As of 2020 online sports betting is legal in a growing number of states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Iowa and West Virginia.
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How We Pick The Best Sports Betting Sites in the US
There’s never been a better time to bet on sports in America. The Supreme Court’s 2018 decision to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act legalized sports betting in the U.S. and gave individual states the option to offer it. Some states quickly jumped on board and others continue to pass legislation across the country for sports betting sites.
The key word in all of this is legal — we only recommend fully licensed and regulated sports betting sites. Offshore betting sites are not regulated or licensed in the U.S. and therefore risky. If they get shut down, there’s no recourse for bettors looking to withdraw their money. Withdrawing can be tricky even if they’re still fully operational. There are no guarantees your payout is coming in a timely fashion. And if bettors have questions or need to dispute a betting result, it can be hard to reach an actual customer support person who can assist.
That’s why Bookies.com is a trusted source for top sports betting sites around the country. Our recommendations are made on online sports betting websites we’ve used, reviewed and bet with. And they’re all completely legal, licensed and regulated to give you total peace of mind. This is your one-stop shop for everything sports betting. Here's what we judge sites on:
Making consistent profit on sports betting isn’t easy. Everything else about the experience should be. The best sports betting platforms we recommend are easy to use, and we know that because we’ve actually used them. Slow response time and clunky layouts can make it very difficult to place sports bets in a timely fashion – something essential in day-to-day betting and especially when doing in-game betting during sporting events. These online sportsbooks feature strong functionality with simple features that remove any stress when placing your wagers.
Bonus Offers And Free Bets
Almost every top sports betting site will offer incentives and/or free plays for first-time users. Take advantage. It’s a no-brainer. The best betting sites will often to match an initial deposit up to a certain amount, essentially doubling the amount of money you can bet with. They’ll also offer boosted odds or free bets. Make sure to shop around and check out various offers.
Sign up at multiple websites and pick the ones that make the most sense for your bankroll and sports betting strategy. Wagering requirements vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, especially on free bets, so make sure to read the terms and conditions.
Payment Methods And Banking Options
Our legal recommended sportsbooks continue to offer a wide range of payment options as states do away with bans on sports gambling. Most top sports betting sites now accept PayPal and other e-wallets, Play+, PayNearMe, ACH and bank transfers, and credit/debit cards. Note, though, if using a credit card or debit card check with your bank first. Many financial institutions are still wrongly blocking those transactions, so it’s best to double check and have a back-up plan in place, just in case.
Odds And Pricing
Betting odds vary from sportsbook to sportsbook. NFL betting lines on the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins evolve over the course of a week. NBA betting lines on the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets often open and close in less than 24 hours. That’s why you’ll see some lines move drastically from shop to shop.
One could have the Green Bay Packers as a 7-point favorite early in the week, while another could have them as a 6.5-point favorite. That’s a big difference in the NFL and those half-points matter in every sport. Pay attention and you’ll be amazed to see how often point spread wagers swing on just one or two points at top sports betting sites. Shop all the sports betting odds at our list of recommended sportsbooks and make sure you’re getting the point spread with the most value on any game you bet on. And you can use our expert picks to help guide you on your bets and our odds calculator to calculate your potential payout.
Whether you’re constructing an NFL parlay or looking to jump on some in-game betting, the majority of sports bettors are turning to their phones for action. All of our top recommended sportsbooks offer full mobile capability with betting apps. Functionality is even more important on the smaller screens. The growing number of mobile sports gamblers will continue to increase. We place a heavy emphasis on mobile experience as a result. With our list of sports betting sites, you’ll never have to worry about confusing mobile layouts or a glitchy sports betting platform while trying to place a wager. Each mobile app is tested, and we’ll let you know if it is available for Android and/or iOS devices.
States Where Legal Online Sports Betting Is Allowed
Arkansas allowed legal sports gambling with a 2018 amendment to the state constitution. Four casino licenses were granted and the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs took the state’s first legal sports bet in July 2019. Arkansas currently does not offer mobile gambling or online sportsbooks. The state earned more than $800,000 in sports betting revenue in December 2019-January 2020. Land-based casinos offer a full slate of table games while horse racing and greyhound racing are still permitted.
Colorado passed a bill allowing sports gambling in 2019, with more than 30 casinos expected to offer sports gambling and online sportsbooks. The state was expecting to start taking its first sports bets in May 2020, with gaming operators such as FanDuel, DraftKings, PointsBet and others taking wagers. Colorado has dozens of land-based casinos and allows live and off-site betting on horse racing.
