Laws Against Online Gambling in the United States
What leads to some of the confusion surrounding the legality of online sports betting are some laws that the United States government has in place. Most notably, the 1961 Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.
The Wire Act was instituted long before the internet was even a concept. This law prohibited people who “engaged in the business of betting” from wiring money across state lines for use in placing bets or wagers. This law was passed as a means to fight back against organized crime as it was often criminals involved in gangs that were running illegal sportsbooks back in these days.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act served as a renewal of the Wire Act, confirming that it was illegal for businesses to make financial transactions with the intent to gamble in the United States or overseas. This prompted many banks and third-party financial institutions to stop assisting in the transfers of funds to sportsbooks.
Players Never Targeted
In the case of both the Wire Act and the UIGEA, players aren't targeted in the language of the bill and have never been targeted legally by either bill. These laws were put into place to go after the sportsbooks and the people running them, not the people placing bets with these institutions.
Because of these laws, legal sports betting sites based in the United States no longer exist, though many people are still fighting for their return. Fortunately, despite not being located on United States soil, there are many sportsbooks that cater to American bettors.
What Makes Sports Betting Sites Legal
Fortunately for sports bettors in the United States and around the world, the USA's laws against online gambling do not apply outside of the country. Many countries around the world do allow legal sports betting sites to operate in their country, and many reputable companies have set up shop in these countries.
While the United States may not like this fact, the country seems to have its hands tied when it comes to policing other countries. Antigua and Barbuda fought the United States and demanded sanctions for its interference in global trading affairs back in 2005, and since the issue was settled there haven't been any more attacks on sports gambling, leaving legal sports betting sites to continue operating in other countries.
Making Deposits Offshore
Due to the laws in place in the United States against transferring money to sports gambling institutions, it isn't as easy to deposit money into legal sports betting sites as it used to be. Banks and third-party companies will often decline deposits.
Fortunately, there are plenty of other quick and easy ways to make deposits. Players can use credit cards or pre-paid cards at many legal sports betting sites, and direct money transfers are another popular option. In many cases, betting sites will even pay for some or all of the fees that come with making a deposit if specific deposit requirements are met.
Whatever betting site you decide to use, details on how to deposit and the fees or bonuses that come with that deposit will be readily available.
Freedom to Gamble in Other Countries
If you live in a country like Canada or the United Kingdom, you are in luck; the USA's laws against sports gambling transactions don't apply to you. In addition to the deposit options available to United States citizens, players in these countries and many others can make deposits right from their bank, or use a number of convenient third-party options to make their deposits or withdrawals.
Legality of online gambling changes from country to country. If you live outside one of these countries, you should do more research on your country's laws to determine what legal sports betting sites are available to you. These sites will generally only take business from countries that they feel comfortable doing so in, so if your country is turned away there may be stricter laws where you live.
But in most cases, legal sports betting sites are widely available and plentiful to choose from. Players should browse around to find the betting sites that best suit their betting preferences and needs.