The United States has completely transformed its sports betting landscape over the past few years, ushering in fresh regulations that have established a firm foothold for the entire industry across separate states. Today, online betting in the USA is legal, it’s immensely fun and most of all, it offers great opportunities to turn a profit.
If you intend on betting online in the US, you are going to need to learn the basics of US gambling. Many people assume that because gambling in some states is not permitted that it is impossible to wager on your favorite sport. This is not the case and in fact, it’s possible to bet at some of the best sports betting sites in the USA in nearly every state of the country if you know which sportsbooks cater to your specific region and tastes.
Here’s a list of the top 5 US sportsbooks this year in 2019:
Top US Sportsbooks of 2019
- 4.9 / 5.0
- 4.7 / 5.0
- 4.5 / 5.0
- 4.3 / 5.0
- 4.0 / 5.0
First and foremost, it is important to know that not all of the sportsbooks advertised online as ‘US Betting Sites’ are based within the United States. The majority of online sportsbooks that you will find are located offshore in locations such as:
- Costa Rica
- The Philippines
It may sound a little counter-intuitive at first that American bettors flock to these offshore betting shops, but it makes perfect sense for several reasons.
First, offshore websites have established a reputation for themselves and can be trusted. Secondly, these US betting sites also prove to be the only way to bet mobile and online in some states. Third, but not least, the odds and lines offered by some of these websites tend to be slightly more competitive than what some land-based shops in your local state might offer.
You will also need to make sure that you can legally make a deposit and know how to make that deposit if you live in the US. For the most part, you have nothing to worry about. While some states may not allow placing digital wagers, you as a sports fan and bettor can visit your favorite and trusted US sports betting site and make your bets there.
USA Betting Sites: What to Look For?
In many cases, your online betting in the USA will come down to the choice of a proper sportsbook. Just like with any product you are choosing online, there will be tell-tale signs that make one sportsbook better than another. Thanks to our experience reviewing the industry, we can easily offer you a few pointers to make your search for the best sportsbook more accurate:
- Available lines: In American sports, there are many types of bets that you cannot just leave to the Moneylines. In hockey, that would be puck lines – in the MLB, that’s first 5 innings. Sworn fan of the NHL and baseball will always try to get the US betting site that offers a variety of such bets. Overall, having more lines on a particular sport is almost certain better. You will need to compare the value of the lines as well, of course.
- Payment options: Payments are known as a bit of a pet peeve. While it’s easy for US bettors to deposit, using a variety of banking methods, withdrawals can often prove a bit of a challenge. Therefore, it’s very important to always familiarize yourself with the available banking options, processing times and whether any fees apply.
- Big events covered: While the majority of sportsbooks would cover the FIFA World Cup or Big Four games in tennis, Americans have a very vibrant sports market right at home. Therefore, it’s important to have the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB covered in great detail for a sportsbook to even be considered seriously. Thankfully, those US betting sites we recommend all cover the US market in some great detail – least of all in terms of events offered.
Yet, sometimes payment options may be accompanied by small fees. This is not unexpected and what you need to look for are fast banking options and low fees. Another thing to take into consideration are the acceptable withdrawable limits. In the majority of the cases, you will see that you can deposit slightly more than you can withdraw, but weekly limits are usually set at $2,000, which is not too bad at all.
Online Betting in the USA and Popular Sports
The United States of America is a world of its own when it comes to sports. Whereas the rest of the world focuses similar types of sports, the US brings to the table a whole new set of opportunities. The US’ main export is basketball, but games such as baseball, American football, and ice hockey are popular at home – to the point where they generate millions in views and attendees at live stadiums.
Americans consider Major League Baseball (MLB) to be a national pastime and the NFL to be the most-entertaining sports event in the country. Therefore, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that the majority of online betting that goes on in the USA is focused on these specific sports. Just like clockwork, the sportsbooks we recommend will offer a vast coverage of all events, including the season games, Super Bowl, and anything in-between.
Horse racing is also huge in the United States and while the majority of bettors prefer to go to a racetrack for the experience, there’s a fair few who are looking to place their stakes online.
USA Betting Sites: How Different Are the Bets?
Depending on where you live, you may come and experience different formats of sportsbooks odds, and even the names of individual wagers. This is the United States for you, where the correct betting terms vary slightly from the rest of the world. Americans focus on three main types of bets. The Moneyline, Spread and Totals are the main three categories that are universal across all sports.
Each sport offers wagers that are specific to that sport. In football, you can bet on Halftime and Quarters, other than the Teasers. Parlays are another interesting choice that applies across multiple sports out there as well. In parlay betting, you will build a betting slip consisting of multiple wagers. To win, you will need to get every wager right.
