As George Orwell famously said, sport is ‘war without the shooting’. It gives us a rush of adrenaline that we’re all addicted to. But, simply being a spectator is not enough for some people. They want to become a part of it!
And a way to get involved in a sporting event is to place a bet. If your team wins, you’re going to be as happy as the players on the pitch. Possibly even more!
The excitement sports betting brings along is the main reason why so many people love it. And it’s been like that for a really long time. Actually, there’s evidence that people were placing wagers even in the Ancient Roman times.
The fact that this gambling form has been around for several millennia is one of the main arguments of proponents of sports betting legalization. If it’s a part of our DNA, why should it be illegal?
But gambling on sports is illegal in many parts of the world, including some US states. But, that’s about to change.
The legality of Sports Betting in the US
Over the years, gambling laws have changed a lot in the United States, the last major change happening in 2018. That’s when the state of New Jersey won a case in front of the Supreme Court, which ruled that there’s no ground to keep sports betting illegal on the federal level.
However, Supreme Court judges did leave it to each individual state to decide for itself.
US States Where You Can Bet Online
Since 2018, a number of US states have started looking into making sports betting legal and regulated. Some, like Utah, have made it illegal straight away; some are still in the process of making it legal and there are a couple of states that have already done their job. Let’s talk about some of those!
- New Jersey – There are 14 New Jersey casinos where you can bet on sports. Some of those, like Borgata and Resorts, have their own online sportsbook sites and apps.
- Nevada – The state that legalized the activity ages ago is also among the forerunners when online betting is concerned. There are plenty of casinos in Las Vegas that have their own sportsbook websites/apps. However, you’re required to sign up in person, as well as to turn on geolocation on your device while betting.
- Pennsylvania – At the moment, there are four operators that run legal online sportsbook operations in Pennsylvania, namely FanDuel, Parx, BetRivers, and SugarHouse. More sportsbooks are expected to follow their example soon.
- West Virginia – It’s perfectly legal to bet online in West Virginia, but only if you’re doing it at a licensed online sportsbook. At the moment, only BetLucky carries such a license, but FanDuel and DraftKings should get their licenses in the upcoming weeks.
- Rhode Island – As of summer 2019, you can only bet at two land-based casinos in Little Rhody. The good news is that online betting is also legal and first web-based books are expected to launch pretty soon.
The legality of Offshore Betting in the United States
At the moment, offshore gambling is neither legal or illegal in the United States. Although it is a sort of gray area, most offshore do welcome Americans with open arms.
‘Not illegal’ is the term to focus on here. Because of it, you have nothing to fear about suffering legal consequences if you decide to wager offshore.
Even before the Supreme Court ruled that there’s nothing in the Constitution saying that sports betting should be illegal, there were no laws prohibiting offshore gambling.
This means that in the days before licensed sportsbooks were established in states like NJ and PA, bettors had two options in front of them. The first was to go on a trip to Las Vegas to bet; the other was to place wagers at offshore sportsbooks.
The only trouble with offshore sportsbooks is that don’t have US gambling licenses, hence your government won’t be able to help you if the book decides to scam you. You’re on your own, so if you decide to bet at offshore bookies, you better stay with reputable operators.
Sites like Offshoresportsbooks.com are where you can find honest sports betting site reviews, together with all kinds of useful details about offshore books. Still, it’s always a good choice to do research on your own as well, just to be sure nothing suspicious is going on.
Finding a Trustworthy Offshore Sportsbook
The fact that it can’t have a US license doesn’t mean an offshore book shouldn’t have any. If a sportsbook is not licensed, it’s a clear sign that something’s not right. This is why it’s of paramount importance to look for license information. Such details are usually located at the bottom of the homepage. That’s also where you’ll find certificates issued by independent testing agencies such as eCOGRA.
But, even if the sportsbook has a legal license, it doesn’t mean it’s conducting a legitimate business. Bookies love money more than anything else. And that’s why many of them are using certain tricks to get as much money from you as possible. This is why it’s important to read the T&C carefully, even if that means wasting a little bit of your time.
By doing it, you may find out that there are big fees for withdrawing your funds. And there might also be some tricks involving bonuses. Although they won’t rob you off your money, these scams might leave you disappointed.
The thing is that offshore books are willing to do anything they can to attract new players. One of the ways that seem most productive is offering lucrative welcome bonuses. Such deals are guaranteed to make the players come swarming like flies to the casino. The trouble is that such bonuses can leave a deficit on sportsbook’s account.
That’s why many of them decide not to tell the whole truth to the players. For instance, they might offer an amazing welcome bonus, putting in small print that in order to receive it, you need to fulfill the wagering requirements.
And more often than not, those requirements are simply impossible to fulfill. For instance, to get a bonus of 50 bucks, you may need to wager it 20 times in a row on odds higher than 2.00 (+100) each.
Due to all this, it’s important to remember the following advice – if the offer seems too good to be true, it’s probably because it isn’t true.