Best Betting Sites in the USA

Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011
Last update by on : 18 September 2019

Where can we bet securely and which are the leading bookmakers in the USA?

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US betting sites differ slightly from European bookmakers, and this is what often attracts their punters. While European sports betting sites focus heavily on football and horse racing, the two most popular sports to bet on in Europe, American bookmakers focus more on their popular sports, such as American football, hockey, and basketball. Their range of games of course still includes the likes of football and horse racing, just with a more inclusive variety for users looking for something else. While the laws surrounding online betting in the USA are relatively strict, certain states do still allow various forms of the pastime to occur.

Interesting Facts about Betting in the USA

  • Gambling in the USA creates over $116 billion in revenue annually
  • Unsurprisingly, Nevada (home of Las Vegas) is the state with the largest gambling population
  • Lotteries are the most popular form of gambling in the United States
  • Allegedly, 150 billion dollars are wagered on sports bets annually, with the majority of this being through illegal bets.
  • 57% of online gamblers are female
  • Utah and Hawaii are the only two states that completely prohibit any form of gambling

Gambling Legislation and Laws

Each state has the right to create their own laws surrounding gambling, both in-person and online. Each state has its own regulatory authority to determine what is legal in that state. Gambling is currently legal in almost every state, with 48 states offering it in some form. This means that there is no clear answer to whether gambling is legal in the United States – in some states, it is, in others, it is not, or only partially.

In terms of gambling online, the 1961 Wire Act made it illegal to bet online, by banning transferral of funds via wire communications for bets or wagers. However, in 2011, this was reviewed, and it now falls into the individual states’ jurisdiction, something which was solidified by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

The exception to this is sports betting, which was overseen at a federal level by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act until it was struck down in 2018. Sports betting was illegal except for in Delaware, Nevada, Montana and Oregon, where it existed before the Act came into existence. However, since the Act has been revoked, several other states have legalized it, with many more currently waiting for bills to be passed.

Top online betting websites in the USA

Although there are a vast number of sites that offer their services to clients in the United States, here are some of the largest, safest and most reputable sites that punters prefer.

First launched in 2011, Bovada strives to offer the best in both sports betting and casino games for customers. They offer betting on all major national and international sports, they have over 300 slot games to choose from, and they were voted as having the best online poker room in the United States.

Did you know that Intertops was the company to accept the world’s first online sports bet, and the company has gone from strength to strength since then. Operating since 1983, with over 23 years of online experience as well, they cater to consumer demand. The company has expanded to include customers from over 180 countries and offers over 4,000 wagers each day. They have some of the lowest wagers on the online betting scene, and they are a one-stop-shop for both sports betting and casino games.

Perhaps you’ve heard that Betonline market themselves as having a “focus on the player” approach and this allows them to provide the exact services that are in demand. Although they are well known for their vast range of sports betting, they also have a casino, live casino and poker features, so that all customers are satisfied. They are also known as one of the best poker sites in the US, and excel when it comes to speedy deposits and withdrawals, allowing customers to play whenever they want.

Competition between Operators

There is no monopoly for betting companies in the USA, either online or in person. There are a number of different competitors that offer online betting services to customers from the United States registered in different states, sometimes more than one state. This competition ensures that companies are always looking to improve their services, and offering the latest in technology, the best odds, and creative bonuses and promotions. So currently, there is no monopoly on the market, and not even a single (or few) companies that hold a majority of the field.

Bonuses from American Bookmakers

There are many different bonuses and promotions available for punters in the United States. Companies use bonuses and promotions as tools to entice new members and encourage existing members to continue to play, so there are a variety of different options that benefit punters.

All sites will offer some kind of welcome bonus. This can vary, from Betonline’s 100% welcome bonus that matches your first deposit 100%, up to the value of $1,000, to the Bovada sports welcome bonus, that matches your first deposit 50%, up to the amount of $250. There are also ongoing promotions for existing customers, such as receiving a 35% bonus every time you deposit money via a cryptocurrency on Betonline or receiving a $500 bonus for finding the highest odds on Intertops. These existing promotions often change with sports seasons or new casino games being introduced, so it is often worth checking what is available every so often.

Betting Features and Options from American Bookmakers

Almost all reputable American bookmakers will offer guests a wide range of different features and betting options that are designed to make the experience more enjoyable. These include:

If odds become unfavourable in the middle of a game, customers can choose to cash-out their bet. This enables them to withdraw the bet at any point, receiving what they would be owed based on odds at that point, and regardless of the final outcome. This cannot be used to withdraw money from the site, just from a live bet.

Bet Builder
Very similar to a parlay bet, customers can join multiple bets together to increase their winnings. If all wager in the bet builder win, the customer receives a larger payout.

Live Betting
Live betting allows customers to place a bet on a sporting or poker event after it has started, during the game. This allows customers to bet in real-time, as the odds change.

Live Streaming
Live streaming allows punters to watch the game they are betting on, as it happens. This gives greater insight into what is happening and is often paired with live betting.

