Looking for sports betting sites in the USA? Read our guide to markets, banking methods, and more at the best sportsbooks in the country.
Legal online sports betting has skyrocketed since federal legislation was changed in 2018, and is now available in dozens of states. Online betting sites are keen to roll out the red carpet for new bettors, so it’s a great time to get involved.
That’s where this Gambling Spotlight guide to USA betting sites comes in. We tell you what you need to know about the markets and welcome bonuses that are available now, and point you towards some of the very best betting sites in the country. You can then compare options and pick the best option for you.
Guide to Online Betting in the US
In 2018, Supreme Court judges ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 was unconstitutional, paving the way for individual states to set their own rules regarding sports betting. In other words, from that moment on, there was no longer a federal ban on the practice.
The post-PASPA era has seen numerous states legalize sports wagering, with the likes of New Jersey, Pennsylvania,and Michigan among the first to give the go-ahead to both in-person and online sportsbooks.
Where legal sports betting is available, state-specific gaming authorities and legislators set betting laws and are responsible for issuing licenses and regulating operators to ensure safety and fair play. Gamblers usually need to be 21 or over, and physically located within state lines in order to enjoy placing wagers at betting sites for sports.
Finding the Best Value in Online Betting Sites
As legal online sports wagering continues its steady spread across the country, bettors are enjoying an ever-growing choice of sites to place their bets. Sportsbooks compete to offer the best sign up bonuses and enhanced odds promotions, making it possible for bettors to extract some real value from betting sites.
Before signing up at any sportsbook, it pays to check out all the legal options in your state so you can take advantage of the top bankroll-boosting bonus offers available. This doesn’t have to require endless surfing around from site to site – you can use our online reviews and state-level gambling guides to help you find the bookies offering the best value right now.
Avoiding Offshore Sports Betting and Gambling Sites
It’s reasonably easy to find offshore betting sites that accept US bettors, but we don’t recommend you sign up. Using such gambling sites can mean having to contend with unhelpful customer support, unfair betting odds, missing withdrawals, and sometimes even worse.
Offshore betting sites may have legal status elsewhere, but they are operating outside the law if they accept bets outside of their legal jurisdiction. We think that’s reason enough to give offshore sites a wide berth.
A growing number of US residents now live in – or within driving distance of – a state where legal online and in-person sports wagering is available, so we see no need for bettors to accept anything else than a stellar, legal betting experience.
How to Compare Online Betting Websites
The devil is in the details when it comes to betting sites for sports. Choosing between operators, you should drill down to the details to ensure you’re signing up for the best option for you. Here are some questions to ask when weighing up sports betting sites.
- Is the sports betting site operating legally in the state where you want to bet? You won’t need to be a resident to place bets at a licensed sportsbook but will need to be physically present in a state where it is legally allowed to operate.
- Does the sportsbook offer your preferred banking option? It pays to check the cashier page to ensure that key payment methods like PayPal and Play+ are available and that you’re happy with the withdrawal policy.
- What sports can you bet on? Most sites will offer action on major leagues and events, but fans of niche sports may need to look a little harder.
- Does the site offer a wide range of sports betting markets? Putting money on the winner is one thing, but the best betting sites offer real depth with props, totals, same game parlays, and many other wagering options.
- Can you enjoy in-play betting and live streams? Placing bets when the action is already underway is about as exciting as it gets, and it’s even better if you can watch it live at the sportsbook site. It’s smart to have these features on your wishlist.
- What are the betting odds like? Most top sportsbooks offer competitive odds, but it never hurts to check you’re getting the best possible returns.
- Is customer support readily available? It’s always good to know you can get in touch with staff if you need to, whether that’s by live chat, phone, email, or social media.
- Does the sportsbook offer a great mobile betting app? Having a downloadable app makes it much easier to access betting markets on the move.
- What bonuses and promotions are available? Most sites offer welcome deals like risk-free bets and free credits to new players but remember to swing by the promo page to see what’s on the menu for existing customers, too.
Which Online Betting Sites are Most Popular in the USA?
