The landscape of online sports betting has changed a lot over the past decade for players residing in the United States. While the bookmaking business is still booming here, unlike many other western countries, the US betting market is completely unregulated, something that is unlikely to change anytime soon.
While most USA bookmakers are regulated in the countries in which they are licensed, many operate with little or no government oversight. This means they are free to handle player disputes without any form of legal interference. This gives players little recourse to receive their funds if a sportsbook should decide not to pay them or rule against them in a dispute.
In a sense, the online sportsbook industry in the United States is the “wild west” of the bookmaking world. That isn’t to say there are not a large number of safe and trustworthy options, (there certainly are), but more so to stress the importance of finding a US facing bookmaker with an excellent track record and history of paying players. There are rotten apples in every line of business and the offshore sports betting industry is no different. It is a shame that the acts of a few rogue, shady operators portray the entire industry as being rogue when this in fact the opposite is true.
Sure, due to our ridiculous laws we don't have as many options as people in Europe, Australia or over the border in Canada. But we do still have plenty of good choices. The goal of this site is exactly that. To highlight the good guys and call out the bad eggs. My sportsbook ratings are updated every couple of weeks as is the rogue list where I consign the scambooks to eternal damnation.
If you came here just looking for the best American bookmaker, then my top 5 selections are laid out below. I have accounts at all 5 and have never once had an issue with any of them. If you have any questions, comments or feedback, then feel free to hit me up. My contact details are listed at the bottom of this page.
|1||Gtbets||100% up to $500||Review||www.gtbets.eu|
|2||Bookmaker||15% up to $2500||Review||www.bookmaker.eu|
|3||BetDSI||20% up to $500||Review||www.betdsi.eu|
|4||5Dimes||$520 or Low VIG||Review||www.5dimes.eu|
|5||BetOnline||25% up to $900||Review||www.betonline.ag|
Is Sports Betting Legal in the United States?
This is the million dollar question. And the answer is simple - it is not illegal, nor expressly legal in the vast majority of states, and is certainly not illegal on the Federal level. In fact, in the entire history of the internet, only one man has ever been charged for betting sports online, and that was all the way back in 2003. Jeffrey Trauman, a citizen of Oklahoma paid a mere $500 fine for $100,000 in winnings. It is unclear how authorities in Oklahoma were aware of his online gambling escapades, but laws are harsh in the state and the vast majority of gaming is outlawed.
Washington State and Utah have both outlawed internet gambling and made the act a felony. However, to say prosecution is rare is an understatement. As of August 2013 nobody has ever been chargedfor playing poker, casino games or betting on sports online in either state.
In fact, in the majority of American states, it is not even a crime to bet with an illegal local bookie, and while some states do have laws against placing bets – they are rarely, if ever enforced.
In summary, while betting online isn’t explicitly legal under US law, it’s extremely unlikely you will ever be charged for doing so. You have a much better chance of being struck by lightning or of being eaten by a shark. And if like me, you like to bet, you'll know the odds of those events happening are pretty slim.
Be Extra Careful
I’ve been betting online since the year 2000 and remember the good old days of being able to move money around using a variety of e-wallets, such as Neteller and Moneybookers (Skrill). While these are still in existence today, they are no longer available to residents of the United States.
So now the eWallets are gone, we are left with a limited number of options. The most commonly used betting deposit option is credit cards which are still widely accepted by most offshore operators. Visa is the most popular and is accepted by close to 100% of sportsbooks. Mastercard is a little trickier, but is still taken at around 70% of sites.
However, the hard part is not getting your money online. Instead finding a bookmaker that is trustworthy, reliable and that pays on time is the real challenge. Since the industry is unregulated, most of the time the bookies can do as they please. If you hit a parlay and win big, they can simply decide not to pay you. And if this happens, the chances are you will never see your money again.
New sportsbooks pop up regularly, and while some may become trusted entities in the US market, many fail and take bettors’ funds with them. While some sportsbooks fail because of mismanagement, a lot of times they are just fronts set up to scam players. Also, some offshore operators will happily pay bettors who take them for smaller amounts, but will look for any reason to stiff high volume players who take them large amounts of money. Predatory terms and conditions are often used to void winnings for dubious reasons, many times without substantial proof of any wrongdoing on the bettor’s part.
Sounds Scary Right? My Goal at USABookmakers.com
If you're new to online betting the above might sound scary or put you off. However, let me put your mind at ease. While the above is undoubtedly true, there are many sites such as this who's sole purpose is to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys. If I have a book rated as an F, then you would be crazy to use them. An F is reserved for out and out thieves who steal players money and don't even try to hide that fact. If a site has an A rating it means they are honest, pay on time and are extremely good for the player.
I aim to make this page one of the top resources online for US-facing bookmakers. I will regularly be updating reports on withdrawal times and any news affecting the major sportsbooks servicing US bettors. Unlike many other watchdog sites, I won’t lead players astray by sending them to a sportsbook with a lousy reputation and poor payment history. I would not recommend a sportsbook on this site to bettors that I wouldn’t use myself. I currently have money in accounts at a large percentage of the books I recommend and have bet at all of them.
Sports betting should be a fun. It sucks to think a bettor’s experience would be ruined by choosing the wrong sportsbook and getting stiffed. Unfortunately, that happens all too much. I’ll do my best to provide the most accurate and up to date information as possible and leave no stone unturned. Feel free to browse around and leave me feedback via the contact us page. And most of all, good luck with all your bets online!