Top US Betting Sites

Is sports betting legal in the US? That question has been in the news a lot lately.

The short answer is “yes.” Unless you live in a state that has expressly made it illegal, you, as an American, can legally make a sports wager at many different online gambling sites.

The long answer is more complicated, but not so complicated that it can’t be explained in simple terms. Below, we provide our top 10 best picks of the safest betting sites for bettors in the USA along with a crash course on the legality of sports betting in the United States.

Ranking Name Rating Buttons
1
Bovada

Bovada lives up to their reputation as a consistently impressive online betting experience.

https://www.bovada.lv

Overall Rating:5
50% up to $250
Terms & Conditions Apply
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2
BetOnline

Their massive maximum bonus size is a real head-turner for bigger bettors but BetOnline offers something for everyone.

https://www.betonline.ag

Overall Rating:5
50% up to $1,000
Terms & Conditions Apply
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3
SportsBetting.ag

New ownership has dramatically improved everything about this sportsbook - and just to show they're serious, their bonus offer is now more generous than ever.

http://www.sportsbetting.ag/

Overall Rating:5
50% up to $1,000
Terms & Conditions Apply
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4
MyBookie.ag

MyBookie is newer on the scene and has been making a strong case for itself. From rush payout options to early lines they're showing they have hustle.

http://www.mybookie.ag

Overall Rating:4
50% up to $1,000
Terms & Conditions Apply
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5
BetDSI

BetDSI is like a luxury hotel you can stay at for a bargain price. Their sportsbook has offerings typically only found at the bigger sites, and they offer these at a very good price compared to others.

http://www.betdsi.eu

Overall Rating:3
100% up to $500
Terms & Conditions Apply
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6
Xbet

XBet.ag is one of the newer sportsbooks so it has its perks. Great performance on mobile devices and competitive bonuses to name a few. They have proven to be a trustworthy sportsbook in a relatively short period of time.

https://xbet.ag/

Overall Rating:4
100% sign-up bonus up to $300
Terms & Conditions Apply
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7
Bookmaker

Bookmaker isn't a bad choice for anyone, but it especially caters to those who wager big money on the regular. With it's massive list of early lines, props, and parlays, it's truly an industry leader.

http://www.bookmaker.eu

Overall Rating:5
50% up to $300 deposit
Terms & Conditions Apply
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8
JustBet

With a solid mobile site and great in-game wagering, Just Bet is perfect for the modern bettor-on-the-go. Others may want to look elsewhere.

http://www.justbet.cx/

Overall Rating:3
50% up to $300
Terms & Conditions Apply
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9
WagerWeb

WagerWeb sportsbook has a reliable history and a very generous rewards and bonus program, making it one of our go-to sites.

http://www.wagerweb.eu

Overall Rating:3
50% up to $500
Terms & Conditions Apply
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10
5Dimes

5 Dimes is the Yankees of sportsbooks - they're safe, established, and offer a premium product - but they also have exciting promotions reminiscent of minor league ballparks! It's the best of both worlds.

https://www.5dimes.eu

Overall Rating:3
50% bonus up to $520
Terms & Conditions Apply
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Legal

There Are Two Different Types of Sports Betting

Two different types of sports betting are potentially available to Americans, and they each have their own legal framework:

  • Sports betting within the US, either at casinos, racetracks, or government authorized websites.
  • This was banned almost everywhere in the US other than Nevada until the Supreme Court decision in NCAA vs Murphy (April 2018), which ruled that the prohibition on sports betting contained in the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act [PASPA] was unconstitutional.
  • After the Murphy decision, each state is free to legalize sports betting within its borders, and we are closely monitoring the legal status of sports betting in each state on this page.
  • Sports betting at websites hosted outside of the USA.
  • This is by far the more popular type of sports betting for Americans and, as such, is the primary focus of this article.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in the US?

Betting at offshore sportsbooks is often described as “illegal” or called a “legal gray area,” but it’s really not. Unless your state’s sports-betting laws make it illegal to use an offshore sports-betting website, it doesn’t appear to be against the law for Americans to place wagers at such sites.

At the time of writing, the following states had active prohibitions on online sports betting:

  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • South Dakota
  • Utah

The vast majority of states do not expressly prohibit betting at offshore sportsbooks and, as a result, the vast majority of Americans use such sites to make their sports wagers. It’s estimated that 12 – 15 million Americans were active online sports bettors in 2017 alone.

There are federal laws in place that prohibit:

  1. offshore betting sites from offering their services to American residents (see the Wire Act), and
  2. financial institutions and offshore betting sites from accepting/making certain types of financial transactions from Americans.

But the framework created by the Wire Act and UIGEA does not make it illegal for Americans to use online betting sites. As Las Vegas lawyer Barry Lieberman stated in 2007, “Bettors who are recreational and not in the business of wagering probably don’t have to worry about Wire Act violations.”

In a way, online betting is somewhat like underage smoking (but not as hard on your lungs). In the US, it is illegal for anyone to sell cigarettes to minors, but, generally speaking, it is not illegal for minors to smoke cigarettes, just like it is not illegal for (most) Americans to use an online sportsbook.

The end result is that, as long as you use a reputable sportsbook with a solid track record of safeguarding user funds and providing timely payouts (two of the most important factors we consider when rating and recommending online betting sites), your bankroll should be safe. No individual American has ever been prosecuted for using, funding, or attempting to fund an account at an offshore sportsbook, according to a November 2017 article by Allen Moody.

That said, the federal laws in place at the moment do have a practical impact on the ability of Americans to use online sportsbooks, particularly when it comes to depositing and withdrawing money.

The next section explains what you need to know before you sign up so that you aren’t taken by surprise.

Banking

While Americans shouldn’t be worried about being prosecuted for betting at an online sportsbook, the practical impact of the Wire Act and UIGEA is that Americans have limited options when it comes to making deposits and withdrawals.

Which options are available depends on which site you are using. Each of our reviews details the available deposit and withdrawal options at that site, and the sites, themselves, will also provide this information before you sign up, often under the FAQ, Help, or Getting Started section.

Without getting too bogged down in the details, here’s what you can generally expect.

Deposits Options for US Bettors

Most-common Less-common Unavailable
Visa American Express PayPal
Master Card Person to Person wire transfer Apple Pay
Bitcoin Money Order Google Pay
Visa gift cards Cashier’s Check
Prepaid Credit Cards NetTeller

Withdrawals Options for US Bettors

Most-common Less-common Unavailable
Check Wire Transfer PayPal
Bitcoin Skrill Apple Pay
NetTeller Google Pay
Money Order

Price fluctuations notwithstanding, our professional opinion is that Bitcoin tends to be the best deposit and withdrawal option as

  1. it doesn’t require sensitive personal information to be transmitted online;
  2. it lends itself to secure transactions;
  3. it allows for fast deposits and withdrawals; and
  4. many USA betting sites offer generous Bitcoin-specific bonuses.

If you are unfamiliar with the cryptocurrency, read our guide to sports betting with Bitcoin.

Signing Up

If you now feel comfortable that your online betting activities won’t land you in any legal trouble (which you should), you may be ready to signup for your first sportsbook account. The factors you will want to consider when choosing the best site range beyond deposit and withdrawal options, of course; our research indicates that the five most-important factors for US bettors are:

  1. safe transactions
  2. trustworthy reputation
  3. free, easy, & quick transactions
  4. lucrative/generous bonuses
  5. wide selection of sports

So do your research, compare and contrast the advantages of each site, and then join the 15 millions other Americans who are already in on the action!