Is Online Sports Betting Legal In The USA?
The legal issues surrounding online sports betting has been debated even more than that of online poker, as there is an additional gambling laws pertaining to sports gambling outside of any other sport. Obviously there is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act that is making it difficult for the financial portion of online sports gambling, but there is also another law that has made it difficult for gambling sites to take bets on sports - the Wire Act of 1961. We are going to touch on these laws and how they affect you, as well as what sort of trouble exists when trying to bet on sports.
Sports gambling in the United States has had a rocky history. Due to organized crime, the federal government had taken great steps to prohibit sports betting from taking place. The Interstate Wire Act of 1961 was the first step in banning sports betting in the United States, and this cause created a framework to prosecute those who illegally accepted wagers on sporting events over telecommunications. The wired, cabled existence of the Internet means that Internet is also covered by the Wire Act. Move 31 years into the future and you will find another law crafted to block online gambling, this one being called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. The PASPA, as it is called for short, made it illegal for any state to authorize a sports betting business that had not been "grandfathered" in by having legalized a form of sports gambling prior to the act's creation. Only Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware have been grandfathered in. It would take a direct challenge and repeal of the PASPA in order to change this. There is one more law pertaining to the legalization of sports gambling, and this deserves some mention of their own.
More of a symbol against online gambling and a banking restriction, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act has long been a sign of the struggle for legalizing online gambling. In terms of sports betting, the UIGEA has had the same affect that it has had on other forms of gambling - it has complicated making payments into these sites. It has not actually caused any players any harm, as it is nothing more than a financial inconvenience.
If you haven't figured it out, it is not illegal to wager on sports over the Internet - not on a federal level at least. Federally speaking, you have as much of a chance of going to jail for placing a wager as you do getting hit by lightning. One U.S. Attorney, Catherine Hanaway, was once asked by a House representative "...there's no prohibition against gambling on the Internet,?" to which she replied "That's Correct." This was back in 2007, and as far as we know no major law has been passed surrounding online sports gambling on a federal level, so this seems to remain true today. This does not, however, mean that sports betting is legal in every single state.
We would like to say that no one has ever been arrested for gambling online, but this is not the case. One man had been arrested due to the violation of a state law in North Dakota for placing a wager over $500 - a misdemeanor in the state of North Dakota. This arrest was not even because he gambled online, it was simply that he gambled - it is pure happenstance that he had gambled through the Internet. Even still, there are those states that have their own bans against online gambling, and we do not recommend attempting to gamble if you live within one of these states. Washington is the primary aggressor against online gambling, but Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin all have bans against online gambling in their code of laws. Provided you adhere to the laws of your state, there should be no legal complications when trying to bet on sports over the Internet - just don't try to establish your own sports gambling business, as this is an excellent way for you to get in trouble.
The fact of the matter is that there are several safe and legal methods in which players from the United States will be able to gamble safely and legally.. We have a myriad of different legal sports betting sites listed on our site, along with comprehensive reviews for each. We list all of the most important facets of the sportsbook, so that you know what to look for going in before signing up for an account. Not to mention the fact that all of these sports sites we do mention have a great track record with bettors in the United States. You can rest assured that these are all legal options with fantastic records of trust.
See more about legal online sports betting here as well as a list of all online sports betting sites accepting USA players.