Prior to this, anyone who was determined to bet on sports either had to use illegal bookies or take their chances with offshore sites.
Neither of those options provides much player protection. If your local bookie doesn’t want to pay you, then there isn’t much you can do about it. The same could be said of offshore sites. Even though many offshore bookmakers are very reputable, they are really only able to protect players within their own jurisdictions.
Sports betting sites that are licensed and regulated in the United States must operate honestly and openly. They are subject to severe repercussions if they don’t live up to the high standards that regulatory authorities demand of them.
Sports bettors who use a legal sports betting site in their state can rest assured that they are well protected and that they will always get promptly paid.
It isn’t too hard to find out if a site is legal. In most cases, you can simply scroll to the bottom of the main page and look for the licensing authority’s logo. As mentioned above, if you are in New Jersey, look for the Division of Gaming Enforcement’s logo.
In Colorado, you would look for the Division of Gaming’s logo. If a sports betting site that you are looking at does not display the appropriate licensing information, you should probably avoid it. You can always refer to the state’s gambling regulator if you are unsure about a bookmaker’s legal status.
Sports Betting Laws
Sports betting laws vary from state to state. For example, some states allow betting on college sports while others don’t. Some allow betting on college sports only if the match is taking place outside of the state. The legal gambling age also varies. Most states require bettors to be at least 21 while others allow bettors as young as 18.
The most common rule that sports bettors will come across is that they are only able to place legal wagers if they are physically in the same state as the bookmaker. If you are in Iowa, you may only place a bet with an Iowa bookmaker. You won’t be able to place a bet with a sportsbook located outside the state.
American bookmakers use geolocation technology to track where bettors are. If the software detects that you are outside the state’s boundaries, you will be blocked from placing bets. If you plan on sports betting, it’s a good idea to learn about your local gambling laws.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in the United States?
As we close out 2020, sports betting is legal in more than two dozen states. A few other states including Virginia and Louisiana have legalized sports betting, but they have yet to launch it. Then there are states such as Georgia and Maine in which legal sports betting may happen in the next couple of years.
North Dakota, Minnesota, and Connecticut are among over a dozen states that have introduced bills, but haven’t yet passed them. Sports bettors in Idaho, Wisconsin, and Utah may never live to see sports betting legalized in their state.