US Online Sports Betting

Only a few years ago legal online sports betting became available to sports fans in the US, which ushered in a new era of sports betting and a number of successful sportsbook sites.

The Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a federal mandate that outlawed sports betting.

The overturn of PASPA gave states the green light to offer legal sports betting. Individual states can now pass their own legislation and allow both retail and online sports wagering within their state.

Several US states introduced legal online sports betting in the wake of the fall of PASPA. In states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, online sports betting accounts for more than 80 percent of all statewide sports betting revenue.

Best Online Sportsbooks

Online SportsbookStates OperatingBonus Offers
DraftKings SportsbookNew Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Colorado, Tennessee20% Deposit Match Bonus up to $1000
FanDuel SportsbookNew Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Colorado, Tennessee$1000 Risk-Free Bet
BetRiversPennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado100% Deposit Match Bonus (up to $250)
BetMGMColorado, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee, West Virginia100% Deposit Match (up to $500)
PointsBetNew Jersey, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois$1500 in Risk-Free Bets

States With Legal Online Sportsbooks

Colorado

May 1, 2020, marked the beginning of a new era of sports betting in Colorado. The first wave of the state’s legal online sportsbooks launched that day, with four different mobile platforms debuting.

DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, BetRivers, and BetMGM all began operations on the May 1 launch date. BetMonarch and FoxBet joined the fray later in May. Four more sportsbooks launched in June and July including SBK Sportsbook, Sky Ute Sportsbook, Circa Sports, and BetWildwood.

These already-operating platforms are just the beginning of the emerging Colorado market. As many as 20 or more different online sportsbooks could operate in the Centennial State eventually. Even with the challenging sports environment, Colorado sportsbooks took in $38million in wagers in June 2020.

Learn more about Colorado Online Sports Betting

Illinois

Retail and mobile sports wagering were legalized in Illinois in June 2019. Online sportsbooks launched in June 2020 starting with BetRivers. William Hill launched in Illinois on August 3, and DraftKings Sportsbook launched in Illinois on August 5 as a partner of Casino Queen out of East St. Louis. During the last week of August, FanDuel launched as a partner of Par-A-Dice Casino in Peoria, Illinois. On September 12, Pointsbet Illinois launched as a partner of Hawthorne Race Course.

See our guide to Online Gambling In Illinois.

Indiana

Indiana lawmakers signed legal online sports betting into law in May 2019. State-regulated mobile sportsbooks started to launch in the Hoosier State in October 2019.

Online sportsbooks available to Indiana bettors include BetRivers, BetMGM, BetAmerica, and PointsBet. Like most other US states, these brands operate as license partners of Indiana’s retail casinos.

Several other brands are already approved by the Indiana Gaming Commission, and will eventually join the state’s mobile sports betting market.

See our full guide to Online Sports Betting In Indiana.

Iowa

Iowa joined the list of US states to offer legal online sports betting in May 2019. Governor Kim Reynolds signed bill SF617, which legalized both retail and online sports betting in the Hawkeye State.

Both land-based and online sportsbook launched at the same time in Iowa, with legal sports betting going live in Iowa on August 15, 2019.

The Iowa mobile sportsbook betting market includes a couple of brands not seen in other states. Q Sportsbook and Elite Sportsbook join well-known brands like PointsBet and DraftKings Sportsbook as legal sports betting options in Iowa.

See our full guide to Online Gambling In Iowa and our Iowa Sports Betting Guide. 

Montana

Legal online sports betting in Montana doesn’t quite operate the same way it does in other US states.

The Montana Lottery oversees the state’s sports betting industry. The agency approved one legal online sports wagering operator, Sports Bet Montana. Intralot, the Montana Lottery’s technology partner, is the company behind Sports Bet Montana.

Businesses offering lottery and alcohol sales can apply for approval to install Sports Bet Montana kiosks. Hundreds of locations throughout the state will likely eventually host these kiosks.