There’s a growing choice of well-oiled sports betting sites coming online. Here’s a snapshot of just five of the top online sportsbooks USA-wide that are ticking the right boxes.
Having burst onto the daily fantasy sports scene back in 2012, DraftKings made the move to real-life sports betting look easy when it took New Jersey’s first online bet post-PASPA. The sportsbook accepts bets on an excellent range of sports and serves up a packed menu of moneylines, point spreads, and futures bets within its user-friendly interface.
There’s usually a couple of welcome bonuses on offer, including a first deposit match worth up to $1,000 at the time of writing.
Now owned by the Dublin-based Flutter Entertainment, FanDuel started building its army of fans in 2009. Like DraftKings, FanDuel took its first bet on real sports in New Jersey and has established itself as one of the best-known betting sites for basketball, football, soccer, and many other sports.
Using FanDuel, you can easily create same game parlays and access live streaming of major events. Plus, you get a risk-free welcome of up to $1,000 on your first wager.
The result of a partnership between MGM Resorts International and the Isle of Man-based Entain Holdings, BetMGM brings a touch of class to the world of online sports betting.
Draped in MGM’s luxurious black and gold aesthetic, this popular sportsbook offers markets on over 20 different sports and a risk-free bet worth up to $1,000 when you sign up.
Regular bettors can opt-in for the Monday Money Club to earn a free $10 sports bet each week.
While only currently available in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, the PlaySugarHouse sportsbook is proving a hit with online bettors. That’s no surprise, as this sportsbook features a great selection of betting markets and a 100% match bonus of 100% up to $250 on your first deposit. The bonus has a mere 1x playthrough requirement on bets with -200 or longer odds, so there’s a decent chance of making a profit from this offer.
Founded in 1997, the Malta-based Unibet has started to build up quite the presence in the US. While the wealth of NFL and soccer markets makes Unibet one of the best betting sites for football, this sportsbook appeals to fans of all types of sports and has a $500 risk-free bet for new customers.
Since bettors receive a cash refund rather than betting site credits, the Unibet welcome bonus has an advantage over rival risk-free offers.
How to Bet Online with Real Money
It’s super simple to set up an account with betting sites for sports – just follow these steps.
Choose your favorite from our list of top sports betting sites. We highlight each bookie’s best features and bonuses, making it easy for you to pick your winner.
- Sign Up
Click through to your favorite site and sign up. You’ll have to provide some basic personal information and perhaps some ID documents to verify your age, etc.
Be sure to watch out for any requirement to check a box or input a bonus code to claim a welcome offer.
If you’ve been given free bet credits as a no deposit bonus, you can place wagers right away. Otherwise, you’ll have to head to the cashier page to choose your preferred payment option and make your first deposit. A minimum amount may be needed to claim certain welcome bonuses.
Once your funds have landed in your account, you can place your first bets. If you’re claiming a bonus that’s dependent on an initial wager, remember to check the minimum odds stipulated in the bonus T&Cs. Your bonus should land in your account just as soon as your qualifying bet settles.
Which Sports are Most Popular for Online Betting?
There’s a good chance you can wager on your favorite sports when you sign up at one of the USA’s top online betting sites. You’ll find markets for the MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL, along with milestone events like the Masters and Daytona 500. Not all the action will be on home turf, with the best betting sites for USA players taking bets on leagues and championships from around the globe. Soccer is among the broadest markets, encompassing the English Premier League, the German Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga, and many others.
You might encounter some market restrictions, depending on your state. For example, some states don’t permit bets on events featuring in-state college teams. Others allow some college sports wagering but rule out prop bets on individual athletes.
One blanket rule to be aware of is that placing real money wagers on high school events is off the menu completely at legal sportsbooks in the US.
There are more ways than one to back a winner on betting sites online. Here’s a quick overview of some of the betting markets available.
- Moneyline – These are the most basic wagers of all, with bettors predicting the winner of a game, match, or other sporting event.