Sports Betting in the USA: Collegiate and Mainstream
The United States is the only country in the world that put such emphasis on youth sports. While other countries may develop their programs, collegiate sports in the US is an opportunity for up-and-coming players to shine and less ambitious ones to win the unconditional love of their schools.
Part of the attention that collegiate sports gets is thanks to the NCAAF and NCAAB, the two leagues that govern football and basketball games. While the NFL has its Super Bowl, the NCAAF ends the season with the College Football Playoff National Championship. Another interesting part about this type of online betting is that there are far more moving pieces to consider.
True, this would naturally make your betting game a bit of a challenge, but at the same time, even the best US betting sites will be prone to mistakes. Therein lies your advantage. Guessing correctly that an underdog team may come howling into the ‘Top 10’ of the season could be a blessing and a significant boost to your overall betting fortunes. Here’re some basic things to know about college sports betting:
- There are 32 conferences to consider
- You must focus on a select few for maximum results
- College sports end up scoring fewer points overall
- A team that is considered a favorite may fall out of the Top 25
- College teams play more conservatively and defensively
Online Betting in the United States: Is It Legal?
Whether online betting in the US is legal has been a pesky question for a while. Yet, the answer is very simple “yes”. Since May 2018, individual states can vote on whether to open up for sports betting business. Despite some initial opposition from the mainstream sporting bodies, sports betting is fully legalized in the United States as of today. This has been made possible by the ruling of the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) which ruled in favor of New Jersey, the state that challenged a federal ban known as PASPA. As a result, sports betting is now legal in:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
- New York
A number of bills were passed in 2019, with several states deciding to become part of the sports betting landscape, including:
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
The Legality of Offshore Betting?
In simple terms, making a wager at an offshore betting site that cater to US bettors is no different than going on a cruise or vacation to Costa Rica and placing a wager while you are there. The funds are housed in that country and the wager is placed in that country, then it is completely safe.
A very good rule of thumb when deciding if it is legal to play a wager in that particular state, is if the offshore sportsbook will accept a deposit from you. Chances are it is ok to bet with them because the company would take the majority of the liability from the government and no top US sportsbook would take money from someone that they could possibly have sanctions placed against them.
In addition, there are laws in place that place policies on websites from conducting business within the US but there is no law directly affecting an individual from placing a wager or bet at some of the popular US betting sites.
Online Betting in the USA: Start with a Bonus
Betting sites in the USA will naturally focus on providing you with some excellent opportunities to get started. This is where the bonuses come. With sports in the US running almost throughout the entire year, you can collect a fair number of fantastic bankroll-expanding promotions.
Match Bonuses for US Bettors
A match bonus allows you to start with a percentage of bonus money that is calculated based on your initial deposit. The percentage could vary between 25% and 200%, but there are some bonuses that are considered outliers. The maximum amount of the bet is also a subject to the sportsbooks’ preferences. For example, MyBookie.ag offers a 50% matched bonus up to $1,000.
Risk Free Wagers
Some sportsbooks offer a risk-free wager up to $25. What this means is that if you stake $25 and lose your bet, you will be eligible to get your money back and make another wager instead. This is a great way to try and bet on the underdog, for example, and see if you can’t make the lines work for you. One of the best sportsbooks to offer such offers – including on live bets – is BetOnline.
Special Offers for Events
With the NBA, MLB, NFL and collegiate sports running at overall the same, but slightly different times of the year, you can imagine how sportsbooks will come up with a great promotion to celebrate each event. Even the Super Bowl will get its own special promotions that offer more chances to win and profit. A lot of that is pure marketing, but there are angles that you can explore and boost your overall winnings.
Reduced Vig or Juice
Some sportsbook will offer you slightly better odds, eliminating a bit of the house edge to win new loyal customers over. This is incentive often works for bettors who are scouting out for new venues to bet at.
Safely Betting in the United States
One of the scariest things about US sports betting is having to provide your account number, credit card number or other deposit personal information to someone that is outside of the United States and someone that you really have no way of tracking. This is why we recommend utilizing a few backup security measures to make sure your funds are safe.
First things first, we highly recommend that any and all deposits and withdrawals are made using Bitcoin. I’m sure by now you have all heard of Bitcoin but what many are not aware of is the highly encrypted security measures that Bitcoin utilizes! With Bitcoin, instead of using a credit card number or a social security number, you are simply referred to by using a 34-character encrypted key.
These character encrypted keys are safe because when you send money using these Bitcoin’s, you will have a secondary security measure such as you will receive an email or a text message that you must approve, prior to any money changing hands. This creates a security blanket and gives you a peace of mind in knowing your money is safe.
Many of the best US Betting Sites already use or will be using Bitcoin and various other cryptocurrencies in the future. It has become one of the most popular means of making a deposit to offshore sportsbooks in the past year thanks to the increased security and anonymity.
