Is Online Sports Betting Legal Or Illegal?

Is Online Sports Betting legal or illegal? This has been an ongoing issue for most sports bettors and gamblers, especially in the United States. The answers are Yes and No. It will now depend on the different circumstances. This article will present the risk involved in the different activities so we can determine when to consider the legality issue.

There is little to no risk for players making bets online, poker rooms buying advertising and smaller media accepting online gambling ads. There is no federal law against playing online. Players can relax for now because it is relatively safe to continue such activity. Casinos, poker rooms or affiliates buying advertising should not worry, as well. To date, only offshore sportsbooks have received attention from the government. Small publishers accepting online gambling ads are also not the target. So far, they have been spared from any form of penalty.

If you are taking bets on a server located in the U.S. and taking sports bets over U.S. phone lines, then you better stop and think twice. These activities have the most risk because both have been considered illegal. Let us use BetOnSports as a perfect example. They took sports bets over the phone and even advertised their number on billboards. They took in $4.6 billion wagers from 2001 to 2005. The CEO, the Founder and his siblings were all fined, arrested and imprisoned on different occasions. This means that big time advertisers and operators in the United States should watch out.

Now, let us take a look at some past events that have affected the law on Internet Gambling. In 2002, the court ruled out that the Wire Act of 1961 pertained only to sporting events. In 2004, the court dismissed another case and stated that they are geared towards illegal activities which include Internet Gambling. In 2006, The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act prohibited Americans from using credit cards, electronic funds transfers, or checks to finance Internet gambling activity. The act was focused on how Internet gambling accounts are funded, not the actual betting.

If you noticed, the question on legality remains to be complex. We all have different opinions and interpretations. The law is constantly changing and we will never know what will happen next. So far, no arrests have been made in the United States for simply placing bets online. We will all remain in the gray area until the law gives specifics on what is legal or not.

Illegal Sports Gambling Is Big Business! Will It Finally Become Legal? Supreme Court to Decide

No matter what sports season we’re in, you probably have a favorite sport you relish following. Maybe March madness college basketball, the NFL, baseball, hockey, golf, or soccer. Perhaps you would like to make a little bet, but many sports fans in the United States are leery of the legitimacy and legality of internet gambling. If you live in the United States, your legal sports betting options at brick and mortar casinos are limited to Nevada, and to some degree at Delaware racetracks.

The Supreme Court has heard arguments on a New Jersey challenge which would permit sports gambling at its casinos and racetracks. If the court rules in favor of New Jersey, Gaming experts predict that most states will jump on the bandwagon to legalization, in order to fill state coffers with tax revenue.

If you’re unfamiliar with the particulars of how to bet on sports, the following describes how it all works:

Sports Betting Jargon

Before we get into the specifics, here’s a little jargon explanation to help you understand the process:

  • Action – A term for all the betting activity that happens during an event.
  • Handle – The total amount of money wagered on events.
  • Spread – Giving one of the two teams points to even out the betting action.
  • Sports Books – Establishments that take bets on sporting events.
  • Juice – A percentage of the win taken from a bettor that won an even money bet. Sometimes called the vig, which is short for vigorish.

Types of Bets

There are many different types of bets. By far, football draws the most action with the biggest handle. The Super Bowl alone draws over $100 million in legal betting activity, and over three billion (that’s billion with a B!) illegal wagers. Now you see why states want a piece of the action.

  • Even Money Bets – Players betting on only one team to beat another. The sports book takes the juice/vig from the winning payout amount. A common vig is $11 for $10. (Bettor wages $11, wins $10.) House keeps $1. Most bets will have a point spread (line). If the player is picking the underdog, S/he will take points. If the bettor is picking the favorite, S/he is laying (giving) points.
  • Parlay Bets – Betting on multiple (two or more) teams to win. Here’s a scenario on a point spread ticket. Let’s assume that on event #1, Tampa Bay is playing at Green Bay with GB favored to win by at least 3 points. In event #2, Buffalo is playing at Miami and BUF is expected to win by at least 7 points. Your game ticket would look something like this:

Event Visitor Vs Home

1. TB GB. -3

2 BUF. -7 MIA

This means that if you bet on GB they must win by more than 3 points. A bet on BUF would require them to win by more than 7 points. By choosing the favorites you are laying (giving) points. If you were to put your money on GB and MIA, you would be taking (receiving) the points.

One way to eliminate confusion is to jot down a spread score before the games start. for example on this ticket:

The score before the game starts is:

  1. TB 3 GB 0
  2. MIA 7 BUF 0

When the games are over just give the points to the underdogs. In most jurisdictions, ties lose for the player. In other jurisdictions the prize payout for one tie is reduced to the next lowest payout factor. A common play in casinos is a four team pick for 10X the bet.Bet $10, win $100, but you can wager from two to twelve games. The more games you play, the higher the winning payouts.

  • Over/Under – One scenario is betting that the final score ill be over or under a certain number a preset number.
  • Prop Bets – A proposition bet is where you predict the outcome of a preset number of props on a single ticket. Example: Total field goals over/under 4. Total interceptions over/under 3. Total sacks over/under 2. Total receiving yards, total yards, and the list goes on and on.

If you visit Vegas or other jurisdictions that permit sports gambling, Good Luck!