US Betting Sites

It’s a common misconception that gambling is completely outlawed in the United States but its practise is certainly heavily restricted. To some extent, the laws are being relaxed across the nation with the numbers of US friendly sportsbooks starting to increase but this is still a highly contentious issue.

What Makes Great US Betting Sites?

Any new online sports betting sites in the USA as well as foreign brands able to trade in the US need to address the specific requirements of those citizens who are permitted to gamble. That obviously starts with the sports that US citizens love so they will need to show extensive coverage of American sports like American Football, Basketball, Ice Hockey and Baseball as a basic need.

Those sports are becoming more popular all over the world so it pays US online sportsbooks to really concentrate and to offer the best prices and a great choice of markets, particularly in all of the domestic leagues – NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA.

Those that get it right in North America include TopBet and BetOnline who draw a healthy customer base from the US and beyond.

Customers will also want to see wagering odds in the American format but that could potentially be confusing for those outside of the US who are used to seeing either fractional or decimal prices. One way that US online betting sites have approached this is to set American odds as a default and then give an option to switch the format for anyone preferring one of the alternatives.

Beyond those two, rather idiosyncratic requirements, USA friendly bookies just need to address all the usual wagering issues facing any new bookmaker who wants to make their mark in this busy betting industry. New players will demand a decent welcome bonus and, if possible, some ongoing promos while odds must be competitive, not just in those core American sports mentioned above.

The Best US Sportsbook List

It’s also a tricky problem for the government to handle as, while gambling is widely outlawed, the very few legalised online betting activities are responsible for bringing in a gross revenue of over $92 Billion in 2007 and the industry provided over 354,000 jobs. So, there is a delicate balance for 2017’s new administration to assess.

Digital Problems

Along with many other countries, the United States received its biggest challenge when online gaming began to take off. The birth of the Internet paved the way for many familiar betting brands to come along and set up their business for relatively little outlay, compared to those who traded via traditional betting premises in the physical world.

US Gambling Laws

For the USA Government however, restrictions continued to be applied by the Federal Law Act even though it was a piece of legislation that dated right back to 1961. Ultimately, that had to be updated and in 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act came in specifically to deal with online gambling.

This act specifically excludes any transaction concerning gambling, carried out on the Internet so long as it is prohibited by Federal or State Law. That covers most of the country but for any American citizen residing in areas where play is legal, there are exceptions and a number of providers who can accept your bet.

History of Gambling in the United States

Like any country around the world, unofficial gambling in the United States stretches back 100s of years and certainly took place when the very first settlers staked on games of chance. Rolling bones as a form of crude dice would have eventually been overtaken by the first card games and then evolved as organised sports were introduced in the late 19th century.

Laws to restrict gambling were introduced as early as the 1850s and as a result, the practise went underground and throughout the first half of the 20th century, it was the domain of organised mob units who were looking for some extra revenue.

Regulations became much stricter after the Second World War with most US States banning gambling completely but there was the odd anomaly. Las Vegas in Nevada is known as one of the gambling capitals of the world and with its lavish casinos, it sits incongruously in a country that takes such a dim view of the practise.

So, moving forward to the present day, there are options for the online betting community in the United States although they remain very limited.

The Future

So, what would the future hold for anyone looking to place a bet online if they reside in the USA? Will the regulations start to ease or will they remain as they are? While it’s impossible to say with any certainty, you could speculate that it is harder for the government to police in the current era.

For now, the list of available online betting sites in the USA could certainly increase, albeit that this may happen very slowly compared with the rise in betting operators all over the world. These bookies may be USA focused but like other providers, they are free to arrange a license in other parts of the world such as Curacao, Malta and the Isle of Man. From there, they can then trade with anyone resident in a permitted area of the country.

If you can access US betting sites then there are lots of benefits that you can enjoy. Providers such as Bovada, TopBet and BetOnline look after their customers with a great range of benefits and value through their prices and some excellent promotions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Payments Methods for US Sports Bettors

In the same way that there are less online sports betting sites in the United States than there are in other parts of the world, the list of available payment methods for American bettors is also relatively limited. Don’t despair, however, as there should be at least one way for every member of the betting community to get involved and to get on board with a sportsbook that has attracted their interest.

