Online sports betting has been affected by an act which was put in place long before the internet was created. The 1961 ‘Wire Act’ was designed to stop mob activities of using telephones to channel bets to States where this was legal. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection act of 1992 introduced a ban on Sports Betting in all but a handful of States. Nowadays, Nevada is the only State to offer comprehensive live sports betting opportunities – with strictly limited options elsewhere.
The huge thirst for betting on sports was unleashed with the invention of the internet. Sportsbooks based themselves offshore (in Central America or the Caribbean) from where they offer a huge range of markets on US and global sports. Payments to these sportsbooks were restricted in 2006, with the passing of the UIGEA which focused on transactions between US banks and gambling sites. With some creativity in the deposit and withdrawal options used, the offshore sportsbook industry has continued to thrive. Many of the books have more than a decade of experience, and an excellent track record in looking after their customers.
More recently, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) contests have gained in popularity. These get around the on-shore betting restrictions by awarding prizes for fantasy sports contests, where you pick and trade a team in competition with others. DFS is just starting to catch the attention of regulators, who are examining the legality of this area.
Online Sports Betting Sites
You will find detailed information on choosing a book and safely transacting with them on our Hongkong Pools Sites page. There is a huge choice of operators available to both US and worldwide bettors. Choosing the right one can make a big difference to both your overall betting experience and to your bankroll.
Profitable betting involves more than just picking the winners. Different sportsbooks will often have their own opinions on the strength of different teams. This means that comparing the lines at different sportsbooks can make a big difference to your profits at the end of the month or year. A few points here and there might seem small, though over time this difference can snowball into a much bigger deal.
Recommended Sportsbooks for US Bettors
5Dimes: You might be tempted to hit the ‘back’ button on your browser when you first see the dated and scruffy 5Dimes website. I strongly advise you to check out this site – which offers more markets and better lines than just about any other sportsbook. They are best known for their ‘reduced juice’ lines, which often tie in with bigger events.
Bovada: This book is exclusive to US and Canadian bettors. Prior to 2011 they were branded as ‘Bodog’ and remain one of the most popular US sportsbooks. Look out for a lot of prop bets and alternate lines for big events, as well as fast and reliable cash outs. Bovada offer a free check payout to all bettors once each month.
BetOnline: This sportsbook has a long history and is based out in Panama. They have a big range of markets focusing on the bigger US sports. With very competitive lines, it is worth your while checking whether BetOnline offer more value than your current sportsbook before you place a bet.
Recommended Sportsbooks for Non-US Bettors
Betway: This Malta-licensed book has huge coverage of soccer from around Europe – with a big focus on the English Premier League. I recommend you keep an eye on their special promotions page, which often includes money back and enhanced odds offers.