New to Sports Betting in the US: Here’s What You Need to Know

US Sports

Photo by Baishampayan Ghose / CC BY-SA 2.0

It’s game on for sports betting in the U.S. thanks to the recent overturn of a federal law that historically hindered the availability of single-game wagering. The decision to permit sports gambling is now up to individual states.

The policy shift is a welcome one so far as several states have installed betting markets in just over a year. However, U.S. residents who have never wagered on competitions before may find the new landscape confusing. To help clear the air, here are a few things you need to know about sports betting in the U.S.

I thought the U.S. prohibited sports betting for the most part. What changed?

The road to widespread sports betting in the U.S. began in May 2018 when the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act or PASPA of 1992, a previous federal law that prohibited wagering on single games. Suddenly, the door opened for each state government to decide if it wanted sports betting.

There is a possibility that Congress could pass a new law similar to PASPA that re-imposes a nationwide sports betting ban, but such a measure appears unlikely.
Nevada was the only state to allow single-game sports betting prior to the landmark PASPA ruling.

Where can I bet on sports?

Authorised sportsbooks are active in Nevada, New Mexico, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Rhode Island as of July 2019.

Oregon, Montana, Iowa, Arkansas, Illinois and New York have passed laws for sports betting, but marketplaces in these states are not yet open.

What options do I have for sports betting online?

  • Fox Sports Photo by Fox Sports / CC0 1.0

    As online sports betting markets expand around the country, an increasing number of sportsbook services have activated. And betting with a reputable online sportsbook that offers security protection and competitive odds and bonuses should be a top priority as you evaluate various services.

    Fortunately, brands you know and trust have entered the U.S. sports betting market. For instance, broadcaster FOX Sports is releasing FOX Bet, a new online sports betting and content platform that launches this fall.

What should I know before betting online?

The regulations around online sports betting vary even in states where the activity is approved. For instance, some states require placing all online bets from a mobile app while the bettor is on-site at a brick-and-mortar casino. Other states allow bets to originate from computers and mobile devices anywhere in the state.

It’s critical to know online sports betting rules in your state before wagering as online sportsbooks use advanced geofencing technology to verify if you place bets from within an authorised location. Any attempts to bet outside the allowed perimeter are invalidated.

Fortunately, you can place wagers in states with authorized online sports betting without being a resident, but you must be physically present within the state. In other words, bettors may take advantage of online sports betting when visiting or traveling through permitting states.

How do I deposit money?

The process for depositing your wagering money varies by online sportsbooks. For instance, if you’ve ever placed bets online in other countries, then you may notice fewer deposit methods available in the U.S. That’s due to the emerging nature of online sports betting in the country. We expect more deposit systems will activate as more states welcome internet casinos and wagering.

Online sportsbooks in the U.S. commonly accept deposits made by major credit cards like Visa, Mastercard and American Express. PayPal is the most frequently accepted eWallet service.

You will also need to submit a copy of your state-issued driver’s license or ID card when you create an account. This information confirms your identity and legal age status before betting.

What sports can I bet on with sportsbooks?

Online sportsbooks in the U.S. make it easy to bet on the nation’s four major professional sports leagues: NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL.

While these leagues have opposed sports betting in the past, often quite vocally, the tide seems to have turned. The NBA, NHL and MLB, specifically, have betting advocates in the executive ranks while 28 of the 32 NFL teams hold sponsorship agreements with daily fantasy sports providers.

U.S. bettors may also wager on NCAA contests, PGA Tour events, thoroughbred races, NASCAR series and even WWE Wrestling at some locations. Betting on popular international sports such as English Premier League football and World Cup Cricket is also possible.