Montana bettors can place sports wagers directly through these kiosks, or on a downloadable mobile app. Bets placed on the mobile app, however, must be within a close distance of a Sports Bet Montana kiosk at the time of a bet.

Nevada

Before the overturn of PASPA, Nevada held the position as the only US state legally able to offer full-scale sports betting. Nevada casinos got the jump on other states regarding legal online sports betting platforms.

Most of Nevada’s legal mobile sportsbooks operate as casino-branded platforms. Casinos offering self-branded online sportsbooks include South Point, Wynn, Station Casinos, Atlantis, and Golden Nugget.

William Hill and Westgate Superbook also offer mobile sports wagering platforms in Nevada.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire entered the legal sports betting market in July 2019. Governor Chris Sununu approved a bill to bring both retail and online sports betting to the Granite State.

Online sports betting brands won’t operate as license partners to land-based casinos. This is because New Hampshire doesn’t have any retail casinos. Instead, the New Hampshire Lottery licenses and approves all online sports betting operators in the state.

DraftKings Sportsbook launched in December 2019, as New Hampshire’s first legal mobile sportsbook.

New Jersey

New Jersey sets the bar as the state with the biggest selection of legal online gambling options. It comes as no surprise that the Garden State stands at the front of the curve in the US legal mobile sports betting industry.

The state legalized online sports betting in June 2018. The first of New Jersey’s legal mobile sportsbooks launched the following month.

New Jersey leads the US in online sports betting revenue. Bettors in the Garden State can access more than a dozen mobile sportsbooks. Brands include Unibet, Fox Bet, William Hill NJ, and theScore Bet.

Learn more about Online Sports Betting In New Jersey

Oregon

The fall of PASPA didn’t affect Oregon sports betting laws. This is because the state was already exempt from the federal ban on sports wagering mandated by PASPA.

Similar to Montana and New Hampshire, the Oregon Lottery regulates the state’s legal sports betting industry. Oregon bettors can access a single mobile platform in the state. The Oregon Lottery Scoreboard app permits sports betting from anywhere within state borders.

Only professional sports are open for betting on the Scoreboard platform, as the Oregon Lottery restricts betting on college sports.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania went to work on sports betting legislation before the official overturn of PASPA. An October 2017 package of bills legalized retail and online sports betting in the Keystone State.

The reversal of PASPA allowed Pennsylvania casinos to begin launching mobile sports betting platforms in May 2019. SugarHouse and BetRivers, both owned by Rush Street Interactive, were among the first legal sports betting sites to launch in the state.

Pennsylvania is second only to New Jersey in online sports betting revenue in the US. Other online sports betting brands in the state include Parx Sportsbook, FOX Bet, and Unibet.

Check out our comprehensive Guide To Sports Betting In Pennsylvania.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island legislators approved retail and online sports betting in the state in June 2018. The Rhode Island Lottery regulates the state’s legal sports betting industry.

Bettors in the Ocean State can wager on a single online sports betting site, Sports Bet Rhode Island. The technology behind the platform comes from a collaboration between IGT and William Hill.

Sports Bet Rhode Island operates as a license partner of Twin River Worldwide Holdings, which operates two land-based casinos in the state.

Tennessee

Tennessee approved online sports betting in April 2019. The Volunteer State takes a unique position in the mobile sports betting industry, as the state doesn’t host any land-based casinos.

Online sports betting companies can apply for licensure as standalone platforms. Tennessee’s legal online sportsbooks launched on November 1, 2020. The first sportsbooks to debut include fan-favorites DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM.

Washington DC

Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s signature on DC Council Bill 23-25 approved sports betting in the US capital in January 2019.

Similar to Rhode Island, Montana, and a few other US states, legal sports betting in Washington DC is regulated by the Office of Lottery and Gaming.

Intralot, the technology company behind the lottery in Washington DC, operates the district’s lone mobile sports wagering platform. The platform, christened Gambet DC, debuted in May 2020.