Available Payment Methods

American sites offer some of the widest variety of payment methods on the market. These include standard methods such as credit or debit cards, e-wallets such as Skrill, PayPal and Neteller, as well as most major cryptocurrencies.

The majority of these deposit and withdrawal methods are instantaneous and do not require any kind of fee. However, there are always exceptions to this. Punters should always check that there are no bank fees, that sites do not place a temporary hold on winnings before they can be withdrawn, or that their preferred method is available for both deposits and withdrawals.

The United States dollar (USD) is often used on betting sites, due to the fact that the United States is such a huge target market. This is convenient for users, as it means that they do not have to exchange their currency before betting. However, if a site does not offer betting in USD, often punters can still make deposits.

Mobile Betting in the USA

American bookmakers, as well as the European counterparts that service the American audience offer some of the most well-designed betting apps on the market. They are generally free to download for both Apple and Android devices, giving users full use of the site wherever and whenever they want.

In some cases, companies will provide separate apps for sports betting and casino games, so that users who prefer one or the other do not have to deal with unnecessary information that does not appeal to them. All apps are designed with the user in mind and strive to be easy to use.

Online Casinos

Online casinos are legal, but only in a handful of states. Online casinos have been legalised in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, and online poker is legal in those three states, as well as Nevada. Not only are online casinos legal in these states, but they are also very popular. New Jersey is the country’s leader in online betting, as many physical Atlantic City casinos also have licenses to offer their services online.

Ultimately, regardless of the laws surrounding online gambling in any form, there is no penalty for individual bettors, irrespective of the state they live in. There is a minimal risk for individuals who want to play in online casinos, yet live in states where it is illegal.

Leading sports for betting in the United States

One of the benefits of the American sports calendar is that there is little overlap between the major sporting seasons for basketball, American football and baseball, so punters generally only have a single major sport to choose from at any given time, and there is always something to become invested in.

  • Basketball
    Basketball has long been a sport that America excels at, and punters enjoy the thrill of the NBA. American betting sites will also offer international games and championships for punters who are looking for some diversity within the sport.
  • American Football
    This is the most popular sport to bet on in America. Most punters are drawn to the NFL, culminating in the Superbowl, but many people also like to bet on college-level football.
  • Baseball
    The Major League Baseball is a firm favourite for punters, many of whom are staunchly proud of their state team. Although there are few other international options for baseball compared to within America, most sites will offer a range of bets on each game, as well as live betting and live streaming.
  • Horse Racing
    One of the oldest sports to bet on; horse racing remains somewhat popular in America. Most reputable sites will offer a range of local and international races throughout the year so that punters always have the opportunity to bet.
  • Soccer
    Globally, soccer is one of the most popular sports to bet on (also known overseas as football). Although it does not generate the same interest in America, this is shifting, especially with the growing interest in the women’s soccer team, who are the most successful women’s team in the world for the sport.
  • Boxing and MMA
    One of the most exciting and thrilling games to bet on, boxing and MMA matches are full of adrenaline and quick changes in odds. This is a sport that America excels in, but is also popular overseas, generating lots of international matches to bet on.
  • Tennis
    America is home to some of the greatest tennis players in the world, and betting on the sport is popular. There are opportunities to wager on some of the biggest international championships such as Wimbledon and the French Open, as well as live streaming and live betting.

The profile of an American Bettor

Since the legalization of sports betting in 2018, it has seen a surge in popularity, with the industry growing 175% since the change in the law. Despite this rapid growth, American bettors are still more likely to engage in other forms of gambling. Punters that join in casino games, both physically and online, generate the most significant amount of revenue for the gaming sector.

The number of people gambling online is increasing, and it is predicted that online gambling revenue will hit $9.3 billion per year in 2020, up from $1.3 billion in 2010.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Nevada is the gambling capital of America. The state has the largest number of casinos and gaming machines per capita, due to the fact that Nevada is one of the states gambling is legal in, and Las Vegas is a popular tourist destination for people looking to spend time and money in the casinos.


Can you bet online in the USA?

Where can you bet on sports in the United States?

Is online gambling legal in the USA?

Which are the best football betting websites in the USA?

Which is the best online casino in the US?

Are there any betting restrictions for players in the US?

Can American players sign up to overseas betting sites?

Our Verdict

Although American laws surrounding gambling, both physically and online, are somewhat strict and patchy compared to overseas, there is still a huge market for punters to enjoy. Players who live in states with relatively strict and conservative laws can still enjoy betting online, with no fear of retribution, and the knowledge that they are using a site that is safe and reputable.

However, the government is responsive to the demand and constantly-shifting gambling environment at both a state and federal level. The new legislation, specifically surrounding the legalization of online sports betting, looks set to open up the market to some new online companies. States are becoming increasingly more lenient on their laws surrounding both online and physical betting. This will likely have a positive effect on the options available to punters and create new competition for providers.

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