- Totals (Over/Under) – Total bets see a bookie publish a specified total for an event, usually the number of points that will be scored in a game. Bettors decide if the actual total will be over or under that number.
- Point Spread – This levels things between favorites and underdogs, giving the former a points handicap to overcome, and the latter a points margin they’re allowed to lose by.
- Props – Bookies sometimes list prop bets as specials because these wagers are made on highly specific outcomes that are independent of the overall result of an event. For example, which player will score first, the time of the first goal, etc.
- Futures – Future bets require you to select the winner of a tournament, league, or competition in advance. They can be risky bets, but correct picks can pay out handsomely.
- Parlays – with parlays, you can put multiple picks on your bet slip. All of these selections (or ‘legs’) must come in to win, but accumulated betting odds mean that parlays can result in huge payouts.
Mobile Betting Apps
There’s no denying the convenience of being able to place bets wherever you are and whenever you like. After all, you can’t always rush to a computer to place bets for important sports events.
Where online and mobile betting is legally available, top sportsbook operators like BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, Barstool, and WynnBET offer native sports betting apps you can download to your Android or iOS device.
Sports betting apps offer key benefits over using mobile-optimized sites through your phone or tablet’s web browser. It’s easier and quicker to jump onto the betting markets through the app, for one thing.
Apps can also offer a more user-friendly interface, and there are optional push notifications that will deliver the latest sportsbook bonus codes directly to your home screen.
Find Betting Payment Methods to Suit You
You’ll find that online bookies support various ways to manage your funds. Popular options for paying into your account include debit and credit cards, ACH/eCheck, online banking, prepaid Play+ cards, e-wallets, and PayNearMe. Deposits tend to be instant, except in the case of PayNearMe, where you may just have to wait around 15 minutes.
Popular withdrawal methods include e-wallets, Play+ cards, ACH/eCheck, and online banking. Timeframes for processing withdrawals vary a lot by site and method, but you’ll find that PayPal and Play+ cards are particularly efficient, frequently allowing withdrawals on the same day you request them.
It’s also worth noting that online betting sites with a retail presence in the state usually invite in-person transactions at the cashier cage of the corresponding land-based casino or sportsbook.
Problem gambling support in USA
Problem gambling can affect people from all walks of life. You might start to spend too much time or money on online betting sites, neglect personal relationships, or shy away from work commitments. If you or a loved one need support as a result of problem gambling, there are organizations you can contact:
National Council on Problem Gambling
Live chat: https://www.gamtalk.org/chat/
Ready to try the best betting sites in the USA?
Now that you’ve got to grips with what to expect, why not check out which sports betting sites are up and running in your preferred state? Right here at GamblingSpotlight you can compare operators and bonuses, choose your favorite offer, and sign up for the top sportsbooks in the US.
Is online betting legal in the USA?
In some states, yes. After the Supreme Court threw out PASPA in 2018, many states legalized in-person or online sports wagering – or both. More states are expected to offer legal sports betting in the future.
How do I know if I’m playing at a licensed online sportsbook?
Legit online sportsbooks display their license information on their homepage. You can confirm the status of any site on the relevant gaming commission website. In Pennsylvania, for example, that would be the PA Gaming Control Board, in Arizona, the Arizona Department of Gaming, and so on.
Will I be taxed for my gambling winnings?
Yes. Gambling winnings are regarded as a form of income like any other, so are subject to both federal and state taxes.
Is online betting fair?
Yes, as long as you give offshore sites a miss and stick to legally available sites with a state-issued license. These sites must be run by operators whose integrity has been vetted, and who adhere to strict rules regarding fair play and customer security.
Which is the best online betting site in the USA?
Defining the overall best betting site is very much a subjective call. Design features and bonuses that appeal to one player might not necessarily appeal to another. Why not check out our sportsbook reviews to find your perfect fit?
Are there any new online betting sites in the USA?
As it hasn’t been that long since PASPA was dismissed, all of the online betting sites in the USA might be considered pretty new. That’s especially the case in states where sports betting has very recently been legalized – such as Arizona, where legal online sportsbooks launched in September 2021.