West Virginia

West Virginia went all-in on legalized online gambling after the fall of PASPA. Mobile gambling options in the Mountaineer State include online sports betting, which was legalized in May 2018.

The first online sportsbook in West Virginia, BetLucky, launched in August 2018. The platform was short-lived, however, ceasing operations after just a few months.

Online sports betting reemerged with the debut of FanDuel Sportsbook in August 2019. Other platforms currently operating in West Virginia include DraftKings Sportsbook and BetMGM.

The Future Of Online Sports Betting

More states will eventually join the list of states with legal online sports betting, as the industry continues to expand in the US. Several states already have legislation in place to offer legal mobile sports betting, with the launch of products in those states pending.

Michigan

Michigan approved legal online sports betting in December 2019. State-regulated mobile sportsbooks could launch by 2021 and will operate in partnership with Michigan’s land-based tribal and commercial casinos. Expect to see BetAmerica, BetRivers, Golden Nugget, FanDuel, and DraftKings in Michigan.

PointsBet also announced its first-ever sports league partnership with the Detroit Tigers. FireKeepers launched its retail sportsbook in Michigan, making it the first tribal casino in Michigan to operate its own sportsbook.

Two of the top online sportsbooks already announced pre-launch registration offers in Michigan. Both FanDuel and DraftKings announced its Michigan promotions to celebrate the anticipated launch of online sports betting in Michigan.

Visit: DraftKings Michigan To Claim A $100 Sports Bet And $100 Casino Credits

Visit: FanDuel Michigan To Claim $100 In Free Bets ($50 sports + $50 casino)

Keep up-to-date on developments in our Michigan Online Sports Betting Guide

Virginia

Virginia legalized online sports betting in March 2020, with the legislation going into effect in July 2020. The language of the legislation allows for standalone online sportsbooks to operate in the state.

Other States With The Potential To Offer Online Sports Betting

States like New York, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and New Mexico currently offer legal retail sports betting. Online sports betting regulation could be on the horizon in those states.

Maryland and Louisiana both took steps towards legalizing sports betting with ballot measures during the 2020 election. Each state will need to enact rules and regulations before any online sports betting launches in the state.

Many other states are considering legalizing sports betting, including California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Kentucky, among others.

Online Sports Betting Sites In The US

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings Sportsbook looms as a leading brand in the US online sports betting industry. In virtually every state in which it legally operates, DraftKings Sportsbook stands as one of the top revenue-earning mobile sportsbooks.

The brand currently operates legally in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Indiana, Iowa, and Colorado. They launched in Illinois in August 2020 as well.

New bettors can earn up to $1,000 in bonus money upon registering at DraftKings Sportsbook. The bonus includes a deposit match bonus of 20% up to $1000.

With one of the most user-friendly interfaces in the sports betting industry and a wide selection of sports, DraftKings Sportsbook should appeal to bettors of all experience levels.

Check out our complete DraftKings Sportsbook Review

FanDuel Sportsbook

Along with its closest competitor, DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook holds a position as one of the most popular online sports betting platforms in the US.

Sports bettors located in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, and Colorado can wager at FanDuel Sportsbook. In each of those states, FanDuel Sportsbook emerged as one of the top-earning mobile sports betting sites.

Bonus offers at FanDuel Sportsbook include a $500 risk-free bet for new players. After an initial deposit, new account holders are eligible for up to a $500 rebate on the first bet made on the platform, if the bet results in a loss.

FanDuel Sportsbook offers a wide array of betting markets. Bettors looking for action on domestic professional and college sports, as well as international leagues and niche sports, can find plenty of options at FanDuel Sportsbook.

FOX Bet

The FOX Bet platform is committed to a massive US expansion. Several states with legal online sports betting will eventually include the FOX Bet brand among online sportsbook offerings.

FOX Bet operates as a partnership between FOX Sports and The Stars Group. This collaboration pairs one of the most visible US sports media companies with the world’s biggest online gambling brand.

