Is It Legal to Bet Online In The US?

April 14, 2017 5 min to read

Betting on sports online is past time enjoyed by millions worldwide as people bet on a variety of sports daily. Placing a bet on sports is an easy procedure; all you need is to sign up with a sports book of your choice.

Then deposit some money to your bankroll and begin betting. Although this process is fairly simple, in some countries this is not the case especially in the United States of America.

In this article, we will highlight the legality of betting and how to best approach the complex and exciting betting industry.

If you’re a novice or an experienced pro it’s important to know whether it is legal to bet online and the methods you should implement to keep you safe when betting.

Is It Legal To Bet Online?

Is It Legal To Bet Online?

The Predicament

In a nutshell, the legal issues surrounding the online gambling industry in the U.S is ambiguous to say the least. Banking transactions between financial institutions and any betting site is illegal.

Also, most sports are not permitted to be betted on in most states with the special instances for horse racing and greyhound racing which is allowed for the most part.

Rewind back to 1961 in the U.S, disputes arose when people were betting on sports via telephone or wire-containing devices. The government implemented the Wire Act to prohibit sports gambling between states.

It is for this reason that many Americans who are interested in pursuing online sports betting turn to offshore gambling sites.

Americans usually use sites where the jurisdiction is more favourable, places such as the U.K, Netherlands and several others in Europe for the most part. The legal betting sites offer premium service and have a loyal fan base.

Finding A Legal (Reputable) Sports Book

In order to follow through with your online sports betting, you will need to find a reputable offshore sportsbook and then sign up with your credit card details.

Luckily, many sites accept a Visa credit card, which makes it hassle free for Americans or anyone else to sign up and bet away.

You could also opt to use a prepaid card or a debit card to place your wagers with, as long as you have access to your bankroll.

As you browse through the multitude of betting sites to sign up with, we recommend that you keep some of the following points in mind;


As you deposit money into your card to use on any future bets, you need to be sure that you feel safe and secure with trusting your money with a betting company.

Just as you would do with any other type of transaction.

Here at Alpha Sports Betting recommend that you sign up with a site that has experience in the betting market and that will also likely payout on any of your winnings instantly whilst also providing stellar customer service if you should ever need it.

These are the necessities that must be in place before you bet.


Several sportsbooks will promote bonuses when you join the site, be it in the form of a signup bonus or a complementary bet on a sport of your choice.

These bonuses will seem enticing, but make sure you carefully read the terms and conditions before you enroll; some might seem appealing on the surface but will have hidden charges or agreements.

Although, the reliable sites are pretty straightforward with their customers.

Availability of bets;

does the site that you’re considering offer a variety of sports and bets? Since you will be spending considerable time betting be sure that they have the sport you desire and the type of racing too.


Check out that the sports betting site has competitive prices that are willing to work in your favour. Shop around for the best prices. This will pay off when you place your bets and cash out any winnings.

We suggest this because if the pricing is not to the best of your advantage and not competitive, you will find it difficult to increase your bankroll.

Stacking Restrictions;

This is a more pressing concern for the more serious type of punter. Some sportsbooks will inflict upon the more successful bettors by downsizing the size of the bets the punter has.

This is part of the gambling industry so in order to be more successful you will need to check with your sportsbook so that you can keep a record of any sudden changes.


This might be the most important when choosing your sports betting site. As you browse their site, keep an eye out for their gambling license.

If you are unable to spot a valid license then this should raise a red flag and a sign for you to cross the site of your list.

Age Restrictions

Any individual that is under the age of 21 is forbidden from placing any sports bets online. When you sign up to any sports betting website you will be directed to a strict verification process.

Keep in mind, that you might be requested to send in some verification of your identification.

Do not be alarmed; this is normal when signing up with a betting site as they have a large number of people signing up daily so they must be meticulous with their verification system.

This will also give you an insight of the severity of the sports betting site. Rest assured that this is only until you sign up, once you are verified you will be allowed full access to bet as you wish.

The Fundamentals Of Sports Betting Success

Final Words

The good news is that, with the strict laws that regulate the sports betting industry your mind is more at ease knowing that you're protected and your money is safe with a reputable betting company.

We admit that it's not as easy as it was in the past, but hopefully with our tips it should seem a little bit simpler to bet safely on the internet.

For the American punters tuned in, you have options and an abundance of offshore betting sites to chose from. Is it legal to bet online, should only be your concern only if the sportsbook you have chosen does not follow the guidelines mentioned above.

We believe that there are the right sites, so take some time selecting the right ones and you’re guaranteed to have an enjoyable betting experience.

Author photo


Adam is long time Manchester United fan but admits that he has a few international favourite teams which he looks forward to watching and betting on for international events like the World Cup


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