USA Betting – Top Regulated Sportsbooks in 2024

BBS breaks down the United States sports betting market, including detailed reviews, analysis and news regarding the industry as a whole.

United States sports betting has a long and complex history. The regulated USA sportsbooks that now exist in more than half the country today are just another “spoke in the sports betting wheel” that has been spinning round and round for decades. From the Wire Act to UIGEA to PAPSA, the US government has been in a constant battle over their definition of “legalized sports betting.”

Regarding the latter point above, the US Supreme Court would eventually rule on PASPA after it was brought forth by the state of New Jersey. That state, already heavily invested in the United States sports betting scene, wanted to expand its offerings to include retail sportsbook marketplaces.

Finding that PASPA exerted federal influence over state law in an unconstitutional way, the US Supreme Court struck it down.

Within six months of that decision, seven states legalized and launched their own sports betting markets. Some states had sports betting legislation passed and were ready to open, in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s favorable ruling on PASPA. Just like that, the United States sports betting industry was back, in a safe and legal form. By March 2024, 31 states and the District of Columbia offered legal online sportsbooks. Seven other states have retail betting.

These days, between daily fantasy sites and full-fledged US-facing sportsbooks, more Americans can access legal betting on sporting events than ever before. That’s a startling thing to say, considering how much of American history is colored by games of chance and skill. It’s only been possible thanks to those sweeping changes in official attitudes toward sports wagering at both the federal and state levels.

For much of American history, bets on sports were illegal. Most Americans gained legal access to sportsbooks only within the past few years. Those changes came courtesy of a shift in the government’s thinking about United States sports betting.

This page describes the state of the USA sports betting scene. It begins with a short history of American sports history before segueing into which US states have finally legalized sports wagering. Our analysts break down the most common United States sports betting markets and ways to wager, as well as give other important betting strategies and answers to your most frequently asked questions. From this page, you can navigate to more detailed coverage of related topics here on the site

Latest Betting News

Bookmark us to stay in the loop on the latest industry news, including predictions and picks!

Best Sportsbook Bonuses in the USA

Loss rebate, of up to $1000
if your first cash bet loses

Fanduel Online Casino

Bet $5, get $150 in bonus bets,
if your team wins

Deposit match bonus
up to $1000 in bonus bets

The History of United States Sports Betting

It’s hard to overestimate the value of gambling in general (especially race betting in particular) to early America.

America’s first horse track was built on Long Island in 1665, when the country’s population hovered around 90,000. If we’d maintained that ratio of tracks to people through to today, we’d have about 3,600 active horse tracks. We really have about 100.

America’s famous revolution, the fight against colonial occupation that continues to inspire revolutionary movements today, was funded in large part through lottery sweepstakes. By the time of the American Civil War, all three legs of horse racing’s Triple Crown were active, making them the longest-running professional sporting event in the country today.

Why did a country built on the backs of bookmakers turn so sharply against gambling?

Two reasons – baseball and organized crime.

“Say It Ain’t So, Joe” – How A Baseball Scandal Rocked US Sports Betting

The 1919 Black Sox Scandal, in which members of the Chicago White Sox lost the World Series intentionally to the underdog Cincinnati Reds as part of a betting scheme, led to permanent bans from America’s pastime and a permanent black mark on United States sports betting. United States lawmakers in just about every corner of the country moved to outlaw all forms of wagering, not just sportsbook bets.

In fact, for about twenty years, there was no legal way to wager anywhere in the country. When Nevada legalized some forms of gambling in 1949, it became the first state to accept legal sports wagers since the time of the thrown World Series.

Obviously, when you outlaw sports betting, only outlaws accept bets on sports. In the decades since sports wagers went away, organized crime activity filled in. The US government used strict laws and harsh penalties to attempt to control the market.

