Introduction to US Laws for Betting on Baseball Online

Gambling laws in the United States are going through some transitioning due to the expansion of state regulated gambling that also includes online gambling. This section of our guide will focus specifically on the US gambling laws that govern legal baseball betting. We will address how US federal and state laws can affect the industry, and what your options are for legally participating in baseball betting online, to include World Series betting and baseball playoffs betting for both MLB and college baseball leagues. Once you have a solid understanding regarding the legal status of betting on baseball, we encourage you to review our guide on baseball betting types so that you are clear on your wagering options prior to getting started.

Is Betting On Baseball Legal in the United States?

There are two primary US federal laws which govern US based sports betting, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act and the Federal Wire Act. The UIGEA bill that you hear mentioned rather often applies to all venues of online gambling. We will discuss each law further below. These laws combine to significantly limit any state regulated brick and mortar bookmaking services, and completely ban state based online sports betting businesses. So when it comes to any type of state licensed and regulated online sports betting, you will come up empty handed.

This does not eliminate all options for US players to enjoy legal baseball betting. There are multiple high quality sportsbooks that are licensed, regulated and located outside of the United States, and that are able to legally offer their services to sports bettors around the world, including those in the USA. These sites are not subject to US federal laws as was established by the World Trade Organization, and therefor do not violate these laws by offering their services to American residents. The sportsbooks that we recommend in this guide are among those offshore brands that are legally licensed and regulated. We personally vetted each one using a high level and very intense review process.

What is the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act?

The PASPA law was enacted in 1992 to stop the expansion of sports betting in the United States. Four states were exempted from the law, including Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. When the law was initially passed, a one year grace period was established for any qualifying state that wanted to add sportsbook gambling to their existing state licensed gambling industry. The grace period was created with New Jersey in mind, however they did not take advantage of the option at that time, loosing their window of opportunity.

This law was heavily supported by the professional and collegiate sports leagues who were concerned that sports betting would cause a certain level of corruption to be present in the sports leagues. These parties still support the law to this day as we've seen recently in their opposition to New Jersey's efforts to legalize sports betting in the state through a lawsuit that they won in court, indicating that the courts of the land also support the legitimacy of the law. Based on the fact that there is still staunch support for the PASPA law, we don't anticipate brick and mortar sports betting destinations expanding within the US any time soon.

What is the Federal Wire Act and How Does it Affect Sports Betting in the USA?

The Federal Wire Act was passed in 1961 in an effort by law enforcement to curtail mafia controlled bookmaking services that operated by accepting bets over the phone. The law was successful in this goal and delivered a significant blow to organized crime during that time. The Federal Wire Act has recently been interpreted by the Department of Justice as legally prohibiting US based online sportsbook gambling. This means that it is not legal at this time to own or operate an online sports betting site within the United States.

The Federal Wire Act does not prohibit US residents from participating in online sportsbook gambling that is licensed, regulated and located outside of the United States. Ensuring you only participate in legally sanctioned bookmaking services is a key to not violating any type of US laws. As mentioned previously, these sites are not subject to US federal law, and hence are not violating any laws by offering their services to US players. This renders licensed and regulated offshore sportsbooks as legal and legitimate options for US players.

Does the UIGEA Bill Outlaw Online Gambling for US Residents?

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act does not make it illegal for US residents to engage in licensed online gambling. The law specifically targets online gambling sites and payment processors and provides regulatory oversight regarding how online gambling transactions can be processed. The law does not target players in any way, shape or form. The largest affect that this law has had on US players is in regards to sportsbook selection. The UIGEA bill does place high standards concerning payment processing of gambling related transactions in an effort to eliminate money laundering and fraud. This has resulted in a safer and more refined online gambling environment for both players and operators. It has also driven sportsbooks and other gambling sites to invest in premium payment processors to handle these transactions, which provides better security and reliability for all parties.

Do State Laws Affect My Options for Legally Betting on Baseball?

Most states do not have any type of laws specifically addressing online sportsbook gambling. There really is no need to since the Federal Wire Act effectively prohibits US based online sports betting. In addition, there would be no way to enforce the laws if any state tried to prohibit offshore sports betting. It is unlikely that we will see any states attempting to expressly legalize online sports betting with the existing federal laws in place.

Where Can US Residents Legally Bet on Baseball Online?

US residents can legally bet on baseball at online sportsbooks that are legally licensed, regulated and located outside of the United States. You must remember however that not all online gambling sites accepting US players are legitimate or legal. This is why relying on the input of industry professionals who have specifically vetted and approved online baseball betting sites is ideal for ensuring you do not land at any type of dangerous, questionable, low quality, or undesirable gambling destination.

Industry analysts reviewed all the brands recommended in this guide, and each one was verified to hold legal licensing and be subject to regulatory oversight through a legitimate and respected governing jurisdiction. We also verified the site's overall performance and quality through an intense process that examines each component of their operation from top to bottom. While this process is extremely time consuming, it allows us to reveal those industry-leading brands that offer premium services through a safe and legal gambling environment. Our list of qualifying sites is not lengthy, but it does represent the best options that the industry has to offer.

Top Sports Betting Sites Operating In Compliance with Baseball betting Laws
SITE BONUS RATING VISIT
Bovada Sportsbook $250 Rating 5 Stars Visit Site
Betonline Sportsbook $1000 Rating 5 Stars Visit Site
Sportsbetting.ag $1000 Rating 5 Stars Visit Site
Bookmaker $2500 Rating 5 Stars Visit Site