Delaware offers in-person sports betting at three different casinos. The state has allowed parlay card betting through the lottery since 2009 and became the first state after Nevada to take a sports bet once the Supreme Court struck down PASPA in 2018. Sports betting revenue in Delaware has since totaled more than $24 million. The state still doesn’t allow mobile sports betting but does have legal online casino gambling.
The state passed legal sports gambling in June 2019. It remains land-based only for now with mobile sports betting expected in the future. Current announcer and former Chicago Blackhawks center Eddie Olczyk placed the state’s first legal sports bet in March 2020 at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. Several other land-based casinos have applied for licenses in an industry expected to generate more than $100 million per year. Illinois also offers lottery and online horse race betting.
Indiana legalized sports betting in May 2019. It now offers a variety of in-person and mobile sports gambling options, with several top online sportsbooks fully operational. It took its first sports bet in September 2019 and online followed a month later. Indiana has since amassed more than $42 million in sports gambling revenue. Multiple sports betting sites have opened with apps from DraftKings, BetAmerica, BetMGM, PointsBet, FanDuel and others. Indiana does not currently allow real money online casinos.
Iowa first legalized gambling in May 2019. The state has in-person and mobile sports gambling with various online sports betting sites including DraftKings and PointsBet. More than a dozen land-based casinos now allow you to bet on sports, several of which also include apps for mobile sports betting sites. Iowa has since taken in nearly $20 million in total sports gambling revenue.
Michigan passed legal sports gambling in late 2019. Approved land-based casinos began taking sports bets in March 2020 with mobile sports betting sites and apps expected to follow in the near future. Michigan has long offered land-based casino gaming and horse racing for gamblers.
Mississippi first began offering legal sports betting in August 2019. More than 20 land-based casinos have been approved to accept bets, though mobile sports betting sites aren’t currently available outside of on-site mobile bets. The state also implemented a lottery for the first time in early 2020. Sports gambling in Mississippi generated nearly $60 million in revenue through early 2020
Montana established legal sports betting in June 2019 and operates legal sports betting through the state-run lottery, with in-person betting available at various operators in stores, restaurants and kiosks. Nearly 10 land-based casinos currently running table games are also expecting to offer sports betting via a mobile app that can only be used on location.
Nevada became the first state to legalize sports gambling in 1949. It is often first associated with legal gambling at dozens upon dozens of casinos in Las Vegas and elsewhere. The state has offered mobile sports betting apps since 2010 and also has online poker. Nevada is still posting record sports betting numbers, bringing in $329.1 million in sports gambling revenue in 2019.
State legislators passed a bill allowing legal sports gambling in July 2019. Retail and mobile have been approved, with mobile betting exclusively offered through the DraftKings sports betting site. In-person options are expected to follow, while New Hampshire also allows lottery and off-track horse racing betting.
New Jersey legalized sports gambling shortly after the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision. The state already offers a wide range of in-person and mobile sports betting sites. DraftKings, FanDuel, FOXBet, 888Sport and William Hill are just a few of the various online sports betting options. Legal land-based casinos have been running in Atlantic City since 1976, and the state also legalized online poker and online casinos.
The state hasn’t passed any laws legalizing sports gambling sites. But several tribal casinos began taking sports bets after the Supreme Court’s decision in 2018. The Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel took the first sports bet in October 2018. Sports gambling is limited to these New Mexico tribal casinos with no mobile betting.
New York approved sports betting at several sportsbooks in 2019. Top sports betting companies such as FanDuel, DraftKings, Bet365 and Caesars are taking bets through land-based casino partnerships, though none are in New York City. Mobile online sports betting sites could be on the way in the next year or so. The state also offers a lucrative lottery, horse racing and off-track betting. Sports gambling has generated close to $10 million since it was introduced in 2019.
Oregon is going a different direction than other states, running mobile sports betting through the state lottery. Chinook Winds Tribal Casino took the first legal sports bet in August 2019 and the lottery launched its Scoreboard betting app in October. In-person bets are currently limited to tribal casinos. The Oregon lottery sports betting app and in-person shops have taken a disappointing $6 million in revenue through early 2020.