Laws like the Federal Wire Act (1961), the Travel Act (1961), the Sports Bribery Act (1964) and the Illegal Gambling and Business Act (1970) did even more to tighten the noose around United States sports betting. In fact, these laws mostly targeted online sports betting in the United States as we became more technologically driven and more innovation was introduced into the niche itself via offshore bookies. 

Two later pieces of legislation made it practically impossible to place a legal sports wager as an America, even at offshore sportsbooks. In 1992, PASPA prevented states from legalizing sports gambling on their own. The infamous Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 tried to prevent the use of credit cards and other financial products at off-shore bookmakers.

States with Legal Regulated Sportsbook Options

It would be hard to write a page about US sports betting without including a section about legal online sports betting states. The following states offer legal sports wagering, or have passed sports betting laws and are in the process of launching their sportsbook programs:

Legislation that would allow for licensed and regulated sports betting is being considered in the following states:

  • California – Many players ask: Is sports betting legal in California? Two 2022 ballot initiatives failed. There is a ballot proposal to bring it back to voters in 2024. However, it seems like a long shot.
  • Georgia – Several attempts to legalize sports betting in Georgia have failed. Most are tied to a larger expansion in gambling, like lottery casinos and pari-mutuel horse racing.
  • Minnesota – Multiple bills that would establish a sports betting commission and regulate and tax retail sports betting are under consideration. The biggest disagreement is over how much involvement Minnesota’s horse racing industry will have in the sports betting space.
  • Missouri – Video gaming machines are holding up sports betting in Missouri. Bills looking to legalize sports betting are tied to VLTs, which cause it to fail in the state legislature. A ballot initiative may be on the 2024 ballot.
  • Oklahoma – Governor Kevin Stitt proposed proposed a tribal sports betting model in November 2023. However, it was not met with support by the state tribes.
  • South Carolina – The legislature of South Carolina is studying the creation of a retail sportsbook through SJR67. No bills have been proposed to change the state constitution, as required.
  • Texas – Five bills (HB2070, SB616, SJR36, SB736, and HB1121) were referred to various committees or tabled at the last legislative session; four are under consideration for the next legislative session.

In some US states, we’ve seen failed attempts at sports betting legislation. This tends to indicate little hope of expansion into retail sports betting, though we’ve seen states change courses in the past. Other states have traditionally fought against any expansion of gambling, including lottery and simple games of chance. That makes a regulated sports wagering environment unlikely to develop there soon.

Here are several states where sports betting law is unlikely to change soon:

  • Alabama – Deep in the American Bible Belt, Alabama is one of the last holdouts among conservative southern states once deadest against all forms of betting. It seems like every year we read rumors of legislation allowing lottery or casino play in the state, and every year that legislation is destroyed long before it comes to a vote.
  • Alaska – Put Alaska on the list of US states that have rejected gambling because the state simply doesn’t need the money. Alaska’s oil and mineral wealth produces enough cash to pay every resident a residency stipend worth about $1,600 a year. The state runs a rudimentary lottery sweepstakes, but outside of that (and bets on sled dog races), you can’t gamble legally anywhere in Alaska.
  • Hawaii – The Aloha State has long banned all forms of gambling, including simple forms accepted practically nationwide, like bingo games and the lottery. Gambling is seen as a gateway to a total tourism takeover of the state, a stepping stone on the way to a complete destruction of the state’s delicate natural resources. Besides, Hawaii does well on the tourism front without sportsbooks and casinos.
  • Idaho – You can predict which states will move to regulate sportsbook bets by how quickly states are to adopt or ban daily fantasy betting. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s somewhat predictive. By that measure, you shouldn’t expect to see legal sports betting in the Gem State any time soon. Idaho is on the shortlist of US states that don’t allow any form of DFS betting. Most forms of gambling are heavily restricted in the state.
  • Utah – All forms of gambling are illegal in Utah. This includes casinos, sports betting, and lotteries. Oddly, daily fantasy sports are not considered gambling in the state.

