Is it legal to bet on sports online in the US?

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Can you legally bet on sports in the US? Well, yes and no. Betting on sports legally depends mainly on the state you are living in. Sports betting laws are complex as every state has its own legislation stipulating the regulation of sports betting. In most states, the legislation is unclear on whether or not sports betting is legal or not. This is common for online sports betting. With that being said, it is legal to bet on sports in the US on a federal level.  There is two federal legislation that deals mainly with sports betting. Namely the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 and the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection act of 1992.

The Interstate Wire Act of 1961 is also known as the Federal wire Act. This piece of legislation made it illegal to receive or place a bet on sports betting events. The act mainly targets those who are in the business of wagering and betting. The act did not target those who bet on sports for fun or as a recreational activity. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection act of 1992 is often abbreviated to PASPA. The act was introduced to protect sports and is intended to make all forms of sports betting illegal. The act made it illegal for governmental entities to operate or run their own sports betting operations. Read more on the legality of legal sports betting in the is below

bet on sports online

Bet on Sports in These States

The Supreme Court ruling that took place in May 2018 lifted the federal ban on legal sports betting. The ruling allows for each state to create and pass their own regulatory laws where sports betting is concerned. Here is a list of states that have legalised sports betting:

Online Sports

When the federal wire act and PASPA were passed, online sports betting did not exist. Both acts do not have a direct reference to online betting. In essences, there is no federal legislation that explicitly makes it unlawful to place a bet online. The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is federal legislation that applies specifically to online gambling. The act was passed in 2006 and it made it illegal for establishments to facilitate online gambling transaction. Essential the act made it difficult for US players to make deposits and withdrawals.  However, this does not make it illegal to bet on online.

Bet on Sports Online In These States

  • Delware
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia


Similarly, to gambling, online sports betting also has a few regulations players have to abide by. Players have to be the legal gambling age. This will differ from state to state however the minimum gambling age is commonly set at 18 or 21. Where online betting is in question there is no direct prohibition against sports betting online. It is not openly legal or illegal. It is important to remember that when gambling online, you need to do so at regulated sites.