How To Bet On Sports Legally

Recent changes to the law mean that more US states than ever now allow casinos and sportsbooks to operate. Slowly but surely, lawmakers are coming around to the idea that betting is a fun and reasonable hobby that people should be free to enjoy. Although there are fewer restrictions in a lot of states, some of the laws on sports betting are still confusing. If you’d like to find out more about legal sports betting in the US, read on for our full guide.

States Where Sports Betting is Legal
Thanks to a change in federal law in 2018, states are now free to legalize sports betting. Before, the only state allowing people to make sports bets was Nevada but now you can find sportsbooks operating throughout the US. States like Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and West Virginia have all fully or partially legalized sports betting. In Pennsylvania specifically, is a good source for understanding that state's operators.

It’s important to make sure you’re fully aware of all the rules before placing any bets, however. First of all, despite sports betting now being legal in many states, it’s often still a restricted activity. In most states, for instance, you must be at least 21 to make bets.

Other states also have restrictions on where you can place bets. Whereas places like Pennsylvania, Nevada, and New Jersey all allow online sports bets, in some states, you can only place bets in person. States like Mississippi, New Mexico, and Delaware all require you to visit a sportsbook and don’t allow you to bet at online sportsbooks.                                                                                          

You should note that you don’t have to live in a legal state to make legal sports bets. You can also place bets in any of the legal states if you’re visiting. So even if your state hasn’t completely legalized sports betting yet, don’t worry, you can still enjoy some legal betting by taking a short trip.

Choosing an Online Sportsbook
One of the best ways to enjoy sports betting is by using an online sportsbook. Rather than having to visit an actual sportsbook, you can simply load up a site on your computer or mobile device. There are loads of great online sportsbooks available, and they’re fast becoming the most popular way to make bets.

Sites such as DraftKings, FanDuel, FOX Bet, Unibet, SugarHouse, and BetRivers all give players a way to bet legally online. Before choosing which site to sign up with, you’ll first have to make sure that it allows players from your region. Double-check that it accepts players from your state in the terms and conditions.

Then you’ll want to pick the best site for you. With the wide range of online sportsbooks available, it can be difficult to choose. You’ll want to find a site that has great odds and markets in your favorite sports. You should also look at reviews of the site. Make sure that you sign up to a sportsbook that is easy to use and provides excellent support and options for players.

Lastly, and one of the best parts of choosing an online sportsbook, you’ll want to look into the welcome bonus. Nearly all online betting sites offer some kind of bonus to new players, and these can range from ten dollars to hundreds. Make sure you read the full terms of the bonus and understand that just because a bonus looks bigger, it doesn’t always mean it’s better. Some bonuses will require you to deposit large amounts or make big wagers to unlock them. The best welcome bonuses are generous while also being simple to obtain.

Choosing Your Bets
Once you’ve made an account at an online sportsbook, you’ll be able to get started with making your bets. Choose a sport that you’re familiar with to give yourself the best chances of winning. The big sportsbooks will cover most major sports. In case your sport isn’t available, however, check out a smaller site as sometimes they cater to niche sports like eSports and other events.

You’ll need to have a basic understanding of betting odds and how they work before you get started. Most sites will display odds in the American style or Moneyline. The odds for favorites are displayed with a minus sign and indicate how much you’ll need to stake to win $100. So, for instance, odds of -200 will pay out $100 if you stake $200. Odds for underdogs are displayed with a plus sign and show you how much you’ll win for every $100 staked. For example, odds of +200 will pay $200 if you stake $100.

Back to the Top News Newsfeed