Mobile Betting – Sportsbook Apps in the United States

The United States sports betting market, once composed entirely of offshore operations, is suddenly stuffed with new options. The rise of the mobile sports betting market has led to this increase in options. Below is a short guide to the most popular American sportsbook apps:

This English sportsbook offers its USA customers a FULL 100% match bonus and brings its players over 40 years of experience and amazing customer service as well.


Another English offering that has come west to the expanding United States sports betting market of the United States, Betfred has more than 50 years of experience and a $500 bonus bet for new customers.

BetMGM brings with it loads of experience and is one of the most iconic brands in all of gaming. It also has partnerships with the NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball, making it one of the more unique sportsbooks on the market.

You can find details of the latest BetMGM Sportsbook Rewards here.

Also, be sure to read this analysis of BetMGM versus DraftKings here.

One of the first sportsbooks on the scene in New Jersey after United States sports betting became legal, the Rush Street Interactive property with up to $250 in bonuses has been quick to spread to newly legalized states (All SugarHouse sportsbooks rebranded to BetRivers).

Caesars is an American gaming royalty, and its mobile reach now covers all of the states where sports betting is legal. It offers $300 in deposit matches and customer access to Caesars Rewards.

You can find details about Caesars Sportsbook promo codes here.

The daily fantasy sports giant has partnered with tech giant Kambi for its mobile sportsbook app. It has a responsive platform, $1,000 in bonus bets and deposit matches, and an endless parade of daily bonus offers.

You can also find a list of legal USA sportsbooks here.

Sports to Bet in the United States

Americans love sports.

8 of the 10 biggest stadiums in the world are in the United States. 4 of the 5 most profitable global sports leagues are American. United States sports betting is worth $23 billion a year – and that’s just the legal bets.

With respect to the European (especially English) professional football leagues, Americans have a constant barrage of sports coverage in multiple sports.

Sure, there’s the NFL on Sunday, but also college football on Saturdays, the NBA basically every day of the week, not to mention March Madness, horse racing’s Triple Crown, the various golf tournaments of the calendar year, baseball’s World Series, the Stanley Cup, and on and on. It all adds up to a constantly engaged and spend-happy audience, hungry for even more sports.

Most sportsbooks across the world offer a wide volume of sports to wager. But when engaging in United States sports betting, it’s the volume of sports, but also the volume inside each of the sports.

You can place a baseball bet sitting at a sportsbook in London. Playing baseball in Atlantic City, you have game bets, dozens of proposition bets, and in-play wagering that allows you to bet on individual innings, at-bats, and even single pitches.

Typical United States sports betting wagers include:

American sports bettors don’t just want to bet on their own sports. International sports available for wagers at U.S. sportsbooks include:

  • Alpine Skiing
  • Australian Rules
  • Baseball (leagues in Asia and Central and South America)
  • Basketball (leagues in Asia, Europe, Australia, and North and South America)
  • Biathlon
  • Boxing
  • Canadian Football League
  • Cricket
  • Cycling
  • Darts
  • Esports (not legal in all states)
  • Formula 1
  • Gaelic Sports
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Handball
  • Hockey (International Ice Hockey Leagues/Field Hockey)
  • Horse Racing
  • Lacrosse
  • MMA
  • Netball
  • Nordic Combined
  • Olympics (Summer and Winter)
  • Pool
  • Rowing
  • Rugby League
  • Rugby Union
  • Ski Jumping
  • Snooker
  • Soccer (leagues on five continents)
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball

If you can’t find the sport and specific event that you want to wager, many United States sports betting sites offer a “You Call It” option. Send them a message via email or social media regarding the sport you want to wager, and they will get back to you with odds that you can bet.

It’s a lot of sports to juggle and a lot of different seasons.

But you’ll notice that when a special event is taking place – like baseball’s Opening Day, the Cricket World Cup Finals, or the opening of the English Premier League – most sportsbooks will offer boosters and bonuses and extra bets to coincide with the day’s festivities.