Bettors located in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Colorado can access the FOX Bet platform. New players can unlock both a $500 risk-free bet and a 50% deposit match bonus, up to $500.

Casual bettors should enjoy the FOX Bet platform, as it consistently offers good odds on favorites. The bonus offers, which can unlock up to $1,000, are generous as well.

BetRivers

The BetRivers brand emerged as a legal online gambling platform owned by Rush Street Interactive. Poised to be a major player in the US legal online sports betting market, BetRivers currently offers mobile sports betting in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Colorado. BetRivers is scheduled to launch in Michigan as well.

BetRivers offers one of the most player-friendly deposit match bonuses in the US. New bettors can unlock a 100% match bonus, up to $250, with just a 1x playthrough requirement.

The minimal playthrough requirement is unmatched by any other mobile sportsbook brand. That bonus offer, and an overall outstanding sports betting platform, makes BetRivers a top choice for any sports bettor.

PointsBet

The Australian-owned PointsBet brand committed to a stateside business plan with the implementation of two land-based headquarters in the US. The PointsBet platform currently offers access to bettors in New Jersey, Indiana, and Iowa, with more states to come, including Michigan.

New bettors can take advantage of up to $1,500 in risk-free bet bonuses upon sign-up at PointsBet. They also offer a tiered deposit match bonus for new bettors.

The brand is known for its one-of-a-kind “PointsBetting” style of wagering. This bet awards (or takes) more money depending on the margin of victory in a selected game.

Bettors looking for unique action and big potential payouts should enjoy betting at PointsBet.

What Online Sportsbook Bonuses Are Available?

Risk-Free Bets

Many legal online sportsbooks offer sign-up bonuses in the form of risk-free bets. A risk-free bet offers a refund on the first bet made at an online sportsbook, up to a certain amount. The refund only applies if the bet results in a loss.

At FOX Bet, for example, new account holders can apply a risk-free bet offer to the first bet on the site, up to $500. The potential $500 refund only applies to the first single wager a new bettor places at FOX Bet.

The refund bonus matches the amount of the bet, up to $500, in the event of a loss.

Other online sportsbooks offering risk-free bet bonuses include FanDuel Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, and PointsBet.

Deposit Match Bonuses

Deposit match bonuses can be found at many legal online gambling platforms, and mobile sportsbooks are no exception. A deposit match bonus awards bonus money that matches a certain percentage of a player deposit.

At BetRivers, for instance, new bettors can enjoy a 100% deposit match bonus, up to $250. A $250 deposit is eligible for a $250 bonus, a $100 deposit can earn a $100 bonus, and so on.

Deposit match bonuses aren’t always as generous as the BetRivers offer. The 100% deposit match is one of the biggest in the industry.

The deposit match bonus offer usually requires a certain amount of playthrough, or money wagered, to unlock the bonus. BetRivers, again, offers one of the most generous promotions in this aspect as well, requiring just a 1x playthrough.

At PointsBet, they offer a tiered deposit match bonus. A $150 deposit unlocks $150 in bonus bets, and that tier yields a total of $300 in cash and bonus betting credits for your $150 deposit. The highest tier awards players who deposit at least $250 with $250 in bonus bets, and with this tier a $250 deposit awards $500 total to bet with.

No-Deposit Bonuses

Some mobile sports betting platforms offer free betting credits just for signing up for a new account. This is becoming a little less common for online sportsbooks in favor of other types of bonus offers.

What Sports Can You Bet On In The US?

Betting On US Pro Sports

Legal online sportsbooks in the US offer a robust selection of betting markets on US professional sports leagues.

US bettors can find moneyline, point spread, parlays, and numerous other betting options for NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, and MLS games. Virtually every game from the regular season and postseason is available for betting at legal mobile sportsbooks. You can bet on the Super Bowl online as well.