At a very basic level, all bookmakers that are registered here should be looking to provide bank transfers and bank checks along with VISA and Mastercard as a means of funding. The only issue with a check is the time it takes to clear and there could be similar delays with bank transfers when you make a withdrawal.

Beyond those basic levels, the list of remaining deposit and withdrawal methods will vary depending on who you play with. Some will allow PayPal while other eWallet options may include Skrill, PaySafeCard and Neteller.

In most instances, it’s a case of scrolling down to the bottom of the sportsbook’s homepage where you should see payment options listed. If not, there may be a separate guide to deposits or withdrawals but if you are in any doubt, check with customer services.

Bitcoin Sportsbooks

One area where American bookies are starting to grow is in the sphere of cryptocurrency. BetOnline are one operator where Bitcoin is accepted as a method of payment and more sportsbooks are signing up to the crypto world.

If you are not familiar with Bitcoin and the blockchain, it may be better to stay with regular currency (known as FIAT money) methods. The procedure for buying and spending Bitcoin is a little complicated and will require some work and understanding before you master it. However, it is fair to say that there is a lot of work being done to simplify this.

In summary, if bettors are looking for sportsbooks that provide Bitcoin as a method of funding then this list is small right now but it is growing and is likely to continue on that upward trend.

Offshore Sportsbooks

While the list of US based sportsbooks may be small, a growing number of foreign bookmakers are starting to open their doors here. In those states that are open to players from America, some neighbouring betting operators such as Canada-based Sports Interaction will accept US customers. Of course, they are not an overseas sportsbook in the strictest sense of the word but there are a growing list of additional options.

William Hill were one of the first operators to take advantage of the new betting landscape when the US Supreme Court overturned the earlier PASPA ruling in 2018. Since then, the likes of Bet365 and Unibet are among a growing list of overseas sportsbooks who have looked to make their moves in the developing United States betting scene.

This is a general guide to the bookmakers that are available to players inside the United States. If you check through the site you can find our individual recommendations but in short, you should never be short of an option if you are inside the US and are looking to place a sports bet.

Events to bet on for American Sports Bettors

America has its own list of major sporting events while bettors in the country also like to place wagers on competitions and tournaments from all over the world. It’s difficult to know where to start but we’ll begin with horse racing where the biggest meetings inside the United States involve the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders Cup.

Other sports attract teams from Canada into the big United States divisions. We’re talking about ice hockey, basketball, soccer and baseball where the whole of North America combines to form a formidable competition.

But perhaps the biggest sport of all inside the United States is that of American football. Here, the teams are exclusively from the USA and they battle for the ultimate prize – the Vince Lombardi trophy which is awarded to the winners of the Super Bowl.

America also hosts three of the Major tournaments in golf while the US Open tennis tournament in September is also a big draw.

In terms of events outside of the United States that attract global attention, all of the big soccer leagues can be added to the list. The English Premier league has a huge following and the betting community get on board by following their favourite adopted teams.

Elsewhere, overseas horse racing, tennis and golf are followed with interest while growth sports might include rugby union, cricket and darts. To summarise, there’s always something going on and plenty of interest in these sporting events from right across the United States when it comes to betting.

States Where Online Sports Betting is Legal

As of January 2020 there are ten states who have allowed online sports betting. Among these are those regions who have been very open to gambling in the past so it’s no surprise to see New Jersey and Nevada included on the list.

Along with these two names, we can include Rhode Island, Delaware, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Iowa and Indiana. Those are the ten states that have accepted sports betting at the time of writing but it’s expected that more will join the list through 2020 and beyond.

It’s felt that the next states who are in line to make the move are Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Illinois and Tennessee. It’s believed that those names are monitoring the situation closely and could move very soon. In the meantime, however, please refer to that initial betting list of ten states.

As a final point to note in this section, you may not have to be permanently resident in one of those ten states in order to place a sports bet. Certain sportsbooks will let you wager as long as you are physically located in the state at the time in question. However, be sure to check the individual bookmaker’s terms and conditions before going ahead with your options.


This is a sports mad country but arguably this is the most difficult territory for online betting sites to break into. For those that are able to provide betting services to eligible US citizens, American bettors this is something of a niche market with relatively little competition so the rewards are definitely there.

And, if they offer great services on core US sports, then those sportsbooks can make themselves very attractive to a global audience so there are rewards to be had for those willing to preserve and crack the difficult United States market.