Online Sportsbook Rewards Clubs

Most online sportsbooks have rewards clubs. These are sometimes called VIP programs. Players earn bonus bets, odds boosts, and point multipliers in these programs. The more action a player gives, the more points and comps awarded. These deals are also available for online casino players in legal states. Read more in our online sportsbook VIP program reviews.

Types of Bets Available in the United States

Here’s a guide to each of the common types of United States sports betting options available:

  • Moneyline Bets – the simplest type of sports bet. Betting on the money line means picking the winner of the game outright. Oddsmakers set different lines for the game’s favorite and underdog teams. Favorites typically have minus odds (-150, for example) that pay out less than successful bets on underdogs. Those underdog teams get plus odds (+140, for example) that pays out much more than a bet on a favorite.
  • Point Spreads – For point spread bets, the house sets a line that represents a margin of victory for the favorite and margin of loss for the underdog. The favorite has to win by that set margin of victory for wagers on the favorite to pay off, typically at -110 odds. A bet on the underdog pays off (also typically at -110 odds) so long as the underdog loses within that set margin or wins outright.
  • Game Totals – This type of bet is sometimes called an over/under. This is a wager on the total number of points scored by both teams. Oddsmakers set a number and take bets on either side, with bettors picking whether the total will be over or under the number set by the book.
  • Parlays – A parlay is a combination of two or more single bets, which pay out escalating odds the more bets you combine. For example, if you combine two point spread bets, you will win $2.60 for every $1 wagered. Combine three bets, and you win $6 for every $1 wagered. A four-team parlay pays $11 for every $1 wagered. Those larger potential payouts come with increased risk – when any leg of the parlay loses, the entire parlay ticket is a loss.
  • Player Props – These are bets that focus on the outcome of individual achievements within a game. You can bet on which pitcher will have the most strikeouts, who scores the first touchdown, the over/under on an individual’s passing yards, and so much more. Player props can also include seasonal bets, like which player will win the MVP award.
  • Team Props – Like player props, team props are bets on specific events or outcomes, and they usually have nothing to do with the result of the game. These can include simple things like which team wins the opening coin toss, to which team hits the most three-point baskets in the fourth quarter
  • Futures Betting – Just as the name implies, these are bets on events scheduled for the future, such as which team will win the Super Bowl and who will win next year’s U.S. Open. You can also bet on the top seeds at the next NCAA Tournament and which teams will qualify for next year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.
  • Live BettingLive betting, also called in-play or in-game betting, has become incredibly popular across the world, and now in the United States. It’s far more interactive than traditional betting in that as the game progresses, the odds and point spread change, giving the player an entire new set of possible bets. Players also get quarter and halftime lines, buyout options, and there are smaller wagers inside the event, like the result of a specific game inside a tennis match.

Banking Options for Sportsbooks in the United States

Even with different laws, different regulations, and different customer bases, the banking options at sportsbooks across the country are relatively uniform. That doesn’t mean you’ll find every option described below at every American sportsbook.

United States sports betting deposits can be made using the following methods:

