There are millions of basketball fans all throughout the nation, watching and cheering for teams on the collegiate and the professional level. The NCAA and NBA contain thousands of players spread out over a hundred popular teams, and when you look at the NBA Playoffs and the NCAA Tournament, you're talking about billions upon billions of dollars being exchanged via bookmakers and online sportsbooks. But is this actually a legal activity?
Many people actually shy away from legal basketball betting because they assume that like poker and online casinos, the American government has interfered with its faux sense of Puritan morality and have made it illegal to bet on sports. The answer to the legality of sports betting isn't actually a firm yes or no answer; at least as it pertains to your betting options. It actually falls outside of that dichotomy and exists entirely in an area that is inherently complex and filled with contradiction. With our online basketball betting resource, we aim to not only answer this question for you, but to explain the legality of sports betting in great detail, as well as offering you tips and tricks you can use to properly bet on basketball games.
Basketball has been part of the nation's landscape for a century now, and it's only becoming more popular. Though before you throw your money around at a bet, take a few moments to read more about basketball sports betting, its legality, and ways in which you can approach gambling to give you a better shot at winning.
This is truly a complex, contradictory area. While sports betting may be held as illegal over much of the nation, the fact of the matter is that no one is ever actually prosecuted for betting on sports. And, as with online casinos and poker, it's perfectly legal to bet on sports as long as you're choosing a venue located outside of US jurisdiction. In other words, you can still, bet with a sportsbook located in outside of the United States and gamble legally 'til your heart's content.
To put it more succinctly: US based sports betting is, by federal law, illegal - save four states (which we will go over below). US based online sports betting is made illegal by the Federal Wire Act, and still this does not eliminate all options for US bettors.
Sports betting that is based in America is illegal due to regulations like PASPA - the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (1992). Known colloquially as the Bradley Act, PASPA is a law that explicitly defines sports betting across the US as an illegal activity. By decree, this act has made sports betting illegal in the nation, save a few excluded states. So, basically, PASPA makes state licensed sports betting illegal in every state except Delaware, Oregon, Montana, and Nevada.
There has been a lot of stink with PASPA since it was first passed, with even the Department of Justice (DOJ) claiming that the federal law overreaches and infringes upon states' rights. And you won't hear the states complaining with the DOJ's opinion. But to no avail, sadly; the fact is that this is what government does. It grows and controls and infringes upon private rights. Outside of the aforementioned four states, sports betting options offered by US based businesses are technically illegal. However, there are no provisions in PASPA which seek to charge or prosecute private citizens for betting on sports; rather, these provisions are for those controlling the gambling (bookmakers) not those laying down their bets (gamblers).
Along with the Federal Wire Act, which helped to strengthen PASPA and actually served as its precedent, these conjoined laws pretty much scare away anyone wanting to create a US-based sportsbook outside of the four safe states. For private citizens, however, it's easy and legal to find gambling alternatives.
The National Basketball Association is considered a very gambling-friendly league. Even the league's commissioner, Adam Silver, has called for legalized sports betting, and this sentiment is echoed by many in positions of power. However, PASPA still exists, and those wishing to bet on the NBA legally need to do so via legal venues. For instance, if you're going to be in the area, you can always lay a live bet with a bookmaker in Vegas. But that seems unrealistic, and if you live in Virginia, you can't exactly bet with a Delaware bookie, even though it's legal there. The Federal Wire Act prohibits the interstate exchange. However, you can find an offshore site with which to bet. And this isn't an inconvenience. There are a handful of US friendly online sports betting sites with which to bet, and every site that isn't on US soil and holds legal licensing and certifications is legal to bet with.
So, again, for the sake of succinctness: Sports betting in the United States is legal in an extremely limited number of destinations, but as a citizen of America, you are perfectly free-100% unfettered-to place your wagers with an offshore sportsbook as long as it is licensed and regulated. Betting offshore is perfectly legal, and it is legal because of the complex nature of the federal regulations which overlook such activity. So, to bet legally as a citizen, simply go offshore with a site that's based in the UK, Australia, Panama, etc. Anywhere that's not under American jurisdiction but that has legalized online sports betting for their respective territories. More about Legal NBA betting.
The same holds true for Legal NCAAB betting. You might think, on its face, that collegiate betting is more closely guarded due to the fact that these are amateurs playing and not professionals, but the same basic rules apply. While you cannot bet on a wire across a state line, even if sports betting is legal in that state, you can still bet at an offshore site and exchange money without any question of legality.
The topic is very complex, inherently muddled, and it's hard to tell what government will do next to strengthen PASPA. The US seeks to keep gambling illegal and to keep enforcing an archaic sense of Puritanism where it so pleases authorities. But they cannot legally control what happens off of US soil. So, if you're looking to legally bet on basketball, simply find an offshore site you can trust, such as the ones listed in this guide.