Pennsylvania embraced mobile sports betting from the start and began taking legal sports bets through various apps and websites in May 2019. BetAmerica, FOXBet and Unibet are just a few of the best sports betting sites now available in Pennsylvania. The state also has roughly one dozen casinos with regulated sportsbooks. That’s in addition to online poker, online casino sites and horse racing. Legalized sports betting has been a massive success in the state, bringing in more than $135 million in revenue through early 2020.
Rhode Island legalized sports gambling in June 2018, but it was limited to in-person betting at the state’s two casinos – Twin River Casino and Twin River Tiverton. Both casinos initially partnered with William Hill. The state passed a bill in 2019 legalizing mobile sports gambling, which is now run through the state lottery. Off-track horse race betting is also permitted. Rhode Island has so far generated more than $22 million in sports gambling revenue through early 2020.
Tennessee passed a bill allowing mobile sports gambling in 2019, with no physical sportsbooks. That means familiar top sports betting apps such as DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, William Hill and Caesars, among others, are permitted. Top legal sports betting sites in Tennessee are not active yet but expected in the near future.
West Virginia actually passed its legal sports betting bill before the Supreme Court overruled PASPA in May 2018. It passed online casino gaming and mobile sports betting in 2019, with FanDuel and DraftKings among the best sports betting sites now operating in West Virginia. At least five land-based casinos were also approved to accept in-person sports bets. The state’s proactive approach resulted in nearly $30 million in sports gambling revenue through early 2020.
Why Use Legal Sports Betting Sites?
Why do we only recommend the best sports betting sites that are actually legal? First, because these online sportsbooks are inherently better than offshore sportsbooks simply because they’re fully licensed and regulated. But that’s not the only reason why sports bettors should stay away from offshore betting sites.
If bettors run into any issues depositing or withdrawing money from legal online sports betting sites, there’s always proper recourse. They can’t take your money and run. Employees and handicappers don’t need to operate in the shadows, so they’ll be available to help with any issues should they turn up. The customer support provided is unparalleled. Offshore sportsbooks are unlicensed and unregulated in the U.S., so there are no guarantee they’ll handle similar issues the right way. You could win a bet and not collect. And what if you suspect your credit card information has been compromised?
These sites can also run into problems with law enforcement and shutdowns. That would make it extremely tough to withdraw funds or collect winnings. Even if the offshore sites are operating as usual, they don’t always make it easy to withdraw in the first place. Earning a consistent profit with the best sports betting sites is difficult enough. Collecting your winnings should be the easy part. But, again, offshore books can drag the process along and create a frustrating experience at best, or a financial loss at worst.
Advantages of Online Sports Betting vs. Offline
It’s not hard to see why mobile betting at top online sports betting sites continues to explode in popularity. Betting in-person at the sportsbook is a fun experience, for sure, but technology has greatly improved the experience for most bettors.
For starters, you can access sports betting odds and bet from anywhere with online bookies. You don’t have to drive long distances and find parking in front of the sportsbook. You don’t have to take out a bunch of cash and eat the ATM fees. And you don’t have to wait in long lines with other bettors just to get to the ticket window before kickoff or tipoff.
Betting online is as easy as opening your favorite sports betting app and pushing a button or two to lock it in. That’s it. You can watch the games unfold from your living room, neighborhood bar or the actual stadium. The world is your personal sportsbook once you’ve created an account and deposited funds with a top sports betting site.
Online sportsbooks are also far more conducive to in-game betting (or live betting). These windows close quickly and it’s important to strike at the exact moment you find value on live betting. That’s nearly impossible at a physical sportsbook, but it’s 30-second process at most using the best sports betting sites.
Lastly, you don’t need to return to the sportsbook to collect when you win. Winning tickets are instantly deposited into your account and available for withdrawal. That takes away the hassle of another trip to the sportsbook or a lengthy wait on futures tickets. Not to mention, you’re in trouble if you lose those physical tickets from the sportsbook. There’s really no way to prove you have it if you misplace the ticket. Online sports betting is all recorded instantly on your account, so you’re never ripping the closet apart searching through old pants pockets for that winning parlay ticket.
Bonuses and Promotions at Online Sportsbooks
Nearly every top sports betting site offers some sort of bonus or promotion for first-time users. Make sure to take advantage of these. It’s essentially free money to bet with once you’ve made your initial deposit.