Moneyline and point spread betting on individual games present just a piece of the betting opportunities available on US major sports leagues. Other ways to bet include futures markets, in-game wagering, and prop bets.

Prop betting isn’t limited to just on-field contests. Bettors can place prop bets on events like the NFL Draft and NBA Draft. OR, they can bet on season-long statistics like NFL rushing leaders, NBA scoring champion, and many other unique ways to bet.

Most US professional leagues and events offer betting markets with no restrictions. Sports fans can legally bet on home teams from their respective states without worry.

College Sports Betting

College basketball and football represent some of the most wagered-on sports events in the US. The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, aka March Madness, rings in one of the highest-volume betting events on the US sports calendar.

College football, in many states, encompasses loyal and massive fan bases that in some cases eclipse professional sports leagues. Saturdays during college football season draw big sports betting interest. This culminates in the College Football Playoff each winter.

Other college sports, like baseball, hockey, lacrosse, and women’s basketball, present even more betting opportunities at US legal online sportsbooks.

Betting on college sports, however, can present restrictions in some US states. Some states don’t allow betting on college sports. Others allow betting but restrict who can place bets on collegiate sports.

New Jersey College Sports Betting Restrictions

Betting on in-state teams and events is outlawed in New Jersey. For both retail sports betting, and wagering at online sportsbooks, New Jersey-based college programs and events are off the menu.

These restrictions include college programs like the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Princeton Tigers, and Seton Hall Pirates. College sports contests held in New Jersey are also restricted for bettors, even if a New Jersey team isn’t involved.

Rhode Island and New Hampshire College Sports Betting Restrictions

Rhode Island and New Hampshire sports betting laws dictate similar restrictions, with betting on in-state teams and events outlawed.

Oregon College Sports Betting Restrictions

Oregon’s lone legal mobile sports betting platform, the Oregon Lottery Scoreboard, outlaws betting on any college sports altogether.

Placing any kind of college sports bet in Oregon requires a trip to a legal retail sportsbook.

Illinois College Sports Betting Restrictions

Bettors in Illinois will be able to place bets on college sports, but they may not bet on Illinois university games. This restriction includes games played in Illinois as well as out-of-state.

Iowa College Sports Betting Restrictions

Betting on in-state teams and events in Iowa is legal, save for a restriction on prop betting.

Individual Sports Betting

Betting on major US professional sports isn’t just limited to team sports. MMA, boxing, golf, NASCAR, and tennis open up even more ways to bet at legal mobile sports betting platforms.

Major fighting events include championship bouts in boxing, UFC, and other MMA promotions.

NASCAR betting markets include races from the NASCAR Cup Series. This features some of the biggest names in US auto racing. Other NASCAR events open for betting include the Xfinity Series and Truck Series.

Men’s and women’s tennis and golf present even more chances to bet on individual-based sports.

International Sports Betting

Overseas sports leagues and events open up a world of possibilities at legal online sportsbooks in the US.

International soccer leagues like the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, and German Bundesliga are home to some of the most popular sports teams in the world. US bettors looking to wager on clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich can find those teams and many more on legal mobile sports betting sites.

Other international team sports on the menu at legal online sportsbooks include cricket, rugby, basketball, and baseball leagues from around the world.

International motorsports, along with niche sports like table tennis, give US bettors access to a wide array of sports to bet on outside of the US.

Limitations On Other Betting

The explosion in popularity of esports brings with it a rapidly-expanding betting esports market on offshore gambling sites. Esports betting isn’t currently explicitly legal in any US state, although sportsbooks in Nevada and New Jersey have occasionally offered betting on esports events.

Betting on events outside of sports is generally not permitted on US online sportsbooks. This includes betting markets on political elections, award shows, and other non-sports events.

See our Complete Guide To Sports Betting Odds

How Can I Bet On Sports In The US?

iOS Mobile Devices

Most of the legal online sportsbooks operating in the US can be downloaded as mobile apps for iOS devices. These mobile apps allow for betting from the comfort of anywhere within legal state borders.

