Is Online Sports Betting Legal in the United States?

Saying that online sports betting is a touchy topic in the US would be quite of an understatement. Despite the open flow of information, citizens are still unable to state for sure whether or not they're allowed to bet on sports.

This matter is relatively deeply rooted in the US legislature, as various acts have influenced today's situation. However, the important thing is that land-based betting is clearly distinguished from online betting.

If you're wondering why this is so, let me remind you of the troublesome '92 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act which limited sports betting to the states where it had already existed, with no chance of expanding. Nowadays, Nevada still bears the primate with all-inclusive sportsbook options, followed by Delaware's somewhat limited approach. Montana and Oregon are also allowed to provide sports betting services, but to a certain extent.

Reaching the point of revolutionizing sports betting, online betting sites have been the most disputable object in this picture. Namely, there are two specific laws in the USA which limit this activity to some extent, but don't really apply to online sports betting fans.

The Federal Wire Act of 1961 actually aimed to forbid businesses from processing a bet via a wire connecting. Due to loose wording, it has somehow managed to apply to online sports betting, although it's more aimed at regulating the way the bet is processed than prohibiting the bettor.

Another legal measure is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which once again does nothing for the actual sports bettor. Namely, it bans the use of credit cards and other electronic funds from financially aiding any gambling.

Nonetheless, US citizens do place online sports bets and use all the benefits that their providers have in store. Some turn to well-known international sports betting sites for promotions such as the Bet365 promo code or bonuses for loyal bettors. How this is all done, you might ask. Well, where there's will, there's a way – or more exactly – a loophole in the UIGEA of '06, simply turning bettors to offshore sites with third-party funding, in no relation to electronic payments based in the US.

The situation gets even more complex for those living in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oregon, South Dakota, Montana and Louisiana, as they have state-specific acts which ban online gambling, for one reason or another.

Ultimately, there are some states, such as New Jersey, which are fighting to bring the market of online and land-based betting to the United States. Although their largely supported claims about economic improvement and limiting citizens' rights, no final decision has been made. However, taking into account the most recent developments which brought the case all the way to the Supreme Court, it can be assumed that the battle won't be over just yet.

As a final point, it's good to know that, despite possible changes in online sports betting laws, underage gambling is a definite ticket to jail, with a strict age limit ranging from 18 to 21 across states.