Several online sportsbooks offer deposit matches, which vary from betting site to betting site. The sportsbook often will match anywhere from 50%-100% of the initial wager up to a certain amount, like $500. That means if you deposit $500 into your account, some sportsbooks will match 100% of that. Now you have $1,000 to wager with and have essentially doubled your bankroll before placing a bet. That said, there will be wagering requirements. Some sportsbooks require you to bet that bonus money several times over before you can collect, while others have a 1x play-through requirement. Be sure to shop around.
Other sites offer free bets. These are similar to deposit matches but generally can only be used once. Let’s say you made a deposit at a top betting site and wanted to get some MLB betting action. You could place $100 on the New York Yankees moneyline against the Boston Red Sox. The sportsbook would then add an additional $100 free play for you to make another bet with, regardless of whether the Yankees moneyline bet hits. Think of it like found money to play with. You won’t owe anything or lose any money if the free bet doesn’t hit. There might be limitations attached to that free bet though, including how big of a favorite you are allowed to bet on.
What to Look for When Picking a Sports Betting Site
First, you should make sure you’re betting with a legal, regulated sports betting site. We only recommend legal online sportsbooks. All of the recommendations above are fully licensed and won’t give you any of the problems you might run into with offshore sites.
You should also shop around for different bonuses and sign-up offers like the ones mentioned above. Every sportsbook is different, and some might be offering more value with their bonuses at a given time. Certain sign-up offers might suit you better than others based on your standard betting unit and money management system.
Bettors will also want to look at various lines and point spreads. These generally differ a bit at the top betting sites, and some might consistently offer better odds on your sporting events of choice.
The bottom line is that our list of recommended real money betting sites are all strong options.
Online Sports Betting FAQ
How do I open an account on an online betting site?
Simply choose a top sports betting site and begin the sign-up process. This can be done from anywhere; you only have to be located in the state’s borders when betting. Bettors don’t need to sign up at a physical casino or sportsbook or even be in the state at the time. Simply enter the required information, including your name, address, cell phone number, email address and at least the last four digits of your Social Security number. Some sportsbooks may ask for your entire SSN. Once the sign-up is complete, you will receive a confirmation email. Then choose your preferred method of payment to make a deposit, though you may be required at that point to provide additional documentation to verify your identity and age, which may include a driver’s license, passport, utility bill or other form of government-issued ID. Now you’re ready to start making online sports bets.
How do I put money into my account?
The best sports betting sites offer a variety of payment options. Most now take PayPal, Play+, bank transfers and credit/debit cards, among other options. Choose whichever one makes the most sense for you.
What are the minimum and maximum betting amounts?
This varies depending on the sports betting site. Some allow users to bet as little as $1 on parlays or various in-game bets. Bet maximums are high enough that most bettors won’t ever have to worry about it, with some reaching as high as seven figures depending on the sport and specific game.
Is it safe to deposit money on legal online sportsbooks?
Yes, it’s perfectly safe to deposit money with legal sports betting sites. That’s one of the biggest reasons bettors should stick to our list of recommended online sportsbooks. There are no guarantees when depositing money with illegal offshore betting sites.
Can I bet on all sports in the US?
You can bet on just about every sport in the U.S. NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, golf, tennis, college football and basketball and the UFC are just a few examples. Some states restrict betting on in-state college teams or in-state college events. All states ban betting on high school events and sports involving athletes under 18. eSports, while available overseas, is typically banned, but in New Jersey sportsbooks can file for exceptions.
What sports bets are accepted at online sports books?
All the bets you can make in-person at a sportsbook are available at all the best betting sites. This includes point spread, total, moneyline, props, parlays, teasers and futures bets in all sports. Our free parlay calculator can be a great resource for those parlay bets, allowing you to calculate potential winnings.
Which state produces the most revenue from sports betting online?
New Jersey has amassed nearly $500 million in betting revenue since legalizing sports gambling, 80% of which has come from mobile and online at top sports betting sites.
What sport is most commonly bet on?
NFL betting is the most popular sports bet on in the United States, with an estimated $6.8 billion bet on the 2020 Super Bowl alone. Super Bowl betting and March Madness betting are the two biggest betting “events” of the year.
What are signs that I may have a sports betting addiction?
Betting more than you can afford to lose is a sign you may have a sports betting addiction, as well as chasing losses by betting on the next event instead of following a strategy. Seek help if you can no longer pay the bills or stay on top of personal finances due to gambling losses. Every sportsbook we recommend provides resources to help you determine if you have a problem and need to self-exclude or set limits.