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Is it Legal to Bet on Sports Online in the US?

Online sports betting became legal in the United States at the same time as regular sports betting did, only it took a little longer to roll out.

After the federal ban on sports betting was lifted in May 2018, 20 states have legalized sports betting, another 5 are pending, and several more are likely going to legalize in 2021.

Online sports betting is available in the following states: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. You also have mobile app betting options in Nevada and in Oregon you can also bet online via the lottery regulated site ScoreBoard.

So, out of the 20 legal states, 11 of them offer online sports betting, either via state-regulated sportsbooks, or through one of the licensed online sportsbooks.

Only in Regulated States

The most important thing to remember when betting online is, then, that online sports betting is only available in states that have legalized and regulate the industry. This means that lawmakers have been able to pass laws that allow sports betting operators to accept customers locally.

Here is where sports betting is currently legal or pending to be legal:

Online betting In-person only Legal but not yet live

Be sure to check out the current rules and regulations in your state to determine if online sports betting is an option where you live.

There are offshore sportsbooks available throughout the United States, but the only safe option is using legal and regulated sites. When you bet on a state-approved sports betting operator, know that the operators have gone through extensive scrutiny to get licensed and your digital wallet therefore secure.

Mobile Apps Available

Not only can you bet on sports on desktop websites, but also through mobile apps. Sportsbook operators have launched mobile apps that are available for download on both Android and iOS devices.

Check out our article on where to be online in 2021 to know more about what online betting options you have: Where to bet online in 2021

These mobile apps continue to evolve and improve, and they largely resemble what you would see from the online site. In 2021 we are likely going to see more apps popping up as bettors are wanting to sit on the couch to bet and not by their desk.

Different Forms of Registration

When you are looking to signup for an online sports betting account, there are two different types of registration that you will find. Each state will set up the registration requirements differently, but the basics are the same everywhere across the country. 

The first option is remote registration, and this is the one that most bettors prefer. With this, you can complete the entire registration process from your mobile device.

The other option is in-person registration, and this means that you have to visit a retail sportsbook before your account is set up. This can be a problem if you live in a state with very few retail sportsbook options. 

Bonuses/Promotions Available

Lastly, most if not all sportsbooks offer sign-up bonuses and promotions as a way to attract new customers. These offers are limited to new customers, but some of the top online sportsbooks will offer bonuses to current customers too. 

One of the most popular bonuses available is what is known as a deposit bonus. With this offer, the online sportsbook will match your first deposit, or they will offer you a risk-free bet for the value of your initial deposit. 

As an example, below is an offer from William Hill:

William Hill NJ Promo

Don’t sign up at an online sportsbook without finding the best bonus offers.

Here is another promo from DraftKings:

Draftkings Promotion

To sum up: check that online sportsbooks are available in the state you are in or are planning to bet from. Read up on local ID restrictions. Then, once you are ready, choose the book that has the best promo.

Happy betting!

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