How It Works

Sports Betting In America

For decades, sports betting in America was illegal outside of Nevada. That left a lot of American sports bettors fleeing to offshore betting sites where they would violate U.S. laws to do what they love to do most, bet on their favorite sports. All of that changed in May of 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the nation’s sports betting ban violated the States Right clause in the Constitution. That opened the door for states to decide the sports betting issue on their own.

The results of this ruling were immediate. Within months, states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Nevada on a wider scale passed sportsbetting legislation that said yes. Today, more than half the states have passed similar sports betting legislation. Also, 20 of those states are currently accepting wagers either through retail sports betting America outlets or online.

How Sports Betting Works in America

The sports betting laws in America vary from one state to the next. What is universal is the fact that each state limits the betting action to sports bettors who are physically located within the states in which they are wagering. Translated: a sports bettor physically located in Kentucky cannot place wagers through online sportsbooks operating in Indiana. Sports betting is a state issue, and state boundaries must be honored for the new laws to work as prescribed. For what it’s worth, online bookmakers use geo-tracking software as a means for tracking incoming wagers.

Retail or Online?

Depending on the laws in each state, sports bettors will have one or two betting options from which to choose. A majority of the states permit sports betting in retail outlets. Retail outlets can be stand-alone facilities or located in brick and mortar casinos spread throughout the state. All retail bookmakers are required to carry the proper licensing.

In about half the states where sports betting is legal, sports bettors are permitted to place bets online through their PCs or mobile devices. Again, each online bookmaker is required to carry the proper licensing for each individual state.

The Competition Among U.S. Bookmakers

There are as many as a dozen primary bookmakers offering sports betting somewhere in America. Some of these bookmakers have been taking sports wagers for decades across the pond in Europe. Major European online bookmakers like William Hill, bet365, and Unibet have already established a big presence in the U.S. sports betting market.

From the U.S., major gambling conglomerates like BetMGM, BetRivers, Golden Nugget, and Caesars International are carrying the sports betting flag for America.

The competition for sports bettors in each state is robust. To draw customers, each bookmaker, especially online bookmaker, competes by offering player bonuses. Players benefit by getting plenty of free cash from which they can place bets.

Of course, sports bettors have to fulfill wagering requirements before they can put bonus money in their pockets. Usually, they will have to wager the amount of their bonus money at least one time before it becomes real cash that they can call their own.

The Betting Markets

American sports bettors are renowned for being equal opportunity sports gamblers. They will wager on almost any sport from which they can get enough handicapping information to make informed wagers.

Not surprisingly, American sports bettors have a definite bias towards American sports and sports leagues. Knowing this, every U.S. bookmaker will provide its customers with access to every major sports league or sport being played in the U.S. The list includes the NFL, MLB, NBA, MSL, WNBA, NHL, PGA Golf, NASCAR, NCAA BB (Men’s and Women’s), NCAA FB, and major college sports tournaments.

In addition to offering betting markets that cover the U.S., all bookmakers are currently offering betting markets on an international level. That would include major international sports leagues like the Premier League in England, motorsports, tennis, Rugby, Cricket, boxing, Aussie Rules Football, The Canadian Football League, darts, and an array of secondary sports markets. Also, wagering is made available for special events like the Olympics and World Cup Soccer.

Betting Options

American sports bettors are afforded the opportunity to place a wide range of wager types. Each bookmaker offers the following wagers: straight bets (both money line betting and betting with point spreads), parlays (up to at least 12 legs), proposition bets, futures odds wagering, teasers, and in-game live-action betting.

It’s worth noting that the betting limits will vary from one bookmaker to the next with online wagering limits being a little more restrictive. However, most of the country’s larger bookmakers will be willing to accept very large wagers from known high rollers.

Making Deposits and Withdrawals

The rules governing how U.S. sports bettors make deposits are very strict. While the banking options might vary from state to state and bookmaker to bookmaker, there are a few banking options that one would consider to be universal. Those options would include credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, Discover), PayPal, paynearme, and direct banking options like wire transfers and online banking transfers. In states where retail betting sites are prevalent, bettors can make cash deposits directly into their retail betting accounts.

The Future of Sports Betting in America

Eventually, every state in America with the exception of Utah is expected to legalize some form of sports betting for its residents. To be clear, the passing of sports betting legislation has been a financial windfall in every state that has said yes. This hasn’t been lost on the states that are now considering the passing of sports betting legislation.