Another thing that we want to point out is pretty much common sense but we will still mention it is that you should never, under any circumstance give out your username or password to your offshore sports betting account, or any passwords associated with your Bitcoin or credit card accounts.
What Banking Methods Are There at Online Betting Sites in the US?
There are several options that you can use to top off your US betting site account and make sure your funds never dry up. When you are depositing at a US sportsbook, you will notice that the operation is straightforward. However, withdrawals can often demand a little patience, as additional checks are being made. In any event, all of the top sportsbooks have stellar reputation for honouring payments and paying promptly.
Bank cards such as VISA, MasterCard, and American Express remain the most popular ways to cash into your account. You can boost your playing funds by making simple transactions – as you would at any online vendor, for example. Apart from the traditional debit and credit cards, you can similarly rely on gift cards which are pre-paid vouchers issued by the same payment processors. VISA usually ahs the highest clearance rate and is often a preferred payment method.
Money Order, Wire Transfer and Others
Depending on the US betting site you have in mind, you will have access to a variety of payment options. In terms of deposits, you will find the payment options to be a little more liberal. Some sportsbooks officially offer no maximum amount on your deposit, but you are advised to always manage your bankroll well. Here are some popular payment options used to make deposits when online betting in the USA:
- Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Ripple & others)
- Person to Person
- Money Order
- Cashier Checks
We have already covered Bitcoin betting. It suffices to say that cryptocurrencies offer a very intuitive way of banking. Understandably, not all sports fans are immediately keen on using Bitcoin as a way of transacting money from and to their sportsbook. Not all sportsbooks support this feature either.
Cashing Out at US Betting Sites
The majority of cashing out methods include Wire Transfers, Person to Person, and Check by Courier. Some sportsbooks allow you to use e-wallets and bank cards, but they are fewer and usually located in the mainland as opposed to offshores. To guarantee yourself quick withdrawals, you will always need to verify your identity first. This is done to ensure that the origin of the money you use to bet with can be verified and traced.
Things to Look out for When Betting in the US
When you are deciding on which is the Best US Betting Sites for your style of wagering, make sure you are looking for that “Too good to be true” aspect of the game. If a company is promising you the world in exchange to try to get you to use their company, it may be best to look elsewhere.
In addition, if the sportsbook doesn’t accept some of the major forms of currency such as Bitcoin, Credit Card, E-Wallet or if they ask you to send the money to a foreign country in exchange for additional bonus, definitely go elsewhere! No valid company in the sports betting industry will ask you to send the money to a third party.
They will have the ability to accept your deposit, as well as provide you with the ability to receive a withdrawal via various options. Meanwhile, here are some general highlights of what online betting in the USA entails:
- The legal gambling age is 18 or 21, depending on the state
- Some payment methods are not immediately available to US sports fans
- Offshore betting sites still constitute the largest part of betting operations
- Your sports winnings are not considered a taxable income
- The US is going to be the second-largest market by 2030 behind China
New Sportsbooks in the United States
New sportsbooks can offer plenty of opportunities for online betting in the USA. The reason behind this is simple. New betting sites often feature mobile and live betting and generally allow you to benefit from slightly better lines, odds and bonuses.
Why the better metrics overall? It’s simple – new websites are looking to build a stronger base of sports fans. This often means beating the competition. Yet, you do need to take into consideration the suggestions from the previous chapter to always pick the best sportsbooks first. Remember to approach your sports betting with a grain of salt.
The United States is a vibrant market where sports betting’s popularity is growing in leap and bounds. Despite the initial opposition from lawmakers and sporting leagues, US betting sites are now diving into an industry that’s estimated to be worth well over $150 billion. The real numbers, analysts suspect, are much higher. This is a great time for you as a sports fan. With so many great opportunities to bet online in the USA, you will definitely be able to locate the best lines out there and turn your knowledge of sports into a profitable hobby.
Yes, the United States have legalized the majority of states. However, some states may still not have active laws, which means that you can play at offshore sports betting sites. While you can do so legally, running an offshore sportsbook could be perceived illegal in some states.
Yes, absolutely. You can bet online in any state sportsbook that supports the option – so long as the law permits. Similarly, you can play at any US betting site offshore and place online wagers without having to worry about regulatory measures.
Yes, so long as the offshore betting site offers clear licensing, has a steadfast reputation and a good track record. Having several payment options in the very least that allow you to cash out for free is also equally important.
Some states allow bettors to make wagers offline, because this way they can track whether the betting is happening within the state’s limits. Most current legislation prohibits players from cross-state borders to wager in another state. In other words, people from New Jersey cannot bet on sports in Nevada, unless they are physically present there.