U.S. Gambling Laws

If you are thinking about signing up for an online sportsbook, you need to understand the legal ramifications of sports betting in America. The law can be confusing if you are not familiar with it. There are differences in state law and federal law, some subtle and some not. The following information will help you in your search for legal gambling sites for US players. You will learn about the three main federal laws that regulate sports gambling in America. You will also find out about state laws and age requirements.

Is gambling legal in the US?

This is a tricky question with no easy answers. The short answer is yes. Different states regulate different types of gambling in different ways. For example, there is a difference between casino gambling and sports gambling. Some states allow casino gambling, but only Nevada and Delaware allow sports gambling. Nevada is by far the most liberal with its gambling laws. It allows casino gambling, poker, sports gambling, and online gambling (although you must be a Nevada resident to use a Nevada online betting site.

Does Federal Law Regulate Gambling?

For the most part, states are allowed to regulate gambling within their borders. However, there are a few important federal laws that act as an umbrella and ban certain types of gambling. The three main federal laws that regulate gambling are the Wire Act, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). These three laws apply to all but a few states. Let’s look a little deeper into these federal laws.

PASPA - The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is the federal law that prohibited land-based sportsbooks from operating in all but a few states. The law allowed exceptions for a few states that had previously allowed sports betting. The states that were exempt from PASPA were Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon. However, only Nevada and Delaware took steps to make laws that would allow them to have sports gambling. Currently, Nevada allows all forms of gambling. Delaware, however, has much more limited options.

UIGEA - The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed in 2006 and prohibited online sports gambling in all states except for Nevada and Delaware. The law specifically prevents operators of online betting sites from accepting funds or money from players. Currently, the only states that allow sports betting sites are Nevada and Delaware, although you have to be a resident of either of those states to use their online sportsbooks. Any way you slice it, the UIGEA is controversial. It was attached to the end of the Safe Port Act, which had nothing to do with gambling. No one had a chance to read the bill before it was signed. It has been widely criticized as unconstitutional and unfair because it gives special privileges to a few states.

The Wire Act - Passed in 1961, the Wire Act was passed as response to the growing threat of organized crime in the United States. Lawmakers thought that unscrupulous bookies and gangsters were giving the American pastime of sports a bad name and making piles of money in the process. The Wire Act specifically made it illegal to transfer funds or betting information from state to state using a wire communications device. In the subsequent decades, the Wire Act has been amended. Recent attempts to roll back the Wire Act to its original intent, known as the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) are not likely to succeed in Congress.

Best Legal Gambling Sites

There are some really great legal gambling sites for US players. We have searched far and wide, and found some legal online sportsbooks that feature awesome bonuses and promotions, speedy deposit and payout methods, handy features like mobile betting and live in-game play, and top-of-the-line security features. Of course, what it really comes down to is the sportsbook itself. The sites we’ve chosen feature the very best and most extensively detailed sportsbooks on the internet.

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What do The State Gambling Laws Say?

Every state has the authority to regulate casino gambling, but not sports betting. This is how many states can allow Indian territories to have casinos. There are several states that allow casino gambling and not sports betting, such as New Jersey (although New Jersey has recently been challenging PASPA in order to legalize sport gambling), Mississippi and Louisiana. However, the only states that allow online casino gambling are Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey (although there aren’t many online options in New Jersey). But sports betting is still outlawed on the federal level in all states except Delaware and Nevada.

How Old Do I Have To Be To Gamble Legally?

Gambling for U.S. players is normally reservered for those 21 years and older. This all depends on the state you live in, some states set the betting age at 18. A handful of states say you must be 18. Alabama is the lone state that sets the betting age at 19. Florida, Hawaii, District of Columbia, Alaska, Kentucky, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Vermont do not have any age laws at all. Most sites set the age at 18. It is important to note that if your state says you must be older than 18, you must follow the state law regardless of what the site says.

Legal Land Based Gambling

If you live in Nevada, you can legally use a Nevada sports betting site. The same goes for Delaware. All other residents must use sites that are located overseas for sports betting. These offshore sites are not required to follow US law, and so you won’t get in any legal trouble for using them. The federal laws in place target the sports betting sites themselves, not the individual players. There is no US law that prevents a person from using an overseas site.

Mobile Sports Betting