Best Rated 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.” As an American you 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.

  1. Bovada

    A consistently impressive sports betting site that's a favorite for NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL bettors. Fair odds and great support make them a top choice. The most popular sportsbook among American bettors.

    Deposit Bonus: 50% up to $250
    Overall Rating:
    Rated 5/5
    5
  2. GTbets

    'Game Time' bets, has consistently had our attention for their unique promos that cater to fans of major league sports. A consistent online betting site if you want to bet on live games, football, or other sports.

    Deposit Bonus: 100% up to $500
    Overall Rating:
    Rated 5/5
    5
  3. BetOnline

    Their massive maximum bonus size is a real head-turner for bigger bettors. BetOnline offers something for everyone including a large selection of betting lines on college basketball and football.

    Deposit Bonus: 50% up to $1,000
    Overall Rating:
    Rated 5/5
    5
  4. MyBookie.ag

    A newer sports betting site that offers rush payouts and early betting lines. They're showing they have hustle. Great for major sports plus tennis, golf as well as political and other entertaining props.

    Deposit Bonus: 50% up to $1,000
    Overall Rating:
    Rated 5/5
    5
  5. BetNow

    A newer sportsbook that offers a wide range of futures, teasers, and parlays. They grade wagers and credit your account in real-time. Plus juicy reload bonuses make this site a solid pick.

    Deposit Bonus: 50% up to $1,000
    Overall Rating:
    Rated 4/5
    4
  6. Xbet

    A new betting site that has its perks: great performance on mobile devices and competitive bonuses for new customers. They have proven to be a safe sportsbook in a short period of time.

    Deposit Bonus: 100% up to $300
    Overall Rating:
    Rated 4/5
    4
  7. SportsBetting.ag

    A sleeper betting website worthy of serious consideration. Great betting lines on NFL, NBA, MLB & NHL, plus their bonuses are now more generous than ever.

    Deposit Bonus: 50% up to $1,000
    Overall Rating:
    Rated 5/5
    5
  8. Skybook

    Free half point on football and basketball spreads and totals. Betting odds are posted quickly for major league sports: NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB. A generous 100% sign up bonus is available for new players.

    Deposit Bonus: 100% up to $1,000
    Overall Rating:
    Rated 3/5
    3
  9. BookMaker

    Caters to those who wager big money on the regular. Bet play-by-play with real time odds updates for all sports including UFC. A massive list of early lines, props, and parlays, it's a true industry leader.

    Deposit Bonus: 50% up to $300
    Overall Rating:
    Rated 5/5
    5
  10. WagerWeb

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

    Deposit Bonus: 50% up to $500
    Overall Rating:
    Rated 3/5
    3

Sports betting is evolving rapidly in the United States. Your options as a bettor depend on where you live and what is available in your market. There is still generally only one option for the vast majority of American sports bettors today. That is using an an off-shore sportsbook that accepts US customers. This is especially true if you want to bet on your phone. These sportsbooks have been operating for upwards of 20+ years and have proven track records of handling deposits and paying out winnings.

What we have found through our reviews and making bets is that some sites come and go, but a core group of betting sites has been operating for a very long time with an excellent track record.

The best U.S. sports betting sites:

  • Bovada
  • BetOnline
  • SportsBetting.ag
  • Xbet
  • GTbets

Each of these sites has consistently offered US bettors the highest quality betting experience. They accept customers from the most states and have outstanding track records of financial reliability and sound security. They offer both well-developed mobile sites and desktop versions for cross platform betting accessibility. What’s more, they’ve had time to fine tune their host servers so that they can offer stateside bettors a responsive, modern web platform to lay wagers on. With these books, you won’t have to hit the refresh button or constantly wait for pages to load. You’ll be able to action on enticing lines quickly, easily, and efficiently.

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!