How to legally bet on sports from the USA

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Sports betting in the United States has been going strong. In fact, there are over 20 states that allow you to legally place a sports betting wager. Now, because each state is free to set its own sports betting conditions, courtesy of state regulators, some sports fans can be a little confused.

Is online wagering available in the United States? Can you bet from your mobile phone and where can you bet from? We will answer all of these questions and specifically, how to legally bet on sports from the USA today!

The States Where It’s Legal to Bet from in the USA

Since 2018, sports betting legalization has been a little more than a simple buzzword in the United States. New Jersey defeated a federal law known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act promulgated in 1992, and allowed for states to formally offer sports betting options. NJ bookies now earn over $20 million a month with more than four-fifths of that coming from online betting.

Before the law took effect, there were only four states that allowed some form of sports wagering, and they included Nevada, Montana, Oregon, and Delaware. Today, there are 22 states and Washington D.C. where you can legally place sport wager. Now, it’s important to understand that the legalization effort has gone different in each state, and you can bet at:

  • Physical sportsbooks
  • Online sportsbooks
  • Partial mobile sportsbooks

There are also states that only recently legalized sports betting, but the local authorities, usually a Gaming Control Board or Lottery Commission, hasn’t established a framework just yet or is in the process of collecting applications from license holders.

In other words, you can bet legally in half the country, and even if your state hasn’t legalized sports wagering just yet, most casinos are located strategically, allowing most people from neighboring states to drive in.

In states where you can wager online legally, you will notice that as long as you are within the state’s borders, you can still wager without being physically in a casino, sportsbook or a racebook.

What Are the Legal Requirements to Place a Wager in the US?

To be legally allowed to place a wager you must be of the statutory age, which is 21 in most states across the country.

All land-based sportsbooks ask of bettors to be at least 21 years of age before they can enter the premises and especially place a bet.

However, tribal casinos and sportsbooks allow individuals as young as 18 to place a bet as they have sovereignty and do not have to comply, in most cases, with state and federal mandates so long as they are not causing others harm.

To bet legally in the USA today, though, you will have to undergo a thorough identity verification check as well as verify the origin of your money and provide a home address.

Now, this may seem like a little too much, but casinos, sportsbooks, racebooks and all other authorized gambling venues must collect this information from you automatically. The good news is that all of this information is used internally and never released. Data protection is a big priority for all legal gambling venues in the United States.

What Are the Best Online Betting Websites in the USA?

Naturally, with so many states rushing to legalize sports wagering, there are quite a few companies that want to capture your attention. In this cacophony of worthwhile betting choices, it’s often easy to get side-tracked or confused. That is why you can find a selection of legal betting websites over at

The website has put together a comprehensive list of all worthwhile sportsbooks that you can bet on legally and enjoy some of the best promotions. If you are looking for a way to determine whether a sportsbook is worth your time and money, there are a few simple rules you may follow. They include:

  • Checking the number of available markets
  • Making sure odds are available for each event
  • Comparing odds between sportsbooks for better value
  • Reading online reviews for each wagering book
  • Checking out what bonuses are available

All of these are quick and reliable ways to check what the better online sports betting websites in the United States are. The good news is that since the country began legalizing the industry, there are very few sportsbooks you would not be able to trust. In fact, it’s safe to say that any licensed operator in one of the states where sports betting is legal can be trusted completely.

The only difference would be to pick the sportsbook with the best odds. Even then, however, it’s good to remember that odds may vary between events.

Can You Legally Bet from a Mobile Device or a Smartphone?

To place a legal wager on sport event in the US, you will need to meet some simple conditions established by law. Usually, the sportsbooks will explain what your limitations and privileges as a sports bettor are, and whether you can bet remotely.

In the cases where you can bet with your smartphone or remotely, you may have two options. The first one is to bet from anywhere so long as you are in the state. The other one may require that you are actually in a casino or a sportsbook even if you are using their mobile app.

Now, this may seem a little counter-intuitive, and it is. However, some state lawmakers are still not fully convinced that online wagering can be trusted. The United States has passed a lot of laws to suspend online gambling and fairly recently, too.

UIEGA, for example, was passed in 2006 and it killed online poker in the United States with U.S. Congress citing fears about funding terrorism at home by laundering money at the then established poker websites.

Well, none of this has proven, but lawmakers have remained vigilant of giving gambling too much leeway. Of course, some states, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania allow you to bet from virtually anywhere so long as you are in the state. In other places, though, your ability to bet remotely could be restricted.

The good news is that things are moving towards a more liberal overall market.

Story by Ananya Moreau 

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