Washington St. where it’s a felony. However, these countries have never charged a single person for placing bets online as an individual.

If you’re not a bookie or running your own betting website or online sportsbook – you have nothing to worry about from a legal perspective. The US gov’t has criminalized offshore sportsbooks and their operators, but not the individual bettor.

It’s worth noting that just because something isn’t expressly illegal – it doesn’t make it legal, by default. We’re looking at enforcement here. Individual gamblers are who betting on poker, casino, or sports online, have never been a target of law enforcement at any level.

Online Sportsbooks

Despite the legal stance, online sports betting is flourishing in the United States. Offshore sportsbooks take in ten times the amount of the regulated sportsbooks in Nevada. Odds move based on offshore money. The industry is massive and continues to thrive.


Local Bookies

Local bookies also make up a significant portion of the betting handle in the US. It’s rare to find a local bookie that operates using a phone anymore. Most use pay-per-head websites where players can make an account and place bets. It’s like betting with an offshore online sportsbook but settling up in person.

In most major cities, finding a local bookie is relatively easy. We still advocate that betting online is the best route when it comes to line shopping and odds, bonuses, and assurance that you will be paid, but having a few outs with locals can undoubtedly help.


Nevada Sportsbooks

This is the only form of regulated and entirely legal sportsbook betting available in the United States. Delaware and Montana also have legal sports betting, but only in the way of sports lotteries. Many professional sports bettors are living in Las Vegas, but tourists place most of the action in Vegas sportsbooks. Phone or tablet betting apps are available when in-state.


Taxes

Whether you’re betting online, with local bookies, or in a Nevada sportsbook – taxes must be paid on your winnings. The IRS doesn’t care how you earn your money, but only that you pay taxes on it.


Safety of Online Sports Betting in the United States

good sports bettingDespite the legal issues and much of the drama regarding the law in the United States, online sports betting is perfectly safe, both from a legal and risk perspective, especially for small stakes bettors.

However, there is more risk of depositing with a scam sportsbook that simply decides not to pay, than there is in other countries where betting is regulated. There isn’t much that can be done from a legal perspective. Bettors can post their complaints with SportsbookReview.com and email us here at Safest Betting Sites.

The best way to put pressure on a site that is mistreating players is to publish that data online. That is our goal with the scam sportsbooks section. With that said, most bettors do have a positive experience when betting online. If you stick our top recommended sportsbooks, there should be no issues.

Catering to USA Sports Bettors

Online sportsbooks offer lots of incentives for players to sign up and make an account. Almost all sites will provide players with a first-time deposit bonus which can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. Many offer additional reload bonuses and VIP programs. Almost all sportsbooks will also give players a bonus for referring their friends.

Online Sports Betting in the United States

A breakdown of what it’s like to bet online sports in the USA

Top US Sports to Bet On

  • nfl betting
  • basketball betting
  • baseball betting
  • golf betting
  • soccer betting
  • horse racing betting
  • tennis betting
  • hockey betting

Currencies

  • USD
  • BTC

Languages

  • US betting
  • Spanish betting

These options may not be available at all sportsbooks, but represent a typical experiences.

Best US Betting Sites

Picking and betting at the best US betting sites is just as important as picking the right NFL team to win the Super Bowl. The main reason is that you have to be able to trust these sportsbooks with your money, and be assured that they will pay you when you request the withdrawals. There are plenty of other perks with choosing the best US sportsbooks, including: bonuses and promotions, live sports odds, soft odds and lines, and early betting markets. Below you will find our top recommended United States betting sites that offer you all of this and more.

Top US Betting Site – SportsBetting.ag

The SportsBetting.ag betting site offers most of the biggest sports, including Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey. They also have other international sports like soccer, rugby, and cricket. For those avid sports enthusiasts, you can use their high-quality Live Betting to place bets and win as the sports matches are being played in real-time. Pick from among dozens of different wagers you can place on a single match-up, along with their great prop bets.

