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 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 Football, Basketball, Ice Hockey and Baseball as a basic need.
Those sports are becoming more popular all over the world so it pays US 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 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 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, US friendly bookies just need to address all the usual issues facing any bookmaker who wants to make their mark in this busy 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 US 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.
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 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.
For the US 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 US 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.
So, what would the future hold for anyone looking to place a bet online if they reside in the US? 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 betting websites in the USA could certainly increase, albeit that this may happen very slowly compared with the rise in operators all over the world. These bookies may be US 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.
This is a sports mad country but arguably this is the most difficult territory for sports betting sites to break into. For those that are able to provide services to eligible US citizens, 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 bookmakers 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.