For iOS devices, legal mobile sportsbooks can be downloaded from the App Store. These apps can be downloaded for free, and allow for betting right from a mobile device.

Android Devices

Android device users are in luck, as most US mobile sportsbooks are downloadable as Android apps as well.

Mobile sportsbook apps for Android devices must be downloaded directly from the sportsbook’s website, as the Google Play store restricts real-money gambling apps.

Desktop

The easiest way to start betting at an online sportsbook is directly through a desktop browser. Legal mobile sportsbooks generally operate from a web-based homepage that can be accessed from virtually any desktop or laptop.

Learn more in our Guide To How To Place A Sports Bet Online.

What Deposit And Cashout Options Are Available On Legal Online Sportsbooks?

ACH/eCheck

The ACH/eCheck deposit option presents the most widely accepted method of depositing money on a legal online sportsbook.

Deposits made using an electronic check (eCheck) deposit generally become available instantaneously at the sportsbooks of choice. This method is occasionally rejected by the bank but works roughly 80 percent of the time.

ACH/eCheck can also be used to cash out from an online sportsbook.

Prepaid Cards

Some online sports betting sites offer site-branded prepaid cards, which operate as debit cards that can be used for depositing funds.

Online sportsbooks directly issue prepaid cards, which can be loaded with funds via eCheck, debit cards, credit cards, and some other methods. After purchasing a prepaid card, funds can be transferred to an online sportsbook balance immediately, with no need to wait for the physical card to arrive by mail.

Prepaid cards can also be used for withdrawals.

PayPal

PayPal deposits generally require a few more security steps to go through before a deposit is approved. These extra steps are only a minor inconvenience, however, and worth the effort, as PayPal deposits have nearly a 100% success rate.

Withdrawals are also possible using PayPal.

Debit/Credit Cards

Most legal mobile sportsbooks accept debit and credit cards for deposits, but this method is regularly declined by the issuing bank. Credit card deposits can also incur cash advance fees from the bank.

Debit and credit cards cannot be used to withdraw funds from an online sportsbook.

Casino Cage Deposit

Most online sportsbooks operate as license partners to land-based casinos. Depositing and withdrawing in-person at the casino cage related to an online sportsbook is a secure but less convenient option.

History Of Legal Online Sports Betting In The US

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA)

A 1992 federal law known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act banned sports betting across most of the US. The mandate exempted Nevada from the ban, and also permitted limited sports betting lotteries in Montana, Oregon, and Delaware.

Interests behind PASPA included former NBA commissioner David Stern and former NBA star Bill Bradley. Bradley was a US Senator from New Jersey at the time PASPA passed.

Bradley, Stern, and executives from other major sports leagues viewed sports betting as a potential problem for sports in the US. President George H.W. Bush signed PASPA into law in October 1992.

PASPA Overturned

New Jersey lawmakers challenged PASPA in the late 2000s, in an effort to bring legal sports betting to Atlantic City casinos.

State voters approved a 2011 amendment to the state constitution that legalized sports betting. New Jersey legislators then passed the NJ Sports Wagering Act in 2012, a bill that formally legalized sports betting at Atlantic City casinos.

The four major US sports leagues and the NCAA challenged New Jersey’s new sports betting laws. The battle eventually went to the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Supreme Court ruled PASPA as unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment in May 2018. With PASPA overturned, individual states became free to pass sports betting legislature.

A New Era In Legal Online Sports Betting

The overturn of PASPA allows states to legalize both retail and online sports betting. New Jersey and Pennsylvania emerged as the leading mobile sports betting markets in the US in the aftermath.

Other states now offering legal online sports betting include Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, and West Virginia, along with others. In most of these states, online sportsbooks operate in partnership with in-state retail casinos. Tennessee is unique in that there are no retail casinos so online sportsbooks are independent.

Michigan and Virginia are amongst the states expected to launch legal online sports betting in the future.