SportsBetting.ag offers new members plenty of bonuses, like their 75% up to $1,000 in Free Bets using the code “NEW1000“. For those that use Bitcoin, can take advantage of their 100% up to $1,000 Bitcoin bonus using the promo code “2017BTC“. Take advantage of their bonuses, live betting, and incredible sports betting odds when you sign up and start winning at SportsBetting.ag.

You can also check out another great betting site, BetOnline, as they offer similar perks and benefits.

High Rated US Betting Site – Bovada

Bovada Sportsbook is our #2 choice for anyone looking to place online bets on sports. They offer amazing soft odds, meaning they offer great odds the average bettor can make a profit from. Bovada has over 20 sports betting markets you can pick from, including big name sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, and the MLB. Their Live Betting software is one of the best in the business, and they offer hundreds of different prop bets for each event.

Make safe and instant deposits and payouts using Credit Cards or Bitcoin. New members can claim their 50% bonus up to $250 when they sign up at the Bovada sportsbook, and use that free cash to place winning bets.

Depositing and Withdrawing at United States Sportsbooks

Deposit and withdraw options for U.S. bettors are somewhat limited compared to areas with fully legalized online wagering. However, there are still plenty of viable choices, and most bettors should be able to deposit within a matter of minutes. In recent years, thanks to crypto-currencies, such as Bitcoin, withdrawals are becoming a lot faster, as well.

US Deposit Options You Can Use

The most popular deposit options for U.S. bettors will be credit or debit card or Bitcoin. Both are excellent options for instant deposits and typically come with no fees.

Credit Cards: some sites can charge a fee for credit or debit card deposits, but most fees come from the card holders’ bank. This method funds your account almost instantly.
Bitcoin: the best benefit of making bitcoin sportsbook deposits is that it has no fees and its max deposit limit is one of the highest among the banking methods. Funds reach your account in a matter of seconds.
Cash transfers: are done via third-party companies like Western Union or MoneyGram, but those are rare and costly. They come with high fees and slow deposit times; sometimes taking hours or days.
Checks: some sportsbooks will also accept a cashier’s check or money order via mail. This is the slowest deposit method, but it gives bettors a large maximum deposit limit.
Bank Wires: are excellent for large dollar amount deposits, but will usually come with fees and take a day up to a week to reach your account.

US Withdrawal Options You Can Use

The most common withdrawal options will be Bitcoin and check, but some sportsbook also offer bank wires for larger payouts.

Bitcoin: we recommend Bitcoin over all other options for both deposits and withdrawals. It comes with zero fees and faster payouts than any other method. The crypto-currency is usually processed in 48 hours or less. Once processed, the payout reaches your Bitcoin wallet within a few minutes.
Checks: typically take around one week to reach players after they are processed. Most sportsbooks will offer one free check a month, but this can extend to other methods as well, such as bank wire. There are fees ranging from $25-$100 for processing checks.
Bank Wires: one of the most common payout methods, it allows you to make larger than normal withdrawals. The downside is the slow withdrawal time that comes with this method.

United States Sports Betting History

Sports betting history in the United States is a bit complicated. They liberalized gambling in some areas, most notably in Nevada, but sports betting has remained illegal or unregulated in most states. This contrasts with Europe, where most countries have a legalized sports betting. For a deeper look at online sports betting history and the United States, please read History of Online Sports Betting in the United States.

United States Sports Betting Resources

For those that are looking for other legal advice, they should check out their State’s website to check for specific laws that regulate online sports betting. However, you will find a few resrouces below that can help you start your search.

Website Information
American Gaming Association The AGA acts as the single most effective advocate for casino operators, suppliers and allies in the gaming industry, which supports 1.7 million American jobs in 40 states.
Sports Betting Wiki Get all of the latest legal rulings of sports betting in brick and mortar sportsbooks across the United States.