  • Bank/Wire Transfer
    • Not too dissimilar from online bill pay in the speed in which funds are transferred, a bank or wire transfer often comes with fees on the bank’s end, and it does require that a customer’s account number be shared with others.
  • Check/Money Order
    • Checks are still a fashionable way to send money in America, and sportsbooks are happy to take them as well. Personal checks, cashier’s checks, and money orders will all take extra time to arrive in the mail, and there will be delays for processing, but the money is just as good as any other method.
    • There are fewer ways to withdraw money from a sportsbook account, and that number shrinks even further if you deposited money by check or cash. If deposits were made electronically, often, the process can be reversed for withdrawals. If not, the only choice is to have a check sent through the mail, which comes with delays for processing.
  • Credit/Debit Card
    • The most popular way to fund a United States sports betting account is by using a credit or debit card. It’s easy and relatively risk-free. Most American sportsbooks warn users that some banks will refuse deposits to gambling providers. Other banks will attach extra fees to the transfer, seeing it as a cash advance rather than a purchase. You should check with your bank before attempting to make a deposit to a legit US-facing sportsbook using a credit or debit card.
  • Cryptocurrency
    • Most OFFSHORE sportsbooks accepting American customers accept deposits using various forms of cryptocurrency. Users can make deposits using currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum, often directly from their crypto wallets. Some sportsbooks have special promotional offers for customers who use crypto as their deposit method, promising instant deposits and withdrawals, reduced or waived fees, and special math offers.
  • eWallets
    • These include popular names like PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill. eWallets act very much like paying with a bank account or debit card. The transfer of funds for United States sports betting is immediate and easy to do from a computer or mobile device.
  • Online Bill Pay
    • This is the easiest, the fastest, and the safest method of funding a sportsbook account. Because the customer sets it up from their own bank account, there is never a reason to give someone else an account number. This cuts down considerably on the risk of fraud, which is why every sportsbook in the country recommends it as the best way to move money. The downside – relatively strict limits at most books, and longer waiting times compared to other funding methods.
  • PayNearMe
    • No card, no problem. Almost every state allows for the use of PayNearMe terminals to transfer funds to a sports betting account. Located inside convenience stores and small retail environments, PayNearMe kiosks allow users to add cash to their online or mobile sportsbook bankroll. Users get a receipt with a number and barcode that they can use to transfer money same as cash. There’s a small fee associated.
  • Pay with Cash
    • Some online sportsbooks have deals with land-based casinos that allow customers to make cash deposits to their accounts at physical casino cages. For example, BetMGM customers in certain states can add funds to their BetMGM accounts by making cash deposits at an area casino. Withdrawals aren’t allowed, and there are limits on deposit size that vary by sportsbook and by state.
  • Prepaid Cards
    • Only select sportsbooks offer a prepaid card. When filled with money, it acts like any debit or gift card and is a safe and immediate way to put money in an account. It’s equally easy to refill.
    • Take note that each United States sports betting site has its own policies regarding deposit minimums and maximums and the amount of time it takes to process payments.

FAQ for United States Sports Betting

Is it legal to place sports bets in America?

The answer depends on where in America you live, and (to a lesser extent) where and how you do your betting. Federal law no longer prohibits states from setting laws about sports betting. Every state approaches the subject differently. If you live in a state where this type of wager is legal, then you’re entitled to place sports bets.

See our page titled “Where Is Sports Betting Legal in the United States” for more details about this aspect of United States sports betting.

How old do you need to be to bet on sports in the United States?

Every state has different laws, but the industry standard has become that you need to be at least 21 years old to participate in United States sports betting. Also, because of the different laws, you need to be physically inside the state where you place bets. The legal age for pari-mutuel wagering is typically 18 but also varies from state to state.

Do American sportsbooks offer bonuses and promotions?

Familiar with American sports bettors from offshore casinos and sportsbooks, these offers are a way for competing gambling providers to set their services apart and entice customers to make a deposit. They’re a part of the legal and regulated United States sports betting market. However, the terms and conditions are likely different from what was once available in the unregulated offshore marketplace.

Find out more about sportsbook bonuses and promo codes in this guide.

Is online sports betting safe for Americans?

If you are betting with a legal and regulated sportsbook, then online wagering is extremely safe. All regulated United States sports betting is subject to strict oversight, and all sportsbooks have laid out their procedures for arbitrating any disputes with customers, should there be a payout discrepancy. Most legal online sportsbooks also employ the most advanced encryption technology to protect the accounts and identities of their customers. If you place wagers with an unregulated sportsbook, like an off-shore bookmaker, those same protections cannot be guaranteed.

Are United States sports betting winnings subject to income tax?

If money was made, you can be sure the IRS wants its cut. All winnings from United States sports betting must be declared when filling out your income tax return in April. The federal government taxes United States sports betting income at a flat 25% rate. The state income tax rate you will pay varies from state to state.