Legal Online Sportsbooks Versus Illegal Online Sportsbooks

With a growing number of states offering legal online sports wagering, bettors in some US states can access an unprecedented selection of online sportsbooks.

State-regulated online sports betting platforms generally operate in partnership with retail casinos in their respective states. As such, these legal mobile sportsbooks operate under the same regulatory bodies as the land-based casinos in which they’ve partnered.

Government agencies like the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement oversee the states’ casino industries. These regulatory bodies ensure accountability and transparency from online sportsbook operators.

As state-regulated gambling platforms, legal online sportsbooks offer security of player funds and personal information. State casinos operate with a vested interest in fair games and prompt payouts from their online gambling platforms.

Reasons To Stay Away From Offshore Gambling Sites

State-regulated online sportsbooks always display a seal of approval from the governing agency of their respective states. Any online gambling platform not bearing one of these seals is an offshore/illegal gambling site.

Offshore sites operate illegally in the US. Playing on these platforms is also illegal and could subject the player to criminal penalties.

Depositing money on an offshore gambling site can be risky, with no regulations in place to ensure safe withdrawal of the funds.

Legal Online Sports Betting FAQ

Is online sports betting legal in the US?

Yes. US states can individually decide to offer legal, state-regulated online sports betting. The current boom in the US online sports betting industry happened in the aftermath of a lift on the federal ban on sports betting.

A 1992 mandate called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act outlawed sports betting in the US, except for Nevada and a few other states. The Supreme Court of the United States overturned PASPA in May 2018, clearing the way for US states to offer legal online sports betting.

How old do you have to be to bet online?

21 in most states. The minimum age for legally betting on an online sports wagering platform depends on state laws.

In most US states, 21 is the minimum age. Some exceptions, like Rhode Island, set the minimum age at 18 for online sports betting.

Is DraftKings Sportsbook legal in the US?

Yes. DraftKings Sportsbook legally operates in several US states.

These states include New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Indiana, Iowa, and Colorado. DraftKings Sportsbook uses geolocation technology to determine a user’s location at the time of a wager. The DraftKings Sportsbook software blocks bets made outside of the states on this list.

Is FanDuel Sportsbook legal in the US?

Yes. FanDuel Sportsbook operates legally in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, and Colorado.

Several more states will likely join that list eventually as FanDuel Sportsbooks expands into more US jurisdictions.

Do online sportsbooks offer credit?

No. Legal online sportsbooks generally don’t offer credit lines for betting.

Players earn betting credits and bonus money through various promotions across legal online sports betting sites. DraftKings Sportsbook, for example, awards $25 in betting credits as a sign-up bonus.

Is betting on esports allowed?

Not currently. Individual states can draft legislation to allow esports betting at legal online sportsbooks, but no state has done so yet.

Esports events have appeared on the betting menus at some Nevada and New Jersey sportsbooks at times. Neither state, however, has passed laws explicitly legalizing esports betting.

Do sportsbooks limit how much I can bet?

Online sportsbooks each operate with their own rules regarding maximum bets size. The terms and conditions at DraftKings Sportsbook, for example, state that the platform can restrict bets where the potential payout exceeds $500,000.

Other platforms, like FanDuel Sportsbook, use different maximum payouts for different sports. Bettors can find more information on betting limits and maximum payouts in the terms and conditions of an online sportsbook.

Is online sports betting safe?

Yes, at legal, state-regulated online sports betting sites. Legal online sportsbooks operate under the oversight of government regulatory bodies in the US.

Betting at a legal mobile sportsbook carries the same level of security as betting at a legal retail casino.

Offshore/illegal online gambling sites, however, do not guarantee the same level of security.

About the Author

Geoff Fisk

Geoff Fisk is a San Diego-based writer, specializing in the poker and gambling industries. He’s written for numerous platforms and has traveled the globe as a live poker tournament reporter. Geoff’s interests include the legal online poker industry in the U.S. and abroad.